Portal:Michigan Highways

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Michigan Highways


The State Trunkline Highway System of the US state of Michigan is a network of roads owned and maintained by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). The most prominent of these roads are part of one of three numbered highway systems in Michigan: Interstates Highways, US Highways, and the other State Trunklines. Other systems of roads are operated by the 83 counties in the state as well as each city.

Interstate Highways and US Highways are assigned at the national level. Interstate Highways are numbered in a grid—even-numbered routes are east–west routes (but the lowest numbers are along Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico), and odd-numbered routes are north–south routes (with the lowest numbers along the Pacific Ocean). US Highways are also numbered in a grid—even numbered for east–west routes (with the lowest numbers along Canada) and odd numbered for north–south routes (with the lowest numbers along the Atlantic Ocean). For this reason, mainline (two-digit) Interstate Highways in Michigan all have numbers above 69 and mainline US Highways all have numbers below 45. Three-digit Interstate and U.S. Highways, also known as "child routes," are branches off their main one- or two-digit "parents". The Interstate and US Highways are maintained by MDOT. Interstate 75 (I-75) and US Highway 23 (US 23) are the longest examples in the state.

State Trunklines are the other state highways maintained by MDOT. These highways are completely owned and maintained by the state. Michigan highways are properly referred to using the M and never as "Route 28" or "Highway 115", but as M-28 or M-115. The marker used for state trunklines is a diamond with a block-letter "M" at the top. Roads that are maintained by the state but not assigned a state trunkline designation carry an unsigned highway designation.

County-Designated Highways are assigned numbers in a zone system by MDOT, but maintained by the counties. Each zone is indicated by a letter A–H which is followed by a number based on a grid inside that zone. Each county also maintains any other roadway that is not a state trunkline or a city street. The numbering and signing practices vary from county to county, as does the size of each county's system. Numerical designations typically do not carry over from one county to the next; a CDH that crosses county lines keeps its designation in each county however. County road designations are typically abbreviated "CR" or "Co Rd" followed by the number, and CDHs are abbreviated to just their letter and number assignment.

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Point Iroquois Lighthouse as seen from the adjoining boardwalk

The Whitefish Bay National Forest Scenic Byway is a National Forest Scenic Byway that runs along Whitefish Bay in the Hiawatha National Forest. The byway mostly follows Federal Forest Highway 42 through Chippewa County in the Upper Peninsula. The roadway runs parallel to the North Country Trail, a hiking trail that spans several northern U.S. states and provides access to two campgrounds at Monocle Lake and Bay View as well as picnic areas and the Point Iroquois Lighthouse (pictured). As a forest highway, it is maintained jointly by the Chippewa County Road Commission and the U.S. Forest Service. The route of the byway first existed as an earth road by the 1930s; it was improved into a gravel road in the 1940s and paved between the 1950s and the 1980s. The byway designation was created in 1989. (more...)

Recently selected: M-25 • M-26 • M-27

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Frederik Meijer Trail & M-6.jpg
Running alongside M-6 south of Grand Rapids, the Frederik Meijer Trail connects to other trails in the area.

Recently selected: US 41 • M-1 • H-13/FFH-13

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Rosie's Diner in Rockford



State Trunkline System, overview of the system

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