You might start planning your alternate route now if you can.  The section of I-94 near the Kalamazoo Airport will be getting a major new look, and construction starts Tuesday.

It’s not a long strip of highway, less than three miles, but it’s definitely an area of I-94 that could use some major re-working.   And a major reworking is what it’ll get.   Over the next 19 months, the Michigan Department of Transportation, (MDOT) will fix I-94 between Lovers Lane and Sprinkle Road.   It’ll cost $87 million.

Kalamazooans have been scratching their heads over this section of highway since it was built more than 60 years ago. It’s the final piece of improvements for the interstate in Kalamazoo, as the US131, Westnedge Avenue, and Sprinkle Road interchanges have all been re-worked and modernized in recent years.

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MDOT’s Nick Schirippa and his team have produced this nifty video that explains it all, including detour routes you might consider.

When work starts on Tuesday (April 13), there will be nighttime single-lane closures on westbound I-94 from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Tuesday, April 13, through Thursday, April 15, and again from Monday, April 19, through Thursday, April 22.

This year, MDOT will shut down a portion of eastbound I-94 and have two lanes in each direction on westbound I-94 while the eastbound lanes are rebuilt.  And you’ll need to be ready for intermittent ramp and local road closures with posted detours during the entire project.

One of the highlights of the project, besides the widening to 6 lanes, is the long-awaited rebuilding of the Portage Road interchange.  When they’re finished, it’ll be a single-point urban interchange (SPUI), similar to the I-94/Westnedge Avenue interchange.

Another major improvement is the removal of the  Kilgore Road bridge over I-94 and indirect left turn at Portage Road…..finally!    There will be a new Kilgore Road alignment east of Portage Road using what currently is Kilgore Service Road.

I-94 at Kilgore-google street view
I-94 at Kilgore-google street view

Highlights of the project:

  • Widening 2.7 miles of I-94 from four to six lanes between Lovers Lane and Sprinkle Road in Kalamazoo.
  • The Portage Road interchange will be rebuilt with a single-point urban interchange.
  • Kilgore Road will be realigned at Portage Road.
  • Rebuilding four bridges and one culvert.
  • Traffic signal upgrades, new signs, freeway lighting, and noise barrier installation.

Crews will suspend work in mid-November for the winter and resume in spring 2022. Rebuilding is expected to be completed in November 2022.


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