Economic Benefits of Transportation,  Michigan,  Reduced Congestion

New Single-Point Urban Interchange Reduces Conflict Points

The Michigan Department of Transportation invested nearly $25 million in the reconstruction of about a mile of I-94 Business Loop (Stadium Drive) and the reconstruction of the US-131 interchange. The original cloverleaf alignment was reconfigured as a single-point urban interchange and the nearby Stadium Drive/Drake Road interchange was realigned to accommodate dual left-turn lanes on each of the four legs.

Part of the driving force behind such a significant realignment and expansion was planned commercial development on the northwest corner of the Stadium Drive/Drake Road intersection, which included a new Costco Wholesale store. An already growing corridor, traffic volumes along the Stadium Drive corridor have stayed relatively constant (around 30,000 vehicles per day) since construction was completed in 2015. Average daily traffic on US-131 at this interchange has increased from 47,000 vehicles per day in 2013 to about 57,000 per day in 2017.

Some advantages of the redesigned US-131 interchange with Stadium Drive include reducing the speed differential between freeway traffic and motorists entering the freeway. The previous loop ramps required a lot of slow-speed weave-merge operations on the freeway and reduced capacity. The new SPUI design allows for more ramp storage for traffic if Stadium Drive is congested, and it also enables non-motorized users to cross ramp traffic with protected movements.

The dual left-turn lanes at Drake Road and Stadium Drive allow for many more turning vehicles, which reduces delays when accessing the commercial developments. They also provide better queuing capacity between closely spaced signals.

Since completion of the reconstruction, there has been more private investment and new construction, including restaurants, a credit union, recreational and exercise businesses, and a Field and Stream retail outlet.

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