MDOT: 7-mile stretch of I-94, 67 bridges set for major overhaul in Metro Detroit

Project planned between Connor Street and I-96

DETROIT - Construction on I-696 and I-75 downriver has caused massive headaches this year, but more projects are coming up.

A key stretch of I-94 is set to get a complete overhaul and officials said the construction is overdue.

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. There are 67 deteriorating bridges along the span and they're also included in the project.

"There's rust, cracking on the sidewalks," said Rob Morosi, of the Michigan Department of Transportation Office of Communications. "We're looking at not only new pavement, new bridges. We're looking at new drainage, utilities, new lighting."

The plans would expand the highway to make it safer, adding a shoulder and easier freeway entrance ramps. It's expected to be an expensive project.

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

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.

"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, Morosi said.

"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. There are wider sidewalks, a bike lane and two lanes for drivers, making the bridge safer for everyone.

Officials also said I-696 is slated to possibly reopen by the end of the year, but so far there's no set date.

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