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Interstate 94



Interstate 94 is a long freeway connecting the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions. It replaces U.S. 10 between Billings and Fargo and U.S. 52 from Fargo to St. Paul. East of St. Paul, Interstate 94 generally follows U.S. 12, with the exception of its 90-degree jog into Milwaukee, all the way to Detroit. Northeast of Detroit, Interstate 94 replaces U.S. 25. The section of Interstate 94 between Milwaukee and Chicago is north-south, and there are some signs on the Tri-State Tollway that show Interstate 94 as a north-south freeway.

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 replaces U.S. 16 from there east to Milwaukee. At Milwaukee, Interstate 94 turns south to merge with/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.

Future Aspirations

According to Scott Oglesby's excellent 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 (current 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 Interstate 94. The section of Interstate 43/94 would become solely Interstate 43, and the section of Interstate 94 between Interstate 894 west of downtown and Interstate 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. As of 2006, Mayor Norquist's successor, Tom Barrett, has not reconsidered his predecessor's proposal.

Planned Improvements


The major planned improvement on the Interstate 94 corridor in Wisconsin is located at the Marquette Interchange (Junction Interstates 43, 94, and 794), which started reconstruction activities in 2005 and is scheduled to continue through 2008, with anticipated opening of the completed interchange in December 2008. Originally constructed between 1964 and 1968 and opened in December 1968 for a cost of $33 million, the Marquette Interchange carried over 300,000 vehicles per day, more than double what was intended.2 The new construction will include entrance/exit points only from the right side of the freeway, longer merge lanes, and less impact to neighboring communities, including specific mitigation measures designed to lessen the interchange's impact.

After the completion of the Marquette Interchange project in 2008, the next major projects within Waukesha, Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha Counties include:

  1. Rebuilding Interstate 94/U.S. 41 from General Mitchell International Airport south to the Illinois state line
  2. Rebuilding the Zoo Interchange (Junction Interstate 94, Interstate 894, and U.S. 45 west of downtown Milwaukee)

As of spring 2006, it appears that the reconstruction of Interstate 94 from the state line north to the airport is the next highest priority (with a price tag of nearly $1 billion). While funding for this revision is still in the budget, studies for the Zoo Interchange were cut from the state budget in 2005 when Governor Jim Doyle vetoed $35 million from the $38 million that the state legislature appropriated for a study of the Zoo Interchange. Governor Doyle indicated his veto was largely due to the fact that funding priorities would not allow for construction of the study's recommendations until around 2016. This angered Waukesha County Executives; they claimed they had received unwritten knowledge that the Zoo Interchange would be the next major project in Wisconsin. The Zoo Interchange is about as busy as the Marquette Interchange, but maybe more congested (since it is a major commuter route), and in need of some sort of reconstruction.

However, Milwaukee County Executives, including Mayor Tom Barrett, and organizations such as Citizens Allied for Sane Highways and the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin fear that the reconstruction of the interchange would open the doors to expanding Interstate 94 between the Zoo and Marquette Interchanges from six to eight lanes, which they don't want to happen. Suburban leaders are not necessarily in favor of such an expansion. However, the Zoo Interchange is also in need of upgrading, as it handles quite a bit of traffic and has traffic congestion delays during commuting hours. The revision of the Zoo Interchange would likely include improvements to the interchanges within a mile in each direction, since those create traffic weaving and lane changing issues. Despite the delay in studying the Zoo Interchange, construction is likely to begin around 2016 at the earliest.3 4

Widening of Interstate 94 through the Milwaukee metropolitan is not out of the question. In March 2006, the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission voted to consider expansion and reconstruction of Milwaukee's freeways from six to eight lanes, but only after extensive study including environmental and neighborhood impacts. Such a freeway expansion would be planned by the planning commission and integrated into the regional master plan spanning the next 30 years.5


Between 2004 and 2007, the Dan Ryan Expressway section of Interstate 90-94 is being upgraded. Over 300,000 vehicles use the Dan Ryan Expressway daily, and these improvements are designed to enhance mobility, including:6

  • Repave the expressway, including certain access roads between 13th Street and Junction 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

A similar project is underway with the reconstruction of the Kingery Expressway in Illinois and the Borman Expressway in Indiana. Average daily traffic flow on Interstate 80-94 is approximately 160,000 vehicles daily, with a quarter being large trucks.7 For the Kingery Expressway (Interstate 80-94 and U.S. 6), construction is planned between 2004 and 2007. Improvements include:

  • Revision and reconstruction of the Interstate 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 Borman Expressway carries Interstate 80-94 and U.S. 6 through Hammond and Gary. Most of the same improvements considered for the Kingery Expressway are likewise included in the Borman Expressway upgrade. Construction began in 2003. While no construction is programmed in 2006, projects are scheduled in 2007 through 2009, including a revision to the Interstate 65 interchange.8


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 Junction North Dakota 25 in Mandan was dedicated and opened to traffic on October 6, 1964.9, 10

In Illinois, Interstate 94 was built in stages during the 1950s and 1960s. The section of Interstate 94/Tri-State Tollway from the Wisconsin State Line south to the Edens Expressway (including the Edens Spur) was constructed between 1956 and 1958, opening to traffic in 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 Interstate 290/Eisenhower Expressway with O'Hare International Airport, opened to traffic on November 5, 1960. This 16-mile expressway was constructed at a cost of $237 million. The section from the airport to the Northwest Tollway merge is designated as Interstate 190 (former Illinois 594); the section from the Northwest Tollway merge to the Edens Expressway merge is designated as Interstate 90 (former Illinois 194); and the section from the Edens Expressway southeast to the Interstate 290 junction (Circle Interchange) is designated as Interstate 90-94 (originally just Interstate 94, when Interstate 90 was routed on the Eisenhower Expressway). It was originally named the Northwest Expressway, but it was renamed the John F. Kennedy Expressway on November 29, 1963, one week to the minute after the famous U.S. President was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. On February 1, 1970, new rapid transit rail service went into operation in the Kennedy Expressway median, shortly after commuter rail service began on the Dan Ryan Expressway segment of Interstate 90-94.12

The Dan Ryan Expressway, which continues the limited access route from Interstate 290/Eisenhower Expressway south to Interstate 57, opened on December 15, 1962. It was designated initially as Interstate 90-94 from downtown to the Skyway and as Interstate 90 from the Chicago Skyway to the Interstate 57 split. However, Interstate 90 and Interstate 94 were swapped shortly thereafter, with Interstate 94 following the entire length of the Dan Ryan and Interstate 90 exiting via the Chicago Skyway. 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, just before the expressway opened. Dan Ryan was a known expressway proponent in Chicagoland and was responsible for the construction of several urban freeways, as he was a proponent of a massive bond issuance to fund freeway construction in 1955.11 The Dan Ryan Rapid Transit line follows the median of the Dan Ryan Expressway; the rail line opened to commuters on September 28, 1969. Similar rail lines have since been placed in median and other right of way locations along other urban freeways throughout the country, but Chicago is considered to be a pioneer in the implementation of this concept.13

The Bishop Ford (Calumet) Expressway offers the continuation of eastbound (southbound/outbound) Interstate 94 from the Interstate 57 split to the Kingery Expressway (Junction Interstate 80-294 and Illinois 394); 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 Interstate 80-94/U.S. 6 is one of the oldest sections of Interstate 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. For closure information, visit the Marquette Interchange Improvement Map by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
  3. Lokken, Chris. Personal Email, "Some Information on Wisconsin Interstates," April 7, 2006.
  4. Doyle veto will slash freeway funding: Zoo Interchange overhaul study to be cut to $3 million, by Larry Sandler and Steven Walters, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, July 21, 2005.
  5. Wider freeways stay on horizon: Compromise requires more study, by Larry Sandler, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, March 5, 2006.
  6. Dan Ryan Expressway Reconstruction - official site
  7. Kingery Expressway Reconstruction - official site
  8. Borman Expressway Reconstruction - official site
  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

Page Updated August 14, 2007.


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.

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