After $87 Million, three years, and an unbelievable amount of delays, prayers for those who travel on I-94 through Kalamazoo and Portage have been answered - all lanes, and ramps at Portage Road are open!

But, sadly, there's still some work to be done, and it could still take months to finish.

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Back when this project was announced, and started, the plan seemed simple - Expand I-94 through the area to allow more traffic to flow freely, and smoothly through the Kalamazoo area. As with any construction project, the initial pain of closing lanes, and the appearance of Michigan's unofficial State Symbol - the Orange Cone - hurt. But we knew the outcome would be worth it, and in no time, we'd have fresh new lanes to drive on.

That was three years ago, and residents of Kalamazoo and Portage have grown weary and tired of waiting. But thankfully, the waiting is (nearly) over.

Sunday morning, crews finally opened all entrance and exit lanes at Portage Road for the first time in nearly a year. At various points during the I-94 construction, the ramps would be closed for work, and re-opened to allow for traffic flow. But now, there is no need in the near future to close those ramps again.

Construction on the actual highway at Portage Road is done, and you should see cones and crews soon cleared from the area.

"We can't say enough to thank motorists, commuters, and neighbors for their patience and understanding, as well as the dedication of our contractors and consultants as we worked through an unprecedented pandemic and the complications it caused not just for this project, but around the world."

Work Turns to Portage Road

Business and property owners along Portage Road, near I-94 have been promised that the road would re-open in full "next month" for nearly a year. But delays in shipments, supplies, crew availabilities, and weather, kept pushing the finish line further, and further back. Since the start of the project, nearly a dozen businesses have had to close along Portage Road, near the interchange, due to lower amounts of traffic, and accessibility from the road.

What should be prime real estate has become a hinderance for these owners as consumers crave convenience, even if it's just turning off of the road. We actively work to avoid construction zones, and congested traffic.

Work on I-94, and its ramps may be done, but there is still work to be done on the road. Easements, median curbs, and stop signals still need to be properly installed and finished. And business owners were once again told it should be finished "some time next month."

Hopefully, though, this is the LAST time they hear it.

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Gallery Credit: Google Maps

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To be fair, the city can't necessarily be blamed for what happens with the wear and tear of our streets. After all, The city of Kalamazoo maintains and operates 83 miles of major streets, 166 miles of local streets, 20 bridges, over 15,517 signs, 80 traffic signals, and 4 flashing beacons at intersections, so there's a lot they have to cover.

Gallery Credit: Google

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