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Michigan State Trunkline Highway System

Michigan State Trunkline Highway System

Michigan State Trunkline Highway System

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Michigan State Trunkline Highway System
Michigan State Trunkline Highway System


Investigation of National
Highway System Roadways
in the HSIS States
(ISTEA), Congress requested that the U.S.

Department of Transportation
(DOT) submit a proposal of routes to be included in a National Highway
System (NHS). The NHS-designated system now includes approximately
262,005 km (162,807 mi) of the most important U.S. roads (about 4 percent
of the 6.3 million km (3.9 million mi) of public roads).

This system carries
more than 40 percent of the Nation’s traffic. The NHS consists of the
Interstate system, high-priority corridors identified in ISTEA, and the
Strategic Highway Network and connectors, as well as selected principal

Since ISTEA was enacted, the States have been able to use NHS project funding on any road classified as a principal arterial. However, after
congressional approval, Federal funding will be limited to use on NHS

This new system will encourage State DOTs to improve a
limited number of higher priority projects with Federal-aid funds.
Such improvements will address traffic safety and efficiency, and will
also strengthen links with Canada and Mexico.(1)

With the advent of the National Highway System, questions may
be raised about the safety of this system.

what level of effort would be required?

The purpose of this study was to examine these and other
NHS safety issues of interest using the Federal Highway
Administration’s Highway Safety Information System (HSIS).
The HSIS database contains information on accident, traffic,
and roadway characteristics in California, Illinois, Maine,
Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Utah, and Washington
State. This analysis used data from each HSIS State except
Utah. It should be noted that this analysis only includes
routes on State roadway systems.


Michigan State Trunkline Highway System facts for kids

Michigan State Trunkline Highway System
Michigan State Trunkline Highway System

The State Trunkline Highway System consists of all the state highways in Michigan, including those designated as Interstate, United States Numbered (US Highways), or State Trunkline highways. In their abbreviated format, these classifications are applied to highway numbers with an I-, US, or M– prefix, respectively. The system is maintained by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and comprises 9,669 miles (15,561 km) of trunklines in all 83 counties of the state on both the Upper and Lower peninsulas (UP, LP), which are linked by the Mackinac Bridge.


Components of the system range in scale from 10-lane urban freeways with local-express lanes to two-lane rural undivided highways to a non-motorized highway on Mackinac Island where cars are forbidden. The longest highway is nearly 400 miles (640 km) long, while the shortest is about three-quarters of a mile (about 1.2 km). Some roads are unsigned highways, lacking signage to indicate their maintenance by MDOT; these may be remnants of highways that are still under state control whose designations were decommissioned or roadway segments left over from realignment projects.


Michigan Territory

Predecessors to today’s modern highways include the foot trails used by Native Americans in the time before European settlement. Shortly after the creation of the Michigan Territory in 1805, the new government established the first road districts. The federal government aided in the construction of roads to connect population centers in the territory. At the time, road construction was under the control of the township and county governments.


The state government was briefly involved in roads until prohibited by a new constitution in 1850. Private companies constructed plank roads and charged tolls. Local township roads were financed and constructed through a statute labor system that required landowners to make improvements in lieu of taxes. Countywide coordination of road planning, construction and maintenance was enacted in the late 19th century.


 In 20th century

In the early 20th century, the constitutional prohibition on state involvement in roads was removed. The Michigan State Highway Department (MSHD) was created in 1905, and the department paid counties and townships to improve roads to state standards. On May 13, 1913, the State Reward Trunk Line Highways Act was passed, creating the State Trunkline 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.


The US Highway System was created in 1926, and highways in Michigan were renumbered to account for the new designations. Legislation in the 1930s consolidated control of the state trunklines in the state highway department. During the 1940s, the first freeways were built in Michigan. With the introduction of the Interstate Highway system in the 1950s, the state aborted an effort to build the Michigan Turnpike, a tolled freeway in the southeast corner of the LP.



Michigan State Trunkline Highway System
Michigan State Trunkline Highway System

Construction on Michigan’s Interstates started in the latter part of that decade and continued until 1992. During that period, several freeways were canceled in the 1960s and 1970s, while others were delayed or modified over environmental and political concerns. 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.

michigan state

Michigan, constituent state of the United States of America. Although by the size of its land Michigan ranks only 22nd of the 50 states, the inclusion of the Great Lakes waters over which it has jurisdiction increases its area considerably, placing it 11th in terms of total area.The capital is Lansing, in south-central Michigan.


The state’s name is derived from michi-gama, an Ojibwa (Chippewa) word meaning “large lake.”Michigan is the only one of the states to be split into two large land segments: the sparsely populated but mineral-rich Upper Peninsula (commonly called “the U.P.”) slices eastward from northern Wisconsin between Lakes Superior and Michigan, and the mitten-shaped Lower Peninsula reaches northward from Indiana and Ohio.


Indeed, for most Michigan residents, an upturned right hand serves as a ready-made map for roughly locating towns, routes, regions, parks, or any other feature of the Lower Peninsula. The two landmasses have been connected since 1957 by “Big Mac,” the 5-mile (8-km) Mackinac Bridge across the Straits of Mackinac, which separate Lake Michigan on the west from Lake Huron on the east.




Michigan’s population is primarily urban, concentrated in the industrialized centres of the southern Lower Peninsula. Many have been attracted by the union-dominated labour pool, and the state’s urban populations reflect a broad spectrum of ethnic, economic, educational, and professional backgrounds. Such socioeconomic diversity has given rise to an environment in which affluence and poverty often exist side by side; nowhere is this better exemplified than in the Detroit metropolitan region. The state government coordinates a vast network of programs that aim to reduce such contrasts. Michigan’s system of public higher education has consistently remained among the strongest, most diverse, and most widely respected in the country. Area 96,713 square miles (250,487 square km). Population (2020) 10,084,442.

Michigan State Trunkline Highway System
Michigan State Trunkline Highway System


The mildly rolling terrain and generally low elevations that characterize much of Michigan’s countryside appealed to the early agricultural settlers.


The highest point in the Lower Peninsula, near Cadillac, rises only to about 1,700 feet (520 metres). Flat, nearly featureless plains also occur in many parts of the state; these are vestiges of the floors of large glacial lakes that existed some 10,000 to 14,000 years ago. In the mid-19th century, most of these flatlands were malarial swamps that deterred settlers and were the source of much angst for early farmers. Draining of the swamps, a tiring process, has yielded highly productive farmland since that time.


Large sand dunes rim the shores of Lake Michigan. Much of the northern Lower Peninsula and the eastern part of the Upper Peninsula are wooded.



In addition to being virtually surrounded by water, Michigan has an abundance of inland lakes, swamps, wetlands, and waterways. The state’s roughly 11,000 inland lakes, most of which are glacial in origin, range in size from less than an acre to the nearly 20,000 acres (8,100 hectares) of Houghton Lake in the north-central Lower Peninsula. Michigan’s rivers, which generally are shallow and narrow, drain the state’s high interior.


Most of the larger rivers are found in the southern part of the Lower Peninsula, and they flow relatively evenly throughout the year. In the Upper Peninsula, where elevations are higher and snowfall is more plentiful, many rivers have a pronounced peak discharge in spring when the snow melts.

Although several of the rivers, especially in the Upper Peninsula, have waterfalls, the navigability of the state’s waterways and the ease of portaging encouraged early settlement.


Michigan State Trunkline Highway System
Michigan State Trunkline Highway System

Michigan’s soils vary regionally, depending on a number of factors, including climate, landform, and vegetation, as well as wetness, which is mainly a function of texture (various combinations of sand, silt, and clay) and depth of the water table. Fertile clays and loams in the southern Lower Peninsula foster extensive agriculture, while less-productive dry sandy soils dominate in the northern Lower Peninsula. The Upper Peninsula has a few fertile areas, but most of the soil is either sandy and similar to that of the northern Lower Peninsula or wet and swampy.

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Climate of Michigan

The Great Lakes cool the hot winds of summer and warm the cold winds of winter, giving Michigan a more moderate and somewhat moister climate than some other north-central states. Although the Upper Peninsula is cooler, the temperature ranges in Michigan’s far northern and far southern cities do not differ excessively. In the far north, in Sault Sainte Marie, January high temperatures are usually in the low 20s F (about −6 °C), while low temperatures hover near 5 °F (−15 °C); in July temperatures rise into the mid-70s F (about 24 °C) and drop into the low 50s F (about 11 °C) daily.

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