Michigan has been designating certain routes as memorial highways since about 1925. These memorializations have commemorated an historical event, a prominent individual or certain group of people. Some of the earliest memorial highway designations are still used today, although many have long since faded into oblivion. In fact, in 2000-01 MDOT performed an audit to ascertain just how many memorial highways have been created over the years and found more than fifty such designations. Most of these memorializations were in the form of legislative acts or resolutions and, unfortunately, no central record of the designations was kept.
In 2001, the Michigan House proposed legislation, which was signed into law in October of that year, creating a single statue for the consolidation of memorial highway names. It was found that some highways had been dually-memorialized—where two different memorial designations had been assigned to the same stretch of roadway. This new act, known as the "Michigan Memorial Highway Act," consolidated the various memorial highway designations into a single statute and requires MDOT to erect the highway signage denoting the designation once "sufficient private contributions have been received to pay the cost of erecting those markers," according to the bill text.
In the future, additional information regarding the various Memorial Highways in Michigan will be included here, along with maps depicting the locations of these highways. In the meanwhile, however, please visit the MDOT "Memorial Highway Search" website, linked below, for more information.