Michigan’s Plank Roads Craze Covered the State in The 1800s

Until the early to mid–the 1800s, many of our country's highways were dirt and mud trails. A contemporary movement at the time advocated for the construction of timber roads, which would be a significant advance in transportation. These plank boards were put across the road on log foundations in various lengths, but the majority were eight feet long. The roadways were built for wagons and were 12 feet or wider. The plank roads were broader in downtown areas. The First Plank Roads in Michigan While the first plank road was constructed in New York, the first corporation chartered to build a plank road was formed in Michigan in 1837. The Detroit, Plymouth, and Ann Arbor Turnpike Corporation or Timber Road Company was chartered by the Michigan House of Representatives on March 20, 1837. Over 200 plank road companies were founded in Michigan throughout the 1800s, with licenses granted for the building and operating approximately 5,800 miles of plank roads. Some were 220 miles long, from

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