Michigan Roads - I-75

Above: From the Road Commission for Oakland County, MI, and into my room.

I-75 NB just inside the state border, courtesy Bill Donovan. The exit tab itself could be better, but I'll let it slide. The EXIT ONLY is the problem. You can't do the job halfway like this. Either put the sign overhead so that the arrow actually points to the lane, or say "right lane must exit."

Construction at the US entrance to the Ambassador Bridge to Canada. The ultimate goal of construction is to directly connect I-75 to the bridge instead of mixing with local traffic, but although all the ramps were already completed at this point, piles of dirt sat on them to prevent them from being used and still do at this point. The problem is that MDOT does not want to open the ramps until more of the work on the bridge side is complete, while the bridge owners (a private company) filed suit to force the ramps to open and make travel to and from Canada easier as soon as possible (via their bridge). The subtext is that MDOT wants to construct a new crossing to the south, while the bridge company wants to widen their own existing crossing to keep the money coming in. In fact, part of the US approach to the twinned bridge was constructed already without authorization and certainly without buy-in from MDOT (see the linked page in this caption). So as much as the Ambassador Bridge direct connection is up in the air, the capacity improvement situation is that much worse.

Congratulations, you found the prize. These old-font, 1960's (at latest) shields can still be found downtown. I'll just say they're quite near Tiger Stadium. Click for closeup.

Turning from Trumbull St. SB at Henry St. onto the beginning of the SB frontage road. Hint: you'll want to head toward the location of these photos.

Looking over to Ford Field (home of the Lions) on the NB side, then NB deep in the trenches of downtown.

Atwater St. EB at Rivard St., then looking north from there. I assume these direct traffic to I-375 NB.

Warren Ave. and McNichols Rd., both EB.

This could entice you to try McNichols Rd. Though I don't recommend the neighborhood, I do recommend the old-font shield.

Business I-75/US 24 SB in Pontiac. Woodward Ave. becomes M-1 to the south.

Don't know where this sign came from, but the notched 7 and trapezoidal 5 signify it as a Michigan denizen. It's on my wall now.

SB in Flint approaching Exit 117 for I-69. I oughtn't make fun of construction shields that do their job, but then again, why don't contractors have a ready set of sign blanks already cut out?

A non-cutout Business shield on I-75 SB, courtesy J.P. Nasiatka. A regular white outline would be just fine, but Michigan doesn't think that way.

This cast metal trio sits at the Michigan Welcome Center along Nicolet Dr. near I-75 Exit 338 in Mackinaw City. What about Canadians who exit in the U.P.? Are they not welcome?

Click for a video driving north on the Mackinac Bridge. It would have been even more impressive by daylight and without snow and wind.

I came back during the day just to get you some better coverage of the Mackinac Bridge. These photos look south from the Father Marquette National Memorial on the Upper Peninsula.

In this case, a photo is worth exactly 65 words.

Starting southward across the bridge, with a median that's clearly not up to Interstate snuff. (I imagine it's designed to allow emergency vehicles quick access to the other side, but it can also lead to more incidents requiring emergency vehicles in the first place.) The center of the bridge has an innovative drainage solution that does something I've never seen before: turn a raised median into another part of the steel grate. It's still completely not a median, but it's unique.

A brief look east at Mackinac and Bois Blanc Islands, between which flow the Mackinac Straits to separate Lake Michigan from Lake Huron, and then finishing up my SB journey. Mackinac Island is notable for having one of the only numbered routes anywhere that does not allow motor vehicles: M-185, a ring road used mostly by bicycles. Only the few registered park and emergency vehicles are allowed to operate on any island road, and there's no way to get any other motor vehicle there anyway.

A couple of north-facing bridge photos, although the second one is clearly and unapologetically shot through a rearview mirror.

Finally, here is the view east from McGulpin Point.

Northward across the U.P. (Upper Peninsula). Here is the beginning of the western US 2 and roads so sparse that the Lake Huron Circle Tour must use the Interstate between business routes. Well, not really - it could follow old US 27 instead on Mackinac Trail.

Another toll booth, another bridge, and I end up in Canada. Most of the toll approaches were repainted, but not this one. Click the video to drive north across the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge into Ontario.

By day, but from above, I-75 NB on the Sault Bridge leading up to the border.

Exit 259 to Business I-75, Grayling
See more Ambassador Bridge construction at the 1/2/10 Detroit Road Meet

Into Ohio on I-75
Exit 48 to I-96, US 12, or I-94
To M-10
Exit 51B to M-3
Exit 344B to US 2
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