I-94 to be closed for bridge demolishment over 3 weekends

Published: Apr. 13, 2021 at 6:46 PM EDT
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BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. (WNDU) - Rarely does I-94 shut down to traffic, let alone on purpose.

But the closures will be coming like clockwork in Berrien County over the next three weekends.

The state plans to demolish three bridges which means totally shutting portions of the interstate down to traffic.

The first bridge removal will take place this weekend where I-94 meets Business 94 or Main Street.

The next is set for April 24th and 25th at the bridge that carries Highland Avenue traffic over I-94.

The last will take place May 1st and 2nd at the bridge that extends Territorial Road over the interstate.

“To have a total closure like this is very, very rare and when we do it we obviously try to mimimize the length of that closure as much as possible,” said Nick Schirripa with MDOT. “Contractor is demolishing a bridge literally in 12 hours. We’re going to close I-94 and start detouring that traffic at 9:00 p.m. and the contract says they have to have I-94 reopened by 9:00 a.m. or shortly thereafter, so they are getting a 12 hour window of a total closure of an interstate to demolish a bridge.”

Only two of the three bridges will be rebuilt.

The one at Business 94 will be rebuilt and redesigned to eventually connect with an extended and completed U.S. 31 bypass.

To that end I-94 will be expanded from six to seven lanes, according to Schirripa. “Say coming out of South Bend, you’re going to stay on U.S. 31 the whole time. There will be a dedicated auxiliary lane on I-94 just for that continuous U.S. 31 travel.”

As for the much anticipated $121,000,000 extension of U.S. 31, Schirripa says it’s about one third of the way along with final completion expected in November of 2022.

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