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1950s Edsel Ford Expressway Temporary Closure

Today’s feature image taken for the “Detroit News” is dated May 21, 1956, and contains a shutdown of one-half of the Edsel Ford Expressway near the Trumbull exit. Two cars have blocked off the highway behind a tie-up and the line of traffic is waiting behind a motorcycle police officer on a Harley-Davidson V-twin.

The first section of the Edsel Ford Freeway was initially built in the early-1940s, and at that time it was named the Willow Run Expressway. The first section was constructed near Ypsilanti and Belleville in 1941 and it was later extended to Detroit when it was re-named the Edsel Ford. The highway eventually became a part of I-94 in Michigan.

Share with us what you find of interest in this photograph courtesy of the Wayne State University Libraries.

10 responses to “1950s Edsel Ford Expressway Temporary Closure

  1. Interesting mix of cars, the most notable being the 1954 Ford Skyliner (glass top) in the 3rd lane from the left. Behind it is an Austin-Healey 100/4. Sixth car back in second row from left might be a M-B 300SL gullwing. (Just behind a ‘53 or ‘54 Pontiac.)

  2. The 1st truck in line, is a pretty new looking ’55 Ford F-5 or 600. I had a truck exactly like that. Behind it a few rows, appears to be a mid 50’s Diamond T pulling the flatbed. The Davis truck looks like a GMC, and an early 50’s Ford F8 pulling another ( shorty) flatbed. Up on the ramp going the other way, is a shoebox Ford with the hood up. Probably overheating, I heard, the #1 reason for breakdowns in the 50’s.

    • People probably didn’t drive like entitled idiots and morons with the staggering regularity that they do today…

  3. There’s a Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing in front of the Diamond T 520, it’s lower than the truck’s grille.

  4. My take away is the lack of road safety standards back in the day. One the median is wide open with on barriers to prevent head-on crashes and the other are the light standards that dot the highway on both sides. Our Detroit freeways today may have broken concrete and pot holes everywhere (I live here) but I view this 1956 photo as scary.

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