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M-1 (Michigan highway)

State highway in Michigan, United States / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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M-1, commonly known as Woodward Avenue, is a north–south state trunkline highway in the Metro Detroit area of the US state of Michigan. The highway, called "Detroit's Main Street", runs from Detroit north-northwesterly to Pontiac. It is one of the five principal avenues of Detroit, along with Michigan, Grand River, Gratiot, and Jefferson avenues. These streets were platted in 1805 by Judge Augustus B. Woodward, namesake to Woodward Avenue. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has listed the highway as the Automotive Heritage Trail, an All-American Road in the National Scenic Byways Program. It has also been designated a Pure Michigan Byway by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), and was also included in the MotorCities National Heritage Area designated by the US Congress in 1998.

Quick facts: M-1, Route information, Length, Existed, Hist...

M-1 marker


Woodward Avenue
M-1 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by MDOT
Length21.488 mi[1] (34.582 km)
HistoryWoodward Avenue platted in 1805[2] and a state highway since 1913[3]
Major junctions
South endAdams Avenue in Detroit
Major intersections
North endBusiness_Loop_75.svgBusiness_plate.svg
BL I-75 / Bus. US 24 near Pontiac
CountryUnited States
CountiesWayne, Oakland
Highway system
I-696.svg I-696US_2.svg US 2

The trunkline is the dividing line between Detroit's East and West sides and connects to some of the city's major freeways like Interstate 94 (I-94, Edsel Ford Freeway) and M-8 (Davison Freeway). Woodward Avenue exits Detroit at M-102 (8 Mile Road) and runs through the city's northern suburbs in Oakland County on its way to Pontiac. In between, Woodward Avenue passes through several historic districts in Detroit and provides access to many businesses in the area. The name Woodward Avenue has become synonymous with Detroit, cruising culture and the automotive industry.

Woodward Avenue was created after the Detroit Fire of 1805. The thoroughfare followed the route of the Saginaw Trail, an Indian trail that linked Detroit with Pontiac, Flint, and Saginaw. The Saginaw Trail connected to the Mackinaw Trail, which ran north to the Straits of Mackinac at the tip of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. In the age of the auto trails, Woodward Avenue was part of the Theodore Roosevelt International Highway that connected Portland, Maine, with Portland, Oregon, through Ontario in Canada. It was also part of the Dixie Highway, which connected Michigan with Florida. Woodward Avenue was the location of the first mile (1.6 km) of concrete-paved roadway in the country. When Michigan created the State Trunkline Highway System in 1913, the roadway was included, numbered as part of M-10 in 1919. Later, it was part of US Highway 10 (US 10) following the creation of the United States Numbered Highway System. Since 1970, it has borne the M-1 designation. The roadway carried streetcar lines from the 1860s until the 1950s; a new streetcar line known as the QLine opened along part of M-1 in 2017.