DETROIT (FOX 2) - I-94 in Downtown Detroit will be closed from I-75 to the Lodge starting Friday morning as a new bridge to connect Second Avenue is brought in and installed.
The new bridge is going in over I-94 this month, adding another overpass over the freeway between I-75 and the Lodge. Construction will start at 4 a.m. on Friday, July 22, when the freeway is closed in both directions.
The new bridge will be the state's first "network tied arch structure." according to a release from the Michigan Department of Transportation. The skeleton of the new bridge was built offsite at Wayne State University.
MDOT spokesperson Rob Morosi explained how this massive bridge will be safer.
"The skeleton of this bridge weighs 5,000,000 pounds," Morosi said. "From the bottom of the bridge until the top of the arch. And what does that do? What it does is it really creates further redundancy in the structure so it makes it safer."
Installation is expected to take about 7 days, which means one of the busiest portions of the downtown Detroit highway will be closed for a week to traffic.
Once the highway is closed, it's going to be a pretty slow process to get in place. They'll move it a couple of feet, check it, and then repeat until it's in place.
The project was originally slated to start on July 10 but was delayed to Friday, July 22.
Where is I-94 closed in Detroit?
Starting at 1 a.m., entrance ramps to eastbound I-94 will be closed from 30th Street (just west of Warren Ave) to Chrysler drive.
The entrance ramps on the westbound side of traffic will be closed at the same time between Mt. Elliott Street and Trumbull Ave.
Once the skeleton of the bridge in place and installed, the freeway will be reopened in both directions. Moving the skeleton of the bridge across the freeway will be done using self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs), which are multi-axled rolling platforms. The skeleton will then be secured onto the new bridge supports on each side of I-94.
That's expected to be done on Friday, July 29 around 4 a.m.
After the skeleton is installed, a new driving surface will be installed which will require additional short-term closures before the bridge is open for traffic.