Created in 1905, the State Highway Department, the precursor to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), revolutionized U.S. highway travel. Working with the Wayne County Road Commission, the agency paved the nation's first mile of concrete rural highway
on Woodward Avenue in Detroit in 1909. It responded to growing automobile tourism by opening the first state-operated information center
near New Buffalo in 1935. During World War II the state's first four-lane divided expressway carried workers from the Detroit area to Ford?s Willow Run bomber plant
in Ypsilanti. In 1973 MDOT expanded to include all transportation programs: ports, buses, aeronautics, marine, railroads, and non-motorized transportation.