History of us highway 31

Along its Joseph Valley Parkway as well as other freeways and divided highways northward to Ludington. North of there, the trunkline is a rural undivided highway through the Northern Michigan tourist destinations of Traverse City and Petoskey before terminating south of Mackinaw City.

Four bridges used by the highway have been recognized for their historic character as well. Since then, the highway has been realigned in places. Later, sections were converted into freeways starting in the s.

These segments opened through the subsequent decades with the last one opening in Joseph Valley Parkway and bypass Grand Haven. Additionally, much of the highway from the Indiana—Michigan state line to Ludington is built to freeway standards. Two notable exceptions are a short segment along Napier Avenue between the St. Joseph River as the two run northward through southwest Michigan.

North of the Walton Road interchange, the freeway turns northwesterly to recross the St. The parkway curves around the west side of town before crossing the river for a third time. Joseph area. It continues northward in rural Berrien County through farm fields. Past the river, the freeway turns northeasterly and runs roughly parallel to the Lake Michigan shoreline several miles inland. Ford Freeway name.

The inland side of the freeway is forested while the lakeward side is predominantly either forest or fields. North of the power plant and park, the freeway turns farther inland to bypass the city of South Haven. There is an interchange on the south side of town that provides access to BL I and M The freeway crosses over M without an interchange and then intersects the other end of the business loop about two miles 3.

Near the community of GlennA-2 crosses over the freeway and runs parallel to it on the east. The freeway crosses over a section of Kalamazoo Lake, a wider section of the Kalamazoo River that flows between the two towns. The business loop has an interchange for A-2 Blue Star Highway and Washington Avenue before the freeway ends in the southern reaches of Holland.US Highways Page. About this Page. Casey's Page History of the US Highway System From Dirt Paths to Superhighways Before the Interstate Highway system brought fast, limited access highways to the United States, there was, and still remains, another nationwide system of highways that enabled travelers to follow standardized routes to any part of the nation.

This system, known as the United States Highway System or simply as "US" highways, was the first time in history that a national standard was set for roads and highways. This system of highways existed. This system was created by the Federal Aid Highway Act of as a response to the confusion created by the or so named many named highways, such as the Lincoln Highway or the National Old Trails Highway. Instead of using names and colored bands on telephone poles, this new system would use uniform numbers for inter-state highways and a standardized shield that would be universally recognizable.

The most important change was that this new system would be administered by the states, not by for-profit private road clubs. Even then, people decried the idea of giving roads numbers since they felt numbers would make highways cold and impersonal.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, automobiles were a novelty that only could be enjoyed by the very rich. Most Americans contented themselves with either using the horse and buggy or taking the railroads when they needed to go on long trips.

Getting around in large cities was fairly easy due to comprehensive networks of streetcars and subways. Even though it is hard to believe today, especially in California, it was generally thought that autos would never catch on. In short, in the early part of this century, there was simply no need for a good system of roads. Henry Ford changed the status quo with his revolutionary production line techniques.

He took the idea of standardization and applied it to creating standard parts for automobile manufacturing. Cars could be produced cheaply, although a few sacrifices had to be made. Ford once said that "you can get the Model T in any color you like as long as it's black. The Model "T" soon became a common sight throughout the United States.

U.S. Route 31

A testament to their popularity is that over Needless to say, this created a huge demand for good roads. Colored bands on telephone poles used to mark the named trails. At the beginning of the century, the supply of good roads was nowhere near the growing demand. Most roads at the time were little more than improved wagon trails. In fact, many of the major "highways" were actually vestiges of old trails, such as the Oregon Trail or Santa Fe Trail.

history of us highway 31

There were paved highways, but most were cobblestone and almost all were in major cities. Good road organizations appeared to remedy this situation. The American Automobile Association and the Automobile Club of Southern California they were separate organizations originally were formed in California to promote better roads. Additionally, many trail associations were created to address the need of having marked interstate highways; this was the birth of the named highways.

The Lincoln Highway, from New York to San Francisco was the first and by the early s many highway organizations were formed which placed and promoted their own routes. By there were over named highways, each with their own colored signs often placed haphazardly, a fact which created great confusion. Several problems arose with the named highways. The lack of a central organization to dictate the placement of interstate highways left the door open for self-serving organizations to "relocate" the famous named roads so they would pass through their cities.

More frequently, though, the lack of coordination between states through which the transcontinental routes ran caused confusion since the route was often not even straight. The need for a system of standardized interstate highways had evolved.

history of us highway 31

By it became clear that a single, unified system of highways was necessary. Giving highways throughout the United States a standard numerical designation was a radical idea but at the same time fit in with other innovations at the time.

For example, by the s road building was also becoming a standardized process. Road building technology advanced in a logarithmic manner, allowing good roads to be built just about anywhere. Of course, by today's standards these roads are inadequate in all aspects, including width, sight distance, grade, etc.In the years following the end of World War II, with traffic volumes on Michigan's highways skyrocketing and the Baby Boom in full swing, it became painfully aware to the Michigan State Highway Department that the existing two- and three-lane highways connecting the major cities and travel destinations around the state were woefully inadequate.

The department, already trying to catch up on years of deferred maintenance during the war, had actually begun planning for the post-war travel boom in when it issued a major state trunkline development map.

A History of the US Interstate Highway system

This document and its associated plans were updated inand again in and called for the construction of "expressways," or freeways in modern day terms, along today's I corridor from Indiana to Mount Clemens, along the I corridor from Toledo to Bay City and following today's I from Detroit to Brighton. All other major upgrades were to only consist of four-lane divided highways, likely with little or no control of access.

In the case of USthe State Highway Department had earmarked the entire route from the Indiana state line northerly to US at Ludington for such four-lane divided upgrades, which likely included bypasses of the larger communities along the way. At the time, the plan was ambitious and seemed to address the current and anticipated traffic needs well into the future.

Ziegler began to improve the segments most in need of upgrades and realignments first. For USthe portion of the route from Holland northerly to Grand Haven was near the top of the list. At the time, the new highway was only a two-lane road, but built to high standards on a right-of-way to accommodate an additional two lanes and a narrow grassy median strip. The second "phase" of the planned upgrades was underway by This is the so-called "Holland Bypass.

Simultaneous to the construction and completion of the "Holland Bypass," the State Highway Department also added a second carriageway alongside the existing two lanes of US from West Olive northerly for 6. While not controlled- or limited-access, the additional travel lanes and separation of traffic with a median was part of the overall upgrade plans, aiming at making US a four-lane, mostly-divided highway from Niles to Ludington. Two years later inthe third "phase" of the Holland-to-Grand Haven improvements was completed when the relocated US opened to traffic from Ferris St in Grand Haven Twp northwesterly to Robbins Rd at the Grand Haven city limit, then northerly through the city along the newly constructed Beacon Blvd to Jackson Ave.

From Ferris to Robbins, the new highway was a four-lane divided, limited-access facility with access only at select intersections, while Beacon Blvd within the city was simply a four-lane boulevard with no control of access. The final stretch of two-lane US from south of Holland to Grand Haven would be "twinned" next, however a retirement and an election at the state level would change Michigan highway plans in a major way.

Charles M. Ziegler had been Michigan's State Highway Commissioner sincewhich in those times was an elected post. It was no coincidence that the state trunkline development map noted above was released in and updated several times while Ziegler was at the helm of the department. He retired and an election on April 1, brought John C. Mackie into the commissioner's office. Immediately, Michigan's state trunkline upgrade plans were scrapped and the whole system was re-thought from the ground up.

Ziegler had only envisioned a select few "expressways" in the state, with the remainder of the major routes being upgraded only to four-lane divided highways. While the Interstate Highway Act of a year earlier had earmarked additional freeway mileage for the state, Mackie decided many of the routes connecting major cities and recreational areas to be constructed to freeway standards instead of merely four-lane divided highways.Highway 31 also officially known as U.

Route 31 is a long north-south highway connecting northern Michigan to southern Alabamawith termini at Interstate 75 near Mackinaw City, Michigan, and U. Highway 90 and U. Highway 98 at Spanish Fort, Alabama. It formerly reached Mackinaw City along the southern approaches of the Mackinac Bridge Interstate 75 in the north and downtown Mobile, Alabama in the south. Throughout Alabama, U. Highway Before the Interstate era, U. Interstate 65 has supplanted U.

It originated in Nashville, Tennessee and generally followed Highway 31's current route to Montgomery. At the time, the control cities along the route included CullmanBirmingham, Caleraand Clanton. Eventually the road was assigned national route number However, south of Montgomery 31 did not follow the old Bee Line Highway route, but instead turned southwest to connect to Mobile, Alabama's only major port.

For notable locations on Highway 31 and additional intersections, select the individual road names in this section. From the north, U. The highway passes through the communities of Bangor and Smoke Rise before merging with I at exit Highway 31 then splits from I at exitjust north of the Jefferson County line. It then enters Warrior where it becomes first Main Street and then Louisa Street before exiting the town.

It scrapes I again at exit before passing through Gardendale where its known as Decatur Highway. It then becomes American Veterans Highway as it goes through Fultondale. Highway 31 has an interchange at I exit just as it enters the Birmingham city limits.

From that point, the combined Highway 31 and U. Highway are elevated through town and are jointly called the Elton B.

Stephens Expressway. This portion is popularly called the Red Mountain Expressway as there is a large highway cut through Red Mountain to allow the expressway to continue south into Homewood. The expressway only provides direct access to U. Highway 11 1st Avenue North from its northbound side.

An exit on the expressway between 3rd and 4th Avenues South provides access to U. Just inside the Homewood city limits, Highway splits off to run southeast while Highway 31 continues south. Through the Homewood city limits, from the end of the controlled access expressway to about Shades Crest Road on top of Shades MountainU. The road then travels through Vestavia Hills as Montgomery Highway. At I exitHighway 31 crosses under I so that it is west of the interstate.

This exit is right along Vestavia's border with Hooverwhere the highway is also known as Montgomery Highway.Michigan Highways: Since All Rights Reserved.

Back to Previous Route: M On to Next Route: Former M US is a major highway corridor leading up the western side of the Lower Peninsula, connecting the cities of South Bend, Ind. Approximately 40 percent of US about miles is currently constructed to freeway standards, with two additional freeway segments proposed for the next decade. US is a major artery carrying tourist traffic to Michigan's North Country and, as such, has been experiencing congestion issues in such northern cities as Traverse City and Petoskey for many years now.

Improvements in those areas may not be forthcoming, however. The US corridor has seen a variety of major activity in each of the last five decades and that activity will continue for at least another two decades! In the s, the highway saw major upgrades between Holland and Grand Haven and even some of the first freeway mileage built in West Michigan. The s saw major freeway projects push ever closer to Ludington through Oceana Co and the beginnings of the freeway upgrades in Berrien Co, which all continued into the s.

The s continued that progress, with more of US converted to freeway in Berrien and Mason Cos with even more freeway mileage added in the the first decade of the 21st Century. In the next 15—20 years, the final freeway connection in Berrien Co will be completed and the gap in freeway between Holland and Muskegon may be bridged. At that time, more than miles of US in Michigan will be built to freeway standards.

Some of the ongoing projects noted above have not been without controversy.

history of us highway 31

In Berrien Co, the completion of the freeway gap there has been delayed for environmental reasons and the design and route of the freeway have been altered as well. Further north in Ottawa Co, the decision to route the US freeway though the largely-agricultural central portion of that county has raised howls of protest. Farther north, the proposed US bypasses of the cities of Traverse City and Petoskey have had no shortage of controvery as well. In "State Trunkline Needs, —," a set of maps prepared by the State Highway Dept's Office of Planning, Programming Division in 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 during that timeframe, including: Construction of a US freeway from the Indiana state line to St Joseph.

The first section looks much like the present-day US freeway west of Niles, with the exception of an interchange at Bertrand Rd and the present US interchange was to have been a freeway-to-freeway interchange with the proposed US freeway. The freeway was to have continued north-northwesterly along the path of the long-proposed BL I "penetrator" route, with the freeway merging back into Niles Ave at Washington Ave where US was proposed to continue into downtown St Joseph via the existing street routing.

In the end, while a US freeway was built through much of Berrien Co, north west of Berrien Springs, it took on a much different route than was envisioned in Ignace, Michiganin the Upper Peninsula and then formerly reached Mackinaw City along the southern approaches of the Mackinac Bridge which has been taken over by I It also formerly entered downtown Mobile, Alabamavia a long bridge over Mobile Bay.

Route 31W and U. Route 31E. Near Atmorethe route passes extremely close to the Florida Panhandle 's extreme northwestern corner, missing by approximately feet. The two routes do not junction each other again for another 22 miles.

At Prattvillethis route intersects U. Route Route and is routed along the Elton B. Stephens Expresswaya 2. At Warrior, the roadway shrinks to two lanes. North of Garden City, and passing through CullmanHartselleDecatur and Athensit is routed along multi-lane and often divided roadways.

Route 80 in Montgomery, Interstate in Hoover, U. Route 78 in Birmingham, U. Route in Cullman, U. Route 72 Alternate in Decatur, and U. Route 72 in Athens. For example, south of Montgomery it is still named Mobile Highway, and northwardly it is referred to as the Birmingham Highway. Similarly, south of Birmingham it is referred to as Montgomery Highway, and northwardly it is referred to as the Decatur Highway. Throughout north Alabama plaques and signage refer to the route as the Beeline Highway.

Route 49 in MississippiU. Route 11 in Tennessee. According to this name change, US 31 runs through Elkton shortly after making this crossing. On its way to Pulaski, US 31 intersects with US 64, and does so once again in the center of the city.

In Pulaski, US 31 serves as 1st Street in the downtown area.Patients and families who engage with health care providers ask good questions and help reduce the chance of mistakes, tests that are not needed, and avoidable hospital stays.

The resources below will help your patients prepare for their medical appointments, ask questions, and talk with you and other members of the health care team. Patients can use our online tools, including the Question Builder that lets them create a list of questions, to get the most out of their health care visit.

U.S. Route 31 in Michigan

Research shows that patients who have a good relationship with their health care team receive better care and are more satisfied. Our Resources Be More Involved in Your Health Care: Tips for Patients Patients get better care when they talk with their doctor. This short, easy-to-read brochure gives tips that will help patients be prepared before, during, and after medical appointments. My Questions for This Visit Notepads (100 tear-off sheets per pad) to help patients prioritize their questions while in the waiting room are available for order from AHRQ's Publication Clearinghouse.

Waiting Room Video This 7-minute video for your waiting room features patients and clinicians discussing the importance of asking questions and sharing information. Treatment Options Videos Three videos discuss the need to get clear, unbiased information about treatment options when an individual receives a a new diagnosis, is considering other choices for treatments, or is caring for a loved one.

These 20 tips tell patients what they can do to get safer care. Glossary Our easy-to-read glossary helps patients make sense of health care the terms. Your Medicine: Be Smart. You can learn more about how to take medicines safely by reading this guide.

It answers common questions about getting and taking medicines and has handy forms that will help you keep track of information. Keep this guide with your medicines in case you have any questions, concerns, or worries. Content last reviewed August 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. Government's Official Web Portal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality 5600 Fishers Lane Rockville, MD 20857 Telephone: (301) 427-1364Be More Involved in Your Health Care: Tips for Patients Patients get better care when they talk with their doctor.

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