Michigan State Trunkline Highway System
The longest highway is nearly 400 miles long, while the shortest is about three-quarters of a mile. Components of the system range in scale from 10-lane urban freeways with local-express lanes to two-lane rural undivided highways. Michigan’s highways are referred to using an M-n syntax as opposed to Route n or Highway n, which are common elsewhere.
About Michigan State Trunkline Highway System in brief
The State Trunkline Highway System consists of all the state highways in Michigan. The longest highway is nearly 400 miles long, while the shortest is about three-quarters of a mile. Components of the system range in scale from 10-lane urban freeways with local-express lanes to two-lane rural undivided highways. The letter M in the state highway numbers is an integral part of the designation and included on the diamond-shaped reassurance markers posted alongside the highways. Michigan’s highways are referred to using an M-n syntax as opposed to Route n or Highway n, which are common elsewhere. Michigan is one of only two states following this syntax, the other one being Kansas. In countries like the United Kingdom, M refers to motorways, analogous to freeways in the United States, whereas M-numbered designations in Michigan simply indicate state trunklines. The highest highway designations include Interstate 696 running along the UP-553 in the northern Detroit area and M-1 along Woodward Avenue in the Detroit area. The lowest numbers used for M- numbered trunklines are in the low 200s or 200s, but some have been designated in the 200s under the low M-line designations. The M-185 on Mackinac Island is a non-motorized road restricted to bicycles, horse-drawn carriages and pedestrians. It is the only highway on the Upper and Lower peninsulas of Michigan that is not motorized, and the only one on the Lower Peninsulas that does not have a single lane of traffic in either direction.
The Michigan State Highway Department was created in 1905. The department paid counties and townships to improve roads to state standards. In the early 20th century, the constitutional prohibition on state involvement in roads was removed. The state aborted an effort to build the Michigan Turnpike, a tolled freeway in the southeast corner of the LP. Construction on Michigan’s Interstates started in the latter part of that decade and continued until 1992. Since 1992, few additional freeways have been built, and in the early years of the 21st century, projects are underway to bypass cities with new highways. Eight types of roads, including eight variety in urban areas, exist on rural roads, such as eight-lane freeways and four-lane arterial roads, in the rural areas of the UP and UP. The State Reward Trunk Line Highways Act was passed on May 13, 1913, creating the State Trunks Line Highway System. The MSHD assigned internal highway numbers to roads in the system, and in 1919, the numbers were signposted along the roads and marked on maps. Legislation in the 1930s consolidated control of the state trunk lines in thestate highway department. With the introduction of the Interstate Highway system in the 1950s, the state aborted a plan to build a toll highway in southeast Michigan. Since the 1960s and 1970s, several freeways were canceled, while others were delayed or modified over environmental and political concerns.