Michigan, popularly known as the Wolverine State or the Great Lake State joined the union in 1837. Located in the center of the Great Lakes, Michigan is divided into two land masses known as the Upper and Lower Peninsulas, the country’s only state to consist of two peninsulas. The Mackinac Bridge, which connects Michigan’s upper peninsula to the rest of the state, spans five miles and is one of the world’s longest suspension bridges. With the state capital Lansing, Detroit, the state’s largest city, is the abode of the American auto industry and is the birthplace of Motown Records, and among the largest metropolitan economies.
The Great Lakes that border Michigan from east to west are Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. The state is fenced on the south by the states of Ohio and Indiana, sharing land and water boundaries with both. Michigan’s western boundaries are almost entirely water boundaries, from south to north, with Illinois and Wisconsin in Lake Michigan.
The state motto is- Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice (“If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you”)
Michigan is served by four Class I railroads: the Canadian National Railway, the Canadian Pacific Railway, CSX Transportation, and the Norfolk Southern Railway. These are connected by several dozen short line railroads. The vast majority of rail service in Michigan is devoted to freight, with Amtrak and various scenic railroads the exceptions.
Amtrak passenger rail services the state, connecting many southern and western Michigan cities to Chicago, Illinois. There are further plans to for commuter locomotives for Detroit and its suburbs.
Interstate 75 (I-75) is the main path between Detroit, Flint, and Saginaw. The freeway meets the Mackinac Bridge between the Lower and Upper Peninsulas. Auxiliary highways include I-275 and I-375 in Detroit; I-475 in Flint; and I-675 in Saginaw.
I-69 goes through the state near the Michigan–Ohio–Indiana border, and it augments to Port Huron and provides access to the Blue Water Bridge crossing into Sarnia, Ontario.
I-94 enters the western end of the state at the Indiana border, and it travels east to Detroit and then northeast to Port Huron and ties in with I-69. I-94 is the main artery between Chicago and Detroit.
I-96 runs east–west between Detroit and Muskegon. I-496 loops through Lansing. I-196 branches off from this freeway at Grand Rapids and connects to I-94 near Benton Harbor. I-696 branches off from this freeway at Novi and connects to I-94 near St Clair Shores.
US Highway 2 (US 2) enters Michigan at the city of Ironwood and travels east to the town of Crystal Falls, where it turns south and briefly re-enters Wisconsin northwest of Florence.
US Highway 23 drives through Michigan at the Ohio state line in the suburban spillover of Toledo, Ohio as a freeway and leads northward to Ann Arbor before merging with I-75 just south of Flint. Concurrent with I-75 through Flint, Saginaw, and Bay City, it splits from I-75 at Standish.
US Highway 31 enters Michigan as Interstate-quality freeway at the Indiana State Line just northwest of South Bend, Indiana, heads north to Interstate 196 bear Benton Harbor, and follows the eastern shore of Lake Michigan to Mackinaw City, where it has its northern terminus.
U.S. Route 131 has its southern terminus at the Indiana Toll Road roughly one mile south of the Indiana state as a two-lane surface road. It passes through Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids as a freeway of Interstate standard and continues as such to Manton, where it reverts to two-lane surface road to its northern terminus at US 31 in Petoskey.
The Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, in the western suburb of Romulus, is one of the busiest airfields in North America measured by passenger traffic. The Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids is the next busiest airport in the state, served by eight airlines to 23 destinations. Flint Bishop International Airport is the third largest airport in the state, served by four airlines to several primary hubs. Cherry Capital Airport is in Traverse City. Alpena County Regional Airport services Alpena and the northeastern lower peninsula. MBS International Airport serves Midland, Bay City and Saginaw. Smaller regional and local airports are located throughout the state including on several islands.
The Great Lakes Marine Transportation System (GLMTS) has been a commercial trade route for thousands of years. Routes established by the Native Americans were used in the early fur trading days to link together a vast inland network that predates today’s hub and spoke distribution centers. The opening of the Erie Canal in 1824 provided an all water route to the rapidly growing port of New York and maritime trade on the Great Lakes flourished.
GLMTS includes Lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron, Michigan, and Superior, their connecting waters, and the St. Lawrence River. It is one of the largest concentrations of fresh water on the earth.
The Marine transportation on the system involves three general trade patterns: