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MDOT video shows progress on US-31 connection and I-94 rebuilding project in Berrien County

Contact: Nick Schirripa, MDOT Office of Communications, 269-208-7829 Agency: Transportation

Fast facts: - MDOT has produced a YouTube video to show the progress of the three-year, $121.5 million investment on US-31, I-94, and I-94 BL in Berrien County. - 2021 is the second year of the project, and work is expected to wrap up for the season in late November. - There will be several stages of work throughout the year. Check Mi Drive for active work, lane closures, and detours.

September 13, 2021 -- The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has produced a YouTube video updating the three-year, $121.5 million investment to rebuild I-94 Business Loop (BL) (Main Street), connect US-31 to I-94, and rebuild I-94 between Britain Avenue and I-196 in Benton Township, Berrien County.

Work this year has included rebuilding 1.9 miles of I-94 BL, continuing the building of 1.8 miles of new US-31 freeway, rebuilding 3.5 miles of westbound I-94 between Britain Avenue to east of I-196, building cul-de-sacs on Empire Avenue at US-31 and on Highland Avenue at I-94, rebuilding the Territorial Road bridge over I-94, building a new Benton Center Road bridge over US-31, improving the Benton Center Road bridge over westbound I-94, and building the US-31 and I-94 BL interchange.

"It's very unique that we're building some new freeway grade. That doesn't happen very often in Michigan anymore. That section of US-31 that's not built yet from Napier Avenue up to I-94 is a new freeway alignment," said MDOT Construction Engineer Kenton McAndrew. "It's a unique thing that we don't get to do very often and we're excited to be a part of it."

Work will continue in 2022 to rebuild eastbound I-94 and finish the US-31 connection to I-94.

With such a storied history and detailed project, the public is are encouraged to visit the US-31-I-94 Connector StoryMap, created by the MDOT Southwest Region GIS unit to provide an overview of the project's history and preview the stages of the project from design to completion. The website offers a living source of information, providing updates, project background and milestones, and other vital information.

"This is a Rebuilding Michigan project," McAndrew said. "The Rebuilding Michigan program funded about $94 million of the $122 million it takes to build this project, and without the Rebuilding Michigan program this wouldn't be happening."

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's Rebuilding Michigan program aims to rebuild the state highways and bridges that are critical to the state's economy and carry the most traffic. The investment strategy is aimed at fixes that result in longer useful lives and improves the condition of the state's infrastructure.