• December 16, 2018 | 36° F 10n Rain

Foul: MDOT Shuts Part of I-94 Near Downtown as Detroit Hosts NCAA Games

March 16, 2018, 10:48 AM by  Alan Stamm

Really, MDOT? Work begins on two I-94 overpasses the same night as a major event scheduled since 2014, honestly? And as St. Patrick's Day draws people downtown too?

Pffweet! That's a foul on the court of public opinion.

The state's freeway shutdown on the city's near east side this weekend affects NCAA basketball fans heading to and from Little Caesar's Arena for the last two games Friday night and Round 2 on Sunday afternoon. Ticket holders from St. Clair Shores, Mount Clemens, New Baltimore, other Macomb areas and St. Clair County must detour to I-696 or 8 Mile Road, boosting traffic there and on I-75.

The 20,500-seat arena is virtually sold out for four games Friday, including two while I-94 is still open:

  • 12:40 p.m.: Purdue University vs. Cal State-Fullerton
  • 3:10 p.m.: University of Arkansas vs. Butler University
  • 7:10 p.m: Michigan State University vs. Bucknell University 
  • 9:40 p.m.:Texas Christian University vs. Syracuse University

The inconvenient inconsiderate timing prompts this tweet from The Detroit News' managing editor:

The Michigan Department of Transportation posts these details for east-side drivers:

Contracting crews will be demolishing a portion of the M-3 (Gratiot Avenue) and the entire Chene Street overpasses starting at 9 p.m. Friday, March 16. The demolition will require closing I-94 between Conner Avenue and I-75 for the weekend. All lanes of the freeway are expected to reopen by 5 a.m. Monday, March 19.

During this closure, westbound through-traffic will be advised to take westbound M-102 (Eight Mile Road) to southbound I-75, and back to westbound I-94. Westbound I-94 will remain open to Conner Avenue for local access. Eastbound traffic will be detoured north on I-75 to eastbound M-102, and back to eastbound I-94.

All ramps along eastbound and westbound I-94 will be closed between Conner Avenue and I-75. In addition, the following ramps will be closed and also will reopen by 5 a.m. Monday, March 19:

  • Eastbound I-96 to eastbound I-94
  • Northbound and southbound M-10 (Lodge Freeway) to eastbound I-94
  • Northbound and southbound I-75 to eastbound I-94
  • All entrance ramps to westbound I-94 from Nine Mile Road to Chalmers Street

All surface street ramps will begin closing at 7 p.m., freeway to freeway interchange ramps will begin closing at 9 p.m.

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