Michigan...

Glossary
John Dingell Drive:

Back in around 1999-2000 timeframe, a brand new huge "midfield terminal" opened at Metro Airport near Detroit and a new highway was built linking the existing airport roadway system near the north end with Eureka Rd, an east-west road bypassing the airport to the south, with access to the "midfield terminal" en route. Since the highway is inside an airport, there are clearly no private access points. However, this highway is considered an expressway because it does not have many intersecting drives.

Essentially, the highway is built to expressway/freeway standards with controlled access, divided/separated lanes using a jersey barrier and most access via ramps. The highway, known as John Dingell Drive, begins at Eureka Rd on the south side of the airport and proceeds northeasterly passing under a few runways and even underneath the massive parking structure for the midfield terminal. In fact, this portion could almost be considered a full freeway, if it weren't for the lack of inside shoulders and the 35 or 45 mph posted speed limit. (All signs on this new highway were erected by MDOT and are regular, expressway/freeway-grade overhead guide signs using the normal FHWA fonts -- not the goofy non-standard fonts you usually see at airports! And, what's odd, these are officially airport roads, not MDOT roads!)

After passing the new "midfield terminal," John Dingell Dr continues northerly and merges into the long-existing airport roadway system, William Rogell Dr, near the northern end of the airport, via a system of ramps. From the point where Dingell merges into Rogell northerly to the I-94 interchange, Rogell is also an expressway or near-expressway grade roadway, with the exception of a gas station which has direct access at the one true intersection (signalized, at grade) at the road leading to the International Terminal (Burton Dr).

 

Ecorse Road:

In southeast Michigan, Ecorse Rd. is an expressway between US-12 and Belleville rd and borders Willow Run Airport. It has at-grade intersections rather than ramps. This expressway has a service drive on the north side and has no access points on the south side because of the airport.

 

US 2:
There is a short expressway segment of US 2, from just south of Gladstone to Rapid River. 

History:

Date Activity
1971 Completed

 

M-5:
The northernmost segment of Detroit-area M-5, which is a freeway through Farmington and the southern part of Novi, is an expressway. This segment runs from 13 Mile Rd to Pontiac Trail. 

History:

Date Activity
July 1996 Construction began on the southern part of the expressway, running from 13 Mile Rd to 14 Mile Rd.
August 2, 1999 The southern part of the expressway opened
November 1, 2002 The northern part of the expressway, from 14 Mile Rd to Pontiac Trail, opened

 

US 12:
Although most of the Niles Bypass is a freeway, there is a short expressway segment from the interchange with Business 12 to just west of US 31. US 12 is an also an expressway from the east end of the I-94 multiplex (Exit 185) to the junction with BR 12 east of Ypsilanti. 

History:

Date Activity
1953 Segment east of Ypsilanti opened

 

US 31:
There are four segments of US 31 in Michigan that are expressways:

  • The Holland Bypass from the north end of the US 31 freeway to Port Sheldon Rd
  • On the south side of Grand Haven, there is an expressway segment from Ferris St to Robbins Rd
  • Dexter Ave in Elk Rapids to 7 miles north of Elk Rapids, including a bypass of Kewadin, is a Super-2 expressway
  • I-75 to Carp Lake, a distance of 4 miles, is a Super-2 expressway

History:

Date Activity
1953 Holland Bypass opened
1957 Grand Haven expressway opened
1958 Elk Rapids expressway opened
1962 I-75 to Carp Lake expressway opened

 

Business US 31:
There are two expressway segments of Business US 31:

  • Along Seaway Dr from the Jct of I-96 & US-31 southeast of Muskegon to the Shoreline Dr interchange on the west end of downtown Muskegon. (4-6 lanes divided)
  • Along Seaway Dr (aka "Moses J Jones Pkwy" in this area) from Spring St on the east end of downtown to the beginning of the freeway portion at Getty Ave, about halfway between the jct of M-120 and the Jct of US-31. (4-8 lanes div)

 

M-37:
M-37 is an expressway from Alpine Ave between Grand Rapids and Sparta to Apple Ave at Casnovia. From Alpine Ave to Sparta Ave, it is a 4-lane divided expressway. From Sparta Ave to Casnovia, it is a super-2 expressway. 

History:
Opened in 1962. This was originally supposed to be upgraded to be part of a M-37 freeway running from Grand Rapids to Newaygo. Instead, the US 131 freeway was built to the east.

 

US 41:
US 41 is an expressway in Marquette between the east and west junctions with Business 41.

History:

Date Activity
December 5, 1963 Opened

 

M-52:
M-52 is a super-2 expressway on a 4-lane right of way from M-50 west of Tecumseh north to Manchester. The northern terminus of the expressway is at Austin Road, on the eastern edge of Manchester. Access points are at long intervals at the expressway, with only certain crossroads receiving access. 

History:
During the 1950ís and 1960ís, M-52 was planned to be built as a freeway / expressway from Adrian to the north. As part of the construction process, an interchange with the then-proposed US 12 freeway was graded, but construction was never finished. There are currently no plans to complete either highway.
 

Date Activity
1959 Manchester to US 12 completed
1962 US 12 to M-50 completed

 

M-53:
M-53 is a Super-2 expressway on the Romeo Bypass, which extends north from the freeway segment. Upgrading to a 4-lane expressway is underway, and the highway is planned to eventually be upgraded to a 4-lane freeway. 

History:

Date Activity
1989 Construction began as a super-2
1992 Construction of the super-2 complete
2002 Construction began on the widening to a 4-lane divided expressway
2004 Construction will be completed on the widening

 

M-54 / Dort Highway Extension:
M-54 is an super-4 expressway around Grand Blanc (near Flint). The limited access highway starts at I-75 and continues north as far as Hill Road. 

History:

Date Activity
1987 Completed

 

M-60:
M-60 is an expressway along the Niles Bypass.

 

M-63:

M-63 is an expressway in and near St. Joseph/Benton Harbor, Michigan, from the St. Joseph River on the north side of downtown St. Joseph northward to the end of the divided highway, and possibly to Paw Paw Avenue (old M-139). There was an overpowered interchange removed and replaced by an at-grade intersection along the way, but the highway is still expressway grade there.

For more information, and for pictures of the highway before the interchange was eliminated, see http://www.roadfan.com/michrdph.html#bl94.

 

M-66:
M-66 is a 2-lane expressway on a 4-mile segment south of I-94 at Battle Creek. The southern end of the expressway is at E Drive South. Heading north at I-94, the M-66 expressway becomes a freeway (multiplexed with I-194) into Battle Creek. 

History:

Date Activity
1960 Completed

 

Business Loop I-196:
Business Loop I-196 is a 4-lane divided expressway in Zeeland (east of Holland). This expressway segment lasts from Chicago Dr (just west of 112th Ave) east to I-196 east of Zeeland.

 

US 223:
US 223 is a Super-2 expressway on the Adrian Bypass.

 

 

Sources:
Marc Fannin, Chris Bessert, Clinton Moore. Chris Bessert wrote the John Dingell Drive description.
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Last Updated: 3/7/06

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