Highways Over The Water

Two US Highways, US-9 and US-10, have ferries that traverse waterways that would otherwise be considered gaps in their routes. 

US-9 ended at Lafayette Street in Cape May, NJ before the Cape May–Lewes Ferry began service in 1964, allowing the route to run through the Delaware Bay. Now the road runs in Delaware from Lewes to Laurel, ending at US-13.

Image: Corco Highways

US-10 was considered to have a gap in it until 2015, when the Historic SS Badger Ferry was officially codified into the route, traversing Lake Michigan between Ludington, MI and Manitowoc, WI. 

The complexities of US geography are to blame for this. In the original plan of the US Highway system, only US-2 was planned to have a gap, as connecting the Eastern and Western US-2 would have required going through Canada, or creating a pretty insane detour around the southern part of the Great Lakes.

In 10's case, it was originally proposed to run from Detroit to Chicago and north to Manitowoc, which would have never required a gap. In 1926, this route became US-12, and 10 was routed as the road from Ludington-Detroit, picking up again on the other side of Lake Michigan at Manitowoc.

Present day US-10 in all its glory. SS Badger. US-10 historically connected Seattle and Detroit before being largely replaced by I-90 in the west, and US-23/M-10 in Michigan.

Thanks as always for reading!


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