Starting next year, the Michigan Department of Transportation will begin the majority of work on a $76 million reconstruction of the I-94 and I-69 interchange, located 2.5 miles west of the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron. The bridge accounts for some $400 million in annual commerce, and is the third busiest border crossing between the United States and Canada.
“The I-94 and I-69 interchange carries a large quantity of commercial vehicles,” says Rob Morosi, a MDOT spokesman. “We are keeping that interchange open throughout the project because it is such an important crossing for trade and passenger vehicles.”
To be completed in fall 2015, MDOT has started preliminary work on the reconstruction — the eastbound ramp from I-94 to westbound I-69 is closed until fall 2014. Other ramp closings will be required to complete the project.
Overall, MDOT will rebuild a one-mile stretch of I-94 between Lapeer and Griswold roads, and approximately one mile of I-69, between I-94 and Range Road in Port Huron Township. In addition, six bridges will be replaced.
Morosi says the work on I-94 represents the last one-mile stretch of the freeway to be reconstructed from the Blue Water Bridge to the border of Macomb County. “This project is important to the trucking industry and the movement of good and services,” Morosi says. “It’s also important to tourism.”
The Blue Water Bridge, which spans the St. Clair River, opened for service in 1938. Due to rising traffic, a second, three-lane span was added in 1997. Overall, the two bridges account for around five million vehicle crossing each year.