Barrels and signs line M-59 on the western side of the Interstate 94 overpass.

Barrels and signs line M-59 on the western side of the Interstate 94 overpass.

Photo by Dean Vaglia

M-59 project closing I-94 ramps

By: Dean Vaglia | Mount Clemens-Clinton-Harrison Journal | Published June 8, 2022


HARRISON TOWNSHIP — Traffic along Interstate 94 in Macomb will be delayed this summer as parts of the eastern end of M-59 and the freeway interchange will close for road work.

Eastbound M-59, east of Towne Center Boulevard, closed May 31 and will remain so until late June.

On June 4, after press time, I-94 was expected to be tightened to one lane around the overpass from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Also on June 4, the eastbound I-94 loop off-ramp to westbound M-59 was scheduled to close until late June, and the westbound M-59 loop on-ramp to westbound I-94 was scheduled to close until July.

“The bridge is getting some minor rehab and an epoxy overlay on it, along with bridge beam painting,” Diane Cross, Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) metro area media representative, said via email. “That work requires traffic on 94 to be shifted, which requires the two loop ramps to be closed. The top of the ramp (where it ties into M-59) will be reconstructed but just to provide a smooth transition into the M-59 pavement, but that will not happen right now; (it) will happen in late summer sometime. There is no realignment to the ramps.”

According to a statement from MDOT, drivers who would normally take the eastbound I-94 exit to westbound M-59 should continue east on I-94 to the westbound 21 Mile Road exit and travel south on M-3 (Gratiot Avenue), while drivers that normally take the westbound M-59 exit to westbound I-94 can take I-94 east and use the 21 Mile Road exits to get onto westbound I-94. Towne Center Boulevard will remain accessible from westbound M-59 and I-94 will return to three lanes after the 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. shift on June 4, though additional lane closures may be needed in the future.

“Once this project is done, M-59 will be fully reconstructed from M-53 to where our project stops, which is just in front of Selfridge air base,” Cross said.

Cross said all of the road work along M-59 should be wrapped up in November, though some minor work will have to be completed in 2023.

“There will be minor touch up and punch list work next year,” Cross said. “We are hoping to get the new mast arms installed this year, but that depends on when they get shipped, (which) still is planned for this year.”

While the closures will affect all commuters along I-94, Harrison Township Supervisor Kenneth Verkest does not expect that the closures will have too much of an impact on the township due east of the interchanges.

“If you were going to say, ‘Hey, what could I access from Hall Road and 94 that is in Harrison Township,’ the only thing that is in the township is the DNR launch site and Selfridge air base,” Verkest said. “But in terms of impacting residents, I do not think it impacts our residents any more than anybody who might have to go in that direction; I do not think it is unique to us. … If I worked on Selfridge and I took a certain exit every day to get to the main gate, it would be disruptive to that individual.”

While Verkest recognizes that the work on M-59 and around I-94 might disrupt trips and commutes for some, the work is something he sees as inevitable.

“Hey, it has got to get done,” Verkest said. “It is a main thoroughfare. We can talk about fixing the roads, but unfortunately, the only way you are going to get them fixed is if you close off some traffic. Unfortunately, some of that stuff is going to lead to a distribution. Long-term, it should pay off with improved road conditions.”