Massive I-94 construction project starts this summer in Jackson

JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) -- Get ready to see a lot of orange barrels on I-94 in Jackson County this year.

Right now crews are preparing for several years of construction on the interstate.

6 News has a look at what's on the horizon.

After more than 60 years of heavy traffic, it's time I-94 through Jackson County gets a big upgrade.

"A lot of the infrastructure is outdated. It's worn through its years and it's time to come in and replace it," said Jack Rick, project manager of the Michigan Department of Transportation's I-94 construction project.

Rick says MDOT is preparing to spend nearly $100 million on revamping nine miles of highway from M-60 to Sargent Road.

Plans call for re-surfacing, re-constructing, and widening parts of the highway, along with replacing bridges.

Rick says it will be the biggest road project mid-Michigan will see this year.

One of the biggest changes drivers will see is happening at I-94 and Cooper Street, where crews are constructing a new gateway for Jackson.

The Cooper Street interchange is being totally re-designed with a new bridge, roundabouts, and landscaping.

They're improvements that the city of Jackson hopes will draw drivers into town.

"As part of that we're going to incorporate within the roundabouts nice little walls that identify the Jackson logo. Let people know you're coming to Jackson," Rick said.

Crews are already doing prep work along the highway, getting ready to start construction in the summer.

"And then we anticipate a year and a half to two years of construction to complete all the work," Rick said.

The project manager says both drivers and communities along 94 will see the benefits.

"We're going to come in, do as much modernization we have for the money we have today, and you're going to see a much safer, opening environment," Rick said.

Rick says some ramps and bridges could be closed for months, but traffic will never be completely shut down on 94.

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