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Transportation World Firsts

Personnel apprentices, brothers Newell and Henry Brown, on catwalk of the Mackinac Bridge. They are the sons of Capt. R.C. Brown who was in charge of cable wire splice testing.
Department of Transportation

Transportation World Firsts

1891:  World's first international underwater railroad tunnel (Port Huron Sarnia Tunnel).

1892:  World's first railroad car ferry to operate in open waters (as opposed to rivers or straits), was initiated by the Toledo, Ann Arbor, and North Michigan Railroad. The ferry crossed Lake Michigan between Elberta, Mich., and Keewaunee, Wis.

1922:  World's first airplane to exceed 200 mph (Selfridge Field).

1930:  World's first international underwater automobile tunnel (Detroit Windsor Tunnel).

1955:  World's first freeway-to-freeway interchange at I-94 (Edsel Ford) and M-10 (John Lodge) in Detroit, permitting motorists to make turns "simply by moving in the direction they wish to go."

1957:  Both the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit (1929), and the Mackinac Bridge (1957), were the world's longest suspension bridges when they were built.

1966:  World's largest automobile tire can be found next to eastbound I-94 just east of the M-39 interchange in Allen Park. (Note: The tire was built for the 1964 World's Fair in New York as a ferris wheel ride. It was moved to Michigan after the fair closed.)

1993:  World's first transportation agency to automate management and processing of construction products from the construction site through contractor payment, saving taxpayers more than $20 million per year. This was accomplished with the innovative Construction Project Record Keeping System which since has become the FieldManager suite of software.