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Lower Peninsula of Michigan
Country United States
State Michigan
The Flint/Tri-Cities are a part of the greater Central/Mid-Michigan region.

The Flint/Tri-Cities Region or Saginaw Valley is a region in the Lower Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan. The region is composed of the area surrounding Flint, the Tri Cities (Bay City, Saginaw, and Midland), the Saginaw Bay and Saginaw River. In general terms, this area makes up the greater region of Mid-Michigan.


Straw Bales in an area field

The Flint and Tri-Cities area, as well as most of Michigan is dependent on manufacturing.[citation needed] Automobile manufacturing is most prevalent in Saginaw and Flint, whereas Midland is the headquarters of the Dow Chemical Company, the world's second largest chemical producer. Rural areas grow crops such as sugar beets, navy beans, corn, fruits, and fish from the Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron.


Several large corporations have operations in the Tri-Cities. The Michigan Sugar Company, which is a cooperative owned by 1,250 farmers, operates factories in Bay City, Caro, Croswell, and Sebewaing.[1] General Motors operates the Flint Truck Assembly factory in Flint and Powertrain plants in Flint, Bay City, and Saginaw. The Dow Chemical Company's world headquarters is based in Midland, as is the world headquarters for Dow Corning. The world headquarters of Nexteer Automotive is located in Saginaw. S.C. Johnson and Son has a manufacturing facility in Bay City making Ziploc products. Also, Star Of The West Milling Co. (named after the ship) is headquartered in Frankenmuth.

International Trade Corridor[edit]

The I-69 International Trade Corridor is a strategic commercial gateway between the Midwestern United States and Ontario, Canada, with multi-modal transportation infrastructure that offers a wide range of distribution options.The I-69 International Trade Corridor Next Michigan Development Corporation (NMDC) offers economic incentives to growing businesses, both existing and new, that utilize two or more forms of transportation to move their products and are located within the territory of the NMDC. The I-69 International Trade Corridor Next Michigan Development Corporation is the largest in the state of Michigan with 35 municipal partners. [2]

Constituent counties of the trade corridor are: Shiawassee, Genesee, Lapeer, and St. Clair Counties. [3]


The Thumb

Counties included[edit]

The Greater Tri Cities[edit]

The Thumb[edit]

Main article: The Thumb

Outlying Areas[edit]

Addison, Brandon, Clarkston, Groveland, Highland, Holly, Oxford, Rose, Springfield, and Milford.

Armada, Bruce, Lenox, New Haven, Ray, Richmond, Romeo, & Washington.

Geographic features[edit]

The area has many lakes and rivers.


Airlines and airports[edit]

Scheduled airline service is available from MBS International Airport[4] near Midland, Michigan and Flint Bishop International Airport.[5] The only international airport in the thumb area is St. Clair County International Airport about 6 miles outside Port Huron.


Interstate highways[edit]

U.S. Highways[edit]

Michigan Highways[edit]

  • M-13 runs roughly the same route as I-75 in the Genesee County/Shiawassee County border, the Saginaw County/Genesee County border then into Bay County
  • M-15 runs north and south through Genesee County and Tuscola County
  • M-19 in Lapeer County
  • M-20 runs through Midland County, roughly the same route as US 10
  • M-21 runs east and west, roughly the same route as I-69 in Genesee County and Shiawassee County
  • M-24 runs north and south in Lapeer County and Tuscola County
  • M-25 is a highway of an arc-like shape closely following the outline of the Thumb along the Lake Huron/Saginaw Bay shoreline between Port Huron and Bay City.[7] It is generally a scenic drive.
  • M-29
  • M-30
  • M-46 is a cross peninsular road, running across the mitten and the thumb—from Port Sanilac on the Lake Huron shore; through Saginaw near Saginaw Bay; and then on to Muskegon on the Lake Michigan shore.[8] This east-west surface route nearly bisects the Lower Peninsula of Michigan latitudinally.
  • M-47 provides access to MBS International Airport in Freeland; and Bay City State Park
  • M-52 runs roughly the same route as US 127 in Shiawassee County and Saginaw County
  • M-53 (Van Dyke Road) is a gateway route to The Thumb of Michigan, carrying vacationers to the resorts and cottages on Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron in the vicinity of Caseville and Port Austin. It goes up the middle of the Thumb, and directly connects in Macomb County, Michigan to the M-53 expressway. It is an important route for agricultural and manufactured goods.
  • M-54 Dort Highway, a main road leading into Flint running roughly the same route as I-475, then follows I-75 to Birch Run
  • M-57 runs east and west through Saginaw County and Genesee County
  • M-58 in Saginaw County
  • M-81 in Saginaw County
  • M-83 north and south in Saginaw County
  • M-84 in Saginaw County
  • M-90 runs east and west in Lapeer County
  • M-136
  • M-138
  • M-142
  • M-247


Area Amtrak stations are in Lapeer, Port Huron, Flint and Durand.

Local freight carriers are the Canadian National, CSX Transportation, Huron and Eastern Railway, Lake State Railway and Great Lakes Central Railroad.


Flint's Genesee Towers (left, now demolished) and Mott Foundation Building (right).


  • Daily editions of the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News are available throughout the area.
  • Editions of the Bay City Times,[9] Midland Daily News and Saginaw News[10] are available in the greater Tri-Cities area. The Times and the Saginaw News published three times a week, while the Midland Daily News publishes daily. The Great Lakes Bay Edition, a joint publication between the Saginaw News and the Bay City Times, focuses on those two cities, as well as Midland, and publishes once a week.
  • The Flint Journal[11] is available in the Flint and Lapeer areas, as well as north Oakland County —it is published four times a week.
  • The Huron Daily Tribune serves Huron County; it is published daily.
  • The Port Huron Times Herald serves the lower Thumb communities; it is published daily.


The Flint/Tri-Cities area lies within four radio media markets.

Broadcast television[edit]

Television in Tri-Cities and Flint is mostly produced from the Flint/Tri-Cities Television Market. Far eastern areas such as Lapeer County, St. Clair County and Sanilac County lie in the Detroit Television Market. Areas like Genesee County can view programing from the Detroit and Flint/Saginaw media markets. The Canadian Broadcast Corporation is available via antenna and carried by most cable providers in Southeast Michigan. Broadcasts in this region can be seen in English, Arabic, French, and Spanish, the four most commonly spoken languages here, besides American Sign Language.

Availability of stations depend on reception of aerial signals, as well as availability on cable and satellite in a particular area.

Principal cities[edit]

Port Huron's Blue Water Bridge.

Flint's population is 102,434; it is the seventh largest city in Michigan. The combined population of the Greater Tri-Cities (Saginaw, Midland, and Bay City) is 398,482. Genesee, St. Clair and Lapeer counties are located in Detroit–Ann Arbor–Flint Combined Statistical Area.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]