Ever feel like you're playing a vehicular game of Russian Roulette when you drive Interstate 94 in Van Buren County during the winter? You're right to have that feeling. I-94 in Van Buren has been proven to be the worst winter road in Michigan.

How bad is it really? WOOD-TV took a look with the Michigan Department of Transpiration, and here's what they found:

  • I-94 in Van Buren County sees the "highest amount of crashes per vehicle mile traveled" in the state.
  • Winter Weather: Van Buren has I-94's highest snowfall amount and most freezing rain events.
  • Geography: There's a 150 foot gain in elevation between Mattawan and Oshtemo, the highest single raise in terrain on I-94 in Michigan. That means weather coming off the lake hits the hill at Mattawan and dumps the cold air and precipitation in Van Buren County.
M-40 Exit Paw Paw
Google Maps Street View

One commentor on WOOD-TV 8's Facebook page made a good point about MDOT's ability to clear snow from the road:

There used to be a Paw Paw MDOT garage. Closed now. Trucks now have to plow twice as far, thereby cutting in half the amount of total blade time on the middle of the snowbelt highway

M-51 Exit
Google Maps Street View

The I-94 Incline: Highest Raise in Elevation in Michigan in Van Buren County

The startling fact on the highway through this stretch of land is that 150-foot raise in terrain. Over the course of travel across the state, I-94 gains 300 feet of elevation between the Indiana State Line at New Buffalo and Jackson.

Lawrence Exit
Google Maps Street View


Considering that half of that elevation lift happens in the 6 miles between Mattawan and US 131, it's clear why the roadway to the west of Mattawan - think the exits for Paw Paw, Lawrence, M-51 to Decatur and Hartford - can be so treacherous during the winter.

Read the entire WOOD-TV 8 report on I-94 in Van Buren County.

Just how cold and snowy could it get across Michigan? Check out these weather extremes from the Wolverine State and across America.

LOOK: The most extreme temperatures in the history of every state

Stacker consulted 2021 data from the NOAA's State Climate Extremes Committee (SCEC) to illustrate the hottest and coldest temperatures ever recorded in each state. Each slide also reveals the all-time highest 24-hour precipitation record and all-time highest 24-hour snowfall.

Keep reading to find out individual state records in alphabetical order.

Gallery Credit: Anuradha Varanasi

More From 100.5 FM The River