The Long And Short Of It: Five Unique Michigan Highways
From the shortest Interstate highway in the country to the busiest state highway, here's five highways that are little different from the norm in our state.
Let's start up north where the shortest state highway is M-212. The road is a scant 7/10ths of a mile long, or about 3696 feet. It runs from M-33 just south of Cheboygan to the small community of Aloha which is on Mullet Lake.
Until 1996, M-209 in the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore was the shortest at 4/10ths of a mile, but that road was turned over to the Leelanau County Road Commission and lost its state highway designation.
The least traveled state highway is in the Eastern Upper Peninsula where M-48 carries only about 3200 vehicles a day between DeTour and Pickford. I was just up there after Labor Day and I swear I saw only one car in a ten mile span just outside of DeTour, but the drive is pretty, especially in the fall.
M-119, also known as the 'Tunnel of Trees' also sees very few cars per day, at least until fall when that number quadruples, according to state statistics.
The most traveled highway is M-39 or the Southfield Freeway, between Plymouth Road and the Jeffries Freeway, it sees about 150,000 cars per day. By contrast, the Grand Rapids area's busiest road, M-11 or 28th Street hits about 40,000 cars daily.
And, of course, the only state highway that doesn't allow motor vehicle traffic is M-185 on Mackinac Island, which of course is reserved for bikes, scooters, and horses, not necessarily in that order.
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