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Major overhaul of I-94 in Detroit coming soon: Here's what we know

I-94 signs in Michigan (WDIV)

DETROIT – A key stretch of I-94 in Metro Detroit is about to undergo a massive makeover.

The Michigan Department of Transportation said this week that the overhaul, which is still in the planning stages, is well overdue.

"There's rust, cracking on the sidewalks," said Rob Morosi, of the Michigan Department of Transportation Office of Communications. 

It's early, but here's what we know about the I-94 project so far:

What part of I-94 is included in the overhaul?

The proposed project is seven miles long between Connor Street and I-96. The stretch was built in the 1950s and is in bad shape.

Here's a map - the red line shows the projected path of the project:

When will the project start?

MDOT officials said the project could start in the early 2020s. The details on if it would be a complete closure haven't been determined, but alternate routes would be updated before the reconstruction started, officials said.

What's included in the overhaul?

New pavement, drainage, lighting and utilities are included. There are 67 deteriorating bridges along the span and they're also included in the project. The plans would expand the highway to make it safer, adding a shoulder and easier freeway entrance ramps.

"Anything we need to do on Gratiot we would want to do in advance; Michigan Avenue if you're coming from Dearborn," Morosi said.

The completed project will be a freeway that's designed for the 21st Century, along with 67 modernized bridges.

"So we will eliminate two travel lanes, put in a wider sidewalk, put a protected bike lane in each direction," Morosi said.

Modernization has already started with the reconstruction of a couple of the bridges over the stretch, such as the Trumbull Avenue bridge.

When will it be completed? 

We don't know this yet, but recent major overhauls, including on I-96, I-75 and I-696, it's taken between one and two years.

How much will it cost?

It's expected to be an expensive project, but an exact cost has not yet been released.

"We're not going to put a number out right now because we haven't gotten that final clearance on the design," Morosi said.


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