M-102 (Michigan highway)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Eight Mile Road)
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the Michigan state trunkline highway. For the former U.S. Highway, see U.S. Route 102.

M-102 marker

8 Mile Road
M-102 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by MDOT
Length: 20.804 mi[3] (33.481 km)
Existed: c. 1928[1][2] – present
Major junctions
West end: M‑5 at Livonia

US 24 at Southfield
M‑39 / M‑10 at Southfield
I‑75 / M‑1 at Detroit
M‑53 / M‑97 at Warren

M‑3 at Eastpointe
East end: I‑94 at Harper Woods
Counties: Wayne, Oakland, Macomb County
Highway system
US 102 M‑103

M-102 is a state trunkline highway in the US state of Michigan that runs along the northern boundary of Detroit following 8 Mile Road. The highway follows the Michigan Baseline, a part of the land survey of the state, and the roadway is also called Base Line Road in places. As a county road or city street, 8 Mile Road extends both east and west of the M-102 designation, which leaves 8 Mile on the eastern end to follow Vernier Road. The western terminus of M-102 is at the junction of 8 Mile Road and M-5 (Grand River Avenue) and the opposite end is at Vernier Road and Interstate 94 (I-94). The 8 Mile Road name extends west to Pontiac Trail near South Lyon with a discontinuous segment located west of US Highway 23 (US 23). The eastern end of 8 Mile Road is in Grosse Pointe Woods near I-94.

The highway was first designated in the late 1920s, connecting US Highway 10 (US 10, Woodward Avenue, now M-1) with US 25 (Gratiot Avenue, now M-3). Extensions to the highway designation moved the termini in the 1930s and 1940s east to M-29 (Jefferson Avenue) and US 16 (Grand River Avenue, now M-5). A change in the 1960s added a section of north–south roadway to the eastern end of M-102; that change was reversed within about a year. A western extension along Grand River Avenue in 1977 was reversed in 1994, and M-102 has remained the same since.

8 Mile Road has carried major cultural significance; since the mid-20th century, as the city demographics have changed, it has served as a physical and cultural dividing line between the wealthier, predominantly white northern suburbs of Detroit and the poorer, increasingly black city. The racial patterns have changed, as more middle-class African Americans have also moved north of 8 Mile, but the socioeconomic divide between the city and suburbs remains.

Route description[edit]

Starting at an intersection with Hamburg Road along the LivingstonWashtenaw county line, 8 Mile Road runs eastward to an interchange with US 23 near Whitmore Lake. There is a gap before 8 Mile Road resumes at Pontiac Trail along the Oakland–Washtenaw county line. Near the suburb of Northville, the road curves northward into Oakland County, and Base Line Road follows the county line for about one mile (1.6 km). The road meets I-96/I-275 at that freeway's exit 167 along the border between Livonia and Farmington Hills.[4] As its name implies, 8 Mile Road runs east–west eight miles (13 km) north of the origin of the Mile Road System at Michigan and Woodward avenues.[5]

M-102 starts at the intersection between M-5 (Grand River Avenue) and 8 Mile Road and runs eastward along 8 Mile Road. The highway widens out into a boulevard setup with each direction divided by a central median. Motorists that want to make a left turn along 8 Mile Road have to perform a Michigan left to do so. Starting at the Inkster Road intersection, M-102 forms the boundary between Redford to the south and Southfield to the north. East of Five Points Road, the 8 Mile follows the northern city limits of Detroit. On either side of 8 Mile Road, the area is filled with residential neighborhoods of the two cities with commercial businesses immediately adjacent to the highway. About two miles (3.2 km) east of its starting point, M-102 intersects US 24 (Telegraph Road) at a cloverleaf interchange near Frisbee-Pembroke Park and Plum Hollow Country Club.[6][7] Along the length of the eight-lane highway, there are large power line towers in the median.[8]

8 Mile Road exit sign on I-75, at 7 Mile Road in Detroit

Continuing east, M-102 intersects M-39 (Southfield Freeway) and M-10 (Lodge Freeway) south of the Southfield campus of Oakland Community College and the Northland Center Mall. As the highway approaches M-1 (Woodward Avenue), there are a pair of service drives that split from the main roadway in each direction to provide access through the interchange with M-1. The main lanes of M-102 pass under M-1 and its ramp connections before the service drives merge back in on the other side. This interchange is located adjacent to the Michigan State Fairgrounds, former site of the now-defunct Michigan State Fair, and Woodlawn Cemetery.[6][7] East of the fairgrounds, the highway crosses a line of the Canadian National Railway that also carries Amtrak passenger traffic;[9] the line is south of a rail terminal in Ferndale. Further east, M-102 meets I-75 before intersecting Dequindre Road. Dequindre is the boundary between Oakland and Macomb counties.[6][7]

Now following the Wayne–Macomb county line, M-102 separates Warren from Detroit. The highway also runs parallel to, and about a half mile (0.8 km) north of Outer Drive,[6][7] the original beltway highway proposed in 1918 to encircle Detroit.[10] The road passes the Mound Road Engine facility, a former Chrysler plant next to the Mound Road intersection. East of the plant,[6][7] the highway crosses a branch line of the Conrail Shared Assets Operations on the east side of the plant complex[9] before intersecting M-53 (Van Dyke Road).[6][7] Further east, 8 Mile Road passes north of the Bel Air Center Shopping Center before crossing another Canadian National Railway line[9] next to the intersection with M-97 (Groesbeck Highway).[6][7]

8 Mile Road exit off I-94

On the far east side of Detroit, M-102 separates the city from the suburb of Eastpointe once near the intersection with M-3 (Gratiot Avenue). Near Kelly Road and the Eastland Center, the highway turns southeasterly along Vernier Road to enter Harper Woods in Wayne County; 8 Mile Road continues due eastward along the county line in this suburb as a four-lane undivided urban arterial street. The eastern terminus of M-102 is at the interchange between Vernier Road and I-94 about 1,700 feet (520 m) south of 8 Mile Road near the boundary with Grosse Pointe Woods.[6][7]


M-102 was first designated along 8 Mile Road from US 10 (Woodward Avenue, now M-1) to US 25 (Gratiot Avenue, now M-3) in late 1928 or early 1929.[1][2] In 1939, the eastern terminus was moved as M-102 was extended along 8 Mile and Vernier Roads to end in Grosse Pointe Shores at M-29 (Jefferson Avenue).[11][12] The highway was extended in the early 1940s from Woodward westward to US 16 (Grand River Avenue, now M-5).[13][14]

During 1963, the M-102 designation was extended northerly along Jefferson Avenue through St. Clair Shores, replacing the M-29 designation to the Shook Road interchange at the northern end of the then-existing I-94 freeway.[15][16] That extension was reversed the next year, and M-102 was scaled back to end at US 25 (Gratiot Avenue); the rest of 8 Mile and Vernier roads plus the Jefferson Avenue segment are added to M-29 instead.[16][17] M-102 was re-extended along 8 Mile and Vernier roads to the I-94 interchange in Harper Woods in 1970 replacing M-29; the remainder of that other highway along Vernier Road and Jefferson Avenue to Shook Road that was once part of M-102 was transferred to local control.[18][19]

When I-96 was completed in 1977, several highway designations were shifted in the Metro Detroit area. The Business Spur I-96 designation that had replaced US 16 was removed from Grand River Avenue. That roadway was signed as M-5 southward between 8 Mile Road and its present eastern terminus at I-96 while the remainder of Grand River Avenue and the stub freeway formerly part of I-96 that continued out to I-275 became part of M-102.[20][21] This extension to M-102 was reversed in October 1994 when M-5 was extended northwesterly along Grand River Avenue, the freeway and up the Haggerty Connector north of I-96 in Novi, replacing part of M-102 in the process.[22]

Cultural impact[edit]

Racial and economic divide[edit]

Racial distribution of Metro Detroit from 2000 Census
     White      African American      Asian      Hispanic      Other (Each dot represents 25 people)

The road has long served as a de facto cultural dividing line between the predominantly poor black city and its wealthier, predominantly white northern suburbs. The perception of 8 Mile as the chief dividing line between racial groups and classes persists, in part because the suburban counties of Oakland and Macomb remain, on the whole, significantly whiter and more prosperous than the city of Detroit.[23] White residents are moving into Detroit; some are buying condos in the downtown area around Woodward Avenue, and other neighborhoods are becoming more ethnically diverse as well.[24]

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, the median family income for the city of Detroit, whose population was 81.55% African-American, was $33,853, and 26.1% of the population lived below the poverty line. By contrast, the median family income for Oakland County, whose population was 82.75% white, was $75,540, and only 5.5% of residents lived below the poverty line.[25] These results were compiled into an Index of Dissimilarity of 85.9 by researchers with Brown University and Florida State University, the highest score for a metropolitan area in the United States. After the 2010 Census, the index was computed as 79.6, which was a "substantial decline" in the words of the study's authors.[26]

In surveying[edit]

Map of Michigan showing the Michigan Baseline used for survey purposes (click to enlarge)

8 Mile Road is also known as Base Line Road, for it was used to set the baseline for the Public Land Survey System in Michigan. The system helped bring order to county boundaries, which had often been set in other states by geographic markers such as rivers, hills, and trees, and were therefore rather irregular. Today, the baseline forms the northern or southern boundary of many southern Michigan counties.[27]

In media[edit]

Tupac Shakur, Tim Roth, and Thandie Newton form the fictitious musical act Eight Mile Road in the 1997 film Gridlock'd, which is set in Detroit.[28] The movie 8 Mile, starring Detroit-area hip hop artist Eminem, as well as his songs "Lose Yourself" and "8 Mile", both take their names and cultural subject matter from the roadway.[24]

In addition to these film references, there are a number of songs that refer to 8 Mile Road, some of which include:

The roadway is also shown on TruTV's program Hardcore Pawn, a show about a pawn shop located on 8 Mile Road.[34]

Major intersections[edit]

County Location Mile[3] km Destinations Notes
county line
Farmington HillsLivonia city line 0.000 0.000 M‑5 (Grand River Avenue) – Novi, Detroit
8 Mile Road west
8 Mile Road extends westward to Pontiac Trail
SouthfieldDetroit city line 2.187 3.520 US 24 (Telegraph Road) – Pontiac, Detroit Cloverleaf interchange
5.198 8.365 M‑39 (Southfield Freeway) – Southfield, Detroit
6.015 9.680 M‑10 (Lodge Freeway) / Greenfield Road – Lansing, Detroit Exit 13 on M-10; no control cities eastbound; grade separation at Greenfield Road with access via M-10 ramps
FerndaleDetroit city line 10.059 16.188 M‑1 (Woodward Avenue) – Pontiac, Detroit Three-level diamond interchange
Hazel ParkDetroit city line 11.577 18.631 I‑75 (Chrysler Freeway) – Flint, Detroit Exit 59 on I-75
county line
WarrenDetroit city line 15.159 24.396 M‑53 (Van Dyke Road) – Warren, Detroit
16.290 26.216 M‑97 (Groesbeck Highway) – Mount Clemens, Detroit
EastpointeDetroit city line 18.096 29.123 M‑3 (Gratiot Avenue) – Mount Clemens, Detroit
EastpointeHarper Woods city line 19.731 31.754 8 Mile Road east M-102 follows Vernier Road; 8 Mile continues east to Mack Avenue
Wayne Harper Woods 20.804 33.481 I‑94 – Port Huron, Detroit
Vernier Road east
Exit 225 on I-94; Vernier Road continues east to Lake Shore Drive
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Michigan State Highway Department (October 1, 1928). Official Highway Service Map (Map). Cartography by MSHD.
  2. ^ a b Michigan State Highway Department (May 1, 1929). Official Highway Service Map (Map). Cartography by MSHD.
  3. ^ a b Michigan Department of Transportation (2009). MDOT Physical Reference Finder Application (Map). Cartography by Michigan Center for Geographic Information. http://www.mcgi.state.mi.us/prfinder/. Retrieved March 28, 2008.
  4. ^ Michigan Department of Transportation (2012). State Transportation Map (Map). 1 in:2 mi / 1 cm:0.7 km. Section D3–D8, Detroit Area inset.
  5. ^ Gavrilovich, Peter; McGraw, Bill (2000). The Detroit Almanac: 300 Years of Life in the Motor City. Detroit: Detroit Free Press. pp. 20–1. ISBN 978-0-937247-34-1. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Michigan Department of Transportation (2012). State Transportation Map (Map). 1 in:15 mi / 1 cm:9 km. Section D8–D13, Detroit Area inset.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Google, Inc. "Overview Map of M-102 (8 Mile Road)". Google Maps (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=W+8+Mile+Rd&daddr=42.44529,-83.17673+to:Edsel+Ford+Fwy+I-+94+Service%2FHarper+Ave&hl=en&ll=42.446261,-83.118439&spn=0.488442,0.466232&sll=42.494378,-83.128738&sspn=0.488067,0.466232&geocode=FVKchwId_KUI-w%3BFeqphwId5tIK-ymXNGqQR8kkiDFWc2LPWsTFEg%3BFZyshwIdOsYO-w&mra=ls&via=1&t=h&z=11. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
  8. ^ Alpert, Steve. "M-102, 8 Mile Road". Alp's Roads. Self-published. Retrieved June 11, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c Michigan Department of Transportation (January 2011) (PDF). Michigan's Railroad System (Map). http://www.michigan.gov/documents/MDOT_Official_Rail_130897_7.pdf. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
  10. ^ Guyette, Curt (August 4, 2004). "History of the Mystery". Metro Times (Detroit). ISSN 0746-4045. Retrieved June 12, 2012. 
  11. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (April 15, 1939). 1939 Official Michigan Highway Map (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally (Summer ed.). Detroit & Vicinity inset.
  12. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (December 1, 1939). 1939 Official Michigan Highway Map (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally (Winter ed.). Detroit & Vicinity inset.
  13. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (July 1, 1941). 1941 Official Michigan Highway Map (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally (Summer ed.). Detroit & Vicinity inset.
  14. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (June 1, 1942). 1942 Official Michigan Highway Map (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally (Summer ed.). Detroit & Vicinity inset.
  15. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (1963). Official Highway Map (Map). Detroit Metropolitan Area inset.
  16. ^ a b Michigan State Highway Department (1964). Official Highway Map (Map). Detroit Metropolitan Area inset.
  17. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (1965). Official Highway Map (Map). Section B5, Detroit Metropolitan Area inset.
  18. ^ Michigan Department of State Highways (1970). Official Highway Map (Map). 1 in:14.5 mi. Section D10–B11, Detroit and Vicinity inset.
  19. ^ Michigan Department of State Highways (1971). Official Highway Map (Map). 1 in:14.5 mi. Section D10–B11, Detroit and Vicinity inset.
  20. ^ Michigan Department of State Highways and Transportation (1977). Official Transportation Map (Map). 1 in:3 mi. Cartography by MDSHT (1976–77 ed.). Section D5–E9, Detroit Area inset.
  21. ^ Michigan Department of State Highways and Transportation (1978). Official Transportation Map (Map). 1 in:3 mi. Cartography by MDSHT (1978–79 ed.). Section D5–E9, Detroit Area inset.
  22. ^ Greenwood, Tom (January 28, 1999). "M-5 'Haggerty Connector' Work To Be Done by 2001". The Detroit News. 
  23. ^ "Blacks, whites show prejudices along racial divide". Honolulu Advertiser. Associated Press. September 28, 2008. Retrieved June 11, 2012. 
  24. ^ a b Chinni, Dante (November 15, 2002). "Along Detroit's Eight Mile Road, a stark racial split". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved June 11, 2012. 
  25. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008. 
  26. ^ Logan, John R.; Stults, Brian (2011). "The Persistence of Segregation in the Metropolis: New Findings from the 2010 Census" (PDF). Census Brief prepared for Project US2010. Project US2010. p. 6. Retrieved June 11, 2012. 
  27. ^ Jacobson, Daniel (July–August 1988). "Michigan Meridian and Base Line: A Teaching Formulation for the Secondary School". Journal of Geography 87 (4): 131–40. doi:10.1080/00221348808979779. ISSN 0022-1341. 
  28. ^ Coker, Cheo Hodari (January 25, 1997). "Various Artists 'Gridlock'd: The Soundtrack', Death Row/Interscope". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 19, 2011. 
  29. ^ Eminem (November 9, 2004). "Encore/Curtains Down" (12-inch vinyl single). Encore. Track 2. Shady Records, Aftermath Entertainment, Interscope Records.
  30. ^ Eminem (May 23, 2000). "Marshall Mathers" (Compact disc). The Marshall Mathers LP. Track 11. OCLC 44422298. Aftermath Entertainment, Interscope Records.
  31. ^ Eminem (November 12, 2004). "Yellow Brick Road" (Compact disc). Encore. Track 4. OCLC 56952031. Aftermath Entertainment, Interscope Records.
  32. ^ Eminem (November 12, 2004). "Mockingbird" (Compact disc). Encore. Track 16. OCLC 56952031. Aftermath Entertainment, Interscope Records.
  33. ^ Binelli, Mark (September 10, 2003). "Hot Rapper: Obie Trice". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 22, 2008. 
  34. ^ Stuever, Hank (December 27, 2010). "'Hardcore Pawn' Returns, with no Redeeming Value". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on August 13, 2012. Retrieved August 12, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing