There are a number of interesting facts that surround the system of roadways that pass across the state of Michigan. A few of them may surprise you. 

First of all, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation, there is enough pavement in Michigan roadways to build a one-lane road from the Earth to the Moon. When you think about it, many Michigan roadways also resemble the surface of the Moon. 

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The first Michigan road map was published by the United States Congress in 1826. It only had three roads on it, and the longest Michigan road must have been on it, because it began as a Native American trail that crossed lower Michigan on its path to Detroit. 

Nope, it’s not I-75, which began as a Native American trail that runs 395 miles from the Ohio border to the International Bridge in Sault Ste. Marie. This may seem like a trick question, but I-75 is the longest highway in Michigan. The longest roadway is U.S. 12, also known as Michigan Avenue. 

The highway is actually 2,500 miles long, connecting Aberdeen, Washington and Detroit, Michigan. But it’s the 210 mile stretch that leads from New Buffalo to Detroit that makes it the longest roadway in Michigan. 

The original U.S. 12 followed the St. Joseph Trail, a footpath used by Native Americans, that traveled along the Lake Michigan shoreline and then turned eastward to run through Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, and eventually Detroit. It is also known as Michigan Avenue.  

So What Is The Difference Between A Highway And A Roadway? 

According to ChatGPT, the artificial intelligence know-it-all, 

A road is a general term for a route between places, typically for vehicles. A highway is a specific type of road that is designed for high-speed travel and often has multiple lanes in each direction. Highways may also have features such as limited access and grade-separated intersections.

Scott Batson, a real-live person working as a Civil PE with the Portland Bureau of Transportation, shares this nugget of knowledge, 

Highway' is a traditional term for a road constructed by the government. It came about because when the roads were first being constructed, they were built on top of the surrounding land - higher - so were referred to as the “high way”, as compared to the other surface roads. To this day, all roads are referred to as highways in research documents and federal guidelines. Road classification distinguishes the function of highways relative to traffic volumes, speeds, and widths.


All 21 Michigan Companies That Appeared on Shark Tank

Shark Tank has featured hundreds of businesses over its 14 seasons, and these 21 are all from the Mitten State. Which were successful, and which were flops? Which secured a deal with a shark and which were eaten alive in the tank? Find out below:

(Quick Disclaimer: If you click through to watch some of the pitches, you'll notice some investors say they are from somewhere other than Michigan, while others don't mention their home state. I've checked and scoured, and each business is tied to Michigan, though some are looser than others.)