PORTAGE, Mich. -- All the ramps at I-94 and Sprinkle Road in Portage will close Monday, March 16, to begin the redesign of the interchange. Nothing will be the same when the project is finished in the fall.
The bridge that carries Sprinkle Road over I-94 needed replacement, but the Michigan Department of Transportation decided that if it was going to interrupt traffic for construction, they might as well address several other issues.
"Once we determined that bridge needed to be replaced, we started to look a little bit to the east, where the Cork Street bridge is," said MDOT Southwest Region spokesperson Nick Schirripa. "That's when the bigger project started to come into focus."
"Do we keep maintaining two bridges, or do we rebuild one and knock down the other? How do we maintain traffic on Sprinkle Road? How to we get Sprinkle Road congestion to go away?"
The answer: replace the Sprinkle Road bridge, eliminate the Cork Street bridge entirely, and improve traffic flow on Sprinkle Road by building two roundabouts, one south of I-94 and one north of I-94.
The roundabouts, says Schrippa, will solve a multitude of traffic problems on Sprinkle Road. With traffic signals gone, "traffic is going to move continuously, non-stop, at a little bit of a slower speed, certainly, but continuously. So we're going to get rid of those backups, we're going to get rid of those delays, which gets rid of congestion, saves on fuel economy, increases safety, so all the good stuff that happens with roundabouts is going to happen here at both ends of the bridge."
During construction, one lane of traffic will be maintained in both directions on Sprinkle Road, and lane closures on I-94 will likely be restricted to nighttime hours.
But all the ramps in the interchange will be closed. That means eastbound drivers will have to exit at Portage Road, one to the west. Drivers on westbound I-94 should take exit 81 I-94 Business Loop for access to Sprinkle Road (see map).
(Key to map)
- Green: Sprinkle Road to WB I‐94 ‐ Take Kilgore Road west to Portage Road, make a Michigan left, turn right onto Portage Road and immediately merge right onto WB I‐94.
- Blue: WB I‐94 to Sprinkle Road ‐ Exit WB I‐94 at I‐94 Business Loop Exit 81 and proceed to Sprinkle Road.
- Red: SB Sprinkle Road to EB I‐94 ‐ Turn left onto the I‐94 Business Loop and continue to EB I‐94.
- Red: NB Sprinkle Road to EB I‐94 ‐ Turn right onto the I‐94 Business Loop and continue to EB I‐94.
- Purple: EB I‐94 to Sprinkle Road ‐ Exit EB I‐94 at Portage Road Exit 78, turn left on Portage Road then right on Kilgore Road.
- Black: Cork St. detour on Millcork St. ‐ Use Miller Road and Millcork Street to detour around Cork Street between Millcork Street and Sprinkle Road.