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BL I-496 marker

BL I-496
Capitol Loop I-496 (CL I-496), Connector 496
Route information
Auxiliary route of I-496
Length 2.398 mi (3.859 km)
Eastbound length is 2.088 mi (3.360 km)
Westbound length is 2.398 mi (3.859 km)
Existed October 13, 1989 (October 13, 1989)–present
History Proposed in 1986
Major junctions
West end I-496 / M-99 in Lansing
  BL I-96 in Lansing
East end I-496 / BL I-96 in Lansing
Counties: Ingham
Highway system
Interstate Highway System
Main • Auxiliary • Business

Michigan State Trunkline Highway System
Interstate • US • State (CDH)

I-496 M-553

The Capitol Loop is a state trunkline highway running through Lansing, Michigan, in the United States that was commissioned on October 13, 1989. It forms a loop route off Interstate 496 (I-496) through downtown near the Michigan State Capitol complex, home of the state legislature and several state departments. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has labeled it as Capitol Loop I-496 or CL I-496 on some maps, similar to the Business Loop Interstate nomenclature. However, unlike other business loops in Michigan, it has unique reassurance markers—the signs that serve as regular reminders of the name and number of the highway. It is known internally at MDOT as Connector 496 for inventory purposes. The route follows a series of one-way and two-way streets through downtown Lansing, directing traffic downtown to the State Capitol and other government buildings. Unlike the other streets downtown, the seven streets comprising the Capitol Loop are under state maintenance and jurisdiction.

The loop was originally proposed in 1986 as part of a downtown revitalization effort. Almost from the beginning before the highway was commissioned in 1989, it was affected by controversial proposals. Several suggestions by community leaders to rename city streets in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. were rejected. In the end, Logan Street was given a second name, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and the original name was eventually dropped.

Meetings beginning in 1999 dealt with rebuilding the streets as part of a downtown beautification project. The project was delayed to accommodate replacing the sewer system under the roadway at the same time as the streetscaping. The downtown business community protested the original scope of construction, and the Lansing City Council threatened to cancel the project in response to the controversy. Instead of losing the investment in the downtown area, the scope of the project was reduced in scale, and the project was completed in 2005, three months ahead of schedule. In 2010, additional controversies surfaced regarding the posting and enforcement of speed limits on city streets in Michigan, including the streets that make up the Capitol Loop. The newest controversy over speed limits is related to compliance with a 2006 state law aimed at eliminating speed traps.

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