Interstate 94


Interstate 94 is a lengthy route connecting the High Plains, Upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions. It originates in Billings, Montana splitting with Interstate 90 and following the Yellowstone River northeast to Glendive before curving eastward to Wibaux and Beach, North Dakota. The freeway crosses the width of North Dakota, traversing the hills of Little Missouri National Grassland through to the wide open plains from Dickinson east to Bismark and Fargo.

Fargo is the largest city in North Dakota, and I-94 expands to six lanes as it passes south of Downtown. The freeway crosses the Red River into Morehead, Minnesota where it turns southeast toward Fergus Falls, St. Cloud and ultimately the Twin Cities. Once at Maple Grove, a suburb of Minneapolis, I-94 splits with Interstate 494, the southwest beltway of the Twin Cities, for an increasingly busy route east to I-694 and south into Minneapolis. As I-94 encircles Downtown Minneapolis, the freeway utilizes a cut and cover tunnel both just south of I-394 and west of the 90 degree turn toward Interstate 35W. A brief side by side route occurs with I-35W ahead of their respective crossings of the Mississippi River.

Continuing east from Minneapolis, Interstate 94 heads toward Downtown St. Paul and the confluence with Interstate 35E and split of U.S. 52 south. The freeway leaves the urban area via Maplewood and Oakdale to cross the St. Croix River into Wisconsin. Much of the drive through western areas of America's Dairyland is rural, as I-94 veers southward again at Eau Claire to combine with Interstate 90 at Tomah and Interstate 39 at Portage. The trio share 29 miles southward to Madison.

I-94 takes a 90-degree route east from the Wisconsin capital city to Milwaukee and south by Racine and Kenosha to northern Illinois. The route combines with Interstate 43 from I-794 at Downtown Milwaukee to the south end of I-894, the Milwaukee bypass. Interstate 41 overlaps with I-94 south from there through to Exit 1 at Rosecrans, Illinois.

Through the Chicago area, Interstate 94 follows the Tri-State Tollway south to both I-294 and the Edens Spur. The tolled spur links the Tri-State Tollway with the Edens Expressway, which Interstate 94 takes south through to its merge with Interstate 90 along the Kennedy Expressway. The Kennedy carries both to the Chicago Loop, where the Dan Ryan Expressway and Eisenhower Expressway (I-290) come together. The 15.39-mile overlap between I-90 & 94 concludes at the Dan Ryan interchange with the Chicago Skyway in south Chicago. I-90 veers southeast on the toll road to Calumet City, Indiana, while I-94 remains southward along the Dan Ryan to I-57 and the Bishop Ford Freeway.

Following the Bishop Ford Freeway, Interstate 94 heads south to South Holland and Lansing, where the freeway resumes an eastward course along side Interstate 80 on the Kingery and Frank Borman Expressways through northwest Indiana. The 18.53-mile overlap with I-80 ends at Lake Station where Interstate 80 departs for I-90 east along the Indiana Toll Road toward Toledo, Ohio and I-94 shifts northward along the periphery of Lake Michigan to Michigan City and Benton Harbor, Michigan.

A 275-mile route in Michigan sees Interstate 94 turn east at the split with I-196 for Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Jackson and Ann Arbor. The freeway shifts southward on the approach to Detroit, passing by Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) at Romulus along the Detroit Industrial Freeway. Joining the Edsel Ford Freeway at Dearborn, Interstate 94 angles northeast through Detroit to the Grosse Pointe cities and a northern turn to Macomb County. A rural stretch awaits drivers along I-94 northward from New Baltimore off Anchor Bay to Port Huron and the merge with Interstate 69. I-69 & 94 share pavement for 3.7 miles through to the international boundary along the Bluewater Bridge east to Sarnia, Ontario.

High Priority Corridor

Interstate 94 from Chicago to Port Huron is part of High Priority Corridor 18: NAFTA Superhighway.

Parallel U.S. Routes

Interstate 94 replaced U.S. 10 from Billings east to Fargo and U.S. 52 (former U.S. 10S) between Fargo and Minneapolis. From Minneapolis southeast to Madison, Wisconsin, Interstate 94 follows U.S. 12, and it replaced U.S. 16 from there east to Milwaukee. At Milwaukee, Interstate 94 turns south to merge with or parallel U.S. 41. Once in Indiana and continuing east, it parallels U.S. 6 and U.S. 12-20. Northeast of Indiana, when Interstate 94 enters Michigan, the freeway replaced the original alignment of U.S. 12. (Today's U.S. 12 was rerouted onto former U.S. 112.) U.S. 12 ends in Detroit, and Interstate 94 replaced U.S. 25 from there northeast to its terminus at Port Huron, Michigan.

Planned Improvements


A $810-million project improved the Marquette Interchange (Junction Interstates 43, 94 and 794) in Milwaukee between spring 2005 and December 31, 2008. Originally constructed between 1964 and 1968 and opened in December 1968 for a cost of $33 million, traffic counts at the Marquette Interchange increased to over 300,000 vehicles per day, more than double what was intended.2 Road work redesigned the interchange to utilize entrance/exit points only from the right side of the freeway, have longer merge lanes, and reduce impact to neighboring communities.


Between 2004 and 2007, the Dan Ryan Expressway section of Interstate 90-94 was upgraded. Over 300,000 vehicles used the Dan Ryan Expressway daily, and these improvements were designed to enhance mobility, including:5

  • Repave the expressway, including certain access roads between 13th Street and Interstate 57
  • Eliminate exits to 43rd Street, 51st Street, 59th Street and 76th Street
  • Add additional local lane on expressway (no additional express lanes)
  • Add new transition ramp from westbound Interstate 90/Chicago Skyway to northbound Interstate 90-94
  • Relocate the transition ramp from southbound Dan Ryan Expressway to eastbound Interstate 90/Chicago Skyway
  • Install collector sewers to avert flooding during heavy rainstorms

Work was formally completed, though landscaping and side work continued into 2008, on the Dan Ryan Expressway project after a ribbon cutting ceremony held on October 25, 2007 at the 39th Street on-ramp to the outbound Dan Ryan. The two year project rebuilt the freeway mainline with 14 inches of continuous steel reinforced concrete. It added an additional travel lane in each direction, lengthened on and off-ramps, improved drainage, added high-mast lighting, incorporated aesthetic improvements, and redesigned and rebuilt the interchange with the Chicago Skyway. 28 east-west bridges over the Dan Ryan were also rebuilt.6

A similar project was underway with the reconstruction of the Kingery Expressway in Illinois and the Borman Expressway in Indiana. For the Kingery Expressway (I-80 & 94 and U.S. 6), construction ran from January 2005 to July 2007. Improvements included:7

  • Revision and reconstruction of the Interstates 80, 94, 294 and Illinois 394 interchange
  • Expansion to eight through lanes for through traffic on Interstate 80
  • Reduction of weaving through reconfigured interchanges
  • Installation of sound walls, replacement lighting, and landscaping


In Indiana, the Frank Borman Expressway carries Interstates 80 & 94 and U.S. 6 through Hammond and Gary. As part of the "Major Moves" state-wide funding, a $300-million project upgraded the freeway from the state line east to Interstate 65 between 2004 and summer 2011. Work added lanes in both directions, reconfigured several interchanges and rebuilt the junction with I-65 with a new flyover from westbound to southbound.8


Two projects in Port Huron focused on redesigning the overlap between Interstates 69 and 94. The first project widened 2.2 miles of the freeway between Lapeer Road and Pine Grove Avenue. This $90-million project included bridge replacement of the spans over the Black River, which now separates local traffic from traffic headed to the Bluewater Bridge into Canada. Construction started in March 2011 and was completed on October 19, 2012.4

The second project, totaling $76-million, commenced in fall of 2013. Work here focuses on rebuilding and redesigning the west split interchange between Interstates 69 and 94, where the Business Loop I-69 & 94 ties in from the southeast. Construction effects 3.7 miles of freeway and replaces several bridges and ramps. Work runs through fall 2015.15


The first section of Interstate 94 to open in North Dakota was the section between Jamestown and Valley City. Construction began in 1956, and the segment opened on October 16, 1958. Another major section of Interstate 94 from Fryburg (near Theodore Roosevelt National Park) east to North Dakota 25 in Mandan was dedicated and opened to traffic on October 6, 1964.9, 10

Within the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Interstate 94 passes through the Lowry Park Tunnel, a 1,492 foot long cut and cover tunnel opened in 1972.18

According to Scott Oglesby's website, there were plans in 2003 to renumber the Interstates in and around Milwaukee to decrease traffic impact in Downtown Milwaukee at the Marquette Interchange (junction of Interstate 43, Interstate 94 and Interstate 794) Under a plan recommended by Mayor John Norquist, Interstate 894 would be eliminated, and the entire route would be renumbered as I-94. The section of Interstates 43 & 94 would become solely I-43, and the section of I-94 between I-894 west of Downtown and I-794 would become part of a much longer Interstate 794.1 Mayor Norquist was responsible for the removal of the remnant of the Park East Freeway, which was demolished and reclaimed in stages between 2002 and 2004. This renumbering proposal may have ended around the same time that Mayor Norquist resigned from his post in 2003 to head the Congress for New Urbanism. Mayor Norquist's successor, Tom Barrett, did not further the proposal of his predecessor.

In Illinois, Interstate 94 was built in stages during the 1950s and 1960s. The section of Tri-State Tollway from the Wisconsin State Line south to the Edens Expressway (including the Edens Spur) was constructed between 1956 and 1958. The construction of the 83-mile section of the Tri-State Tollway (and the other original tollways) was funded by a bond issuance in the amount of $415 million by the state tollway commission (which was created in 1953).14 Continuing south from the vicinity of Skokie, the Edens Expressway opened to traffic in 1951, and it was one of the first urban freeways to open in metropolitan Chicago.11

The Kennedy Expressway, which connects Eisenhower Expressway (I-290) with O'Hare International Airport (ORD), opened to traffic on November 5, 1960. This 16-mile expressway was constructed at a cost of $237 million. It was originally named the Northwest Expressway, but was renamed the John F. Kennedy Expressway on November 29, 1963.12

The Dan Ryan Expressway, which continues Interstates 90 & 94 south from Interstate 290 (Eisenhower Expressway) to Interstate 57, opened on December 15, 1962. The freeway opened in conjunction with the Calumet Expressway (later renamed as the Bishop Ford Freeway) south to 130th Street (Exit 68) at a cost of $209 million. This freeway, planned as the "South Expressway," was named in memory of Dan Ryan, who was the president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners and had died in 1961. Dan Ryan played a role in planning highway construction efforts throughout the 1950s and 60s in Chicago. He also proposed a superhighway in 1939 that eventually became the Kennedy Expressway (Interstates 90 & 94)6,11 The Dan Ryan Rapid Transit line follows the median of the Dan Ryan Expressway; the rail line opened to commuters on September 28, 1969.13

The Bishop Ford (Calumet) Expressway offers the continuation of eastbound (outbound) Interstate 94 from the Interstate 57 split to the Kingery Expressway; it was one of the first express routes to be built in Chicagoland, opening in the early 1950s (around the same time as the Edens Expressway). The Kingery Expressway section of Interstates 80-94 & U.S. 6 is one of the oldest sections of I-94 in Illinois, having opened in 1950.11 This is also the only section of Interstate 94 that truly travels east-west in Illinois.

Highway Guides

Western Terminus - Interstate 90 - Billings, Montana
Perspective from Interstate 94 west
Westbound Interstate 94 approaches Exit 0, Junction Interstate 90 near Billings, Montana. This diagrammatic sign shows that both lanes continue west onto Interstate 90, while the right lane has an exit to eastbound Interstate 90 and U.S. 87. Photo taken by Chris Elbert (07/14/05).
Looking westbound on Interstate 94, there is no End sign as the freeway prepares to join with Interstate 90. The overpass is Interstate 90; westbound Interstate 90 curves around to merge with the mainline ahead. Photo taken by Dale Sanderson (03/01).
Perspective from Interstate 90 east
As Interstate 90 passes through the Billings metropolitan area, Interstate 90 eastbound approaches a major interchange with Interstate 94, possibly the longest Interstate route that does not touch either coast. This junction signage for Interstate 94 is found on Interstate 90 eastbound just east of Billings. Photo taken by Andy Bagley (1/00).
This directional overhead is found on eastbound Interstate 90 as the freeway approaches the Interstate 94 split. Photo taken by John Johnson (1/01).
Interstate 90 eastbound reaches the split with Interstate 94. Interstate 94 is shown as the through route, since it takes the two left lanes, while Interstate 90 dives southeast along with unsigned U.S. 87 and U.S. 212 toward Hardin and then south into Wyoming. Interstate 90 is only afforded one lane on its transition through this interchange. Photo taken by Jim Teresco.
This is another view of the Interstate 90/94 graphic overhead on eastbound, as seen from a nearby truck stop. Photo taken by Jim Teresco (7/01).
Perspective from Interstate 90 west
Along westbound Interstate 90, directional signage for the Interstate 90/Interstate 94 interchange is present. Photo taken by John Johnson (01/01).
Westbound Interstate 90 reaches the transition onto Interstate 94 east. This is not the only time Interstate 90 and Interstate 94 meet. They merge at Tomah, Wisconsin, split at Madison, Wisconsin, and reconvene in downtown Chicago, before Interstate 90 takes the Chicago Skyway southeast to meet the Indiana Toll Road. From there, Interstate 90 and Interstate 94 meet one last time in northeastern Indiana, where the Tri-State Highway meets the Indiana Toll Road in Lake Station, Indiana. Photo taken by John Johnson (01/01).
Eastern Terminus - Canadian International Border - Port Huron, Michigan
Perspective from Interstate 94 east
Eastbound Interstate 94 at Junction Interstate 69 West and Business Loop I-69 East in Port Huron. Interstates 69 and 94 merge for the final distance toward the Blue Water Bridge. Photo taken by Jim Teresco and Rob Foulis (06/27/01).
Perspective from Interstate 69 east
Traveling east on Interstate 69, the freeway prepares to split at the junction with Interstate 94. The first exit departs to Interstate 94 southwest to Detroit, while the next exit is junction Business Loop I-69. The business route travels east along Oak Street/Griswold Street couplet to Port Huron. The left lane connects Interstate 69 east to its shared alignment with Interstate 94 en route to Sarnia, Ontario. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (06/25/07).
Perspective from Interstates 69-94 east
The final standalone exit along eastbound Interstates 69 and 94 is Exit 274, Water Street (using the exit numbering for Interstate 94). After this interchange, the freeway approaches its eastern terminus, where the freeway will split between the exit to Canada via the Blue Water Bridge (right lanes) or to Michigan 25 north to Port Austin (left lanes). Photos taken by Jeff Morrison (07/01/07), R. Bruce Telfeyan (07/24/04), and Eric Vander Yacht (05/01).
At the Water Street overpass, the freeway ends in 0.75 mile. Use the left lane to continue north in the United States along Michigan 25 (former U.S. 25, decommissioned in 1972) or east into Canada via the Blue Water Bridge, with connections to Ontario 402 and Sarnia. Photos taken by Jeff Morrison (07/01/07) and R. Bruce Telfeyan (07/24/04).
Eastbound Interstates 69 and 94 reach their joint eastern terminus at this interchange, where the freeway splits between the Blue Water Bridge east and Michigan 25. Note a green rather than yellow sign is used to indicate the termination of the Interstate. Photos by Eric Vander Yacht (05/01), R. Bruce Telfeyan (07/24/04), and Jeff Morrison (06/25/07).
Perspective from Michigan 25/Pine Grove Avenue south
Traveling south on Michigan 25, the signage only points to the bridge to Canada, not Interstate 69-94 east. At Michigan 25's south end is an access road to the bridge. The road that used to be U.S. 25 goes straight ahead; Michigan 25's end was signed a block behind the camera. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (06/25/07).
Views of the Blue Water Bridge
The transition from Interstate 69-94 eastbound to the Blue Water Bridge is a maximum of three lanes in each direction, with lane signals to regulate flow and traffic control. This picture shows the eastbound transition from Interstate 69-94 onto the bridge. Photo by R. Bruce Telfeyan (07/24/04).
The Blue Water Bridge carries international traffic between the eastern end of Interstates 69 and 94 and the western end of Ontario Route 402. Photo by Eric Vander Yacht (05/01).
Interstates 69 and 94 terminate just prior to crossing the Blue Water Bridge near Port Huron. North of the Blue Water Bridge, there are no other crossings of the Great Lakes until reaching the Mackinac Bridge along Interstate 75 between Mackinaw City and St. Ignace. This is the same image as shown in the previous picture. Photo by John Harmon (02/01).
The Blue Water Bridge connects directly to Ontario 402 and the city of Sarnia. Ontario 402 meets Ontario 401 near London, and Ontario 401 continues northeast toward Toronto and Montreal. Photo by Eric Vander Yacht (05/01).
These photos of the bridge were taken along a concrete walkway adjacent to the St. Clair River just south of the Blue Water Bridge. Photo by Eric Vander Yacht (05/01).
Upon reaching the mid-point of the bridge, this marker indicates the actual boundary between the United States/Michigan and Canada/Ontario. This plaque was placed by the International Boundary Commission, and it is bilingual (English and French). Photo by R. Bruce Telfeyan (07/24/04).


  1. Three Digit Interstates: Interstate 894 (Scott Oglesby/
  2. Marquette Interchange - official site.
  3. Lokken, Chris. Personal Email, "Some Information on Wisconsin Interstates," April 7, 2006.
  4. "I-94/I-69 reopens near the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron." MDOT press release, October 19, 2012.
  5. Dan Ryan Expressway Reconstruction - official site
  6. "Governor Blagojevich announces completion of Dan Ryan reconstruction - A safe and wider Dan Ryan Expressway; IDOT to open up all lanes to traffic ahead of schedule." Office of the Governor, press release, October 25, 2007.
  7. Kingery Expressway Reconstruction - official site
  8. "After seven years Borman Expressway backups in rear view mirror." Indiana Economic Digest, August 19, 2011.
  9. Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System: Previous Interstate Facts of the Day by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
  10. "Sprynczynatyk Attends Kick-Off Celebration for 50th Anniversary of the Interstate Highway System," January 23, 2006, North Dakota DOT Communications
  11. Encyclopedia of Chicago: Expressways by Dennis McClendon of the Chicago Historical Society
  12. Chicago Timeline: 1960 Northwest Expressway Completed; November 29, 1963 Renamed The John F. Kennedy Expressway, Chicago Public Library, updated August 1997
  13. Chicago Timeline: 1962 Dan Ryan Expressway Opened, Chicago Public Library, updated March 2006
  14. Encyclopedia of Chicago: Tollways, by David M. Young of the Chicago Historical Society
  15. "Lanes of I-94 reopen at I-69 interchange." The Times Herlald, December 19, 2014.
  16. North Dakota Highways Page: Highways 61 to 100, Chris Geelhart.
  17. Michigan Highways: Highways 90 through 99. Chris Bessert.
  18. "In Duluth , the end of the road - Final part of I-35 will be opened on Wednesday" Star Tribune: Newspaper of the Twin Cities, October 25, 1992.

Page Updated June 30, 2015.

Updates | About | Privacy Policy | Contact | 1997- AARoads

Popular Pages

More Info


State Montana
Mileage 249.15
Cities Billings, Miles City, Glendive
Junctions Interstate 90
State North Dakota
Mileage 352.39
Cities Dickinson, Mandan, Bismarck, Jamestown, Valley City, Fargo
Junctions Interstate 194, Interstate 29
State Minnesota
Mileage 259.49*
Cities Moorhead, Fergus Falls, Alexandria, St. Cloud, Minneapolis, St. Paul
Junctions Interstate 694/Interstate 494, Interstate 694, Interstate 394, Interstate 35W, Interstate 35E, Interstate 494/Interstate 694
State Wisconsin
Mileage 341.02#
Cities Eau Claire, Tomah, Madison, Waukesha, Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha
Junctions Interstate 90, Interstate 39, Interstate 39/90, Interstate 894, Interstate 43/Interstate 794, Interstate 43/894
State Illinois
Mileage 61.53+
Cities Waukegan, Highland Park, Skokie, Chicago, Calumet City
Junctions Interstate 294, Interstate 90, Interstate 290, Interstate 55, Interstate 90, Interstate 57, Interstate 80/294
State Indiana
Mileage 46.13**
Cities Hammond, Gary, Portage, Michigan City
Junctions Interstate 65, Interstate 80/90
State Michigan
Mileage 275.49
Cities Benton Harbor, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Marshall, Jackson, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Dearborn, Detroit, Port Huron
Junctions Interstate 196, Interstate 194, Interstate 69, Interstate 275, Interstate 96, Interstate 75, Interstate 696, Interstate 69
TOTAL 1,585.20
Source: December 31, 2014 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
* - 0.27 miles on I-35E, # - 91.76 miles on I-90,
+ - 2.48 miles on I-80, ** - 16.05 miles on I-80
Interstate 94 Annual Average Daily Traffic

State Location AADT Composite Year
Indiana Hammond 165,590 2002
Indiana Michiana Shores 28,490 2002
Source: INDOT 2000 Annual Average Daily Traffic Volumes Map
Complete Interstate 94 AADT data.
Bismark, North Dakota area - 1962 North Dakota Official Highway Map.
Interstate 94 was open from North Dakota 3 at Dawson eastward to the Minnesota state line by 1963. The Bismark to Dawson section, completed in 1975, was the last to open in the state.16
Chicago - 1964 Illinois Official Highway Map
Until 1963, the alignments of Interstates 90 and 94 were switched from south Chicago to northwest Indiana. I-94 used the Chicago Skyway and Indiana East-West Toll Road, while I-90 remained along the Dan Ryan and Calumet Expressways south to the Kingery and Borman Expressways. This included an extension of Interstate 294 east into Indiana to meet with I-94 at Lake Station.
Southern Michigan - 1962.
The bulk of Interstate 94 was completed across southern Michigan by 1962. The exception was the segment south from U.S. 12 to the Indiana state line. A three mile portion of this opened near New Buffalo to a point just north of the state line in 1963. The connection into Indiana came much later in 1972. 17