Michigan Considers the Removal Of Another Interstate From the State Highway System
Michigan's Department of Transportation is studying the removal of another interstate from the state's highway system. Interstate 194 in Battle Creek is reaching the end of its lifespan and MDOT needs to make a decision - rebuild the freeway as is or convert it to a boulevard with cross traffic.
The agency has been meeting with Battle Creek leaders and has begun community forums to discuss the two options.
Based solely on cost, the boulevard option with the removal of freeway aspects of the road is the winning option. The cost to go Boulevard is estimated at $101 million compared to $189 to keep Interstate 194 as is.
Currently, there are just two exits along I-194, at Columbia Avenue (M-96) and Dickman Avenue (Business Loop I-94). The boulevard option would add traffic crossings at Golden Avenue and Burnham Street without traffic lights. Columbia and Dickman crossings would have traffic lights.
The change, if it happens, would adjust the travel time from downtown Battle Creek to I-94 from 3 minutes to 4 minutes.
See the full explanation of the two options from MDOT here:
Metro Detroit Interstate Heads Into History - The Fate of I-375
No matter what the future holds for Battle Creek's beloved Penetrator, there is another interstate in Michigan that has no future. The state has already made plans to eliminate Interstate 375 in Detroit. The freeway is slated to be converted to a boulevard, much like the option for I-194, with construction beginning in 2025. The conversion will take the limited access away and create at-grade intersections between I-75 and Jefferson Boulevard.
The question remains for both I-194 and I-375, if/when these highways are no longer limited access freeways, they shouldn't be allowed to keep their interstate status.
Spur interstates like I-194 and I-375 are often very short. Not so much with these cross country routes. Check out the longest highways across America.