The Mason County Quiz, March 29, 2024: Answers

The Mason County Quiz is presented by Lake Michigan Senior Living, located on the bluffs of Lake Michigan in beautiful Summit Township.

How much do you know about Mason County?

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

1. What is the official name of the highway that runs from Brye Road to the Scottville bypass?

a. M-116

b. US 10

c. US 10-31

d. US 31

C. US 10-31

The official name of the highway is US 10-31, as the US 31 freeway ends at this point and combines with US 10 until it reaches the bypass just west of the Scottville city limits. Before the freeway was completed, the route was designated US 10-31 from the intersection of US 10 and what is now called Pere Marquette Highway (formerly US 31).

2. What was the first numbered designation of what is now route US 31 in Michigan?

a. US 52

b. M-22

c. M-116

d. M-11

D. M-11

The West Michigan Lake Shore Highway Association was founded on Jan. 10, 1912 and then reorganized in May 1913 as the West Michigan Pike Association. The group’s auto trail consisted of 8-feet tall concrete markers along a 400 mile long roadway from the Indiana state line northward to Mackinaw City.

The highway was also part of the Western Mainline of the Dixie Highway in Michigan, which was another auto trail that began construction in 1915. The northern junction between the West Michigan Pike and the East Michigan Pike, which served as the connection for the two mainlines of the Dixie Highway in Michigan, met in Mackinaw City and was marked with a stone monument at the intersection of Central Avenue and Huron Street.

In 1913, the State Trunkline Highway System was created by an act of the Michigan Legislature. Division 5 of the system followed a course from Niles northward, along the Lake Michigan shoreline, to Mackinaw City. In 1919, the Michigan State High Department (Now Michigan Department of Transportation) signposted the highway system. The future US 31 corridor was assigned two numbers: M-58, from a connection with Indiana SR-1 at the state line south of Niles to M-11 (later US 12) in St. Joseph; and M-11 from St. Joseph up the western shore of the Lower Peninsula ending with M-10 (later US 23) in downtown Mackinaw City. The highways basically were routes created utilizing local roads. They were rarely straight paths from point A to point B. In 1926, those two designations were combined into US 31. The highway names M-11 and M-58 are used elsewhere in the state.

The American Association of State Highway Officials approved the United States Numbered Highway System on Nov. 11, 1926, designating US 31 in Michigan. As a result the US 31 designation was chosen over US 23 designation to run across the state highway ferries at the Straits of Mackinac. US 31 at that time continued an additional nine miles north of St. Ignace to end at US 2 in Rogers Park. US 31 is one of only three route designations to ever cross the Straits, the others were US 27 (1957-1960) and I-75 (beginning in 1960).

US 31 begins its northerly route in Spanish Fort, Alabama and ends in Mackinaw City. In Michigan, the highway runs from the Michigan-Indiana border up the state’s western coast, along Lake Michigan, until it meets I-75 at the tip of the Lower Peninsula (just west of the end of US 23).

3. In what year did the US 31 freeway reach US 10?

a. 1990

b. 1976

c. 1980

d. 1989

A. 1990

The US 31 freeway reached US 10 in 1990. From 1980 to 1989 the freeway ended at the Oceana County line. In 1989, construction was completed to what is now known as Pere Marquette Highway, known prior as US 31. At that time US 31 continued on Pere Marquette Highway north to US 10. Also in 1990, the widening of US 10 and US 10-31 to five lanes between Pere Marquette Highway and Scottville is completed.

Read more about the history of US 31 here.

Lake Michigan Senior Living, 4895 S. Lakeshore Dr. in Summit Township, offers beautiful views of Lake Michigan, activities and exceptional care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The facility consists of four housing units on the bluffs overlooking Lake Michigan. For more information, call 231-843-9963 or go to www.lakemiseniorliving.com.

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