Skip to main content

Great Lakes Roadtrip Day 4 Part 1; Crossing the Mackinac Bridge

The morning started out early in Kalkaska since I wanted to make the 8:20 AM boat to Mackinac Island out of St. Ignace.  That being the case I headed northbound on US 131 and cut-off east on County Route C42 on the Alba Highway.  Alba had some nice abandoned buildings to check out in the early hours before sunrise.  It seems the community has less than 300 people left according the most recent census statistics I could find.  I always thought it was interesting that Michigan did County Routes in letter grids much like California does.







I took M-32 to get over to I-75 northbound.  In the 58 miles north on I-75 to the Mackinac Bridge I only saw one vehicle traveling the same direction as me, I would say the increase to a 75 MPH speed limit is highly justified.  US 31 was routed over to I-75 on a detour to bypass the closure that are currently active.




I essentially had the entire Mackinac Bridge to myself given it was early in the morning.  There was some work going on one of the suspension pillars which was odd to see active on a Sunday much less at such an early hour.
















Kind of amazing to think that it really took until 1957 to have a completed roadway crossing of the Straights of Mackinac.  I've always liked the view of the bridge from the Bridge View park which has a nice angle at the full five miles.  I wonder how the design would have been altered to if the bridge had begun construction after the Federal Highway Act rather than in 1954.





The funny thing about the Bridge View Park is that the road leading to it is called Boulevard Road.





Stopped by the terminus of US 2 on my way to the boat in St. Ignace, too bad I didn't adjust more for the direct sunlight.




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

History of the Big Oak Flat Road (Yosemite National Park)

This week I hiked much of what was the original alignment of the Big Oak Flat Road which is located to the north of the modern roadway.  Unlike the original alignment of the Wawona Road the Old Big Oak Flat Road is surprisingly intact.


The complete history of the Big Oak Flat Road including the original alignment can be found on a 2002 report from the U.S. Department of Interior on the Old Big Oak Flat Road.

U.S. Department of the Interior on the Old Big Oak Flat Road

The Big Oak Flat Road began construction east from the mining community of Big Oak Flat in towards Yosemite Valley in 1869.  The Big Oak Flat Road was constructed by the Chinese Camp and Yosemite Turnpike Company which had secured the franchise rights for a toll road to the Yosemite Grant (the designation prior to Yosemite National Park).  By the summer of 1871 the Big Oak Flat Road reached the northern cliffs above Yosemite Valley which is when the Chinese Camp and Yosemite Turnpike Company ran out of funding.  After the…

The Tioga Pass Road

Last Summer the Tioga Pass Road over the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Yosemite National Park opened late due to the heavy snow pack from the previous winter.  Approaching the start of July the Park Service finally had cleared the road to Tioga Pass.  That being the case I headed up shortly after the 4th of July holiday during a lull in the tourist season.


The Tioga Pass Road runs from the Big Oak Flat Road at Crane Flat east to US Route 395 ("US 395").  The Tioga Pass Road is largely within the boundary of Yosemite National Park but is maintained by Caltrans as California State Route 120 ("CA 120") east of the Tioga Pass entry station to US 395.  The National Park Service maintained portion of the Tioga Pass Road serve as a implied connection between the two segments of CA 120.  The Tioga Pass Road is the highway mountain pass in California reaching Tioga Pass at 9,945 feet above sea level.



Part 1; the history of the Tioga Pass Road

Tioga Pass first obtained notewort…

Horseshoe Meadows Road; former California State Route 190 and the legacy of the Lone Pine-Porterville HIgh Sierra Road

This summer I had an opportunity to drive one of the lesser known great roads of California; Horseshoe Meadows Road from Whitney Portal Road westward into Horseshoe Meadows of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Aside from being massive climb into the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains the path of Horseshoe Meadows Road was once part of California State Route 190 and was intended to be part of a Trans-Sierra Highway known as the Lone Pine-Porterville High Sierra Road.


Horseshoe Meadows Road is located west of Lone Pine of Inyo County and is 19.7 miles in length.  Horseshoe Meadows Road begins at an approximate elevation of 4,500 feet above sea level at Whitney Portal Road in the Alabama Hills and ends at an elevation of 10,072 feet above sea level in Horseshoe Meadows.  Horseshoe Meadows Road is the second highest paved road in California only behind Rock Creek Road near Tom's Place.  Pjammcycling rates Horseshoe Meadows Road with an average gradient of 6.2% and lists it as th…