Michigan Highways: Since 1997.

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M-22 & M-109 junction route signage in Glen Arbor, Michigan
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US-2 Route Marker On to Next Route:
Former M-2
Western Entrance:   Enters Michigan from Wisconsin at Ironwood along Cloverland Dr
Eastern Entrance:   Enters from Wisconsin concurrently with US-141, 10.0 miles south of Crystal Falls
Length (Segment):   109.147 miles
Western Entrance: Enters from Wisconsin concurrently with US-141, 4.04 miles northwest of downtown Iron Mountain
Eastern Terminus: I-75 at Exit 344 in St. Ignace (at jct I-75 & BL I-75)
Length (Segment): 195.995 miles
Length (Total): 305.141 miles
Map: Route Map of US-2
Notes: US-2 exists in Michigan in two segments, dipping back into Wisconsin for approximately 15 miles between Crystal Falls and Iron Mountain. The western segment is nearly 100 miles long and runs from Ironwood to south of Crystal Falls, while the eastern portion is nearly twice as long at 196 miles and runs from near Iron Mountain to the route's eastern terminus at St Ignace. Interestingly, the overall national routing of US-2 also exists in two segments: From Everett, Washington to St Ignace and from Rouses Point, New York to Houlton, Maine.
  Sometime in the early 1990s, MDOT began erecting milemarkers along this western segment of US-2. Smaller than the standard Interstate highway-type milemarkers, these new markers were posted on one side of the pavement between Ironwood and the US-41 junction at Powers. No other non-freeway milemarking was evident in any other portion of the Upper Peninsula. Then in c.2014–15, MDOT erected milemarkers along the eastern segment of US-2 westerly from St Ignace to the Mackinac/Schoolcraft Co line east of Blaney Park. However, unlike the milemarkers on the western segment which begin at the western entrance of US-2 from Wisconsin at Ironwood and increase as you travel easterly, the ones on the eastern segment begin at the eastern end of US-2 in St Ignace and increase as you head west, ending at Mile 62 near the Schoolcraft Co line! (The convention for milemarking in the U.S. is to begin at zero at the western and southern ends of routes and increase as you head easterly or northerly.) Reversing this decision in 2017, MDOT removed the Mackinac Co reverse milemarkers erected just a couple years prior and replaced them with new milemarkers using the cumulative distance along US-2 from Ironwood. Just east of what had been posted as Mile 1, one mile west of I-75 at St Ignace, is now posted as Mile 319, with the mileage from Ironwood including the approximately 15 miles that US-2 spends in Wisconsin between Crystal Falls and Iron Mountain. Similarly, during 2017, milemarkers were erected along M-28 parallel to US-2 to the north.
  New! 2024-04 Starting in 1978 and then with increased earnestness starting in 1986 and throughout much of the 1990s, a bypass around the City of Iron Mountain and other alternatives for US-2 & US-141 was discussed and studied at length. See the Iron Mountain Bypass (1978-1999) article on the In Depth portion of this website for the story on how the bypass never came to be.
  New! 2023-04 In October 1982, the Reflective Systems Unit of MDOT began reviewing the state trunkline sytem and "discovered a substantial number of dual and some triple routing on both the free access and limited access system." The result of which was forwarded to "the Trunkline Numbering Committee in an attempt to reduce as much of this unnecessary routing as possible in an attempt to avoid driver confusion and save funds." (Although, at this point, US-2 and I-75 had been concurrent for 25 years with no known reports of "driver confusion.") That December, the MDOT Transportation Planning unit proposed to eliminate "US-2 Signing from St. Ignace to Sault Ste. Marie." In March 1983, the Supervising Engineer of the Reflective Safety Unit replied "The District Traffic and Safety Engineer, Paul Michelin, and we concur that US-2 could terminate at St. Ignace. We recommend that the department contact AASHTO and proceed to remove US-2 along I-75." Then in June 1983, the change was approved by AASHTO and the US-2 route markers along I-75 from Saint Ignace to Sault Ste Marie were removed soon after.
  Approximately 15½ miles of US-2 in Iron Co, from Iron River to Crystal Falls, were designated as a Historic Heritage Route in 2000 as the Iron County Heritage Route. While the officially-designated Historic Heritage Trail is the 16 miles of US-2 from Crystal Falls to Iron River, the "Iron County Heritage Trail" itself is "composed of a 36 mile loop connecting 14 premier sites that provide visitors the opportunity to discover the historic and recreation resources of Iron County." The loop continues south from the Heritage Route's western end in Iron River via M-189, then turns east via CR-424 through Caspian, Gaastra and Alpha, before returning to Crystal Falls via US-2/US-141. Thus, the Iron County Historic Heritage Route is only a portion of the overall Iron County Heritage Trail.
  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 several major upgrades to the route of US-2 during that timeframe. They included:
  • Upgrading the existing route of US-2 from the eastern limits of Ironwood through Bessemer to jct M-28 in downtown Wakefield to a four-lane, divided highway. Only a portion of the segment was divided (between Ironwood and the west side of Bessemer), but that was converted to an undivided five-lane cross-section with a continuous left-turn lane decades later.
  • Realigning US-2 onto new highway alignment from Gogebic Station to Watersmeet with the former route being turned back to local control. This realignment was completed soon after, in 1965.
  • Upgrading the existing route of US-2 from the east side of Iron River to the western jct of US-2 & US-141 just west of Crystal Falls to a four-lane, divided highway. This project was never implemented.
  • Upgrading the existing route of US-2 to a four-lane divided highway from the Wisconsin state line northwest of Iron Mountain to the northern limits of Iron Mountain; from the eastern limits of Iron Mountain through Quinnesec to the western limits of Norway; from the eastern limits of Norway past Loretto, Waucedah, and Hermansville to the north edge of Powers; from the eastern limits of Powers to the western limits of Escanaba. Only the portion between Iron Mountain and Norway was ever upgraded and this segment was later converted to a five-lane undivided cross-section with a continuous left-turn lane.
  • Construction of a US-2/M-35 freeway beginning at the existing route of US-2/US-41 on the western limits of Escanaba and heading northerly and northeasterly past Gladstone to US-41 (which would've been redesignated as M-35 under the plans) about two miles north of Rapid River, approximately 1–2 miles west of the existing alignment. A proposed BUS US-2/BUS M-35 routing was proposed along the exisitng route from Escanaba north to Gladstone, then westerly along existing M-35 to an interchange with the proposed freeway on the west edge of Gladstone. The M-35 routing from Gladstone into Marquette Co was to have been redesignated as M-41 with M-35 continuing along the proposed US-2 freeway to Rapid River. Where M-35 was proposed to depart this proposed freeway at existing US-41 north of Rapid River, a new M-69 routing on all new alignment was also proposed to meet, running just north of due west from that location into northern Menominee Co. A somewhat scaled back version of this proposal was implemented, with a new alignment expressway segment (no private driveways, but access via at-grade intersections) being built from the south side of Gladstone to the north side of Gladstone in 1963 and from there northerly to Rapid River opening in 1971. The remainder of the Escanaba bypass was never realized, nor was the rerouting of M-35 designation and the designation of the new M-41 between Gladstone and Negaunee.
  • Construction of a new alignment US-2 freeway heading east from north of Rapid RIver, running almost due east approximately 3–4 miles north of the existing route. The proposed US-2 freeway would have interchanged with M-149 just south of Indian Lake State Park before turning northeasterly to an interchange with M-94 (and a proposed BUS US-2 route) on the northwest corner of Manistique. The freeway would bypass Manistique to the north, meet the other end of the proposed BUS US-2 route at Co Rd 433, then take off almost due northeasterly before starting to curve back toward the east in the Blaney Park area, interchanging with M-77 immediately north of the existing US-2 junction. The proposed US-2 freeway would then have run due easterly within less than a mile of the existing route of US-2 past Engadine and Naubinway, gently curving to the southeast to remain roughly parallel to the existing route and the Lake Michigan shoreline. From Brevort, the freeway would have run due southeasterly into St Ignace, ending at an interchange with I-75 in the area of the existing Portage St exit (Exit 345). The entire route of the existing US-2 between Rapid River and St Ignace was to have been turned back to local control, with a short exception on the east side of Manistique (even though most of the proposed BUS US-2 at Manistique would have followed a route other than the existing US-2). Obviously, none of this proposal ever saw the light of day.
History: 1926 – With the creation of the US Highway system, US-2 supersedes the entire route of M-12 in Michigan, with the exception of the portion between Crystal Falls and Iron Mountain, where US-2 dips into Wisconsin.
  1927 (May 15) – The new US Highway designations across the state of Michigan officially become effective today, with US-2 superseding the entire route of M-12 in Michigan, as noted above.
  1930 – The first 4-mile stretch of what would later become US-2 is completed from M-28 (now 5 Mile Rd) to Dafter in Chippewa Co—it seems this stretch was un-numbered for the time being.
  1930 – US-2/US-41 is relocated in Delta Co to its current alignment from Ludington Ave in Escanaba to north of Wells. The former route along M-35 retained the M-35 designation until the M-35 bypass of Escanaba was completed, while the former US-2/US-41 along Ludington Ave from downtown westerly to the new highway was turned back to local control.
  1932–34 – US-2/US-141 was realigned onto its present routing from just north of downtown Iron Mountain to the Wisconsin state line, including a new bridge over the Menominee River, completed in 1934. While official MDOT sources show this section of highway was completed in segments in 1932 and 1934, the change does not show up on the Official highway map until 1939. The former route of US-2/US-141 along Bass Lake Rd and Co Rd 607 was turned back to local control.
  1932 (Nov 1) – The new interstate bridge between Wisconsin and Michigan spanning the Montreal River in the northwestern corner of Ironwood is completed and work is proceeding on the approach from the Wisconsin side of the river. Construction on the $10,653 bridge began in September with costs shared equally between the two states. Unfortunately, work on the extension of Cloverland Dr, the route of US-2 through Ironwood, westerly to the new bridge has not yet begun.
  1933 (Feb 15) – Exactly 0.5 mile of new alignment state trunkline highway is officially established as part of the planned US-2 connection between existing Cloverland Dr from Superior St westerly to the Montreal River bridge leading into Wisconsin. Construction on the short segment of new highway will not begin until later in the year.
  1933 – A major realignment between St Ignace and Sault Sainte Marie is completed, shaving 11 miles from the route of US-2. Formerly, US-2 headed northerly from Rogers Park (north of St Ignace), then easterly to the Les Cheneaux Islands area along much of present-day M-134, then northerly via present-day M-129 to Sault Ste. Marie. The entrire former route of US-2 was renumbered as M-121 at the time. The route was realigned onto what is more commonly known as "Mackinac Trail" (present-day H-63).
  1933 (Oct 1) – The ½ mile of new concrete joining the new interstate bridge spanning the Montreal River between Ironwood and Hurley, Wisconsin to the existing segment of Cloverland Dr in Ironwood is finally completed and the US-2 "bypass" of downtown Ironwood and Hurley is opened to traffic nearly a year after the bridge itself was completed. This segment of highway has been assumed into state highway system in early 1933.
  1933 (mid-Dec) – The former route of US-2 through Ironwood—having been bypassed by the westerly extension of Cloverland Dr to the new interstate bridge spanning the Montreal River and continuing into Wisconsin 2½ months prior—is signed with a new trunkline designation: US-2A.
  1934 – A new, more direct alignment opens between Beechwood and Iron River in Iron Co. The former route is turned back to local control.
  1935 (July 3) – The $160,000 US-2 bridge spanning the Michigan Northern Power Co canal in Sault Ste Marie is dedicated by State Highway Commissioner Murray D. Van Wagoner and opened to traffic after being under construction for 11 months. Several engineering challenges caused some difficulty in constructing the bridge, including hitting bedrock just 30 feet below the level of the water in the canal.
  1935 (Oct 28) – Two of the three segments of the relocated US-2 route between easternmost Delta Co southwest of Cooks and Manistique via the hamlet of Thompson are established as state trunkline routes: the 9.017 miles from exisitng US-2 southwest of Cooks easterly to Thompson and from the Stoney Point area southwest of Manistique into Manistique. These segments are likely opened to traffic, although not signed as part of US-2 until the entire relocation between Cooks and Manistique is completed—existing US-2 (along present-day Co Rd 442) remains signed as is.
  1936 – A new, more-direct alignment of US-2 opens between Rapid River and Ensign in Delta Co, with the former route being turned back to local control.
  1936 (early July, Dec 9) – The final 2.959-mile long stretch of the new US-2 relocation between easternmost Delta Co just west of Cooks and Manistique in Schoolcraft Co via Thompson is completed and opened to traffic by Early July from Thompson northeasterly toward South Manistique. The relocated highway has opened in stages over the past two years, but mainline US-2 has continued to be signed over its existing "inland" route past Indian Lake and through the hamlet of Cooks until this final segment is completed. The final 2.959-mile segment from Thompson northeasterly along the Lake Michigan shoreline is finally officially established as a state trunkline route on December 9. Existing US-2 between eastern Delta Co just west of Cooks and Manistique remains a state trunkline highway route, however, and it's unclear when the US-2 route markers are moved to the newly-constructed route and how long the former route remains signed as US-2. In addition, the enterity of M-125 (connecting former US-2 with the Thompson State Fish Hatchery) is redesignated as part of M-149 while the 1.35-mile long county roadway from the southern end of M-125 at the fish hatchery southerly to a jct with relocated US-2 in "downtown" Thompson is now "marked-and-maintained" as part of M-149, although a formal establishment for that portion of the route has not yet happened. (M-149 was formerly just a spur route northerly from the former US-2 route to Palms Book State Park.)
  1937 (Aug 30) – While the new, more southerly alignment of US-2 between the Cooks area and Manistique in southwest Schoolcraft Co has been open to traffic since early August 1936 (and was officially established as a trunkline route in segments over the previous two years), the former route of US-2 along present-day Co Rd 442 has remained a state trunkline route. Not only is that route cancelled as a trunkline route on this day (with the exception of the portion to be redesignated as part of M-149) and turned back to local control, but the 1.35-mile long county roadway from the southern end of the former M-125 at the Thompson State Fish Hatchery southerly to relocated US-2 in "downtown" Thompson is also officially established as a state trunkline highway and transferred from county to state jurisdiction.
  1937 (Aug 30, Dec 29) – The final segments of the new alignment of US-2 in Mackinac Co between Brevort and St Ignace are officially established as a state trunkline route on December 29 and likely open about the same time, however the former route of US-2 from Brevort easterly via Worth Rd to Moran, then southeasterly via Tahquamenon Tr (present-day M-123) to US-31 at Rogers Park is turned back to local control on August 30! The first 18 miles of the new highway were completed in 1936, linking Brevort with the present-day westernmost intersection of US-2 & Pointe La Barbe Rd west of St Ignace. The final 5 miles into St Ignace were completed in 1938 and the US-2 designation is transferred to its present routing. The newly built highway takes US-2 along the Lake Michigan shoreline from Brevort, past Gros Cap, and into St Ignace. There, the US-2 routing supplants the US-31 designation northward to Rogers Park and the former route. While it could be assumed that either of these dates is when US-31 is removed from the U.P. and truncated back to the State Highway Ferry Docks in Mackinaw City, official State Highway Dept maps will continue to show US-2 and US-31 running northerly from St Ignace concurrently to Rogers Park through 1939, where the US-31 designation appears to simply end while US-2 continues northerly toward Sault Ste Marie. One could speculate why the MSHD didn't remove the US-31 symbol from the UP portion of the route until 1939, but it may have also been a cartographic error as well.
  1936–37 – The route of US-2 is realigned and straightened for approximately 6 miles in either direction of Marenisco, subtracting two miles from the distance, with the part west of Marenisco completed in 1936 and the part east in 1937. Much of the former route is turned back to local control.
  1937 (Aug 30) – 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.
  1939 (Mid) – By mid-1939, the route of US-2A leading from US-2/Cloverland Dr southerly and southwesterly into downtown Ironwood and then onward to the Wisconsin state line at the Montreal River, is redesignated and re-signed as M-54.
  1939 – A new alignment opens for approximately 5 miles to the east of Wakefield in Gogebic Co. The former route is turned back to local control.
  1939 – A new alignment opens northeast of Gulliver (formerly White Dale) in Schoolcraft Co, shaving 2 miles from the route. The former route along today's Co Rd 432 and Co Rd 433 is turned back to local control.
  1940 – A new, straighter alignment of US-2/US-141 opens from south of Crystal Falls to the Wisconsin state line. The former route is turned back to local control.
  1940 (Oct) – Although the shoreline alignment for US-2 between Gould City and Epoufette by way of Naubinway in western Mackinac Co was officially established as a state trunkline route in January 1935, it takes the State Highway Dept almost six years to complete the project. With new US-2 route complete and open to traffic, the former route along Hiawatha Trail west of Garnet to naer Gould City is prepared to be turned back to local control in the next month while the north-south portion along Hiawatha Trail between the new US-2 route at Epoufette and M-48 at Caffey Corner (east of Rexton) is redesignated as M-117. In between, the formerly concurrent US-2/M-48 segment along Hiawatha Trail between Garnet and Caffey Corner retains just the M-48 designation. The entirety of the new segment of US-2 is paved, with the paving portion of the project alone coming to $300,000, and the new alignment route saves nine miles over the former route.
  1940 (Nov 12) – In an apparent effort to correct a one-tenth of a mile in the gap of the officially established route of US-2/US-141/M-95 on the north edge of downtown Iron Mountain in Dickinson Co, the portion of Stephenson Ave from just south of Third St northerly to approximately Hamilton St is officially assumed into the trunkline system. As this is a correction, this short segment has always been signed as US-2/US-141/M-95.
  1940 (Nov 12) – Also on the same date, the former route of US-2 along Hiawatha Trail in western Mackinac Co from Gould City (west of Engadine) east-northeasterly through Engadine and Gilchrist to M-48 near Garnet is officially cancelled as a trunkline route and turned back to county control. The new shoreline route of US-2 between Gould City and Epoufette by way of Naubinway was opened to traffic the previous month.
  1940–41 – A newly-constructed, paved alignment opens from just west of US-45 at Watersmeet to the Golden Lake area west of Beechwood in Iron Co and saves 5 miles on the route. Much of the new highway alignment was graded in 1939 and 1940, some of it passable at that time. Final paving was completed in 1941. With the new alignment, which bypasses Watersmeet to the south, all of US-2 in Michigan is finally completely paved.
  1941 (Apr 19) – Construction begins on the steel superstructure of the Cut River Bridge, spanning the Cut River Gorge in central Mackinac Co east of Epoufette. The Cut River Bridge is the final link in the realignment of US-2 along the Lake Michigan shore from Gould City to St Ignace, begun in 1936 and will reportedly be the "highest highway bridge in Michigan" when complete. Further construction on the bridge and its approaches is halted by World War II. During the halt in construction during the war, US-2 traffic is maintained on Cut River Rd.
  1942 (Aug 10–15, 17) – The route of M-54 in Ironwood, which begins at US-2/Cloverland Dr & Douglas Blvd and continues southerly 7½ blocks to Frederick St, southwesterly one block via Frederick to Suffolk St, southeasterly 2 blocks along Suffolk to Aurora St, then southwesterly 4 blocks to a point approximately 125 feet beyond Albany St where it terminates, is redesignated in its entirety as BUS US-2, with new route markers replacing the existing M-54 signs Aug 10–15. Additionally, the remaining 0.3 mile of Aurora St from the previous end of M-54 to Silver St and Silver St westerly the Montreal River on the Wisconsin state line is added to the BUS US-2 route. This additional 0.3 mile is officially transferred to state control on Aug 17. The new bi-state business route is craeted after an agreement with Wisconsin highway officials results in a completion of the loop from US-2 into downtown Hurley, then northerly back to US-2 via US-51.
  1942–44 – In 1942, the M-28 designation is extended westerly along US-2 from Wakefield to the Wisconsin state line at Ironwood.
  1948 (Aug 15) – The magnificent Cut River Bridge finally opens to traffic with the completion of the bridge deck and approach roadways. The former route along Cut River Rd is turned back to local control.
  1948 – US-2 is realigned onto a direct route between Bessemer and Wakefield in western Gogebic Co, subtracting a mile from the distance.
  1948 – The M-28 designation is extended northerly along US-2 from its eastern terminus to end in Sault Ste. Marie.
  1948 – Also in 1948, the final three gravel-surfaced segments of US-2 in the U.P. are fully paved: in the vicinity of the Cut River Bridge in Mackinac Co, at Iron River in Iron Co, and between Wakefield and Bessemer in Gogebic Co.
  1949 (Sept 23) Updated 2023-04 – Effective September 23, 1949, the vast majority of US-2 was designated as the "United Spanish War Veterans' Memorial Highway." Specifically, Act 104 of 1949 designated US-2 from Sault Ste Marie to Iron Mountain, M-95 from Iron Mountain to Sagola, M-69 from Sagola to Crystal Falls and US-2 again from Crystal Falls to Ironwood as a memorial to those who fought in the Spanish-American War.
  1949 (Nov 7) – 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.
  1950 (Mar 19) Updated 2023-04 – Act 144 of 1950, effective March 19, 1950, officially designates US-2/US-41/M-35 "from the north city limits of the city of Escanaba running north 1.1 miles to the junction of county road number 426, also known as the extension of Sheridan Avenue" as the "Amvets Memorial Drive".
  1950 – After just two years co-signed with US-2, M-28 was scaled back to its pre-1948 terminus at US-2, removing the concurrent designation.
  1951 – The concurrent M-28 designation from Wakefield to Ironwood is removed from US-2 when M-28 is scaled back to end in Wakefield at its pre-1942 terminus.
  1952 (Sept 18) Updated 2023-04 – Effective September 18, 1952, the portion of US-2 running from St Ignace to Sault Ste Marie was designated as part of the "Blue Star Memorial Highway," in addition to the entire route of US-31 in the Lower Peninsula from Niles to Mackinaw City. Act 71 of 1952 made the designation official.
  1956 (Mar 16) – A bill to add US-2 to the Interstate highway system is introduced into the U.S. Congress, although it would not be destined to become law.
  1957 (Nov 1) – The brand-new Mackinac Straits Bridge is opened to traffic along with its approach roadways and including an interchange with US-2 in Saint Ignace adjacent to Straits Stae Park.
  1957 (Nov 13) – A 3.8-mile long segment of new freeway is completed and opened to traffic from existing US-2/Mackinac Tr from immediately north of Castle Rock in the Saint Ignace area to the existing route of M-123 at Rogers Park, all in Mackinac Co. While the new segment of highway does not feature any interchanges along its short alignment, it is built along the proposed route of the future I-75 running between St Ignace and Sault Ste Marie, but is signed as US-2 for now. Interestingly, this segment of highway and all of the future I-75 route through Mackinac Co will not be officially established as a state trunkline route for another five years!
  1957 (Aug 21) – The Michigan State Highway Dept officially anounces the US-27 designation will be the one that graces the Mackinac Bridge between the Lower and Upper Peninsulas when it opens later in the year. Also announced are plans, already approved by state and federal transportation officials, to extend US-27 from St Ignace northerly along the new freeway being constructed in the US-2 corridor to a new terminus at Sault Ste Marie. Essentially, US-27 is to replace US-2 between the Straits and the Soo.
  1958 (Mid) – By mid-1958, the State Highway Dept's plans to extend the US-27 designation from St Ignace northerly along the new freeway being constructed between there and Sault Ste Marie is abandoned. US-27 was to have replaced US-2 between the Straits and the Soo, but internal department maps show the new plan is to transfer US-2 onto the new freeway segments as they are completed with the I-75 designation joining it on the route as well.
  1960 (Nov 12) New! 2023-10 – A 4.1-mile long segment of the I-75/US-2 freeway at St Ignace in Mackinac Co is completed and opened to traffic, beginning at the US-2 interchange at the northern end of the Mackinac Bridge approach (opened in 1957) and continuing northerly through a new interchange for BL I-75 north of St Ignace and merging into the existing segment of freeway that was completed and opened to traffic in November 1957. The project cost $4 million to complete. Most of the existing route of US-2 through downtown St Ignace is redesignated as BL I-75, while the portion of former US-2 along Mackinac Tr from BL I-75 northerly to the former connection to the 1957 freeway segment remains an unsigned state trunkline highway for four more days.
  1961 (Nov 16) New! 2023-10 – The 4.6 miles of the former route of US-2 along Mackinac Tr from BL I-75 (formerly US-2) at Evergreen Shores north of Saint Ignace northerly to the intersection with the (slightly) relocated M-123 at Rogers Park in Mackinac Co is turned back to local control, four years after most of this segment had been bypassed by a new segment of US-2 freeway (later I-75/US-2, now just I-75). (One MDOT right-of-way map, however, shows that former US-2 along Mackinac Tr in the area of M-123 was turned back to county control on Dec 12, 1960, although that may be an error.)
  1962 (Sept 10) – 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. The limited access expressway project was initially supposed to have continued on through from Gladstone to Rapid River, however protests from motel and other tourist-oriented business owners along the existing highway caused the State Highway to shelve the plans for the project north of Gladstone initially, even though 40% of the right-of-way for the new expewssway alignment have been acquired at this point, mostly on the southern end of the Gladstone-Rapid River segment.
  1962 (Oct 31, Nov 5) New! 2023-10 – The new International Bridge linking the twin Sault Ste Maries of Michigan and Ontario and crossing the St Marys River/Soo Locks is completed and the three miles of I-75/US-2 freeway heading southerly away from the bridge to Three Mile Rd is also opened to traffic on October 31. The former route of US-2 into downtown Sault Ste Marie is redesignated as BS I-75, with 0.51 mile of Three Mile Rd assumed into the state trunkline highway system between the new freeway and existing US-2 along Mackinac Tr used as the connector between the two routes. The official establishment of the northernmost three miles of the I-75/US-2 freeway occurs on November 5, as does the jurisdictional transfer of the 0.51 mile of Three Mile Rd between the freeway and Mackinac Tr.
  1962 (Dec 5) New! 2023-10 – A 6-mile segment of I-75/US-2 freeway is completed from Tone Rd (present day M-80 at Exit 378) near Kinross to Mackinaw Trail at Dafter in central Chippewa Co. Route markers are removed from the former route of US-2 along Mackinac Tr, which will be jurisdictionally transferred to the county in 1963.
  1963 (July 23) New! 2023-10 – A four-mile segment of I-75/US-2 freeway in central Chippewa Co is completed and opened to traffic from M-48 at Rudyard (present-day Exit 373) northerly to Tone Rd (present-day M-80) at Kinross, where it connects with the six-mile segment of freeway opened to traffic the previous December. This segment of freeway cost $1.5 million to construct. US-2 is transferred from its Mackinaw Trail alignment onto the new freeway and the former route will remain an unsigned trunkline route until the end of the year.
  1963 (Nov 1 11:30am, Dec 5) – The remaining two uncompleted segments of the I-75/US-2 freeway in the Upper Peninsula are completed and opened to traffic on November 1 at an 11:30 am dedication ceremony. The 47.81-mile long route of I-75/US-2 from the M-123 interchange at Rogers Park north of Saint Ignace northerly to the BS I-75/Three Mile Rd interchange on the southern city limit of Sault Sainte Marie is officially assumed into the state trunkline system on December 5. Also on December 5, the former route of US-2 along Mackinac Tr from M-123 in Mackinac Co northerly to the southern jct of M-48 three miles south of Rudyard, and the former US-2 from the northern jct of M-48 at Rudyard northeasterly along Mackinac Tr to Three Mile Rd at the southern city limit of Sault Sainte Marie is turned back to county control. The two new segments of I-75/US-2 freeway to physically open to traffic are:
  • From M-123 north of St Ignace to M-48 at Rudyard (present-day Exit 373).
  • From Mackinac Tr near Dafter (approximately Mile 384) to BS I-75/Three Mile Rd at Sault Ste Marie.
  1965 – A new highway alignment between Marenisco and Watersmeet opens with the old route along Old US-2 being turned back to local control.
  1971 (Nov 15) – 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.
  1976 (Aug 6) – As the Dept of State Highways & Transportation continues planning for a new US-2 bridge spanning the Manistique River south of the existing US-2 "Siphon Bridge" in Manistique, the newly-appointed Manistique City Manager objects to departmental plans to turn back the eastern two-thirds of the existing route of US-2 through the city to municipal control (and routing M-94 along the Chippewa Ave leg of the route), which would place maintenance responsibility of both the former US-2 route and the Siphon Bridge in the city's hands. The MDSH&T agrees to flip their proposed jurisdictional transfer so that Chippewa Ave from Deer St southerly to relocated US-2 would be turned back to the city while the remainder of existing US-2 and the Siphon Bridge would remain under state control as an extension of M-94.
  1978–1999 New! 2024-04 – A bypass for US-2/US-141 around the City of Iron Mountain and other possible traffic congestion mitigation alternatives are studied. See the Iron Mountain Bypass (1978-1999) article on the In Depth portion of this website for details.
  1979 (Aug 23) New! 2024-03 – The State Transportation Commission approves the reconstruction and partial relocation of US-2 in Mackinac Co. The project, estimated to cost $46 million, spans from I-75 at St Ignace westerly to M-117 at Engadine and calls for the construction of 42.6 miles of divided highway and 5.4 miles of five-lane, undivided highway as well as a new span over the Cut River. The improvements are part of a larger plan to provide a upgraded facility across the U.P. for "improved safety and handling peak summer traffic."
  1981 New! 2024-04 – A new interstate bridge on US-2/US-141 spanning the Menominee River north of Iron Mountain is completed and opened to traffic, replacing the 1934 bridge. The new structure is just south of the older one and the approach roadways to the former bridge are obliterated in the process.
  1982 (Oct)—1983 (Mar) New! 2023-04 – In October 1982, some MDOT staffers internally propose terminating US-2 at its jct with I-75 at Saint Ignace and removing the concurrent designation with I-75 between Saint Ignace and Sault Ste. Marie. By March 1983, others within the department concurred and the termation of US-2 at I-75 is forwarded to AASHTO for approval. (See Notes section above for details.)
  1983 (June 20) – At its regular meeting in Denver, the U.S. Route Numbering Subcommittee of the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO) withholds action on a request from the Michigan Dept of Transportation to eliminate the portion of US-2 from St Ignace to Sault Ste. Marie. The reason(s) for the committee withholding action is not clear at present.
  1983 – The US-2 designation is scaled back from Sault Ste Marie to end in St. Ignace at I-75's Exit 344, its present terminus, for a loss of 54 route-miles. US-2 had run concurrently with I-75 for more than 20 years.
  1984 (Nov 1) Updated 2023-11 – A new US-2 Manistique River bridge is constucted at Manistique, bypassing the historic Siphon Bridge and shortening the route of US-2 by 1.4 miles. The portion of US-2 via Chippewa Ave on the west side of Manistique from relocated US-2 northerly to Deer St temporarily becomes an unsigned state route while the remainder of the former US-2 routing through the city is designated as an extension of M-94.
  1988 (Feb 15, Sept 21) Updated 2024-01 – Approximately 3½ years after the completion of the new US-2 Manistique River bridge at Manistique, two trunkline cancellations occur in relation to that project. First, on February 15, the 0.9-mile long segment of OLD US-2 along Chippewa Ave from M-94/Deer St southerly to just north of the relocated US-2 is cancelled as a state trunkline route and turned back to city control. Then on September 21, the 0.140-mile segment of the newly-constructed Chippewa Ave "turned-in approach" (the connector from new US-2 to the former US-2 along Chippewa Ave) is also turned over to city control.
  1998 Updated 2023-11 – US-2 through Iron River is realigned onto a more direct route east of downtown. Previously, US-2 headed easterly through Iron River via Adams St, then southerly via First Ave, easterly again via Genesee St across the Iron River before curving back northeasterly to leave the city. Now, US-2 continues due easterly via Adams St across the Iron River. The former route is temporarily retained as an unmarked state trunkline. The new Iron River span was completed in 1997, but the new US-2 approach roadways weren't constructed until 1998.
  2000 – The 15.58 miles of US-2 from Iron River to Crystal Falls in Iron Co is dedicated as the Iron County Heritage Route, part of the larger Iron County Heritage Tour.
  2000 (Dec 19) Updated 2023-11 – The 0.380-mile segment of OLD US-2 east of downtown Iron River along First Ave and Genesee St bypassed by the new alignment (and bridge spanning the Iron River) in 1998 is cancelled as a state trunkline route and turned back to city control.
  2006 (Mid) New! 2024-01 – US-2 is realigned in central Iron Co near the Chicagon Location—approximately 7½ miles east of downtown Iron River and approximlately 7½ miles west of downtown Crystal Falls on the Crystal Falls/Bates Twp line—onto a new alignment north of the exisitng route, removing two sharper curves in the route and replacing them with one gentle bend. The 1.73-mile former route is completely obliterated as a public roadway and replaced by the new 1.6-mile realignment.
  2007 – A portion of the U.P. Hidden Cost Recreational Heritage Route is designated on the segment of US-2/US-41 and US-2/US-41/M-35 in the Escanaba and Gladstone area, beginning at the southern jct of US-2/US-41 & M-35 in Escanaba and continuing notherly to the nothern Gladstone city limit along US-2/US-41 at Mather Ave.
  2017 (Oct 6) – US-2 from Manistique to St Ignace in Schoolcraft and Mackinac Counties is officially designated as the Top-of-the-Lake Pure Michigan Byway and the official dedication ceremony for the byway is held at the Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum in Naubinway. Representatives from the Michigan Department of Transportation, Eastern U.P. Regional Planning & Development Commission, Travel Michigan and other organizations are in attendance.
Controlled-Access: No portion of US-2 is freeway.
  Expressway: 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.
NHS: The entire length of US-2 in Michigan is part of the National Highway System (NHS).
Business Connection:  BUS US-2 - Ironwood: From Wisconsin state line between downtown Hurley, Wisc. and Ironwood, Mich. to US-2 in Ironwood.
Circle Tours: Lake Superior Circle Tour MarkerLake Superior Circle Tour: Enters from Wisconsin at Ironwood easterly to jct M-28 in Wakefield.
  Lake Michigan Circle Tour MarkerLake Michigan Circle Tour: From southern jct of M-35 in Escanaba to eastern terminus at I-75 in St Ignace.
Pure Michigan
Historic Heritage Route MarkerIron County Heritage Trail: From Iron River to Crystal Falls in Iron County.
  Historic Heritage Route Marker Top-of-the-Lake Pure Michigan Byway: From Manistique to St Ignace.
  Recreational Heritage Route Marker U.P. Hidden Coast Recreational Heritage Route: Fom 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.
Memorial Highways:  The following Memorial Highway designations have been officially assigned to parts of US-2 by the Michigan Legislature:
  • United Spanish War Veterans' Memorial Highway – "The portion of US-2 beginning in St. Ignace and extending west to [...] Iron Mountain, ... and the portion of US-2 beginning in Crystal Falls and extending west to Ironwood ..." From MDOT: "The United Spanish War Veterans was an American Veterans organization which consisted of veterans of the Spanish–American War, Philippine–American War and China Relief Expedition."
  • Kenneth J. Moraska Memorial Highway – "The portion of Highway US-2 that is within the city limits of the City of Norway in Dickinson County..." From MDOT: "Patrolman Kenneth Moraska was shot and killed after responding to a domestic disturbance. When Patrolman Moraska arrived at the scene of the domestic dispute he reportedly found the front door locked and in an attempt to enter the building approached the rear door. As he approached the rear door of the house he was shot in the head with a hunting rifle. The suspect had been previously arrested by Patrolman Moraska for disorderly conduct. After shooting Patrolman Moraska, the suspect stole Patrolman Moraska's gun and lead other officers on a 6-hour chase before being apprehended. On December 1, 1971, the suspect was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole."
  • Darryl M. Rantanen Memorial Highway – "The portion of highway US-2 and highway US-41 beginning at the eastern limit of Hyde and extending west to the western limit of Bark River..." From the Michigan Legislature: "Trooper Darryl M. Rantanen was killed in May 1974 while in pursuit of a stolen vehicle. Trooper Rantanen's partner, who was driving their patrol car, attempted to pull alongside the stolen car. Its driver swerved into the patrol car. Both vehicles left the roadway, with the patrol car turning onto its side and its top striking a tree. Trooper Rantanen’s partner was seriously injured. Trooper Darryl M. Rantanen died as a result of his injuries. He was the 29th Michigan State Police officer to die in the line of duty. He was 36 years old."
  • AmVets Memorial Drive – "The portion of US-2 and US-41 and M-35 beginning at the northern city limit of Escanaba and extending north 1-1/10 miles to the junction of County Road 426, also known as the extension of Sheridan Avenue..." From MDOT: "AMVETS (American Veterans) is the nation’s most inclusive Congressionally-chartered veterans service organization, representing the interests of 20 million veterans. AMVETS is open to and fighting for all who honorably served in the United States military, including the Reserve and Guard, with more than 250,000 members nationwide."
  • Senator Tom Casperson Memorial Bridge – "The bridge on highway US-2 over the Escanaba River in Delta County..." [said bridge also includes US-41 and M-35, but those designations were omitted from the legislation.] From the Michigan Legislature: "Senator Tom Casperson was born in Escanaba and worked for his family's log trucking business for 25 years before taking ownership of the company for 10 years. In 2002, he was elected as a State Representative for Michigan's 108th House District. He served in that capacity until he was elected to the Michigan Senate in 2011, serving in the 38th Senate District until 2018. On November 29, 2020, Senator Casperson died from lung cancer."
  • Heath Michael Robinson Cut River Memorial Bridge – "The bridge on highway US-2 over the Cut River in Mackinac County..." From MDOT: "Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Heath M. Robinson, 34, of Detroit, Michigan was enlisted in January 1996. Robinson completed Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL School in January, 2000. He served with two West Coast-based special warfare units from March 2000 to April 2004, and later served with four East Coast-based special warfare units beginning in April 2004. His decorations include four Bronze Star Medals, three with ‘V’ for valor; Joint Service Commendation Medal; three Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, two with ‘V’ for valor; Joint Service Achievement Medal; three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals; Combat Action Ribbon; two Presidential Unit Citations; Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation; five Navy Good Conduct Medals; Navy Fleet Marine Force Ribbon; National Defense Service Medal; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; two Afghanistan Campaign Medals; Iraq Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; six Sea Service Deployment Ribbons; NATO Medal; Navy Expert Rifleman Medal and Navy Expert Pistol Shot Medal."
Continue on: US-2 West into Wisconsin
Photographs: US-2 Is NOT A Freeway ‐ set of three photos from September 4, 2006.
  • US-2 @ Michigan Highway Ends – photos of the termini of US-2 at Dan Garnell's archived Michigan Highway Ends site.
  • Cut River Bridge – One of only two cantilevered deck truss bridges in Michigan, it is 641 feet long and contains 888 tons of structural steel.
  • Mackinac Straits Historical Photos – a collection of photos from the 1950s with scenes during and just after construction of the Mackinac Bridge.
  • End of US highway 2 (western segment) – The US-2 (Western Segment) endpoints page from Dale Sanderson's excellent US Ends.com site.
  • New! 2024-04 Iron Mountain Bypass (1978–1999) – article on the In Depth section of this website.
  • Historic US-2 Bridges from Nathan Holth's excellent HistoricBridges.org site:
    • Old US-2 Bridge – "This is skewed example of a concrete camelback bridge in good condition."
    • Old US-2 Cisco Branch Ontonagon River Bridge – "Although it suffers from deteriorating railings, this bridge is an early and unaltered example of its type."
    • Old US-2 Middle Branch Ontonagon River Bridge – "This is a large and unaltered example of a bridge design Michigan used for small-span crossings."
    • Ramsay Bridge – "This is the longest striaght chord concrete through girder in Michigan, and is also especially impressive to view."
    • Genesee Street Bridge – "This is an unaltered and fairly early example of a concrete arch bridge in Michigan, and it is a remnant of the former US-2 alignment."
    • Twin Falls Bridge – "This impressive state border bridge is the only pin-connected highway camelback truss in Michigan and one of only two in Wisconsin."
    • Bay Shore Road Bridge – "This is the remains of a mostly collapsed bridge that was once one of the longest t-beam bridges in Michigan."
    • Old US-2 Little Fishdam River Bridge – "This is one of the smallest through girder bridges known to remain in Michigan."
    • Cut River Bridge – "Among the largest bridges in Michigan, this is a very large deck cantilever bridge whose construction was interrupted by World War II."
    • Mackinac Trail Bridge – "This attractive arch bridge has several unusual details."
  • Updated 2024-02 Historic US-2 Bridges from MDOT's archived Michigan's Historic Bridges site:
    • Main St. / Black River – "Built in 1922-1923 from a design by the Michigan State Highway Department, the Ramsay Bridge is comprised of a 50-foot concrete through girder, flanked on both sides by similarly configured, 40-foot girders." (Main St in Ramsay is a former route of US-2.)
    • US-2 / Iron River – "The bridge is a 55-foot, filled spandrel arch, with earth fill and an asphalt-surfaced roadway that is flanked on both sides by grassy strips."
    • US-2 / Sturgeon River – built in 1929, "This bridge will be replaced in 2003."
    • US-2 & M-94 / Manistique River – "This eight-span girder bridge is 296 feet long overall and is an unusual design in that the bridge is an integral part of a concrete raceway flume."
    • US-2 / Cut River – "One of only two cantilevered deck truss bridges in Michigan, it is 641 feet long and contains 888 tons of structural steel."
    • Mackinac Trail / Carp River – "Located some eleven miles north of St. Ignace, this graceful concrete arch bridge spans the Carp River on the Mackinac Trail."
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