Prep for I-94 bridge project begins Monday

Posted at 6:40 PM, May 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-06 20:13:08-04

Drivers in Jackson are seeing orange.

"Seems like they're doing it all at once. In Downtown Jackson you can't get through any of the streets - West Ave is closed at Wisner, a lot of detours," said driver Randy Siegrist.

Right now, MDOT is working on about 12 different projects in the area. And crews are set to start one more, repairing nine bridges on I-94 from Airport Rd. to M-99.

"We'll be chipping down some of the existing materials and then we'll be putting a new surface on it, where the majority of the deck is complete and sound, but the surface is wearing," explained Construction Engineer, Ken Keopke.

He said crews will also be painting the bridges and doing steel repair on the beams.

"None of these are in the, you know, close stage or weight restriction stage at this moment in time," Keopke said. "We're just gonna be bringing our bridges, which are in a little worse condition, back up to snuff."

The first stage begins Monday, but most drivers shouldn't notice the single-lane closure. Crews will be working overnight to widen the shoulders to make room for the usual two lanes of traffic when the repairs actually begin.

"The traffic volumes on I-94 are so high that any lane closure that we take during the day creates an immediate backup," Keopke explained. "And so, restricting the work to those nighttime time frames, we get a lesser traffic volume, less of an impact to the motorist."

A move drivers can appreciate.

"It should be a lot better," Siegrist said.

Decreasing inconvenience, increasing safety.

The actual bridge repairs will begin Memorial Day and last throughout the summer. MDOT says some of the local roads will have single lane closures from time to time.

Six of the bridges should be complete by Labor Day. That's when construction on the last three bridges will start. And, because of the locations, I-94 will be down to a single lane through November.