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Highways 250 through 696

I-275 | M-294 | I-296 | M-311 | M-331 | I-375 | I-475 | I-496 | M-553 | FORMER M-554 | I-675 | I-696 | Jump to Bottom


I-275
Southern Terminus: I-75 at Exit 20 northeast of Monroe
Northern Terminus: Jct I-96/I-275/I-696/M-5 on the Novi/Farmington Hills city limit in southern Oakland Co
Length: 35.01 miles - according to MDOT data*
29.97 miles - according to Route Log and Finder List - Interstate Highways, FHWA*
Map: Route Map of I-275
Notes: I-275 was never completed to its original destination: I-75 northwest of Clarkston near Davisburg. Since this Interstate is designated with an initial even digit, it implies a connection back to its parent route, which was originally intended. All of I-275 was constructed and opened in the mid-1970s, as far north at I-96 & I-696, but further construction was halted there. While the new M-5/Haggerty Connector was constructed on right-of-way originally intended to be part of I-275, further progress in filling the gap between Walled Lake and Davisburg will likely never occur. Reports have cited weathly suburbanites with teams of lawyers as the primary reason the highway may never be completed. On the other hand, residents of northwest Metro Detroit are now complaining of a lack of highway access to the area—access which would have been amply provided by a completed I-275. MDOT hopes the new M-5/Haggerty Connector will relieve some of the pressure on area roads, but others believe it will only bring more congestion to areas near Walled Lake and Commerce, which would then be just that much closer to a 'major highway.' In addition, the decades-old proposed Northwestern Hwy extension will now never be built as intended.
Much of I-275 was constructed in the 1970s with what was termed 'an innovative new concrete technique' called Continuous Reinforced Concrete, which was to eliminate the need for expansion joints in the freeway. After only a few of Michigan's brutal winters, with ample freeze-and-thaw periods, massive longitudnal cracks began developing in the freeway. Years of cracking and patching with asphalt resulted in a freeway surface taking its toll on hundreds of thousands of vehicles each year. Portions of the freeway resembled a war zone, with pock marks and massive cracks at every turn. So, after only twenty years, MDOT decided to reconstruct all of I-275 from Monroe to Novi from top to bottom. The final six miles of reconstruction were completed in late 1999. In comparison, before the M-8/Davison Frwy in Detroit was completely reconstructed, its original road surface had been in constant use since 1944—for 52 years! Needless to say, MDOT no longer uses the Continuous Reinforced Concrete technique!
*Under the "Length" heading above, two separate and rather different figures are quoted as to the length of I-275, slightly more than five miles apart! This is because the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) does not share the opinion with MDOT that I-275 continues northerly from the I-96/Jeffries Frwy & M-14 jct concurrently with I-96 to the massive I-96/I-275/I-696/M-5 interchange in Novi/Farmington Hills. (The 35.01 mile length is measured to the "I-275 ENDS" sign on nbd I-96/I-275 just shy of 10 Mile Rd.)
History: 1968 (Mar 29) - The route of I-96/I-275 is officially determined as a state trunkline for the 7 miles from 5 Mile Rd on the western edge of Livonia in Wayne Co northerly to jct I-696 and existing I-96 on the City of Novi/Farmington Twp line. It would be 8-1/2 years before the freeway along this route would be completed and opened to traffic, however.
  1972 (July 14) - The remaining 30.16 mile stretch of I-275 from I-75 north of Monroe northerly to 5 Mile Rd on the western limit of Livonia in Wayne Co (at the future I-96 merge) is assumed as a state trunkline routing. As with the 1968 segment above, it would be several years before any of this freeway was complete and open to motorists.
  1975 - The first 4 miles of I-275 freeway are opened to traffic from M-153/Ford Rd in Canton Twp northerly to temporary ramps constructed at Schoolcraft Ave in Plymouth Twp between Plymouth and Livonia.
  1976 (Autumn) - I-96/I-275 is completed and opened to traffic from the not-yet-completed interchange with the future route of I-96/Jeffries Frwy (including a connection with I-275 at Schoolcraft Ave and removal of the temporary ramps there) northerly to the I-96/I-696 interchange on the Novi/Farmington Hills city limit. It is assumed I-96 markers are not erected on this segment of freeway pending the completion of the Jeffries Frwy from Livonia to M-39/Southfield Frwy.
  1977 - Two major milestones for I-275 this year:
  • (January) - The remaining portion of I-275 from I-75 north of Monroe to M-153/Ford Rd is completed and opened to traffic six months ahead of schedule. The highway now stretches from I-75 through to I-696, it's present-day length.
  • Also in early 1977, as the MDSH&T and the motoring public are still celebrating the completion of all of the original portion of I-275 on the west side of Detroit, the State Highway Commission cancels the long-standing plans for a northerly extension of I-275 through central Oakland Co to meet up with I-75 near Clarkston. Originally proposed as I-275, a slightly scaled-back version of the highway designated as M-275 is taken off the drawing boards in the advanced stages of planning. The "ghost ramps" and "ghost bridges" at the I-96/I-275/I-696/M-102 interchange originally intended for the northerly extension of the freeway will remain idle for a decade and a half until the coming of the M-5/Haggerty Connector.
Freeway: Entire route.
NHS: Entire route.
Photographs:
Weblinks: I-275 @ Michigan Highway Ends - photos of the termini of I-275 at Dan Garnell's excellent Michigan Highway Ends website.
  I-275 Michigan - listing at Kurumi's 3 Digit Interstates website.
  Interstate 275 Michigan - listing at Interstate-Guide.com, part of the AARoads.com empire.

M-294
Southern Terminus: I-94 at Exit 100 southeast of Battle Creek
Northern Terminus: M-96/E Columbia Ave southeast of downtown Battle Creek
Length: 1.53 miles
Map: Route Map of M-294
Notes: One of the many changes occurring as part of the Rationalization process was the addition of more than 50 miles of formerly county roads and city streets in Calhoun Co into the state highway system. The actual transfers took place October 31, 1998. Among other changes in the Battle Creek area, a brand-new trunkline routing was established and assigned M-294, in reference to its relation to I-94. The new M-294 begins at I-94 and continues northerly via Beadle Lake Rd, merging with Main St several hundred feet south of its northern terminus at E Columbia Ave, also designated as an extension of M-96 in the Rationalization process.
History: 1998 (Oct 31) - As one of several state trunkline transfers in the Rationalization program, Beadle Lake Rd from I-94 to M-96/Columbia Ave in the Battle Creek area is transferred to state control and designated M-294.
  2001 (Jan) - During the second week of January, M-294 route markers are erected along the new highway.
Freeway/Expwy: No portion of M-294 is freeway or expressway.
Photographs:
Weblinks: M-294 @ Michigan Highway Ends - photos of the termini of M-294 at Dan Garnell's excellent Michigan Highway Ends website.

I-296
Southern Terminus: Jct US-131 & I-196/Gerald R Ford Frwy in downtown Grand Rapids
Northern Terminus: Jct US-131 & I-96/M-37 in Walker, north of downtown Grand Rapids
Length: 3.42 miles - according to MDOT data
3.43 miles - according to Route Log and Finder List - Interstate Highways, FHWA
Map: Route Map of I-296
Notes: I-296 is a little-known, unsigned Interstate highway connecting I-96 with I-196 in downtown Grand Rapids. One of the "original Interstates" from the initial Interstate plans of the late-1950s, I-296 was built simply as a part of the already-proposed "Grand Rapids Expressway," which traces its roots back to plans in the late-1940s. In fact, by the time the I-296/US-131 freeway was opened to traffic, US-131 itself had been completed from M-43 at Kalamazoo northerly to downtown Grand Rapids—a distance of more than 45 miles! The I-296/US-131 freeway completed the "Grand Rapids Expressway" north through the city to I-96 on the north side of town. From that point, the US-131 freeway would push on northerly over the next few decades past Cadillac.
I-296 was co-signed with US-131 from the time the freeway was completed until some point in the very late-1970s or around 1980, when all I-296 route markers were removed from the freeway, leaving it signed solely as US-131. This was likely done to minimize motorist confusion, having a second route designation appear for only a 3.4 mile stretch on a US-131 freeway stretching from south of Kalamazoo to the North Country. I-296 is still an "active" route designation and the 3.43 miles of US-131 from I-196 to I-96 is still an Interstate highway, even though it is not signed as such in the field.
History: 1962 (Dec 26) - The entire 3.4-mile long I-296/US-131 freeway route from the proposed junction with I-96 (present-day I-196) in downtown Grand Rapids northerly to an interchange with I-196/US-16 (present-day I-96) north of the city is determined as a state trunkline and likely opens around this time as well.
  1969 - The concurrent M-37 designation is removed from the I-296/US-131 freeway in Grand Rapids and relocated onto I-96 around the northeast side of the city.
  1979 - The last Official Michigan Highway Map with I-296 indicated is the 1979 edition; all references to I-296 are removed on the 1980 map. While it is unclear precisely when the I-296 markers were removed, it likely occurred in 1979 or 1980. I-296 remains as an unsigned Interstate routing from this time forward.
Freeway: The entire length of I-296 is freeway.
NHS: Entire route.
Photographs:
Weblinks: I-296 @ Interstate-Guide.com - photos of the termini of I-296 are included (scroll down) on AARoad's excellent Interstate-Guide.com website.
  I-296 Michigan - listing at Kurumi's 3 Digit Interstates website.

M-311
Southern Terminus: M-60 in downtown Burlington at the cnr of Marshall & Leroy Sts
Northern Terminus: I-94 at Exit 104 east of Battle Creek
Length: 13.72 miles
Map: Route Map of M-311
Notes: One of the many changes occurring as part of the Rationalization process was the addition of more than 50 miles of formerly county roads and city streets in Calhoun Co into the state highway system. The actual transfers took place October 31, 1998. Among other changes in the Battle Creek area, a brand-new trunkline routing was established and assigned M-311, in reference to a large portion of the route travelling via 11 Mile Rd. The new M-311 was originally shaped like an upside-down and backward letter "J" (see description in the "History" section below), but was later shortened to its present length.
Updated Until December 2009, M-311 was an unsigned state trunkline, one of three such routes to come out of the Rationalization process in the late-1990s. It could be assumed M-311 was originally to remain an unsigned trunkline due to its rather convoluted routing via several roads making many turns and actually intersecting Michigan Ave twice within a short distance. Nine years after the route was shortened to run via a rather straight course using only 11 Mile Rd, MDOT began erecting M-311 route markers along the course of the highway.
History: 1998 (Oct 31) - As one of several state trunkline transfers in the Rationalization process, a new rather convoluted route in Calhoun Co is transferred from county to state control and designated M-311. The route begins at BL I-94/E Michigan Ave east of Battle Creek and heads northerly via Raymond Ave to Emmet St, easterly via Emmet to Cooper Ave, northerly again via Cooper to N Dr North, easterly along N Dr North to 11 Mile Rd and southerly via 11 Mile from N Dr North to M-60 in Burlington. None of this highway is signed in the field, however.
  2000 (Oct 18) - All of the "U-shaped" northern portion of M-311 from the routes northern terminus at BL I-94/E Michigan Ave via Raymond St, Emmet St, Cooper Ave, N Dr North and the portion of 11 Mile Rd north of I-94 at Exit 104 is turned back to the Calhoun Co Road Commission and is cancelled as a state trunkline highway. The portion of 11 Mile Rd from I-94 southerly to M-60 in Burlington remains as unsigned M-311.
    2009 (Dec) New! - More than nine years after shortening M-311 to its present length, MDOT begins erecting route markers along the entire length of the highway, thus ending its existence as an unsigned state trunline highway.
Freeway/Expwy: No portion of M-311 is freeway or expressway.
Photographs:
Weblinks: M-311 @ Michigan Highway Ends - photos of the termini of M-311 at Dan Garnell's excellent Michigan Highway Ends website.

M-331
Southern Terminus: Cnr Westnedge Ave & Kilgore Rd on the Kalamazoo/Portage city limit
Northern Terminus: BL I-94/M-43/Michigan Ave in downtown Kalamazoo; cnr Park St & Michigan Ave for nbd M-331, cnr Westnedge Ave & Michigan Ave for sbd M-331
Length: 3.23 miles
Map: Route Map of M-331
Notes: One of the many changes occurring as part of the Rationalization process was the addition of all of Westnedge Ave and Park St south of Michigan Ave in downtown Kalamazoo into the state highway system, designated M-331. The actual transfers took place October 31, 1998. The M-331 designation was chosen in reference to the route following the pre-freeway route of US-131.
M-331 is an unsigned state trunkline, one of three such routes to come out of the Rationalization process in the late-1990s. It could be assumed M-331 is not signed in the field because it terminates at the Kalamazoo city limit instead of a more logical ending place, such as I-94. Since the City of Portage has not transferred control of any of their portion of Westnedge Ave and shows no signs of doing so, M-331 will likely remain unsigned.
History: 1998 (Oct 31) - As one of several state trunkline transfers in the Rationalization program, the portion of Westnedge Ave from ebd BL I-94/M-43/Michigan Ave in downtown Kalamazoo southerly to Kilgore Rd on the Kalamazoo/Portage city limit is transferred to state control along with Park St from ebd BL I-94/M-43/Michigan Ave southerly to where that street merges with Westnedge Ave south of downtown. This route is designated M-331 although it is never signed in the field.
Freeway/Expwy: No portion of M-331 is freeway or expressway.
NHS: Entire route.
Photographs:
Weblinks: M-331 @ Michigan Highway Ends - photos of the termini of M-331 at Dan Garnell's excellent Michigan Highway Ends website.

I-375
Southern Terminus: Jefferson Ave halfway between St Antoine St & Beaubien St in Downtown Detroit, at connection w/BS I-375
Northern Terminus: I-75 at Exit 51 (jct Fisher Frwy & Walter P Chrysler Frwy) north of downtown Detroit
Length: 1.15 miles - according to MDOT data
1.06 miles - according to Route Log and Finder List - Interstate Highways, FHWA
Map: Route Map of I-375
Notes: I-375 is known as the southernmost portion of the Walter P Chrysler Frwy for its entire length. I-75 beginning at I-375 and heading northerly out of Detroit carries the Walter P Chrysler name toward Pontiac. The freeway is named, of course, for automobile pioneer Walter P Chrysler, founder of Chrysler.
I-375 is the shortest Interstate highway in the state, beating I-194 and I-296 by approximately 2-1/4 miles.
Plans are currently afoot to study the possibility of extending I-375 south past Jefferson Ave and looping it west around the Renaissance CenterGeneral Motors' worldwide headquarters—to provide better waterfront access to the freeway system, as well as eliminate a very sharp curve in the freeway at Jefferson. General Motors has expressed much interest in improving the area around its world headquarters at the Renaissance Center.
Some sources have stated I-375 was originally intended to be the route of I-75 into downtown Detroit under early proposals. However, the federal government forced Detroit and the State of Michigan to route I-75 further away from the river, so the remnant spur was designated I-375. This would explain why I-75 currently has to change from the Fisher Frwy to the Walter P Chrysler Frwy north of downtown.
History: 1964 (June 12) - A new 1.163-mile long freeway-and-surface-street spur route from I-75 at the proposed Walter P Chrysler Frwy & Fisher Frwy interchange southerly to Jefferson Ave, then westerly via Jefferson to Randolph St in downtown Detroit is determined as a state trunkline and likely opens to traffic near the same time. The freeway portion of the route, approximately one-mile in length from Jefferson Ave merge (at St Antoine St) northerly to the proposed Fisher Frwy interchange, is designated and signed as I-375, while the remainder of the route via Jefferson Ave from St Antoine St westerly three blocks to Randolph St is designated BS I-375, but likely never signed as such in the field. Leading northerly away from the northern terminus of I-375 is a short segment of completed I-75/WP Chrysler Frwy to I-94/Edsel Ford Frwy.
  1968 - A portion of the I-75/Fisher Frwy freeway from the I-75/I-375 "transition" westerly across the north side of downtown Detroit is completed, bringing the odd transition of I-75 into I-375 at the site of the present-day Chrysler/Fisher interchange to an end.
Freeway: Entire length of I-375 is freeway.
NHS: Entire length.
Business Connection: BS I-375 - Detroit. From the southern terminus of I-375 westerly via Jefferson Ave to jct M-3/Randolph St & M-10.
Photographs:
Weblinks: I-375 @ Michigan Highway Ends - photos of the termini of I-375 at Dan Garnell's excellent Michigan Highway Ends website.
  I-375 Michigan - listing at Kurumi's 3 Digit Interstates website.
    Downtown Detroit Trunklines Map - PDF map showing the official routings and termini of all state trunklines in downtown Detroit. Many of these termini and some of the trunklines themselves are unsigned, making this map particularly helpful.
  Interstate 375 Michigan - listing at Interstate-Guide.com, part of the AARoads.com empire.

I-475
Southern Terminus: I-75 at Exit 111 south of Flint and west of Grand Blanc
Northern Terminus: I-75/US-23 at Exit 125 northwest of Flint
Length: 16.87 miles - according to MDOT data
16.99 miles - according to Route Log and Finder List - Interstate Highways, FHWA
Map: Route Map of I-475
Notes: I-475 is known as the U.A.W. Frwy for its entire length. The United Auto Workers (U.A.W.) was organized in Flint after a long strike held at the Fisher Body assembly plant, which was located on Saginaw St just east of the current freeway. I-475, incidentially, replaced the BUS M-54 designation along Saginaw Ave through Flint, and that street was turned back to local control upon completion of the freeway in the mid-1980s.
As originally envisioned, I-475 would have continued southwesterly from I-75 to hook into US-23 southwest of Flint, to provide a better access route into downtown Flint from the south via US-23. This proposal was never acted upon when I-475 was constructed.
History: 1970 (Apr 10) - A new 17.487-mile long freeway loop through Flint is determined as a state trunkline highway and assigned the I-475 designation.
  1973 (Autumn) - Two segments of the I-475 freeway open, one on either side of the City of Flint. From I-75/US-10 south of the city, I-475 is completed and open northerly to the massive multi-level interchange with M-21/M-78 in downtown Flint, while another segment from I-75/US-10/US-23 easterly to BUS M-54/Saginaw St south of Mount Morris also opens to traffic.
  1981 (Summer) - The final segment of the I-475/Buick Frwy is completed and opened to traffic from I-69/M-21 northerly to Saginaw St in Flint.
  1982-83 - The name of the I-475 freeway through Flint is changed from the Buick Freeway, honoring David Buick, an automobile industry pioneer and founder of the Buick Motor Car Co, to the U.A.W. Freeway, honoring the United Auto Workers and their historic 1936-37 sit-down strike at the General Motors plant on S Saginaw St. Accordingly, the name of the I-69/M-21 freeway through Flint is changed from the Chevrolet Freeway to the Chevrolet-Buick Freeway. In such a major organized labor city like Flint, it was probably a slap in the face to have both named freeways dedicated to automotive pioneers and none to the labor movement, which began there.
Freeway: Entire length of I-475 is freeway.
NHS: Entire route.
Photographs:
Weblinks: I-475 @ Michigan Highway Ends - photos of the termini of I-475 at Dan Garnell's excellent Michigan Highway Ends website.
  I-475 Michigan - listing at Kurumi's 3 Digit Interstates website.
  Interstate 475 Michigan - listing at Interstate-Guide.com, part of the AARoads.com empire.

I-496
Western Terminus: I-96/I-69 at Exit 95 west of Lansing
Eastern Terminus: I-96 at Exit 106A-B southeast of Lansing (at jct I-96, I-496 & US-127)
Length: 11.83 miles - according to MDOT data
11.78 miles - according to Route Log and Finder List - Interstate Highways, FHWA
Map: Route Map of I-496
Notes: I-496 is known as the Ransom E Olds Frwy, named in honor of the founder of both the Oldsmobile Motor Car Co and the REO Motor Co. Oldsmobile, later acquired by General Motors, was headquartered in Lansing (1/2 block south of I-496 on Townsend St) for more than 100 years until 1998, when it was moved into GM's new world headquarters in downtown Detroit. The REO Motor Co may be familiar to some, especially those fans of the rock group REO Speedwagon, named after one of REO's vehicles. Incidentally, Ransom E. Olds' magnificent home was torn down to make way for the freeway which now bears his name.
I-496 is concurrently designated with US-127 between EXIT 8 and its eastern terminus.
History: 1963 (Dec 23) - A new 5.906-mile long state trunkline is officially determined beginning at the newly completed I-96 southeast of Lansing and proceeding northerly to M-43/M-78 at Saginaw St & Grand River Ave between Lansing and East Lansing. The southern two-thirds of the new route is full freeway designated as I-496/M-78/BL I-96, while the portion north of the new Trowbridge Rd interchange (near the Red Cedar River) runs via two parallel streets—Howard St sbd and Homer St nbd—transferred to state control and designated as part of M-78/BL I-96. (One MSHD source shows this northerly portion designated as BS I-496, however the existence of this designation cannot be otherwise verified.) With this new freeway spur, M-78 is routed out of downtown Lansing and now bypasses the city via I-96 from US-27 easterly to I-496 and continues northerly via I-496 and Howard-Homer Sts to its existing route along Saginaw St (ebd) and Grand River Ave (wbd). The former route through Lansing is designated BUS M-78. The BL I-96 routing follows the new I-496 spur northerly to Saginaw-Grand River, then westerly via Saginaw-Grand River and Saginaw-Oakland Sts, northerly via Cedar-Larch Sts, then northwesterly via Grand River Ave back to I-96 northwest of the city.
  1966 (Nov 18) - The new US-127 freeway from Cedar St at Mason to jct I-96 & I-496 is determined as a state trunkline and opened to traffic. The US-127 designation travels northerly from Mason via the new freeway to I-96, then continues northerly via I-496/M-78 into Lansing/East Lansing, where the freeway ends and US-127/M-78 utilize the one-way pair of Homer & Holmes Sts northerly to M-43/BUS M-78 at Grand River Ave-Saginaw St. There, US-127 turns westerly via M-43/BUS M-78/Grand River Ave-Saginaw St to a terminus at US-27 at Cedar-Larch Sts. Essentially, the US-127 designation along I-496 (and Homer-Holmes) supplants the BL I-96 designation on that route and BL I-96 itself is moved westerly to utilize the former US-127 routing along Cedar St.
  1968 - Two developments for I-496 this year:
  • (Oct 22) - The 8.38-mile long east-west portion of I-496 through Lansing (including Trowbridge Rd) is officially determined as a state trunkline highway, however only the portion from I-96 west of Lansing easterly to M-99/Logan St opens to traffic around this same time. The rest of I-496 from M-99/Logan St easterly to the existing spur (I-496/US-127/M-78) on the Lansing/East Lansing limit is still being built.
  • (Nov 29) - The two half-mile long segments of Main St & St Joseph St acting as "service drives" for the new I-496 freeway from the west city limit of Lansing easterly to the ebd off- and wbd on-ramps just west of M-99/Logan St are turned back to local control. Main St & St Joseph St, two one-way pairs, fomerly carried the US-27/BUS M-78 designations, which are transferred onto the new I-496 freeway, although the BUS M-78 designation through Lansing will be dropped with about a year.
  1970 (Dec 18) - The remainder of I-496 through Lansing—from M-99/Logan St easterly to the northern end of the I-496 freeway opened in 1963—is likely completed and opened to traffic around this time. The two one-mile long segments of Main St & St Joseph st acting as "service drives" for the new I-496 freeway from the ebd on- and wbd off-ramps just east of M-99/Logan St to the Grand River bridge are turned back to local control, with the US-27 designation formerly using those streets transferred to the newly-completed segment of I-496 from M-99/Logan St easterly to Cedar St.
Freeway: Entire length of I-496 is freeway.
NHS: Entire route.
Business Connection: CAPITOL LOOP - Lansing. From Exit 5 to Exit 7.
Photographs:
Weblinks: I-496 @ Michigan Highway Ends - photos of the termini of I-496 at Dan Garnell's excellent Michigan Highway Ends website.
  I-496 Michigan - listing at Kurumi's 3 Digit Interstates website.
  Interstate 496 Michigan - listing at Interstate-Guide.com, part of the AARoads.com empire.

Southern Terminus: M-35 just east of Gwinn
Northern Terminus: US-41/M-28 at the McClellan Ave intersection in Marquette, west of downtown
Length: 19.57 miles
Map: Route Map of M-553
Notes: One of the many changes occurring as part of the Rationalization process was the addition of nearly 30 miles of formerly county roads in Marquette Co into the state highway system. The actual transfers took place October 31, 1998. Among other changes in the K.I. Sawyer area, a brand-new trunkline routing was established and assigned M-553, in reference to the former county designation of the roadway: Co Rd 553. The portion of the former Co Rd 553 from McClellan Ave in Marquette to where the former Co Rd 553 ended and City of Marquette jurisdiction begins was not included in the route of M-553. Instead, MDOT assigned the "secret" unposted M-554 designation to this highway.
Until late 2005, the northern terminus of M-553 fell two miles short of intersecting the major state trunkline in the Marquette area: US-41/M-28. This was because the City of Marquette had not been willing to transfer control of McClellan Ave from the northern terminus of M-553 at FORMER M-554 northerly to US-41/M-28. Since local jurisdictions cannot be forced to transfer a road to the state against their will, the City of Marquette seemed unwilling to simply "give" the state control of a 4- to 5-lane road built by the city at great expense during the 1990s.
    Since the designation of M-553 along what had been Co Rd 553 from the southern portion of Marquette to Gwinn in 1998, MDOT has been attempting to negotiate with the City of Marquette to transfer the last "missing link" portion of McClellan Ave in order to bring M-553 to a logical northern terminus at US-41/M-28 west of downtown. Until 2005 the City seemed unwilling to negotiate when WLUC-TV 6 reported the City was in talks with MDOT to trade McClellan from the northern end of M-553 to US-41/M-28 in exchange for the state turning over jurisdiction of all of BUS US-41 through downtown as well as M-554 over to the City along with a $2.5 million lump sum. These jurisdictional transfers became official on October 10, 2005 and M-553 finally reached what most would call its logical northern terminus.
History: 1998 (Oct 31) - As one of several state trunkline transfers in the Rationalization program, all of the 18.5-mile long Marquette Co Rd 553 from M-35 at Gwinn northerly to Marquette is transferred to state control. The portion of Co Rd 553 from M-35 at Gwinn to McClellan Ave in southern Marqutte is designated M-553, while the short 0.9-mile long "spur" portion of Co Rd 553 from the M-553 & McClellan Ave intersection northeasterly to the beginning of city maintenance is designated as unsigned M-554.
  1999 (Sept) - During the second half of September, M-553 route markers are erected along the route of the new highway.
  2005 (Oct 10) - Negotiations between MDOT and the City of Marquette result in several jurisdictional transfers today, including the transfer of McClellan Ave from the northern terminus of M-553 at (former) M-554 northerly to US-41/M-28 west of downtown. For the first time since its determination in 1998, M-553 reaches another through state trunkline route at its nothern end. Also transferred to the City of Marquette on this date are all of unsigned M-554 and BUS US-41 through downtown.
Freeway/Expwy: No portion of M-553 is freeway or expressway.
Photographs:
Weblinks: M-553 @ Michigan Highway Ends - photos of the termini of M-553 at Dan Garnell's excellent Michigan Highway Ends website.

FORMER M-554
Fmr. So. Terminus: Cnr of McClellan Ave & M-553 in the southern portion of the City of Marquette
Fmr. No. Terminus: Cnr Pioneer Rd & Division St in the southern portion of the City of Marquette
Former Length: 0.918 miles
Map: Route Map of FORMER M-554
Notes: One of the many changes occurring as part of the Rationalization process was the addition of nearly 30 miles of formerly county roads in Marquette Co into the state highway system. The actual transfers took place October 31, 1998. Among other changes in the K.I. Sawyer area, a brand-new trunkline routing was established and assigned M-553, in reference to the former county designation of the roadway: Co Rd 553. The portion of the former Co Rd 553 from McClellan Ave in Marquette to where the former Co Rd 553 ended and City of Marquette jurisdiction begins was not included in the route of M-553. Instead, MDOT assigned the "secret" unposted M-554 designation to this highway.
M-554 was earmarked by MDOT has a "turnback candidate," whereby the department hoped to be able to transfer control of the route to the local authorities, likely in exchange for assuming control of McClellan Ave to complete the route of M-553 northerly to US-41/M-28. Thus, MDOT chose not to erect M-554 route markers along this highway, although the locally-installed street name signs clearly indicate the existence of M-554.
    Since the designation of M-553 along what had been Co Rd 553 from the southern portion of Marquette to Gwinn in 1998, MDOT had attempted to negotiate with the City of Marquette to transfer the last "missing link" portion of McClellan Ave in order to bring M-553 to a logical northern terminus at US-41/M-28 west of downtown. Until 2005 the City seemed unwilling to negotiate when WLUC-TV 6 reported the City was in talks with MDOT to trade McClellan from the northern end of M-553 to US-41/M-28 in exchange for the state turning over jurisdiction of all of BUS US-41 through downtown as well as M-554 over to the City along with a $2.5 million lump sum. These jurisdictional transfers became official on October 10, 2005 and M-554 was turned back to local control and ceased to be a state trunkline highway.
History: 1998 (Oct 31) - As one of several state trunkline transfers in the Rationalization program, all of the 18.5-mile long Marquette Co Rd 553 from M-35 at Gwinn northerly to Marquette is transferred to state control. The portion of Co Rd 553 from M-35 at Gwinn to McClellan Ave in southern Marqutte is designated M-553, while the short 0.9-mile long "spur" portion of Co Rd 553 from the M-553 & McClellan Ave intersection northeasterly to the beginning of city maintenance is designated as unsigned M-554.
  c.2002 - The City of Marquette erects all new street name signs along the route of M-554. These signs indicate that to the City, the official name of M-554 is "M-554 Hwy."
    2005 (Oct 10) - Negotiations between MDOT and the City of Marquette result in several jurisdictional transfers today, including the transfer of M-554 from M-553/McClellan Ave northeasterly to the northern terminus of M-554. Also transferred today were McClellan Ave from M-554 to US-41/M-28 (to MDOT) and BUS US-41 through downtown (to the City of Marquette).
Freeway/Expwy: No portion of M-554 was freeway or expressway.
Photographs:
Weblinks: M-554 @ Michigan Highway Ends - photos of the termini of M-554 at Dan Garnell's excellent Michigan Highway Ends website.

I-675
Southern Terminus: I-75/US-23 at Exit 150 east of Saginaw
Northern Terminus: I-75/US-23 at Exit 155 north of Saginaw near Zilwaukee
Length: 7.73 miles - according to MDOT data
7.72 miles - according to Route Log and Finder List - Interstate Highways, FHWA
Map: Route Map of I-675
Notes: When originally constructed, the I-75/US-10/US-23 freeway bypassing Saginaw crossed the Saginaw River on a narrow, four-lane, low-level bascule brridge (drawbridge), which caused nothing but massive traffic jams and headaches for motorists each time the bridge was opened to let a ship pass through. When considering the alternatives to replacing the bridge, one proposal was put forth to reroute all I-75 freeway traffic onto I-675 through downtown Saginaw. Fortunately for the city of Saginaw, this idea was eventually dismissed for a variety of reasons, and the new I-75/US-23 Zilwaukee high-level bridge was constructed instead.
History: 1969 (Jan 24) - A new 7.930-mile long Interstate freeway loop through Saginaw is officially assumed into the state trunkline system, designated I-675. The freeway will not be completed for another 2-1/2 years, however.
  1971 (Oct 22) - Several jurisdictional transfers of state trunklines to local control occur on this day for routes effectively replaced by I-675, so it is assumed the I-675 freeway is completed and opened to traffic about this time. Other evidence supports this theory as well.
Freeway: Entire length of I-675 is freeway.
NHS: Entire route.
Photographs:
Weblinks: I-675 @ Michigan Highway Ends - photos of the termini of I-675 at Dan Garnell's excellent Michigan Highway Ends website.
  I-675 Michigan - listing at Kurumi's 3 Digit Interstates website.
  Interstate 675 Michigan - listing at Interstate-Guide.com, part of the AARoads.com empire.
  The Zilwaukee Bridge - details the history of both Saginaw River crossings at Zilwaukee, including information on the old bascule bridge, the new high-level bridge and the infamous August 1982 construction accident.

I-696
Western Terminus: Jct I-96/I-275/I-696/M-5 on the Novi/Farmington Hills city limt in southern Oakland Co
Eastern Terminus: I-94 at Exit 229 on the Roseville/Saint Clair Shores city limit
Length: 29.24 miles - according to MDOT data
29.39 miles - according to Route Log and Finder List - Interstate Highways, FHWA
Map: Route Map of I-696
Notes: I-696 is known as the Walter P Reuther Frwy for its entire length. Reuther was an early leader in the United Auto Workers union, campaigning for the rights of the line workers at the many automobile factories in Detroit. When originally opened, I-696 was more commonly referred to as "The Reuther", but "I-696" is becoming equally popular today when referring to the highway. Even though recent sign rehab projects by MDOT have been slowly removing signs with the "Walter P Reuther Frwy" legend on them, the name will likely not fade from use.
The first portion of the Reuther to be completed was the stretch from I-96 in Novi to US-24/Telegraph Rd and M-10/John C. Lodge Frwy (then called US-10/Northwestern Hwy). For several years, a BS I-696 designation ran down the Lodge Frwy from the end of I-696 into downtown Detroit. The next portion of I-696 to open to traffic was the I-75 to I-94 stretch on Metro Detroit's east side, leaving a 7 mile gap in the freeway for almost 15 years. In 1989, the final portion of I-696 was completed between US-24/Telegraph Rd in Southfield and I-75/Walter P. Chrysler Frwy in Madison Heights, using a variety of techniques, including extensive use of retaining walls and cut-and-cover tunnels. I-696 today is a major east-west thoroughfare in Metro Detroit.

Several site visitors have written asking if 11 Mile Rd in Macomb Co was designated M-6 prior to the completion of the I-696/Walter P Reuther Frwy between I-75 and I-94 in the mid-1970s. At that time, the only source available which showed an M-6 running along 11 Mile Rd was the AAA road map of Michigan from that time period—it never appeared on any of the Official highway maps of Michigan. It seemed doubtful that the M-6 on the AAA map was anything but a simple cartographic error. This is until Mike Austerman, webmaster of the Michigan Broadcast Guide wrote in with the following:

When construction of phase II of I-696 was going on (between I-94 and I-75, primarily in Macomb county) during the 1970's, the service drive was designated as M-6. Throughout much of Macomb county, I-696 lies directly on what was 11 Mile Rd. Today, the service drive is known as 11 Mile Rd. I remember riding my bicycle on the new concrete on yet-to-be opened freeway- and the road signs with M-6 on them. As soon as 696 opened to traffic, the M-6 signs were gone. They never used them for phase III - between I-75 and the 'Mixing Bowl' (then US-10, US-24, and M-4).
As with much of I-275 in the western Metro Detroit suburbs, portions of I-696 were constructed in the 1970s using the "Continuous Reinforced Concrete" method, which eschewed the common practice of adding expansion joints to the concrete surface in exchange for additional reinforcement in the concrete. As with I-275, long longitudnal cracks developed in the surface due to traffic loads and the yearly freeze-thaw cycles of Michigan weather. In the late-1990s, all of this "CRC" surface was removed and replaced using "normal" construction methods.
History: 1962 - Even before any portion of I-696 is complete, the portion of the John C Lodge Expwy currently open to traffic—from downtown Detroit at Cobo Hall northerly to Meyers Rd in northwest Detroit—is designated BS I-696.
  1963 (Dec 2) - The first 8.9-mile long segment of I-696 from I-96 on the City of Novi/Farmington Twp line easterly to the  US-24/Telegraph Rd & Northwestern Hwy interchange in Southfield is officially determined as a state trunkline highway and is likely opened to traffic near this date as well. In addition, the remainder of the BS I-696/John C Lodge Expwy is opened at this time as well, creating, in a sense, one long through freeway from Novi into downtown Detroit, signed as I-696 to US-24/Telegraph Rd and as BS I-696 via the Lodge from US-24/Telegraph Rd into downtown.
  1968 (Mar 29) - The 10.652-mile long eastern third of the I-696 freeway is officially assumed into the state trunkline system on this date, from I-75 on the Madison Heights/Royal Oak city limit easterly to I-94 in Roseville. This section of I-696, however, will not open to traffic for more than a decade.
  1970 - After eight years, the BS I-696 designation along the John C Lodge Frwy from I-696 at the US-24/Telegraph Rd interchange southerly into downtown Detroit is "decommissioned" as a trunkline designation, being replaced by a rerouting of US-10 in the area.
  1979 (Jan) - During the first week of January, the eastern third of I-696 from I-75 to I-94 opens to traffic. However, the freeway will be closed again in early spring for up to two months for some finish work which could not be finished in the cold winter months. This section of the freeway was originally scheduled for completion in late-1977.
  c.1984 - Work commences on the final middle section of the I-696/Walter P Reuther freeway from US-24/Telegraph Rd in Southfield to I-75 on the Madison Heights/Royal Oak limits.
  1986 (Spring) - During the spring of this year, the first, albeit short, segment of the middle portion of I-696 is opened to traffic when the eastbound freeway is made available to motorists from Campbell-Hilton in Royal Oak easterly to the I-75 interchange.
  1989 (Dec 14, 5:00pm) - Just in time for the height of the evening rush, the final middle section of I-696 is opened to traffic is opened at 5 pm on this day, finally completing a freeway first envisioned in the late-1950s and where the first segment opened 26 years earlier. The Detroit Free Press notes at 6:21 pm—less than an hour and a half after opening to traffic—the new middle segment of the Reuther Frwy experiences its first automobile accident, when three cars collide on the westbound lanes just east of M-1/Woodward Ave in Royal Oak.
Freeway: Entire length of I-696 is freeway.
NHS: Entire route.
Photographs:
Weblinks: I-696 @ Michigan Highway Ends - photos of the termini of I-696 at Dan Garnell's excellent Michigan Highway Ends website.
  I-696 Michigan - listing at Kurumi's 3 Digit Interstates website.
  Interstate 696 Michigan - listing at Interstate-Guide.com, part of the AARoads.com empire.

 

I-275 | M-294 | I-296 | M-311 | M-331 | I-375 | I-475 | I-496 | M-553 | FORMER M-554 | I-675 | I-696 | Up to Top


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