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M-40
US-41 Route Marker On to Next Route:
Former M-41
Southern Entrance:    From Marinette, Wisconsin at the City of Menominee via the Interstate Bridge over the Menominee River
Northern Terminus:    2½ miles east of Copper Harbor at the Horseshoe Harbor Rd turnaround
Length: Updated 278.985 miles
Maps: Route Map of US-41
Notes: The northern terminus of US-41 is not at another highway or in a city or town, but at a cul-de-sac 2½ miles east of Copper Harbor in remote Keewenaw County. A gravel logging/forest access road leads away from the end of the highway, which has a monument and sign signifying the northern end of a highway which begins in Miami, Florida.
  When examining a highway map of the Upper Peninsula, one might wonder just why US-41 "tees" into US-2 from the south at Powers instead of running directly between Menominee and Escanaba. In the 1920s and even into the 1930s, the State Highway Department had long-range plans to continue US-41 directly north of US-2 at Powers on new alignment through northern Menominee and southern Marquette Cos to the Gwinn area, then northerly via the present-day M-553 corridor into Marquette. Thus, the "eastern detour" through Escanaba, Gladstone and Rapid River was intended as a temporary routing which became the permanent route when the Powers-to-Marquette route was never built.
  US-41 follows a somewhat convoluted routing in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, first running northerly, then easterly to Escanaba, then northerly again to Marquette. From there US-41 runs westerly for 56 miles, until heading northerly again toward Houghton and Hancock. On the Keweenaw Peninsula, US-41 slowly bends to the east before ending east of Copper Harbor. Also, the shortest and quickest route between Menominee and Escanaba is not US-41, rather M-35 follows the more direct route along the Green Bay shoreline.
  Marquette's BUS US-41 routing is no longer. 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 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 BUS US-41 ceased to be a state trunkline highway, ending a 42-year existence.
  New! In "State Trunkline Needs, 1960–1980," a set of maps prepared by the State Highway Dept's Office of Planning, Programming Division in 1960 showing possible additions, upgrades and improvements to the state trunkline system over the ensuing twenty years, MSHD staff recommended many changes to the route of US-41 during that timeframe, including:
  • The most major change proposed for US-41 involved a major relocation between Powers and Negaunee. Instead of running concurrently with US-2 from Powers to Rapid River, US-41 was proposed to run due northerly from Powers to Neguanee before turning west on its existing alignment. The proposed US-41 would have followed an all-new highway alignment from Powers to the small hamlet of Arnold on Co Rd 426 in southern Marquette Co. From Arnold, it would have followed present-day Co Rd 557 to approximately 2 miles north of the Big West Branch of the Escanaba River where it would have continued due northerly on a new alignment to M-35 at Princeton west of Gwinn. From there, US-41 was proposed to have continued northerly in the M-35 corridor to Negaunee, although on a new, straighter alignment with the former route of M-35 turned back to local control. US-41 would have turned westerly in Negaunee to follow BUS M-28 back to the existing US-41 route west of Ishepeming. M-35 was then proposed to take the place of US-41 from Gladstone to Rapid River and then north to Marquette and westerly back to Negaunee. The portion of M-35 from Gladstone through Perkins, Rock, Little Lake, and Gwinn to Princeton was proposed to be redesignated as M-41 (possibly a placeholder designation that would have never made it onto signs in the field). This entire proposed realignment of US-41 from Powers to Negaunee and Ishpeming was to have been undivided highway and the proposal was never acted upon.
  • Converting the exsting alignment of US-41/M-28 to an uncontrolled-access divided highway from the west limits of Ishpeming westerly to the Clarksburg area in Marquette Co. From the Clarksburg area westerly, US-41/M-28 was to be relocated to a new alignment as an uncontrolled-access divided highway on an arrow-straight route to the community of Beacon just west of Champion, with the former route being turned back to local control. The new alignment portion of this proposal was not constructed, but the portion of the route heading west from Ishpeming was eventually converted to a five-lane cross section with a continuous left-turn lane.
  • Constructing another new alignment for US-41 beginning at the Pilgrim River crossing just north of the Portage Lake Golf Course southeast of Houghton and continuing northwesterly on a direct route, not following any existing or historic roadway to a junction with a proposed new alignment M-26 bypass of Houghton approximately at the location of the present-day Houghton Elementary School south of the intersection of Military Rd & Jacker Ave. US-41 and M-26 were then proposed to continue together northerly via Military Rd and then Bridge St back to the existing route at the foot of the newly completed Houghton-Hancock Lift Bridge. The former route of US-41 between the Pilgrim River and Houghton was to have been designated as BUS US-41. This proposal was never implemented.
History: 1918–1925 During the first half of the 1920s, prior to the creation of the U.S. Highway System, the route of US-41 in Michigan is desginated M-15 in its entirety, from Menominee via Powers, Escanaba, Rapid River, Marquette, L'Anse, Houghton, Hancock to Copper Harbor. Interestingly, the southerly continuation of M-15 into Wisconsin at Menominee-Marinette is designated STH-15 (Wisconsin State Trunk Highway 15). It is unclear if one of the states designated their "15" first, or if the joint designation was planned.
  1926 With the debut of the U.S. Highway System, all of M-15 in Michigan is redesignated as US-41 from Wisconsin at Menominee to its terminus at Copper Harbor.
  c.1930 US-41 is extended easterly from Copper Harbor to Fort Wilkins State Park and possibly past that to its present-day northern terminus.
  1932 A new US-2/US-41 bypass of the community of Wells and much of Escanaba opens. Official maps of the time, however, show the old route being retained as a state highway until 1935. It is unclear whether the old route continued on with the M-35 designation or was an unsigned state highway. By 1935, however, the former route is turned back to local control.
  1932 (Oct 29) US-41 is rerouted in Houghton County's Franklin Twp onto new alignment. The former routing from Lower Pewabic through the community of Boston via present-day Boston Rd is turned back to local control.
  1934 Previously, M-28 and US-41 used on separate alignments from a point three miles west of downtown Marquette into Negaunee. The M-28 designation is transferred from present-day Co Rd 492 to run concurrently with US-41. The former M-28 is turned back to local control.
  1936–37 Several changes to US-41 in this timeframe, specifically:
  • A new US-41/M-28 "bypass" around the north side of Negaunee and Ishpeming is opened.
  • A slight realignment at Trenary also opens to traffic with the former route being turned back to local control.
  • The route of US-41 is realigned for seven miles beginning at Rapid River and heading northerly onto a new, more-direct alignment. The former route is turned back to local control.
  • Finally, a short realignment near Alberta in central Baraga Co shaves a mile from the route with the former route being relinquished to the county.
  1937 (Aug 30) New!US-2/US-41/M-35 is realigned in downtown Gladstone. Formerly heading north from Lake St (present-day Lake Shore Dr) via Central Ave (present-day 10th St) to Wisconsin Ave, then east one block via Wisconsin to 9th St where it turned notherly via 9th, the new route continues via Lake St (Lake Shore Dr) via new curve leading directly into 9th St where it now proceeds northerly to the former route at Wisconsin Ave. The former route is turned back to city control on this date.
  1938 An additional four miles of US-41 are realigned north of the seven miles re-routed in 1937 north of Rapid River. US-41 now runs due northerly from Rapid River to Trenary.
  1940 A realignment of US-41 bypasses the community of Carlshend in Marquette Co., subtracting three miles from the route with the former alignment turned back to local control.
  1948 US-41/M-28 is realigned from Nestoria westerly to jct US-141/M-28 in central Baraga Co onto a more direct routing.
  1949 The realignment completed in 1948 (see above) is extended with new roadway from jct US-141/M-28 northerly to Alberta completed. The former route is turned back to county control.
  1949 (Nov 7) New! A short, new 0.996-mile alignment for US-2/US-41 on the north side of Gladstone is completed and opened to traffic, cutting across a small inlet on Little Bay de Noc via landfill shortening the route by 0.2 mile. The new alignment runs along present-day N 9th St from Court St northerly, continuing via Lake Shore Dr to Buckeye Ave. The former route along Buckeye Ave southwesterly to Bay Dr is turned back to local control. It is assumed the portion from Bay Dr southerly parallelling the Soo Line Railroad to 9th St at Court St is also turned back to local control and remains open, although this portion of roadway would be abandoned and partially obliterated by the construction of the US-2/US-41 expressway between Gladstone and Rapid City in the early 1960s.
  1952 The final two short gravel-surfaced segments of US-41 are paved in Baraga Co, as is a several mile stretch in central Keweenaw Co. US-41 in Michigan is now completely hard-surfaced.
  1953 The M-35 designation is routed concurrently with US-41/M-28 from Negaunee westerly to Baraga, forming a three-way concurrency, to connect the two previously discontinuous portions of M-35. See the article "M-35: The Highway Henry Ford Stopped" for more information.
  1957 (June 17) A slight realignment on the south side of Chassell 'smoothes out' a sharp turn in the highway. The segment of former US-41 bypassed by the new alignment is largely turned over to local control on this date.
  1957 (Nov 25) Updated A new alignment of US-41/M-28 is officially determined as a state trunkline along its present-day routing from Heritage Dr/JAD in Neguanee to Northwoods Rd/HIA west of Marquette. The former route along Heritage Dr/JAD, Forest Cir/JB, CR-502/Midway Rd, Co Rd JPC-HPB and Northwoods Rds/HIA is turned back to local control, although the new alignment is not yet completed and opened to traffic.
  1958 (July 3) New! Seven miles of divided US-41/M-28 highway from Marquette westerly to Negaunee are opened to traffic.
  1959 (Dec 20) – The Houghton-Hancock Lift Bridge opens to traffic, replacing the old swing bridge completed in 1905. The following taken from "Historic Highway Bridges of Michigan" by Charles K Hyde (1993, Wayne State University Press, ISBN 0-8143-2448-7):

The state of Michigan completed the present bridge in 1959 at a cost of $13 million... The Houghton-Hancock Bridge is a double-deck structure, with a fout-lane roadway on the upper deck and railroad tracks on the lower deck. The bridge has a total lengh of 1,310 feet, with a lift span 268 feet long, supported by twin steel towers 180 feet tall. When trains use the bridge [which hasn't happened since the 1980s- CJB], it remains in its lowest position, and highway traffic uses the automobile level. When the railroads are not using the bridge, the operator leaves the structure in an intermediate position, with vehicular traffic using the railroad deck, allowing small boats to pass underneath. For the passage of large ships, the main span can be raised to provide clearance of 104 feet. Portage Lake is part of the Keweenaw Waterway, which bisects the Keweenaw Peninsula and offers Great Lakes vessels a sheltered passage from storms, especially the gales of November.

  1962 (Sept 10) Updated A limited-access expressway (no private driveway access, but featuring intersections at select crossroads) US-2/US-41/M-35 bypass of downtown Gladstone is completed and opened to traffic. It runs from Lake Shore Dr southwest of downtown Gladstone to a point just north of jct M-35/4th Ave to the north where it merges back with the former route at the intersection of present-day Rains Dr. The former route of US-2/US-41/M-35 through downtown Gladstone via Lake Shore Dr and 9th St—as well as the one block of former M-35 along 4th Ave from 9th St to the new bypass—is turned back to local control.
  1963 (Nov 22, 12:00 Noon) Updated A new US-41/M-28 bypass of downtown Marquette is completed and opened to traffic. The route is a partially-limited access expressway, with access only at select crossroads. (Other intersecting roads are either closed off or are grade-separated via overpasses.) The former route of US-41/M-28 through downtown along Front St & Washington St becomes BUS US-41/BUS M-28.
  1968 With the redesignation of M-35 as M-38 between Baraga and Greenland, the concurrent M-35 designation along US-41/M-28 in Baraga and Marquette Counties is removed.
  1969 (Oct 26) New! At its regular meeting at the Sheraton Hotel in Philadelphia, the U.S. Route Numbering Subcommittee of the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) defers action on a request from the Michigan Dept of State Highways to also designate the BUS M-28 routing at Ishpeming-Neguanee as BUS US-41. This would indicate that this route had never been officially designated as BUS US-41 before this time.
  1970 (July 1) US-41 is realigned on the east side of the City of Houghton to bypass the central portion of the campus of Michigan Technological University to the south. The former route of US-41 along College Ave through the heart of the Michigan Tech campus is transferred to local control on this date. (The July 1, 1970 date comes from MDSH Trunkline Establishment Maps, while MDOT Right-of-Way maps indicate the abandonment date for Old US-41 to be two years earlier on Mar 18, 1968. The reason for the discrepancies in the date is yet unclear.)
  1970 (Nov 6) New! – Following up on its previous meeting, at the regular meeting the U.S. Route Numbering Subcommittee of the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) at the Shamrock-Hilton Hotel in Houston, the group officially denies the MDSH request for a BUS US-41 designation along BUS M-28 at Ishpeming-Neguanee. No reason for the denial is given in the official record.
  1971 (Nov 15) Updated A new limited-access "expressway" routing of US-2/US-41 is completed and opens between Gladstone and Rapid River. The new highway has access only at key intersections, no driveways or intersections with lesser roads. In fact, this "expressway" had originally been intended to be a full freeway, according to State Highway Department sources. With the completion of the US-2/US-41 expressway alignment from just north of the M-35 jct in Gladstone (near present-day Rains Dr) and Rapid River, the former route of US-2/US-41 is turned back to local control.
  1977–81 Concerning the BUS US-41/M-28 routing through downtown Marquette: According to the 1978-79 Official Highway Map, the business route designations through downtown (both BUS US-41 and BUS M-28) were completely removed. On the 1980 Official Highway Map, though, the former routing was again displayed as it had been on before 1978. On the 1981 map, the concurrent BUS M-28 designation was shown removed and only the BUS US-41 designation remaining. Whether some of these changes were mapmaking errors or actual changes to the state highway system is unclear. Regardless, it can be assumed the route remained a state trunkline even if signage was removed for a short period.
  1994 New! The 18-mile stretch of US-41 from Central to Copper Harbor is designated as the state's first Scenic Heritage Route.
  2002, 2004 New! Much of the remainder of US-41 in Keweenaw Co, from Mohawk to Central, is also designated as part of the Scenic Heritage Route in 2002. The portion of the route from Houghton northerly to Mohawk was tacked onto to the Scenic Heritage Route in the spring of 2004.
  2004 (Nov 1) The Interstate Bridge spanning the Menominee River and carrying US-41 from Marinette, Wisc into Menominee, Mich is closed and demolition begins. This 75-year-old structure is being completely removed and replaced with a brand new bridge on the same location. The new bridge is scheduled to open to traffic by December 1, 2005. [MDOT Press Release]
  2005 (Sept 22) New! The route of US-41 from Houghton to its northern terminus at Copper Harbor is designated as a National Scenic Byway.
  2005 (Oct 10) Negotiations between MDOT and the City of Marquette result in several jurisdictional transfers today, including the transfer of the route of BUS US-41 through downtown to local control. Also transferred on this date are all of unsigned M-554 to the City of Marquette and McClellan Ave from (former) M-554 northerly to US-41/M-28 west of downtown to MDOT as part of M-553.
  2005 (Nov 22) The US-41 Interstate Bridge connecting Menominee with Marinette, Wisc is opened to traffic today, having been closed for nearly 13 months. The final details will be complete in the next few weeks and a ribbon-cutting ceremony is to be held in early December.
  2005 (Dec 3, 3:30pm) The US-41 Interstate Bridge connecting Menominee with Marinette, Wisc is officially completed today with a ribbon-cutting held at the center of the bridge. This wraps up a 16-month project which saw the complete removal of the 1929 structure and the construction of a brand new bridge from the ground (er, water) up. Additional work was performed along US-41 through downtown Marinette, Wisconsin. According to the late Dick Lund's excellent photo-essay of the construction, the Honorary Ribbon-Cutter at the ceremony was Mrs. Catherine (VanCamp) Anderson, "who, as a girl of 12 was a holder of the ribbon which was cut to open the previous Interstate Bridge in a 1930 ceremony."
  2007 New! Two segments of US-41 are included in the overall designation of the U.P. Hidden Cost Recreational Heritage Route between Menominee and Gladstone:
  • From the Michigan/Wisconsin state line on the Interstate Bridge in Menominee northerly through the city to the M-35 jct.
  • From the southern US-2/US-41 & M-35 jct at Escanaba northerly to the northern Gladstone city limit at Mather Ave.
  2010 (October) New! A 1.2-mile long segment of US-41 was relocated away from the Keweenaw Bay shoreline by approximately 100 feet due to ongoing erosion of the cliffs along the shoreline. The segment is approximately 5 miles north of Baraga near the community of Keweenaw Bay, beginning at the Old US-41-Jurmu Rd intersection to a point approximately 0.7-mile north of the Sturgeon Rd intersection. The old roadway was obliterated.
Controlled Access: No portion of US-41 is freeway.
  Expressway: Two segments of US-41 exist as expressway:
  1. Updated From 0.3 mile north of Lake Bluff Rd just south of Gladstone to Brampton Rd-75 Rd intersection, just west of the the jct of US-2 & US-41 at Rapid River. (8.6 miles)
  2. Updated In Marquette from the intersection with Jackson St just south of the eastern jct of Former BUS US-41 at Front St to the western jct of Former BUS US-41 at Washington St. (1.8 miles)
Circle Tours:
Lake Michigan Circle Tour Marker
Lake Michigan Circle Tour in two segments:
  1. From the southern entrance at the Wisconsin state line on the Interstate Bridge in Menominee to jct M-35 on the north side of Menominee.
  2. From the southern jct of US-2/US-41 & M-35 in Escanaba to the northern jct of US-2 & US-41 at Rapid River.
 
Lake Superior Circle Tour Marker
Lake Superior Circle Tour in two segments:
  1. From the eastern jct of M-28 at Harvey (near Marquette) to southern jct of M-203 in Hancock.
  2. From the third jct with M-26 in Laurium to fifth and northernmost jct of M-26 in Copper Harbor.
Pure Michigan
Byways:
Scenic Heritage Route MarkerCopper Country Trail Scenic Heritage Route & National Byway: From Houghton to the northernmost jct with M-26 in Copper Harbor.
  Recreational Heritage Route MarkerUpdated U.P. Hidden Coast Recreational Heritage Route: From the Michigan/Wisconsin state line on the Interstate Bridge in Menominee to jct M-35 on the north edge of Menominee and from jct US-2/US-41 & M-35 in Escanaba northerly to the northern city limit of Gladstone on US-2/US-41 at Mather Ave.
NHS: From the southern entrance at the Wisconsin state line at Menominee to jct M-26 in downtown Houghton.
Business Connection: FORMER BUS US-41 – Marquette. Formerly from east jct US-41/M-28 on the south side of downtown to west jct US-41/M-28 on the west edge of the city.
Photographs:  
Continue on: Updated US-41 into Wisconsin - via the Wisconsin Highways website
Weblinks:
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