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Interstate 94 from the Indiana Toll Road to M-1/Woodward Avenue in Detroit

When I left the Chicago area on my recent Mid-Western trip my next destination was in downtown Detroit.  After leaving Chicago via Interstate 90 on the Chicago Skyway and Indiana Toll Road I turned east on I-94 towards Detroit.  I wouldn't deviate from I-94 for about 250 miles.


Interstate 94 is a 1,585.20 mile east/west Interstate and is by far the largest non-X0 even digit Interstate.  I-94 was one of the original planned Federal Highway Act of 1956 Interstate routes.  I-94 begins concurrent with I-69 at the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron, Michigan at the Canadian Border/western terminus of Kings Highway 402 and ends at I-90/US 212/US 87 in Billings, Montana.  I-94 is an incredibly vital link for commerce in the Mid-West and a popular port of entry from Canada.

Within Indiana I-94 largely was a limited access grade replacement for US Route 12 (especially when US 12 was on the Indiana Toll Road and Chicago Skyway).  Within Michigan I-94 was a direct limited access replacement for the following highways:

-  The original route of US 12 from the Indiana State Line east to Ann Arbor.
-  East of Ann Arbor I-94 largely replaced M-17 and US 112 (current US 12) to downtown Detroit.
-  I-94 east of Detroit largely replaced US 25 to Port Huron.

The Shell Corporation Highway Maps below show the highways present in Indiana and Michigan before I-94 was built in 1956.

1956 Indiana Highway Map

1956 Michigan Lower Peninsula Highway Map

My approach to I-94 began from I-90/Indiana Toll Road eastbound.  I departed I-90/Indiana Toll Road onto I-94 via Exit 21.






In 2017 I drove the Indiana Toll Road east to the Ohio State Line.  My previous blog entry can be found below.

Great Lakes Road Trip Day 10 Part 2; Indiana Toll Road, dunes and Ohio Turnpike

I jointed I-94 east bound in Lake Station of Lake County at Mile Maker 16.


While I-94 isn't the most exciting road I've covered in the Mid-West it was one of the most common I took in the late 1990s.  Back in those days I used to frequently used to travel between Chicago, Detroit and Lansing which largely was on I-94.

East of the Indiana Toll Road the route of I-94 enters Porter County as has a highway junction with IN 249 at Exit 19 in Portage.



Detroit is signed as being 256 miles away on I-94 east of IN 249.


At Exit 22 A/B I-94 east meets US 20 in Burns Harbor.



I-94 east in Chesterston meets IN 49 at Exit 26 A/B.  IN 49 north is notable due to it being the direct access point to Indiana Dunes National Park (which feels weird to write) and Indiana Dunes State Park.




At Mile Marker 28 I-94 east has a trucking weigh station.



I-94 east enters LaPorte County and meets US 421 at Exit 34 A/B.




I-94 east meets US 20/US 35 at Exit 40 A/B on the outskirts of Michigan City.




East of US 20/US 35 the route of I-94 is signed as being 235 miles from Detroit.


I-94 east enters Berrien County, Michigan.  I-94 east traffic has access to a rest area/welcome center about a half mile into Michigan.







I-94 east Exit 1 accesses M-239 on Harbor Country Drive.


East of M-239 the route of I-94 has a weigh station.



I-94 east has access to New Buffalo, Niles and Three Oaks at Exit 4 A/B at US 12.



Detroit is signed as being 225 miles away from I-94 Exit 4 A/B.


At Exit 23 I-94 east accesses a I-94 Business Route through St. Joseph and Benton Harbor.



I-94 east meets M-63 at Exit 27.



I-94 east crosses the St. Joseph River and meets M-139 at Exit 28.




I-94 east meets US 31 at Napier Avenue at Exit 30.  Interestingly Napier Avenue is part of a discontinuous part of the US 31 limited access gap.  I-94 east multiplexes US 31 north until it splits away onto I-196 north at Exit 34.







I-94 east of US 31/I-196 drops to a four lane configuration and is signed as 185 miles from Detroit.




There is a closed rest area on I-94 east of US 31/I-196.



At Exit 41 I-94 east meets M-140.  East of M-140 the route of I-94 enters Van Buren County.


At Exit 56 I-94 east meets M-51.



I-94 east crosses the Paw Paw River and meets M-40 at Exit 60.  M-40 directly accesses Paw Paw which is the Van Buren County seat.  Paw Paw is named after the Pawpaw trees that used to line the Paw Paw River.  East of M-40 Kalamazoo is signed as 20 miles away on I-94.




I-94 east enters Kalamzoo County and meets US 131 at Exit 74 A/B on the outskirts of the City of Kalamazoo.




Kalamazoo/Battle Creek Airport is signed as being accessible from I-94 east Exit 78.


I-94 east Exit 88 is direct access to Climax; insert your own joke.


I-94 east enters Calhoun County and accesses M-37/I-94 BL on the outskirts of Battle Creek at Exit 92.




East of Exit 92 there is a rest area along I-94.




I-94 east meets I-194/M-66 at Exit 98 A/B.




I-94 east accesses M-294 at Exit 100. M-294 is a relatively new State Trunkline and dates back to the late 1990s.  It isn't really clear if the numbering is meant to insinuate it is a child route of I-94.





At Exit 104 I-94 east meets both M-311 and M-96.



Traffic headed towards Michigan International Speedway is directed to take US 127 at I-94 Exit 142 east of M-311/M-96.


At Exit 108 I-94 east meets I-69.




Old US 27 is signed as being accessible from I-94 Exit 110.  Parts of Old US 27 south of Marshall are now part of M-227.


 
I-94 east meets M-199 at Exit 119.



I-94 meets the Aibion I-94 Business Loop at Exit 121.



I-94 east enters Jackson County and meets M-99 at Exit 124.



Easts of M-99 Jackson is signed as 16 miles away whereas Detroit is 90 miles away on I-94 east.


I-94 east has a rest area in Jackson County.




Approaching Jackson I-94 meets the I-94 Business Loop and M-60 at Exit 136.  There was ongoing construction along I-94 in Jackson which was an infamous stretch of the freeway for traffic accidents when I was a Michigan resident.


I-94 Exit 138 accesses US 127 north and M-50.





I-94 east multiplexes US 127 south.  Normally M-106 would be accessible from Exit 139 but it was closed and signed with a construction detour.




US 127 south splits away from I-94 at Exit 142.





Ann Arbor is signed as 33 miles east of US 127 on I-94 and Detroit is signed as 70 miles away.


I-94 east enters Washtenaw County.  At Exit 157 I-94 east meets Old US 12.




At Exit 159 I-94 east meets M-52.



East of M-52 there another rest area alongside I-94.




At Exit 162 I-94 intersects Old US 12 again.



I-94 enters the City of Ann Arbor and meets M-14.  US 12 originally split north of Ann Arbor towards Detroit on the general corridor of M-14.  M-14 is usually a slightly faster trip to downtown Detroit over I-94.  Both routes are signed with a VMS indicating the travel times.







I-94 east meets US 23 at Exit 180 A/B.




I-94 east of US 23 picks up US 12 east at Exit 181 as it enters Ypsilanti.  US 12 has a Business Route signed off of I-94 Exit 183, US 12 multiplexes I-94 east to Exit 185.








I-94 east enters Wayne County and at Exit 194 A/B meets I-275.



In Romulus I-94 east is signed as the primary point of access for Detroit Metro Airport via Exit 198 and 199.



At Exit 202 I-94 east meets US 24 on Telegraph Road in Taylor.




In Allen Park I-94 east meets M-39/Southfield Freeway.




The largest tire in the world (the giant Uniroyal tire) is located off I-94 east of M-39 in Allen Park.  The Uniroyal Tire was originally a display for the 1964-65 New York World's Fair and is an actual rubber tire.  The Uniroyal Tire was moved to the Uniroyal Corporate Office in 1966.  Originally the Uniroyal Tire displayed a white wall trim but it was refurbished to look more like a modern tire in 1998.


I-94 enters Dearborn and meets US 12/Michigan Avenue at Exit 210.


East of US 12/Michigan I-94 finally enters the City of Detroit.  I-94 in Detroit is known as the Edsel Ford Freeway.


Traffic to the Ambassador Bridge is directed to take I-94 east Exit 213B for I-96 whereas traffic to the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel is directed to take Exit 215A.





At Exit 214A I-94 east meets Grand River Avenue.  Grand River Avenue used to carry US 16 and the early alignment of US 12.



At Exit 215 A/B I-94 meets M-10/Lodge Freeway.



At Exit 215C I-94 east is signed as access to M-1/Woodward Avenue.  Exit 215C actually requires back tracking from John Street to reach Woodward Avenue.




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