Michigan Highways: Since 1997.

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M-22 & M-109 junction route signage in Glen Arbor, Michigan

Historic US-102

Historic US-102Jump to: Historical Overview | Year-by-Year History | Additional Information

US-102 was one of the original U.S. Highways designated in Michigan, although it did not last very long. Originally branching from US-2, its "parent" route, at Crystal Falls, US-102 ran northerly to Covington, then easterly for a short distance to end at US-41. Designated in 1926, signed in the field in 1927 and "decommissioned" in 1928, this route has the distinction of being the first signed U.S. Highway ever decommissioned! It was replaced by a northerly extension of US-141 into Michigan from Wisconsin.

New! 2024-03 Historic US-102 Route Maps

Historical Overview

As noted above, US-102 only existed for a very short time during the late 1920s and, as such, has very little history to review. However, even before the first US-102 route markers were erected in the Upper Peninsula, there was a slight disagreement over where it should be routed. When first proposed in 1925, the US Highway System generally looked as it would once finally approved and marked in the field. But, there was still some disagreement among the various heads of the state highway departments as to the paths some of these routes would follow. Some of the disagreements were major, as in the case case of US-60, which would have followed the route later numbered US-66, while others were more minor adjustments.

As originally proposed, US-102 began at US-2 in Rapid River, followed the modern-day US-41 corridor northerly and westerly through Marquette, Negaunee, Ishpeming, Champion and Michigamme, and terminted at US-41 near Covington. Also as first proposed, US-41 would have turned westerly at Powers to run concurrently with US-2 through Iron Mountain, Florence (Wisc.), and Crystal Falls before continuing northerly along present-day US-141 to Covington, where it would have met US-102, then on toward L'Anse and Baraga. US-141 would have only existed in Wisconsin had this original system been implemented.

US-141 Route MarkerIn late 1926, the various states, through the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO), finally came to agreement over the new US Highway System. This final system relocated US-102 onto its final routing from US-2 west of Crystal Falls northerly to US-41 at Covington, supplanting the former M-69 designation along that route, while US-41 was moved onto its present-day corridor, replacing M-15. US-141 was still just a Milwaukee-to-Green Bay, Wisconsin highway.

During its short existence, internal State Highway Department documents and maps indicate no reroutings or realignments took place along the entire length of US-102. Then during 1928, the states of Michigan and Wisconsin collaborated to extend US-141 northerly from Green Bay, Wisconsin along US-41 to Abrams, Wisconsin, then northerly to Niagara, Wisconsin, crossing into Michigan and joining with US-2. The US-2/US-141 combo continued northwesterly through Iron Mountain, back into Wisconsin passing through Spread Eagle and Florence, before returning to Michigan and continuing northerly through Crystal Falls. On the west side of Crystal Falls, US-141 diverged from US-2 and was routed northerly via what had been US-102 to Covington, then easterly along M-28 to a terminus at US-41. Thus, Michigan's US-102 was relegated to the history books.

Year-by-Year History

1926 (Nov)
US-102 is commissioned, at the same time as the rest of the US Highway System, linking US-2 near Crystal Falls with US-41 near Covington, following the present-day US-141 corridor.
(May 15)

The new US Highways make their signed debut along the state trunklines of Michigan. US-102 route markers are erected along what had formerly been designated M-69 from US-2 (formerly M-12) at Crystal Falls northerly to M-28 at Covington, then easterly concurrently with US-2 to the northern terminus of US-102 at US-41 (formerly M-15).
(Nov 12)
The State Highway Depts in Michigan and Wisconsin jointly petition the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) to extend the route of US-141 from Green Bay northerly into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan near Quinnesec, then running concurrently with US-2 through Iron Mountain, back into Wisconsin via Florence, then back into Michigan and into Crystal Falls. There, the US-141 extension is to replace US-102 in its entirety from Crystal Falls to US-41 near Covington. The actual text of the minutes of the Executive Committee meeting are somewhat terse, stating, "U. S. 141 was extended, absorbing U. S. 102 in Michigan."
Updated 2023-10 As the first signed US Highway to be decommissioned, just 18 months after the system was first posted in the field, the US-102 route markers are removed from the route between Crystal Falls and Covington, being replaced with US-141 route markers, calling an end to the one of the shorter-lived US Highway routes to have ever existed.


Additional Information