U.S. Route 23 in Michigan

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This article is about the section of highway in Michigan. For the entire length of highway, see US Highway 23.

US Highway 23 marker

US Highway 23
US 23 runs through the Lower Peninsula of Michigan from the Ohio state line north to the Saginaw Bay area, and then follows the Lake Huron shoreline to the northern tip of the peninsula.
US 23 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by MDOT
Length: 362.152 mi[2] (582.827 km)
Existed: November 11, 1926 (1926-11-11)[1] – present
Lake Huron Circle Tour
Sunrise Side Coastal Highway
Major junctions
South end: US 23 / US 223 near Lambertville

I‑94 near Ann Arbor
I‑96 in Brighton
I‑75 near Flint
I‑69 in Flint
US 10 in Bay City

I‑75 near Standish
North end: I‑75 near Mackinaw City
Counties: Monroe, Washtenaw, Livingston, Genesee, Saginaw, Bay, Arenac, Iosco, Alcona, Alpena, Presque Isle, Cheboygan, Emmet
Highway system
M‑22 M‑23

US Highway 23 (US 23) is a United States Numbered Highway that runs from Jacksonville, Florida, to Mackinaw City, Michigan. In the US state of Michigan, it is a major, 362-mile-long (583 km), north–south state trunkline highway that runs through the Lower Peninsula (LP). The trunkline is a freeway from the Michigan–Ohio state line near Lambertville to the city of Standish, and it follows the Lake Huron shoreline from there to its northern terminus. Serving the cities of Ann Arbor and Flint, US 23 acts as a freeway bypass of the Metro Detroit area. Overall, the highway runs through rural areas of the state dominated by farm fields or woodlands; some segments are urban in character in the Ann Arbor, Flint and Tri-Cities areas. The section from Flint north to Standish also carries Interstate 75 (I-75) along a concurrency that includes a segment that carries almost 70,000 vehicles on a daily basis.

The first transportation routes along what is now US 23 in the state were sections of two Indian trails. The route of what is now US 23 follows portions of two separate trails. In the early 20th century, four different auto trail names were applied to roads now a part of the highway. These roads were included as part of two state highways in the initial state highway system in 1919. When the United States Numbered Highway System was first designated on November 11, 1926, the new US 23 replaced the other designations along its route. Since creation, the road has been moved and realigned several times. Through the 1930s and 1940s, the lakeshore routing was created to replace a path that ran further inland through the northern portion of the state. Starting in the early 1950s, various sections in the southeastern and central areas of the LP were upgraded to freeways, bypassing several major cities in the area. These improvements were completed by the end of the 1960s. Since then a new crossing of the Saginaw River at Zilwaukee was built to replace a drawbridge that carried the I-75/US 23 freeway over a shipping channel.

Various memorial or tourist route designations have been applied to US 23 in the state since the 1980s. The highway has been a part of the Lake Huron Circle Tour since the creation of the Great Lakes Circle Tours in 1986. The non-freeway section was designated the Sunrise Side Coastal Highway by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) in 2004 as a part of what is now the Pure Michigan Byway Program. The highway has also carried two memorial designations related to war veterans and a third related to local civic leaders since a 2001 consolidation of related legislation in the state. MDOT has listed two of the highway's bridges on its historic bridge list, one of which is also on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). Future improvements to the route of US 23 include a proposed northerly extension of the freeway from Standish to one of several locations along the Lake Huron shoreline. Another freeway has been proposed in the Flint area that could connect US 23 directly to the south end of I-475.

Route description[edit]

US 23 runs for 362.152 miles (582.827 km) through the LP of Michigan, serving as a freeway bypass to the west of Metro Detroit and a scenic highway through the northern portion of the state along Lake Huron. Between Flint and Standish, US 23 runs concurrently with I-75;[3] the combined freeway section from Flint to Bay City can contain between six and eight lanes total while the rest of the US 23 freeway is mostly four lanes. Non-freeway segments of US 23 in the state are two lanes.[4] Like other state trunkline highways, it is maintained by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). All of US 23 in the state south of the M-32 junction in Alpena has been listed on the National Highway System,[5] a network of roads important to the country's economy, defense, and mobility.[6] From the Standish area north, the highway is also a part of the Lake Huron Circle Tour and the Sunrise Side Coastal Highway, a Pure Michigan Michigan Byway.[3]

Southeastern Michigan[edit]

Photograph of the
Freeway approaching exit 3 in southern Monroe County

US 23 enters Michigan on a freeway northwest of Toledo, Ohio, concurrent with US 223. This freeway runs north through farm fields in rural western Monroe County near Lambertville. About five miles (8.0 km) north of the state line, US 223 leaves the freeway and turns west onto St. Anthony Road; US 23 continues northward on the freeway. South of Dundee, US 23 crosses the River Raisin before coming to an interchange with M-50 next to the Cabela's store west of town. North of town, the freeway passes near an industrial area.[3][4] Farther north, it crosses a line of the Ann Arbor Railroad[7] near Azalia as the trunkline runs to the east of Milan at the Monroe-Washtenaw county line.[3][4] North of Milan, the freeway crosses a line of the Norfolk Southern Railway.[7]

The landscape takes on a more suburban residential character as the freeway approaches the Ann Arbor area. There are separate interchanges for US 12 (Michigan Avenue) and I-94 on the southeast side of the city. Between I-94 and Washtenaw Avenue, US 23 carries the Business Loop I-94 (BL I-94) moniker as well. That secondary designation leaves the freeway and runs west on Washtenaw Avenue into downtown Ann Arbor and the campus of the University of Michigan. At the same interchange, a Business US 23 (BUS US 23) designation also follows Washtenaw Avenue to the west; east of US 23, M-17 follows Washtenaw Avenue and connects the freeway with Ypsilanti. North of this interchange, US 23 crosses the Huron River near the campus of the local community college and continues north to a junction with the M-14 freeway. The two merge and run westward along the north side of the city before US 23 turns north and M-14 curves south.[3][4]

North of Ann Arbor, the freeway runs through woodlands and near several lakes. In the community of Whitmore Lake, US 23 crosses into Livingston County near the city's namesake body of water. East of Brighton, the freeway intersects I-96 and continues north to an intersection with M-59 south of Hartland. The highway turns northeasterly by Runyon Lake and runs toward the city of Fenton. The trunkline passes through town and bends back toward the northwest, running between lakes Ponemah and Fenton. Continuing north, the environment around US 23 transitions to rural farm fields as the freeway approaches the south side of the Flint area.[3][4]

Flint and the Tri-Cities area[edit]

Photograph showing
I-75/US 23 northbound approaching the Zilwaukee Bridge near Saginaw

West of Grand Blanc, US 23 meets I-75, and the two freeways merge near the Bishop International Airport and continue along the west side of the Flint metro area.[3][4] I-75/US 23 has an interchange with I-69 near the crossing with the Canadian National Railway line.[7] Continuing northwards through suburban residential areas, the highway crosses the Flint River while running along the west side of the city. In Mount Morris Township, the freeway intersects the northern end of I-475 before meeting M-57 near Clio.[3][4] The highest traffic totals along US 23 in the state of Michigan were recorded by MDOT near the M-57 interchange; in 2009 an average 68,800 vehicles used that section of freeway daily.[8] These traffic counts are expressed in terms of annual average daily traffic (AADT), which is a statistical calculation of the average daily number of vehicles on a segment of roadway.

Near Birch Run, the highway turns northwesterly next to a large outlet mall. Between here and the Saginaw area, the freeway runs through more wooded lands, crossing the Cass River near Bridgeport. I-75/US 23 enters the Tri-Cities (named for Saginaw, Bay City and Midland) when it bypasses Saginaw to the east. The freeway intersects M-46 in the suburb of Buena Vista south of the junction with I-675. North of downtown Saginaw, the freeway crosses the Saginaw River on the Zilwaukee Bridge,[3][4] a "post-tensioned, segmental, [concrete] box girder bridge"[9] that is "infamous" for a series of "construction mishaps, cost overruns, and government foibles."[10]

Photograph of
Northern end of the freeway near Standish

Past the bridge, I-75/US 23 meets the northern end of I-675 and continues through fields and woods to the Bay City area. At exit 162, the freeway meets the eastern terminus of US 10 and the western terminus of M-25 west of downtown. The next interchange north is with the Connector M-13 (CONN M-13) freeway, which was the previous northern end of US 23's freeway in Michigan. The connector runs due northward, and I-75/US 23 turns northwesterly to bypass around Kawkawlin. The highway veers north, crosses the Kawkawlin River and the Pinconning Creek before coming to an interchange southwest of Standish. There, US 23 curves east, separating from I-75. US 23 continues for about three miles (4.8 km) as a freeway which ends at the intersection with M-13 south of Standish.[3][4] The lowest AADT along any freeway section of US 23 in Michigan is the section immediately east of I-75; here the traffic levels drop from 20,763 to 4,466 vehicles per day after US 23 separates from I-75.[8]

Northern Michigan[edit]

US 23 runs north from the end of its freeway along Huron Road through the community of Standish. The trunkline turns northeasterly through lakeshore woodlands after the intersection with Old M-76.[3][4] Northeast of this intersection, the highest, non-freeway AADT level on US 23 was recorded by MDOT at 16,757 vehicles daily.[8] Running through Omer, the highway crosses the Rifle River[3][4] and a line of the Lake State Railway.[7] In between the two crossings, it curves due east on its way out of town. At Hale Road, US 23 meets the southern end of M-65 before it continues east to Au Gres, where it runs along the Saginaw Bay and crosses the Au Gres River. Huron Road meanders northward along the lakeshore, staying inland near Point Lookout. US 23 runs through woods as it follows the Saginaw Bays shoreline northeasterly through Alabaster to Tawas City. The highway intersects the eastern terminus of M-55, runs north and east around Tawas Bay to East Tawas and follows the Lake Huron shoreline to Oscoda.[3][4] Through this area, US 23 runs parallel to the Lake State Railway and crosses into the Huron National Forest.[7][11]

Photograph of
Welcome sign at Omer

Oscoda is the location of the eastern termini of both the River Road National Scenic Byway and County Road F-41. In between those two junctions, the highway crosses the Au Sable River near its mouth, and the trunkline passes by the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base. Huron Road continues north, running next to Van Etten Lake as it leaves the national forest. Further north, it runs along Cedar Lake when it crosses into Alcona County.[4][11] The highway meets the eastern termini of F-30 and M-72 in Greenbush and Harrisville respectively. It also passes Harrisville State Park in the latter community. The highway shifts a bit further inland north of Harrisville, continuing to parallel the railroad through the Mackinaw State Forest. Near Ossineke, the trunkline turns back toward the lake, running along the shoreline of Thunder Bay.[3][4]

When US 23 enters Alpena, it follows State Street through town and turns northwesterly on Chisholm Street. The intersection of Chisholm and Washington streets marks the eastern terminus of M-32. Chisholm Street runs along the Thunder Bay River and crosses the river near Lake Besser. The highway leaves town and runs through rural woodlands to the south shore of Long Lake, curving around the eastern side of the lake. Near the northern end of the lake, US 23 crosses into Presque Isle County and runs along the west shore of Grand Lake. At the north end of that lake, the highway turns west along the Lake Huron shoreline near Thompson's Harbor State Park. The trunkline continues to Rogers City where it bypasses town to the south and west, intersecting F-21 and M-68 in the process; BUS US 23 runs through downtown. On the other side of Rogers City, US 23 runs along the lake past Hoeft State Park and along Hammond Bay before crossing into Cheboygan County.[3][4] This area had the lowest AADT levels in 2009 at 1,097 vehicles per day.[8]

Photograph of th
Sign where US 23 crosses the 45th parallel north

US 23 follows the Lake Huron shoreline through Cheboygan County through woodlands past Cheboygan State Park and Duncan Bay. On the eastern edge of Cheboygan the highway intersects F-05 before following State Street through a commercial district. State Street crosses the Cheboygan River on the Cheboygan Bascule Bridge near the mouth of the river and the dock for the USCGC Mackinaw. On the west side of the river, US 23 meets the northern terminus of M-27 at the intersection with Main Street. State Street continues westerly as C-66 as US 23 turns north on Main Street for a block before resuming west on Mackinaw Avenue. The highway continues along the lake toward Mackinaw City. As it approaches the village, it passes Historic Mill Creek State Park and several motels. At Nicolet Street in town, the highway crosses into Emmet County for the short distance to the highway's national northern terminus at I-75's exit 338.[3][4]


Early history[edit]

Dixie Highways marker from 1915
Theodore Roosevelt International Highway marker from 1919
Highway markers for the Dixie Highway (left) and Theodore Roosevelt International Highway (right), both of which predate the modern highway

Before Michigan became a state, the first land transportation corridors were the Indian trails.[12] The original Shore Trail ran roughly parallel to the route of the modern US 23 from the Bay City area to Cheboygan. Another section of the current highway followed the Saginaw Trail between Flint and Saginaw.[13]

Later, during the auto trail era, the modern US 23 also coincided with the east branch of the Dixie Highway and part of the Lower Peninsula section of the Theodore Roosevelt International Highway. The Dixie Highway was created by William S. Gilbreath after he developed the Lincoln Highway. The highway was designed to link the Great Lakes with the Gulf of Mexico, and to commemorate a half century of peace between the North and the South after the American Civil War. At the urging of Governor Woodbridge Ferris, the northern terminus was located at the Straits of Mackinac. The highway had two branches in the Lower Peninsula; the eastern branch followed what later became US 23 north of Standish.[14] The Theodore Roosevelt International Highway was named for former US president Theodore Roosevelt after his death in 1919. Overall, this highway ran from Portland, Oregon, to Portland, Maine, by way of Michigan and the Canadian province of Ontario. In Michigan, it also followed US 23 north of Standish.[15]

The highway was also part of the East Michigan Pike, designed to be a counterpart of the West Michigan Pike on the other side of the LP. The original route of the East Michigan Pike included a section along the coast of The Thumb between Bay City and Port Huron and used the same route as the Dixie Highway north of Bay City. Backers of this auto trail lost out in terms of name recognition to the Dixie Highway, relegating the East Michigan Pike to the list of failed auto trails.[16] The southern part of what is now US 23 in the state was also part of the auto trail craze. The Top of Michigan Trail was designated in 1917 from the state line north to the Bay City area, before turning inland along other roadways. The name faded from shortly after the time the Michigan State Highway Department (MSHD)[a] assigned the first highway numbers in the state.[19]

The first state highways along the US 23 corridor were numbered M-65 from the Ohio line north to the Flint area and M-10 from Flint north to Mackinaw City by July 1, 1919.[20][b] When originally designated, M-65 was in two sections: the southern segment ran from the Ohio state line north to the Dundee area; the northern section ran between Ann Arbor and Flint by way of Brighton and Fenton.[20] The gap between the two segments was eliminated by the middle of 1926.[22]

United States Numbered Highways[edit]

US 23 was commissioned on November 11, 1926, with the debut of the United States Numbered Highway System.[1][23] The MSHD removed the M-10 and M-65 designations from the highway at the time. As it was originally designated, US 23 crossed into Michigan from Ohio south of Temperance and ran north to Ypsilanti via Ida and Maybee. Once the highway entered Ann Arbor, it followed the roads that preceded the modern freeway up to Flint. From Flint to Saginaw, US 23 ran concurrently with US 10. On the way north to Bay City, the highway ran on the west side of the Saginaw River before turning north to the Standish area. From Standish to Mackinaw City, US 23 initially took a more inland route through the northeastern LP.[24]

Map of
Original 1920s routing of US 23 between Cheboygan and Alpena highlighted in red

Starting in 1929, MSHD started updating the route that US 23 followed through the Lower Peninsula. Late that year, the routing was moved to the east side of the Saginaw River, and M-47 was extended along the former course on the west side of the river.[25][26] During 1930, a set of changes realigned the highway's route through the southeast corner of the state. Near Ida, US 23 was rerouted along M-50 to Dundee and north through Milan to Ann Arbor, bypassing Maybee and Whittaker.[27] US 23 was moved from its inland routing between Omer and Tawas City via Whittemore to follow a shoreline alignment by way of Au Gres along Saginaw Bay around 1932; the former route through Twining and Whittemore became an extension of M-65 and the section from Whittemore east to Tawas City was added to M-55 as a part of these changes.[28][29]

In 1932, US 23 was moved closer to the lakeshore between Spruce and Alpena; the former routing was redesignated M-171.[29] The highway was also moved to a route closer to the lakeshore between Tawas City and Oscoda, with part of the old inland route taking the designation Old US 23.[30][31] A few years later in 1936, US 23 replaced M-72 between Oscoda and Harrisville and followed a new roadway north to the Spruce area. The M-171 designation was removed from its original routing and applied to the 1932 routing of US 23 by way of Mikado and Lincoln.[32][33] In the middle of 1937, US 27 was extended concurrently along US 23 between Cheboygan and Mackinaw City.[34][35] Around the end of the decade, US 23's routing was moved in another location to follow the lakeshore; this time the highway was rerouted between Alpena and Rogers City. M-65 was extended northwards from Lachine through Posen to terminate over the former US 23 routing.[36][37]

US 23 was moved to its current lakeshore routing between Rogers City and Cheboygan in 1940, and M-33 was extended westerly from Onaway to Afton and north to Cheboygan over the former US 23 roadway while M-68 was extended eastward through Onaway to Rogers City.[38][39] In early 1941, a bridge across the Saginaw River connecting Salzburg and Lafayette avenues in Bay City was added to the route of US 23 in the city; at the same time the former routing was redesignated BUS US 23.[40][41] The highway was also realigned between Hartland and Fenton in 1941.[42][43] By 1945, the northernmost segment of M-65 in downtown Rogers City was redesignated BUS US 23, and M-65 was truncated to its junction with US 23 southeast of town, removing the concurrency that existed since 1940.[44] North of Dundee, a more direct alignment to Azalia was added to US 23, turning the former routing back to local control in late 1947 or early 1948; at the same time, the last gravel section of the highway was paved near Hammond Bay in northwestern Presque Isle County.[45][46]

Freeway conversion[edit]

Photograph of the building that houses the
Rest area and welcome center near Samaria in Monroe County

One of the first pieces of what would later become part of US 23's freeway route was completed in late 1951 or early 1952, when a two-lane bypass was built around the eastern side of Milan.[47][48] Two years later, a similar bypass was built from Bridgeport to M-81 on the east side of Saginaw, with the old route becoming a BUS US 23 designation.[49][50] Both bypasses would later be upgraded to four-lane freeways by 1961, with the Saginaw one later incorporated into the route of I-75.[51] When the Mackinac Bridge opened on November 1, 1957, US 23, US 27 and US 31 were extended along the access roadways to the foot of the bridge.[52]

The first future freeway portion of US 23 was built in 1957 from north of Ann Arbor to Whitmore Lake as a divided highway.[53][54] On June 30, 1958, the first stretch of the "Fenton–Clio Expressway" opened, stretching from Fenton to Birch Run.[55] The freeway connection from Dundee south to Ohio was opened on October 1, 1959.[56] In late 1959, the portion from Flint to Birch Run also gained the I-75 designation.[57]

In late 1960 or early 1961, a new I-75/US 23/US 10 freeway was built from the north end of the Saginaw bypass to Kawkawlin, utilizing the Zilwaukee drawbridge (later replaced by the Zilwaukee Bridge) over the Saginaw River; when it opened, MSHD extended M-13 along the former route of US 23 from the northside of Saginaw into Bay City to the end of the freeway at Kawkawlin. Another section connected the Whitmore Lake area with Brighton in the same timeframe.[51][58] General Motors was bidding in 1961 to construct an electronic highway. US 23 between Ann Arbor and Toledo was under consideration to be the location of this project;[59] the testing for such a roadway was ultimately done at Ohio State University instead.[60] By the end of the year, freeway sections opened to bypass Saginaw south and ran south to Birch Run, another connected south from Fenton to Hartland, and a third connected Milan with Dundee.[61] The remaining gaps were eliminated with additional freeway openings in 1962: Brighton to Hartland opened in September,[62] and Milan to Ann Arbor opened in November.[63] The I-75/US 23 freeway north of the Kawkawlin area to Standish opened in 1967, and M-13 was shown on maps following US 23's former route through Linwood and Pinconning after the change.[64][65]

The MSHD requested additional Interstate Highway mileage in 1968 under the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1968 including a freeway along US 23 between Standish and Mackinaw City.[66] This extension was rejected by Congress on December 13, 1968; instead, Michigan was allotted additional mileage for an extension of I-69 to Flint.[67] Once the last piece of I-75 was completed along the M-76 corridor in November 1973,[68] the I-75 designation was extended north of Bay City on US 23.[69]

The MSHD first proposed a realignment of US 223 in 1965; this change would reroute that highway to replace M-151 in southern Monroe County, and use the US 23 freeway to connect to Sylvania, Ohio.[70] The rerouting change was made in 1977 when Michigan shifted its segment of US 223 as proposed twelve years prior. Instead of running south through Ottawa Lake, US 223 continued east to the US 23 freeway and south into Ohio.[71][72]

The original bridge across the Saginaw River at Zilwaukee was built in 1960 as a bascule bridge to allow shipping traffic to use the river. Opening the drawbridge would back traffic up on I-75/US 10/US 23 for upwards of four hours on holiday weekends.[73] Approved in 1974, construction on the replacement bridge started in October 1979. A major construction accident in August 1982 delayed completion of the new Zilwaukee Bridge; a bridge pier partially collapsed when contractors overloaded a section under construction. The affected 300-foot (91 m) deck segment tilted to rest three feet (0.91 m) higher on one end and five feet (1.5 m) lower on the other.[9] The structure was originally supposed to cost $76.8 million with a 1983 completion date; in the end it cost $131.3 million (equivalent to $315 million in 2012[74]) when the southbound span finally opened on September 19, 1988.[75] The structure is the largest segmental concrete bridge in the country.[76]

While that construction was being done, MDOT truncated US 10 at Bay City in 1986; this removed the concurrency between US 10 and US 23 that existed since 1926.[77][78] A few years later in 1992, the freeway concept for the northeastern LP was revived again when MDOT initiated plans to study and build a new US 23 freeway from Standish northerly to Tawas City, Oscoda or Alpena. This proposal was brought up due to a high level of tourist traffic along the current routing since the mid-1960s.[79] The FHWA mandated additional environmental studies for the project in 2000, and MDOT withdrew the proposals two years later.[80]


Officials in the Flint area have proposed extending a freeway to directly connect I-475 to US 23. Such an extension, if built, would "include a new freeway coming out of I-475, which would snake across Fenton and Cook roads before connecting into US 23 at Baldwin Road".[81] Proposals for the freeway connection have been around since the late 1990s,[82] but they were indefinitely postponed in 2011.[83]

Memorial highway designations and tourist routes[edit]

Most of US 23, along with US 2 in the Upper Peninsula, has been designated the United Spanish War Veterans Memorial Highway. The designation was conferred in Public Act 207 of 1945, with companion legislation for US 2 in 1949. Signs marking the highway were not erected until 1968 when Governor George W. Romney had them installed.[84]

North of Standish, US 23 is a part of the Lake Huron Circle Tour (LHCT).[3] This tour was created in May 1986 as part of the overall Great Lakes Circle Tour through a joint effort between MDOT and its counterparts in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Ontario.[85]

When the Michigan State Legislature consolidated the statutes defining the various memorial highways in 2001, they included the Veterans of World War I Memorial Highway in the law. Defined along I-75/US 23 between Saginaw and Bay City, the designation was included in Public Act 142.[86] That act also affected another previously designated moniker between the two cities. The Roberts-Linton Highway was named in 1931 for local leaders who championed the construction of a highway along the Saginaw River. This name was applied to the original highway routing between Saginaw and Bay City (now a part of M-13). After the 2001 change, the name was moved to the US 23 freeway.[87]

In May 2004, the highway north of Standish was named the Sunrise Side Coastal Highway, a scenic highway designation through what is now called the Pure Michigan Byway Program.[88] At the end of 2011, the Northeast Michigan Council of Governments (NEMCOG) was working on funding a tourist promotion called "Telling Stories of the Sunrise Coast" through the US 23 Heritage Route Interpretive Program. Past efforts by NEMCOG included print media, logos, and other marketing efforts.[89]

Historic bridges[edit]

MDOT maintains a listing of the historic bridges in the state; along US 23, the department has listed two structures. The bridge over the Ocqueoc River in Ocqueoc Township in Presque Isle County was built in 1937. The 106-foot-long (32 m) structure is one of the last three deck truss bridges in the state.[90] The roadway on the bridge is 38 feet (11.6 m) wide and carries two lanes of traffic. The bridge was reconstructed in 1994.[91]

Photograph in Cheboygan of
The drawbridge that carries US 23 across the Cheboygan River

The second bridge is the Cheboygan Bascule Bridge in Cheboygan. This bascule bridge was built in 1940 over the Cheboygan River as the last of its kind before World War II. It was built as a "two-leaf bridge in a place where a single-leaf bridge probably would have sufficed."[92] The initial construction of the structure was delayed when the contractor died, but it was completed in December 1940. It was the second moveable bridge on the site, replacing an iron swing bridge built in 1877.[92] The structure is 155 feet (47 m) long, composed of two 42-foot (13 m) spans on either side of the central 70-foot (21 m) span; the roadway is 40 feet (12 m) wide with four lanes for vehicle traffic. There are also pedestrian sidewalks on either side of the roadway. When the bridge is opened to allow river traffic to pass, boats have a 60-foot-wide (18 m) channel for navigation.[93] The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 1, 2000,[94] and reconstructed in 2003.[92]

Exit list[edit]

County Location Mile[2] km Exit Destinations Notes
Monroe Whiteford Township 0.000 0.000 US 23 south / US 223 south – Toledo Ohio state line
1.487 2.393 1 Sterns Road
2.980 4.796 3 Consear Road – Ottawa Lake
5.098 8.204 5 US 223 north – Blissfield, Adrian Northern end of US 223 concurrency
Summerfield Township 8.711 14.019 9 Summerfield Road
13.75 22.13 13 Ida West Road – Petersburg
Dundee Township 14.563–
15 Lloyd Road Northbound exit and southbound entrance via Dixon Road
Dundee 16.685 26.852 17 M‑50 – Dundee, Monroe
Milan Township 21.888 35.225 22 Cone Road – Azalia
Milan 25.133 40.448 25 Plank Road — Downtown Milan
Washtenaw 26.674 42.928 27 Carpenter Road
York Township 30.638 49.307 31 Willis Road – Willis, Saline
Pittsfield Township 34.026 54.760 34 US 12 (Michigan Avenue) – Saline, Ypsilanti
Ann Arbor 35.371–
35 I‑94 – Detroit, Chicago
BL I‑94 west
Southern end of BL I-94 concurrency
37.395 60.181 37
BL I‑94 west / BUS US 23 north – Downtown Ann Arbor
M‑17 east – Ypsilanti
Northern end of BL I-94 concurrency; signed as exits 37A (M-17) and 37B (BL I-94 and BUS US 23)
38.901 62.605 39 Geddes Road
41.286 66.443 41 Plymouth Road
42 M‑14 east – Plymouth, Livonia Eastern end of M-14 concurrency
Ann Arbor Township 44.873–
BUS US 23 south / M‑14 west – Downtown Ann Arbor
Western end of M-14 concurrency
Northfield Township 49.137 79.078 49 North Territorial Road
50.239 80.852 50 6 Mile Road – Whitmore Lake
52.217 84.035 52 Barker Road Northbound exit and southbound entrance
WashtenawLivingston county line NorthfieldGreen Oak township line 52.656 84.742 53 8 Mile Road – Downtown Whitmore Lake
Livingston Green Oak Township 53.835 86.639 54 M‑36 – South Lyon, Pinckney Signed as exits 54A (South Lyon) and 54B (M-36, Pinckney) northbound; eastern terminus of M-36
55.549 89.397 55 Silver Lake Road
58.209 93.678 58 Lee Road
Brighton 59.452–
60 I‑96 – Detroit, Brighton, Lansing Signed as exits 60A (east) and 60B (west)
Hartland Township 67.387 108.449 67 M‑59 – Howell, Pontiac
70.464 113.401 70 Clyde Road – Clyde
Tyrone Township 74.625 120.097 75 Center Road
76.949 123.837 77 White Lake Road
Genesee Fenton 78.550 126.414 78 Owen Road – Fenton
79.673 128.221 79 Silver Lake Road – Fenton, Linden Former BUS US 23
79.847 128.501 80 Torrey Road, North Road Northbound ramps connect to Torrey Road; southbound ramps connect to North Road
Fenton Township 83.888 135.005 84 Thompson Road
Mundy Township 87.678 141.104 88 Grand Blanc, Rankin
89.710 144.374 90 Hill Road Connector to I-475
115 I‑75 south – Detroit, Toledo Southern end of I-75 overlap; US 23 follows I-75 exit numbers; southbound exit and northbound entrance
Flint 91.763 147.678 116 Bristol Road Signed as exits 116A (east) and 116B (west) southbound; former M-121, exit to Bishop International Airport
Flint Township 92.650–
117 I‑69 / Miller Road – Port Huron, Lansing Signed as exits 117A (I-69) and 117B (Miller Road)
94.185 151.576 118 M‑21 (Corunna Road) – Owosso
Mount Morris Township 97.397 156.745 122 Pierson Road – Flushing
125 I‑475 south – Downtown Flint
101.421 163.221 126 Mt. Morris
Vienna Township 105.507 169.797 131 M‑57 – Clio, Montrose
Saginaw Birch Run 111.588 179.583 136 M‑54 south / M‑83 north – Birch Run, Frankenmuth Northern terminus of M-54, southern terminus of M-83
Bridgeport Township 119.991 193.107 144 Frankenmuth, Bridgeport Signed as exits 144A (Frankenmuth) and 144B (Bridgeport) northbound
Buena Vista Township 124.714 200.708 149 M‑46 (Holland Avenue) – Sandusky, Buena Vista Signed as exits 149A (Sandusky) and 149B (Buena Vista)
125.022 201.203 150 I‑675 north – Downtown Saginaw
127.194 204.699 151 M‑81 – Caro, Reese
128.406 206.649 153 M‑13 (East Bay City Road) – Saginaw
Saginaw River 128.041–
Zilwaukee Bridge
Zilwaukee 129.351 208.170 154 Zilwaukee
Zilwaukee Township 130.278–
155 I‑675 south – Downtown Saginaw
Bay Frankenlust Township 134.647 216.693 160 M‑84 (Saginaw Road)
Monitor Township 138.128–
162 US 10 west – Clare
M‑25 / BL I‑75 east – Downtown Bay City
Signed as 162A (US 10) and 162B (M-25); BS I-75 is not signed
139.412 224.362 164
CONN M‑13 – Kawkawlin
Northbound exit and southbound entrance
140.204 225.636 164 Wilder Road Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Kawkawlin Township 144.374 232.347 168 Beaver Road
Fraser Township 149.341 240.341 173 Linwood Road – Linwood
Pinconning Township 157.353 253.235 181 Pinconning Road – Pinconning
Arenac Lincoln Township 163.906 263.781 188 I‑75 north – Mackinac Bridge Northern end of I-75 concurrency
Standish Township 166.288 267.615 M‑13 south – Pinconning Northern end of freeway; northern terminus of M-13
Standish 168.672 271.451 M‑61 west – Gladwin Eastern terminus of M-61
169.066 272.085 Old M-76
ArenacAu Gres township line 177.138 285.076 M‑65 north – Twining Southern terminus of M-65
Iosco Tawas City 204.565 329.215 M‑55 west – West Branch, Houghton Lake Eastern terminus of M-55
Oscoda 220.181 354.347 River Road National Scenic Byway west Eastern terminus of the River Road National Scenic Byway
221.046 355.739 F-41 north – Mikado Southern terminus of F-41
Alcona Greenbush Township 232.193 373.678 F-30 west Eastern terminus of F-30
Harrisville 236.989 381.397 M‑72 west – Grayling, Traverse City Eastern terminus of M-72
Caledonia Township 252.168 405.825 F-41 south – Lincoln Northern terminus of F-41
Alpena Alpena 267.740–
M‑32 west – Atlanta, Gaylord Eastern terminus of M-32; M-32 follows a one-way pairing along Second (eastbound) and Third (westbound) avenues
Presque Isle Pulawski Township 296.960 477.911 M‑65 south – Posen Northern terminus of M-65
Rogers Township 302.806 487.319
BUS US 23 north – Downtown Rogers City
Southern terminus of BUS US 23
Rogers City 305.128 491.056 F-21 south – Hillman Northern terminus of F-21
305.398 491.490 M‑68 – Onaway, Downtown Rogers City
306.320 492.974
BUS US 23 south – Downtown Rogers City
Northern terminus of BUS US 23
Cheboygan Benton TownshipCheboygan line 344.183 553.909 F-05 south Northern terminus of F-05
Cheboygan 346.327 557.359 M‑27 south – Indian River
C-66 west (State Street)
Northern terminus of M-27; eastern terminus of C-66
CheboyganEmmet county line Mackinaw City 361.682 582.071 Nicolet Street Former M-108 on the county line; connection to I-75 southbound
Emmet 361.881–
I‑75 north – Mackinac Bridge Exit 338 on I-75; northbound exit and southbound entrance
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Michigan State Highway Department was reorganized into the Michigan Department of State Highways and Transportation on August 23, 1973,[17] and the name was later shortened to its current form in 1978.[18]
  2. ^ The first state highways in Michigan were signed in 1919.[21]



  1. ^ a b McNichol, p. 74.
  2. ^ 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 August 12, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Michigan Department of Transportation (2010). Official Department of Transportation Map (Map). 1 in:15 mi/1 cm:9 km. Cartography by MDOT. Section D10–N12.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Google, Inc. "Overview Map of US 23 in Michigan". Google Maps (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=US-223+N%2FUS-23+N&daddr=44.51804,-83.31942+to:45.71395,-84.58677+to:Unknown+road&hl=en&geocode=FZayfAIdBAMD-w%3BFZhKpwIdhKUI-ynpYdB6vEAniDEhlNaRYPQebw%3BFR6KuQId7k71-ildB0LSM5I1TTHLdMnxHGdOYQ%3BFfZyugIdww_z-g&mra=ls&via=1,2&sll=45.755308,-84.725275&sspn=0.055994,0.058193&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=7. Retrieved April 18, 2011.
  5. ^ Michigan Department of Transportation (April 23, 2006) (PDF). National Highway System, Michigan (Map). Cartography by MDOT. http://www.michigan.gov/documents/MDOT_NHS_Statewide_150626_7.pdf. Retrieved October 7, 2008.
  6. ^ Natzke, Stefan; Neathery, Mike & Adderly, Kevin (June 20, 2012). "What is the National Highway System?". National Highway System. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved July 1, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Michigan Department of Transportation (April 2009) (PDF). Michigan's Railroad System (Map). Cartography by MDOT. http://www.michigan.gov/documents/MDOT_Official_Rail_130897_7.pdf. Retrieved September 14, 2010.
  8. ^ a b c d Bureau of Transportation Planning (2008). "Traffic Monitoring Information System". Michigan Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 19, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b Hyde, p. 168.
  10. ^ Banas, Teri (September 15, 1987). "Bridge Makes City Famous: Residents Say Life is Good in Zilwaukee". Argus-Press (Owosso, MI). Associated Press. p. 29. OCLC 36134862. 
  11. ^ a b Rand McNally (2008). "Michigan". The Road Atlas (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally (2008 ed.). pp. 50–1, section F8–T11. ISBN 0-528-93981-5.
  12. ^ Morrison, p. 1.
  13. ^ Mason, p. 18.
  14. ^ Barnett, pp. 74–5.
  15. ^ Barnett, pp. 211–2.
  16. ^ Barnett, p. 80.
  17. ^ Kulsea, p. 27.
  18. ^ Kulsea, pp. 30–1.
  19. ^ Barnett, p. 213
  20. ^ a b Michigan State Highway Department (July 1, 1919). State of Michigan: Lower Peninsula (Map). Cartography by MSHD.
  21. ^ "Michigan May Do Well Following Wisconsin's Road Marking System". The Grand Rapids Press. September 20, 1919. p. 10. OCLC 9975013. 
  22. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (September 1, 1926). Official Highway Service Map (Map). Cartography by MSHD.
  23. ^ Bureau of Public Roads (November 11, 1926). United States System of Highways Adopted for Uniform Marking by the American Association of State Highway Officials (Map). 1:7,000,000. Cartography by U.S. Geological Survey. OCLC 32889555. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth298433/m1/1/zoom/. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  24. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (December 1, 1926). Official Highway Service Map (Map). Cartography by MSHD.
  25. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (May 1, 1929). Official Highway Service Map (Map). Cartography by MSHD.
  26. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (January 1, 1930). Official Highway Service Map (Map). Cartography by H.M. Gousha.
  27. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (November 1, 1930). Official Highway Service Map (Map). Cartography by H.M. Gousha.
  28. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (October 1, 1931). Official Michigan Highway Map (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally.
  29. ^ a b Michigan State Highway Department (October 1, 1932). Official Michigan Highway Map (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally.
  30. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (May 1, 1933). Official Michigan Highway Map (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally.
  31. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (September 1, 1934). Official Michigan Highway Map (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally.
  32. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (June 1, 1936). 1936 Official Michigan Highway Map (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally. Section G13–H13.
  33. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (December 15, 1936). 1936/7 Official Michigan Highway Map (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally (Winter ed.). Section G13–H13.
  34. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (May 15, 1937). 1937 Official Michigan Highway Map (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally (Summer ed.). Section E10.
  35. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (December 1, 1937). 1937/8 Official Michigan Highway Map (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally (Winter ed.). Section E10.
  36. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (December 1, 1939). 1939 Official Michigan Highway Map (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally (Winter ed.). Section E12–F12.
  37. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (April 15, 1940). 1940 Official Michigan Highway Map (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally (Summer ed.). Section E12–F12.
  38. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (July 15, 1940). 1940 Official Michigan Highway Map (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally (Summer ed.). Section F11–F12.
  39. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (December 1, 1940). 1940 Official Michigan Highway Map (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally (Winter ed.). Section F11–F12.
  40. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (December 1, 1940). 1940 Official Michigan Highway Map (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally (Winter ed.). Bay City inset.
  41. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (March 21, 1941). 1941 Official Michigan Highway Map (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally (Spring ed.). Bay City inset.
  42. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (March 21, 1941). 1941 Official Michigan Highway Map (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally (Spring ed.). Section L12.
  43. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (July 1, 1941). 1941 Official Michigan Highway Map (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally (Summer ed.). Section L12.
  44. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (October 1, 1945). Official Highway Map of Michigan (Map). Section E12.
  45. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (May 1, 1947). 1947 Official Highway Map (Map). Section E11, N12.
  46. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (April 15, 1948). Michigan Official Highway Map (Map). Section E11, N12.
  47. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (July 1, 1951). 1951 Official Highway Map (Map). Section N12.
  48. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (April 15, 1952). 1952 Official Highway Map (Map). Section N12.
  49. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (April 15, 1953). 1953 Official Highway Map (Map). Saginaw inset.
  50. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (October 1, 1953). 1953 Official Highway Map (Map). Saginaw inset.
  51. ^ a b Michigan State Highway Department (1961). Official Highway Map (Map). (Includes all changes through July 1, 1961)
  52. ^ "Williams Leads First Caravan Across Bridge". Ludington Daily News. Associated Press. November 1, 1957. p. 1. OCLC 27033604. 
  53. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (April 1, 1957). 1957 Official Highway Map (Map). Section M12.
  54. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (October 1, 1957). 1957 Official Highway Map (Map). Section M12.
  55. ^ "Fenton–Clio X-Way Big Time Saver". The Owosso Argus-Press. Associated Press. June 28, 1958. p. 9. OCLC 9802802. Retrieved April 20, 2011. 
  56. ^ "Formal opening of US 23 strip set for October 1". Toledo Blade. September 23, 1959. p. 37. OCLC 12962635. Retrieved February 11, 2010. 
  57. ^ "Michigan Delays Road Number System". Toledo Blade. June 4, 1959. p. 11. OCLC 12962635. Retrieved November 21, 2010. 
  58. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (1960). Official Highway Map (Map). Section K12–L12, M12. (Includes all changes through July 1, 1960)
  59. ^ "Electronic Wonder: State Seeks Highway". The Michigan Daily (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor). July 13, 1961. p. 3. ISSN 0745-967X. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  60. ^ "Driverless Auto Being Developed: Could Be Ready in 15 Years, Ohio Researcher Says". The New York Times. December 11, 1966. p. 132. ISSN 0362-4331. 
  61. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (1962). Official Highway Map (Map). Section J12–K12, L12, N12.
  62. ^ "US 23 Link Opens North of Ann Arbor". The Blade (Toledo, OH). September 29, 1962. p. 13. OCLC 12962717. Retrieved April 20, 2011. 
  63. ^ "Freeway Section from Milan Opens". The Blade (Toledo, OH). Associated Press. November 2, 1962. p. 1. OCLC 12962717. Retrieved April 20, 2011. 
  64. ^ Michigan Department of State Highways (1967). Official Highway Map (Map). Section I12–J12.
  65. ^ Michigan Department of State Highways (1968). Official Highway Map (Map). Section I12–J12.
  66. ^ "Highway Additions Requested By State". The Owosso Argus-Press. Associated Press. November 14, 1968. p. 7. OCLC 9802802. Retrieved December 5, 2010. 
  67. ^ Weingroff, Richard (July 16, 2013) [1998]. "Part I: History". The Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved August 18, 2013. 
  68. ^ "Around the State: West Branch". Traverse City Record-Eagle. United Press International. November 2, 1973. p. 3. OCLC 30098364. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  69. ^ Michigan Department of State Highways and Transportation (1974). Official Highway Map (Map). 1 in:14.5 mi. Cartography by MDSHT. Section H10–J12.
  70. ^ "Michigan Asks To Reroute US 223". The Blade (Toledo, OH). September 9, 1965. p. 29. OCLC 12962717. Retrieved December 19, 2010. 
  71. ^ Ohio Department of Transportation (1977) (MrSID). Official Ohio Highway Map (Map). Cartography by ODOT. Section E2–F3. http://www.dot.state.oh.us/Divisions/TransSysDev/Innovation/prod_services/Documents/StateMaps/otm1977a.sid. Retrieved December 31, 2010.
  72. ^ Michigan Department of State Highways and Transportation (1978). Official Transportation Map (Map). 1 in:14.5 mi/1 in:23 km (1978–1979 ed.). Section N12.
  73. ^ Hyde, p. 166.
  74. ^ United States nominal Gross Domestic Product per capita figures follow the "Measuring Worth" series supplied in Johnston, Louis & Williamson, Samuel H. (2014). "What Was the U.S. GDP Then?". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved April 18, 2014.  These figures follow the figures as of 2012.
  75. ^ Staff writer (September 19, 1988). "Zilwaukee Bridge Now Open North, South—Partly". The Blade (Toledo, OH). p. 1. OCLC 12962717. 
  76. ^ "A Brief History of Paving". The Grand Rapids Press. March 1, 2010. p. A8. OCLC 9975013. 
  77. ^ Michigan Department of Transportation (1986). Official Transportation Map (Map). 1 in:14.5 mi/1 in:23 km. Section J12–K12.
  78. ^ Michigan Department of Transportation (1987). Official Transportation Map (Map). 1 in:14.5 mi/1 in:23 km. Section J12–K12.
  79. ^ Staff (February 1999). "Final Environmental Impact Statement and Section 4(f) Evaluation for the Proposed US 23 Freeway Extension Project Phase I: Arenac and Iosco Counties, Michigan (Executive Summary)" (PDF). Michigan Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 18, 2011. 
  80. ^ "Road Closed US 23 Freeway Plan Takes Right Turn into History". Editorial. Detroit Free Press. June 14, 2002. p. A12. Retrieved August 23, 2013.  (subscription required)
  81. ^ Bush, Allison (December 8, 2010). "Officials Reveal Plans for Possible Extension of I-475 to US 23; Residents Share Concerns". The Flint Journal. Retrieved April 18, 2011. 
  82. ^ "I-475–US 23 Link Would Unify Community, Spur Growth in Area". Editorial. The Flint Journal. June 7, 1998. p. H2. OCLC 9974225. 
  83. ^ "I-475 Extension Shelved". The Flint Journal. May 20, 2011. p. A2. OCLC 9974225. 
  84. ^ Barnett, pp. 216–7.
  85. ^ Davis, R. Matt (May 1, 1986). "Signs to Mark Lake Circle Tour". The Daily Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 16. OCLC 9940134. 
  86. ^ Barnett, p. 229.
  87. ^ Barnett, pp. 189–90.
  88. ^ "US 23 Heritage Route Gets Official Designation". Iosco County News-Herald (East Tawas, MI). May 12, 2004. Retrieved April 2011. 
  89. ^ Jankoviak, Shawna (November 25, 2011). "Board Votes To Support US 23 Tourism Promotion". Cheboygan Daily Tribune. p. A3. ISSN 0746-665X. 
  90. ^ Hyde, p. 85.
  91. ^ Staff (2010). "71171073000B020". National Bridge Inventory. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved December 30, 2011. 
  92. ^ a b c Friday, Matthew (December 7, 2011). "Bridging Our Local History". Mackinac Journal. Archived from the original on April 29, 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2011. 
  93. ^ Leslie, Joyce (September 5, 2003). "State Street Bridge Wasn't Site for a Walk in 1877". Cheboygan Daily Tribune. Features section. ISSN 0746-665X. 
  94. ^ Web, Brenda (December 1, 2000). "Drawbridge Listed as Historic Place". Cheboygan Daily Tribune. News section. ISSN 0746-665X. 

Works cited[edit]

  • Barnett, LeRoy (2004). A Drive Down Memory Lane: The Named State and Federal Highways of Michigan. Allegan Forest, MI: The Priscilla Press. ISBN 1-886167-24-9. 
  • Hyde, Charles K. (1993). Historic Highway Bridges of Michigan. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-2448-7. 
  • Kulsea, Bill; Shawver, Tom & Kach, Carol (1980). Making Michigan Move: A History of Michigan Highways and the Michigan Department of Transportation. Lansing, MI: Michigan Department of Transportation. OCLC 8169232. 
  • Mason, Philip P. (1959). Michigan Highways From Indian Trails to Expressways. Ann Arbor, MI: Braun-Brumfield. OCLC 23314983. 
  • McNichol, Dan (2006). The Roads that Built America. New York: Sterling. ISBN 1-4027-3468-9. 
  • Morrison, Roger L. (Autumn 1937). "The History and Development of Michigan Highways". Michigan Alumnus Quarterly Review (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Bureau of Alumni Relations) 39 (54): 59–73. OCLC 698029175. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing

US Highway 23
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