Traveling on U.S. 127, we've gotten used to watching the mile markers go by. Heading north through Clare County, we see Mile 197, Mile 198, and a short distance from the Roscommon County line,
Travel one mile farther north, and of course we find
Actually, there's a reason for this. It appears to be part of the long-term renumbering of U.S. 27 to U.S. 127, as well as bringing the highway markings along that highway up to 21st century standards.
Limited-access highways are supposed to have mile markers, and interchanges are numbered according to the appropriate mile. The mileage system in Michigan numbers from the western or southern end of the road, or the point where the road enters the state.
The old numbers apparently were based -- vaguely -- on the distance from the Indiana state line along U.S. 27, when that road still existed in Michigan.
But according to the NAVTEQ map server and Google Maps, the distance along I-69 and U.S. 127 -- the old route of U.S. 27 -- from the Indiana line to the Clare-Roscommon line is 190 miles, not 199 miles. Ooops.
U.S. 27 was decommissioned in the state a few years ago and the route renumbered.
Now, the numbers seem to be based somewhat on U.S. 127's mileage. That road enters from Ohio south of Hudson, and is mostly freeway from Jackson north. At least the new miles are closer -- NAVTEQ and Google map the distance along that route from the Michigan-Ohio line to the Clare-Roscommon line at 184 miles. Once the new mile marker's up, it will be Mile 182.
Maybe MDOT has a secret plan to trim two miles off the south end of the road.
The Michigan Department of Transportation's University Region, which includes Ingham and Clinton counties, got their renumbering done first, so sharp-eyed drivers noted that the southern section of the 127 expressway ended at Mile 100. They'd drive the 16 miles of non-freeway divided highway into Gratiot County, and the freeway picked up again -- at Mile 133 on the old system.
Now, the North Region, which begins at Roscommon County, is changing the signs. There's no word on when the Bay Region, which includes Gratiot, Isabella and Clare counties, will follow suit.
So that will leave a confusing
situation for drivers, at least for a while. When a driver calls 9-1-1 and says they are somewhere between Mile 185 (the new one's near Houghton Lake) and Mile 186 (the old one's near Harrison), there's an awful lot of road to cover.(Photos by Andrew Ranzenberger)