US-27 In Michigan, photo by U.S. Highway 12
For 76 years, from 1926-2002, US-27 was a primary highway in the state of Michigan. During the Postwar highway expansion era on the even of the Interstate Highway system, US-27 was extended to St. Ignace, Michigan, across the Mackinac Bridge. However, as I-75 was completed in sections north of Tri-Cities area, US-27 was eventually truncated to just north of Higgins Lake in 1961.
As Interstate 69 was completed in the 1970s around the Charlotte area, US-27 was moved onto the new Interstate freeway. In 1991, MDOT petitioned AASHTO, to have US-27 removed from the state of Michigan’s highway network. This request was denied because MDOT made no mention of their plans for US-27 north of Lansing. However, eight years later on in 1999, they submitted another application, and AAHSTO approved the request to truncate US-27 from south of Grayling to Fort Wayne, Indiana. The end finally came in 2002, when all of the old US-27 marker signs were removed.
When I think of US-27 and the many other U.S. Highways in Michigan, this two-lane photo from the Michigan State Highway Dept. comes to mind. This image was shot in Clare County, near the community of Harrison during Labor Day in 1955. I can just image driving along this hilly and winding highway at 105 km/h (65 mph), and having a deer run standing in the roadway as I crested the hill.
Image from the Michigan State Highway Dept. (MDOT) and is in the public domain.
Looking for more? Check out the US-27 group slideshow on Flickr and US Route 27 on Wikipedia.
4 thoughts on “US-27 In Michigan”
well, the standards for highways back then sure were different
I do a lot of driving from here in the north, “downstate” and back, and I alternate between US-27 and I-75. After taking I-75 it’s remarkable how much more intimate US-27 is: trees are closer to the road, turns have tighter radii and the hills seem more dramatic. Everything seems closer, the way a two-lane highway feels, and less of the detached feling an interstate like I-75 gives.
A couple of details are off. US-27 was completed past the Higgins Lake area in 1961. I worked at the Big Wheel gas station at the intersection of Old 27 and US 76 in the summer of 1969. I-75 was under construction but far from completion. I don’t believe you could take I-75 continuously from Bay City to Grayling until about 1973.
I’ve driven this stretch of old US-27 on at least a few occasions.