Interstate 69 or I -69 is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Michigan. The highway forms a long arc in the southeast of the state and runs from Kinderhook on the Indiana border via the state capital Lansing to the Canadian border at Port Huron. The route is 324 kilometers long.
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I-69 at Flint.
I-69 at Port Huron.
I-69 on the border with Canada.
Interstate 69 in Indiana crosses the Michigan border at Kinderhook. The highway then runs through flat farmland to the north, with occasional small lakes along the route. At the town of Coldwater you cross the US 12. At the town of Marshall one crosses Interstate 94, the highway from Chicago to Detroit. The road then continues its monotonous route to the north. There are no large towns on the 110 kilometers from the border to Lansing.
One then reaches Lansing, the capital of Michigan. Here, I-69 merges with Interstate 96, the highway from Grand Rapids to Detroit. On the west side of Lansing, Interstate 496 exits into downtown Lansing, while I-69 runs along the west and north sides of town. On the north side of town, one intersects US 127, the highway from Jackson in the south to Mount Pleasant in the north.
Interstate 69 has taken a complete easterly direction after Lansing. You pass further through monotonous rural area without many differences in height or forests. You then reach the town of Flint, which has a population of 125,000. Here one crosses Interstate 75, the highway from Detroit to Sault Ste. Marie in far north Michigan. You then pass the center of the city and the highway has 2×3 lanes here. Flint’s east side intersects with Interstate 475, the city’s eastern bypass.
After Flint, monotonous countryside follows again. The main road crossing here is State Route 53, a main road from Detroit to Port Austin on Lake Huron. 100 kilometers after Flint you reach the border town of Port Huron. From here, Interstate 94 and Interstate 69 are double-numbered to the border, to indicate the through nature of both freeways. The highway connects here via the Blue Water Bridge to Highway 402 to Toronto.
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In the original 1956 Interstate Highways plan, I-69 would run no further north than I-94 at Marshall. This would primarily serve as a link between Indianapolis and Detroit. However, the state of Michigan had already foreseen that the route would later be extended further north to the capital Lansing.
Due to the lack of major cities on the route, construction on I-69 did not begin as quickly as other highways running to and from Detroit. I-69 would also eventually be the last mainline Interstate Highway in Michigan to be completed.
Construction on the highway began in the late 1950s as the western approach road from Flint. The first sections of this section opened in phases between 1960 and 1962. In 1964, the easternmost section, which coincides with I-94 at Port Huron and provides access to the Blue Water Bridge to Canada, also opened. In 1967, the southernmost portion of the highway between the Indiana border and I-94 opened at Marshall.
In 1971 a long section opened through Flint and further east to Lapeer. This made Flint one of the best-connected smaller towns in Michigan at the time, both I-69 and I-75 were completed early here in a short time. However, construction of I-69 stalled after that. Construction did not resume until the late 1970s, and between 1980 and 1984, the last sections of the east-west stretch between Flint and Port Huron opened as a regional bypass of Detroit. In 1991, I-69 east of Lansing was completed. The last section was the upgrade of the road between Charlotte and Lansing, which opened as a highway on October 22, 1992. With this, I-69 was completed through Michigan.
|Exit 123 Lennon||Exit 128 Black Creek||8 km||00-00-1960|
|Exit 118 Durand||Exit 123 Lennon||8 km||00-00-1961|
|Exit 105 Perry||Exit 118 Durand||21 km||00-00-1962|
|Exit 200 Port Huron||Exit 201 Blue Water Bridge||2 km||00-00-1964|
|Exit 198 I-94 (Port Huron)||Exit 200 Port Huron||3 km||00-00-1966|
|Indiana state line||Exit 23 Tekonsha||37 km||01-11-1967|
|Exit 23 Tekonsha||Exit 38 I-94 (Marshall)||24 km||15-12-1967|
|Exit 38 I-94 (Marshall)||Exit 42 Convis||6 km||08-12-1970|
|Exit 128 Black Creek||Exit 155 Lapeer||43 km||00-00-1971|
|Exit 42 Convis||Exit 62 Charlotte||32 km||00-00-1972|
|Exit 80 I-96 (Lansing)||Exit 89 East Lansing||14 km||00-00-1984|
|Exit 184 Riley||Exit 196 I-94 (Port Huron)||19 km||00-00-1984|
|Exit 155 Lapeer||Exit 184 Riley||47 km||00-12-1984|
|Exit 89 East Lansing||Exit 98 Woodhull||14 km||00-1x-1987|
|Exit 98 Woodhull||Exit 105 Perry||12 km||00-00-1991|
|Exit 62 Charlotte||Exit 72 I-96 (Lansing)||16 km||22-10-1992|
I-69 has little congestion and has 2×3 lanes on only a small number of stretches, namely along the west side of Lansing and the stretch through Flint. These were presumably constructed immediately during construction with 2×3 lanes. Between 2018 and 2022, Flint has reconstructed I-69 in several phases, first between I-75 and Downtown in 2018 and then through Downtown in 2021-2022.
The highway is quiet, with usually about 20,000 to 25,000 vehicles per day. Towards Port Huron this drops to 16,000 vehicles after Flint.
|exit 0||Exit 133||2×2|
|Exit 133||Exit 143||2×3||Flint|
|Exit 143||Exit 199||2×2|