MDOT Says I-94 Expansion Not Likely in Jackson County

To help ease accidents along I-94 in Jackson County, some have suggested adding more lanes to the highway, but MDOT says that's not likely to happen.
  • It's notorious for its congestion and construction and lately, several accidents on the Jackson County stretch of I-94 have only added to Kyle Renfer's reasons to stay away.

  • "You want to avoid it and go other ways," he said.

  • The accidents have put local police on high alert as they try to figure out what's causing them. 

  • Kari Arend can't speak to the reason behind the accidents, but says, over the last ten years, MDOT has looked at increasing capacity through feasibility studies. She says it could help with safety issues on one of the first freeways built in the state.

  • "Not only increasing lanes on I-94, but also making operation improvements to the interchanges along the corridor between M-60 and Sargent Road," said Arend. Tight quarters and short on or off ramps are just some of the signs of an outdated highway. Arend says those issues aren't easily fixed.

  • "Because of the way funding is in this state, we don't have an exact timeline of when those improvements can be made," said Arend.

  • That means keeping the focus on existing pavement issues and bridge work. Jackson County Sheriff Steven Rand says even if MDOT added more capacity, there are no guarantees it would fix the problems with safety.

  • "It would certainly help with some of the congestion, but a lot of the accidents we're seeing lately aren't necessarily attributable to that," he said. "More so, just taking your eyes off the road for a second or being slightly distracted."

  • Avoiding those distractions could make all the difference.

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