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MDOT says they will close portions of I-94 to complete snow removal

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Darker orange line shows portion of the Interstate that will be impacted by the intermittent closures.
Darker orange line shows portion of the Interstate that will be impacted by the intermittent closures.

KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- The Michigan Department of Transportation is assessing its performance during the “big chill”, and they say its not over yet and still issuing a few warnings.

They plan to close the stretches of I-94 that have barrier walls in the median from 12th Street to Portage Road Thursday evening and early Friday to clear the snow away from the median and restore the shoulder which is now covered with snow.

MDOT Spokesman Nick Schrippa says they will use up to 5 plow trucks rolling in formation. The first will move snow away from the wall and push it into traffic lanes, and then the other trucks will one by one move the snow to the other side of the divided highway and push it into the ditch.

That’s why they will need to get traffic off that stretch of the Interstate while they are working. The work will begin at 9 p.m.

Thursday evening in he eastbound lanes and move to the westbound lanes Friday morning. The operation should be complete by 6 a.m. Friday.

State Police will be directing traffic onto detour routes around the work zone using off ramps and side roads.

Schrippa says they are also warning motorists about the stretch of I-94 between Paw Paw and Benton Harbor that has been packed with ice for the last few days. He says they fear it may melt a little on Thursday and then become treacherous again overnight if it refreezes.

State Police have issued their own warnings about that stretch of freeway, saying they have had incidents involving two Motor Carrier Officers this week. Both are advising caution.

Over all Schrippa says they are pretty proud of their response to this week’s unusually snowy and cold weather, saying they kept the trucks rolling and the major roads they are responsible for cleared as well as they could, given the circumstances.

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