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I-94 BL (Main Street) reconstruction in Benton Township starts next week

Fast facts:
- Reconstruction of I-94 Business Loop (BL) (Main Street) in Benton Township is part of the three-year project to connect US-31 to I-94.
- 2020 work includes I-94 BL reconstruction from Urbandale Avenue to Euclid Avenue, as well as construction of a Britain Avenue bridge over the new section of US-31.
- The three-year, $122.5 million project is expected to be completed in late 2022.

August 14, 2020 -- The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is starting a multi-year construction project on I-94, I-94 Business Loop (BL) (Main Street), and US-31 in Benton Township, Coloma and Watervliet in Berrien County. The three-year, $122.5 million project will complete the connection of US-31 from Napier Avenue to I-94, reconstruct I-94 from east of Britain Avenue to east of I-196, and realign I-94 BL to a new interchange connecting US-31, I-94 and I-94 BL.

The first phase of construction starts next week and is expected to run through mid-November. MDOT will be reconstructing I-94 BL from Urbandale Avenue to Euclid Avenue, including the construction of a roundabout at the Crystal Avenue intersection, and converting the four-lane divided highway to three lanes between Urbandale Avenue and Crystal Avenue, and two lanes from Crystal Avenue to I-94.

During the roundabout construction, I-94 BL will be open to traffic using a lane shift, and Crystal Avenue will be closed at the intersection and detoured on Territorial Road, Euclid Avenue and Highland Avenue.

Construction also will begin on a new Britain Avenue bridge over US-31. Earthwork and bridge abutments will be completed this fall. In spring 2021, beams will be set, a new bridge deck will be poured, and approaches will be completed. Throughout bridge construction, Britain Avenue will be closed and detoured on Hillandale Road, East Empire Avenue, and South Benton Center Road.

Work also will start on I-94 to get ready for 2021 by building crossovers and widening shoulders on I-94 and on the ramps.

Tentative 2021 construction includes reconstruction of westbound I-94, construction of cul-de-sacs on Empire Avenue on each side of US-31 and Highland Avenue on each side of I-94, replacing the Territorial Road bridge over I-94, Benton Center Road bridge improvements over westbound I-94 and construction of a new bridge over US-31, and beginning construction of the US-31/I-94 BL interchange.

The project is planned for completion during the 2022 construction season, with work including reconstruction of eastbound I-94, completing construction of the US-31 segment and the connection at the I-94 BL interchange, Benton Center Road bridge improvements over eastbound I-94, completion of the Benton Center Road bridge over US-31, and reconstruction of the I-196 interchange.

Throughout construction, project details, maps and information will be available on Mi Drive as well as the project website, Michigan.gov/US-31Relocation.