Williams, Allan M. (1892-1979)

Allan Williams

Allan M. Williams introduced the first publicly accessible roadside picnic table on state government right-of-way in 1929. The success of this rustic furnishing for outdoor eating was immediate; within a few years these aids to hungry travelers were installed by the State Highway Department all along the transportation network of our two peninsulas.

During his 40-year career as a highway engineer, Williams also helped draft Michigan's first official road map for motorists, collaborated in developing the diamond-shaped sign that still designates the numbers of state trunkline routes, and pioneered the use of the angled, concave, straight-blade, front-mounted snowplow.

In 1926, Williams cut the opening ribbon for the last paved stretch of improved US-16. In 1977, he was asked to perform the same task for the final section of the successor parallel road, I-96.

Michigan Transportation Hall of Honor, 2006