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John Mackie, Michigan's last elected state highway commissioner, dies at age 88
Contact: Bill Shreck, MDOT Director of Communications, 517-335-3084Agency: Transportation
March 10, 2008 -- John C. Mackie died in Florida on Wednesday, March 5, at age 88. He was the state's last elected highway commissioner, and supervised the building of the interstate highway system in Michigan.
Mackie served as state highway commissioner from 1957 to 1964. He resigned after winning a congressional seat for Genesee and Lapeer counties, serving a two-year term.
"Under John Mackie's direction, Michigan built an interstate system and expanded state roadways. Today, we say that transportation is the backbone of Michigan's economy. John Mackie's leadership and vision in the '50s and '60s helped build that backbone," said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle.
More than 1,000 miles of interstate and state roads were constructed during Mackie's term as state highway commissioner. He was born in Toronto in 1920, and moved with his family to Detroit in 1924. He graduated from Michigan State University in 1942 with a degree in engineering. A veteran of the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, he will receive a military burial in Arlington National Cemetery.
He is survived by his wife, three daughters, and several grandchildren.
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