State Trunkline Highway System of the US state of
Michigan is a network of roads owned and maintained by the
Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). The most prominent of these roads are part of one of three numbered highway systems in Michigan: Interstates Highways, US Highways, and the other State Trunklines. Other systems of roads are operated by the 83 counties in the state as well as each city.
Interstate Highways and US Highways are assigned at the national level. Interstate Highways are numbered in a grid—even-numbered highways are east–west highways (with the lowest numbers along
Mexico and the
Gulf of Mexico), and odd-numbered highways are north–south highways (with the lowest numbers along the
Pacific Ocean). US Highways are also numbered in a grid—even numbered for east–west highways (with the lowest numbers along
Canada) and odd numbered for north–south highways (with the lowest numbers along the
Atlantic Ocean). For this reason, mainline (two-digit) Interstate Highways in Michigan all have numbers above 69 and mainline US Highways all have numbers below 45. Three-digit Interstate and U.S. Highways, also known as "child routes," are branches off their main one- or two-digit "parents". The Interstate and US Highways are maintained by MDOT.
Interstate 75 (I-75) and
US Highway 23 (US 23) are the longest examples in the state.
State Trunklines are the other state highways maintained by MDOT. These highways are completely owned and maintained by the state. Michigan highways are properly referred to using the M and never as "Route 28" or "Highway 115", but as M-28 or M-115. The marker used for state trunklines is a diamond with a block-letter "M" at the top. Roads that are maintained by the state but not assigned a state trunkline designation carry an
unsigned highway designation.
County-Designated Highways are assigned numbers in a zone system by MDOT, but maintained by the counties. Each zone is indicated by a letter A–H which is followed by a number based on a grid inside that zone. Each county also maintains any other roadway that is not a state trunkline or a city street. The numbering and signing practices vary from county to county, as does the size of each county's system. Numerical designations typically do not carry over from one county to the next; a CDH that crosses county lines keeps its designation in each county however. County road designations are typically abbreviated "CR" or "Co Rd" followed by the number, and CDHs are abbreviated to just their letter and number assignment.
The highway dates back to the 1930s in Michigan. At the time it was extended into the state, it replaced sections of
M-35. An eight-mile (13 km) segment was significantly reconstructed in the late 1950s, and an alignment change in the 1970s moved the routing of US 45 near
Rockland before it was reversed soon afterwards. A segment of roadway that formerly carried US 45 is the site of the
Paulding Light, a local phenomenon whose origins were scientifically described in 2010. (Full article...)