Safer and less congested roads are on the way for drivers in St. Clair County, Mich., with the groundbreaking of the I-94/I-69 Reconstruction Project this week.
"If we're going to win the future, we have to build projects that will create jobs today and lay a foundation for economic growth," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. "Thanks to this investment, workers will soon be constructing a new bridge that will relieve congestion and improve travel between the United States and Canada."
This two-year reconstruction project will widen 2.2 miles of eastbound and westbound I-94/I-69 between Lapeer Road and Pine Grove Avenue and replace the aging bridge over the Black River. The existing bridge, which was built in 1963, will be replaced with a modern structure that will separate international and local traffic and improve the approaching I-94/I-69 corridors and interchanges.
"This project not only relieves congestion and improves traffic flow, but will also create jobs and support future economic growth," said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. "It will definitely improve the quality of life in St. Clair County."
Mendez joined Michigan DOT Director Kirk Steudle at a groundbreaking ceremony in Port Huron on Friday March 25. MDOT is using $77 million in federal highway funds, including the $30 million TIGER grant to replace the Black River Bridge, toward the project. The total project cost is $90 million.
The I-94/I-69 Reconstruction Project is part of the larger Blue Water Bridge Plaza Expansion Project, a major border crossing for cars and trucks between the U.S. and Canada, located between Port Huron and Port Edward, Ontario, Canada.
The project received $30 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) program, designed to promote innovative, multimodal and multijurisdictional transportation projects that provide significant economic and environmental benefits to an entire metropolitan area, region or the nation.