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Historic US-27

Historic US-27On Page 1: Historical Overview
On Page 2: Year-by-Year History | Additional Information

This page mainly consists of a year-by-year history of US-27, including route realignments, business connections, bypasses and other changes to the route. A more general historical overview of US-27 can be found on Page 1.

Year-by-Year History

Before the debut of the US Highway System in 1926, the route of what would become US-27 consisted of two state trunklines: M-29 from the Indiana state line (at a connection with Indiana SR-13) to Lansing; and M-14 from Lansing northerly through Mount Pleasant and Clare to Cheboygan. When the US Highway System was finalized in late 1926, the US-27 designation replaced all of the first iteration of M-29 and all of M-14 north of Lansing, ending in downtown Cheboygan.
1927 Some of the first changes to the new US-27 routing this year are:
  • (May 24) US-27 is relocated in St Johns to continue from M-21/State St northerly on Whittemore St, westerly on Steel St, northerly on Clinton Ave and northwesterly on what is now part of BUS US-127 back to the original route of US-27 along Lansing St in the northwest corner of the city. The old route along Lansing St from M-21/State St to the relocated US-27 north of the city was officially turned back to local control on May 24, 1927.
  • (June 29-30) The route of US-27 is relocated north of Harrison onto the present-day path of BUS US-127 from south of Stockwell Rd to Arnold Lake Rd. The former route along Bass Lake, Stockwell and Grant Roads is turned back to local control on June 29th. On the next day, a new angled alignment of US-27 is officially added to the state highway system south of Roscommon along the present-day route of M-18. The former route along Wheeler and Robinson Lake Rds is turned back to local control.
1928 (Oct 26) A new alignment of US-27 is added to the state trunkline system in Harrison from south of M-61 to the corner of County Farm Rd and the existing US-27 along what is now BUS US-127. The former route along a now-abandoned road, Larch Rd and County Farm Rd is turned back to local control. Physical construction doesn't seem to have been completed until a year later, though.
1929 Several changes to US-27's routing during this year are:
  • A new direct alignment for US-27 is added to the state highway system from one mile south of the Clinton/Gratiot Co line due northerly to M-57/Washington Rd east of Ithaca, where US-27 turns westerly via Washington into Ithaca and its former alignment. (Much of this 1929 route is the current route of US-127 in the area.) The former route along Maple Rapids and DeWitt Rds in Clinton Co and along State Rd south of Ithaca in Gratiot Co is turned back to local control. While this change was officially made on July 27, 1927, construction was not completed until 1929.
  • (Apr 10) A slight realignment on the north side of Grayling 'cuts a corner' eliminating a 90° turn, with the former route being handed back to local control. (Both the old and new [1929] routes are under the present-day Grayling McNamara Army Air Field.)
  • (May 20) The former route of US-27 along Main St & Airport Rd in Vanderbilt is turned back to local control when a new route (now Old 27) is completed from downtown northwesterly to Airport Rd.
  • (June 12) In Coldwater, Clay St is turned back to local control from Division St northerly to US-112/Chicago St when the state assumes control of Division St from Clay to Chicago and moved the US-27 route to that street.
  • (Aug 17) Two small realignments occur in Gratiot and Isabella Counties. In Gratiot, US-27 is relocated from Alger & Jefferson Rds to run westerly on Monroe Rd and northerly on Luce Rd to the former alignment at Forest Hill. The old route is turned back to local control. In Isabella Co, a sweeping curve from Blanchard Rd onto Mission Rd is added and the old 90° corner is turned back to local control. (This sweeping curve would be removed and obliterated in the early-2000s.)
  • (Dec 2) The former route of US-27 in St Johns along M-21/State St and Lansing Rd in the west side of the city is re-added to the state highway system, much as it had been up to 1927. It is unclear how this re-added route was numbered, if it was numbered at all.
1930 Several changes to US-27's routing during this year are:
  • With the completion of US-27 along Monroe Rd from downtown St Louis westerly to the previous route at Alger Rd north of downtown Alma, the former route of US-27 through Alma is designated as US-27A.
  • A slight new angling realignment removes two 90° curves from US-27 at the Branch/Calhoun Co line south of Tekonsha. The change was made official on August 19, 1929, but the new roadway opens during 1930.
  • (Jan 20) The Shepherd bypass is completed and the US-27 designation is moved out of the village and onto the new highway. The former route through downtown Shepherd is designated as US-27A.
1931 (Aug 31) A slight realignment takes US-27 to the south side of the Pennsylvania Railroad tracks in Roscommon. Formerly running along North Central Dr from Lake St in downtown Roscommon northwesterly to the Crawford Co line, US-27 now runs along Fifth St, with the former route being turned back to local control. Also just northwest of Roscommon in Crawford Co, two 90° turns are replaced by a direct angling alignment between Merrio and Fletcher Rds, with the old route along Merrio and Fletcher being turned back to local control.
1932 A new alignment of US-27 opens between Kalamazoo Rd in Marshall and present-day N Drive North, north of Marshall, in early in the year. The rest of the new alignment of US-27 north of Marshall opens from present-day N Drive North to Garfield Rd later in the year, with the former route of US-27 along Kalamazoo St, 16½ Mile Rd, 16 Mile Rd and Garfield Rd is turned back to local control on Aug 29, 1932.
1935 Two changes to the route of US-27 this year:
  • (Jan 7) Within the City of St Johns, the May 1927 re-route of US-27 along Whittemore, Steel and Clinton Sts is turned back to local control, leaving the US-27 routing to presumably follow M-21/State St through the downtown area westerly to Lansing Rd, then northerly along Lansing Rd out of the city.
  • (Oct 22) A new alignment of US-27 is completed in northern Otsego Co between Parmater-Paquette Rds and Winters-Whitmarsh Rds including a new overpass at the Pennsylvania Railroad. The former route of US-27 is mostly obliterated by the new construction with the remainder abandoned as a public road.
1936 Another pair of changes in the route of US-27:
  • (Mar 20) US-27 is routed onto a new highway alignment in northern Otsego and southwest Cheboygan Cos, from just south of Thumb Lake Rd on the south to just southwest of Wolverine on the north. This segment, in conjunction with segments south of Houghton Lake and south of Charlotte, is one of the final portions of US-27 to be hard-surfaced in Michigan. After this year, the entire length of the highway is paved.
  • (Aug 30, 1937) While official documents state that Capitol Ave through downtown Lansing was transferred into the state highway system on August 30, 1937, the official highway maps begin showing this route as early as 1936. This new route of US-27 and M-78 along Capitol Ave, continuing easterly with M-39 along Saginaw St, is designated the US-27/M-78 PASSENGER CAR ROUTE. The pre-existing US-27/M-78 route through Lansing becomes US-27/M-78 TRUCK ROUTE.
1937 Three routing changes to US-27 during this year:
  • The length of US-27 is increased by 17 miles when it is extended concurrently with US-23 from Cheboygan to the State Ferry Docks in Mackinaw City. US-23 had previously run along this segment solo for more than a decade.
  • (Aug 30) The route of US-27 through St Johns changes once again when a new alignment is opened northerly from the cnr of M-21/State St & Whittemore St, bending northwesterly back to the pre-existing alignment at Clinton Ave on the north side of the city. The former US-27/M-21 along State St through downtown retains the M-21 designation, while the old route along Lansing St north of M-21 is turned back to local control.
  • (Aug 30) On the same day as the changes in St Johns are official, US-27 is officially rerouted onto new alignment southwest of Houghton Lake in Roscommon Co, beginning at Deadstream Rd and continuing southerly for 3½ miles. The old route along Deadstream & Emery Rds is turned back to local control.
1938 US-27 is relocated on the north side of Lansing onto a newly extended Larch St, meeting up with the former alignment, N East St, at Barnhart St. The former route of US-27 along McKinley & N East Sts is turned back to local control. While the change was official on December 30, 1937, the new route was actually completed and opened to traffic in 1938.
1939 (July 13) The route of US-27A, a loop through downtown Shepherd in southeast Isabella Co, is removed and the route is turned back to local control.
1940 (Nov 12) With the completion of the new alignment of US-23 along the Lake Huron shoreline east of Cheboygan, the US-23/US-27 concurrency for four miles south of Cheboygan becomes just US-27.
1941 (Nov 12) A 3-mile rerouting of US-27 on new alignment just southwest of Houghton Lake near Loxley opens, running along today's Old 27 and Federal Ave. An additional two-mile long northerly extension of this new alignment opens as M-169 (to become a segment of US-27 eight years later). The former route along Nestel & Loxley Rds is turned back to local control.
1942 (Jan 28) In downtown Lansing, the US-27/M-78 TRUCK ROUTE is removed from Washington Ave & Kalamazoo St easterly to Cherry St and relocated to continue easterly on Main St to Cherry St, then northerly on Cherry back to Kalamazoo St. The former route is turned back to local control.
(Aug 17) A slight realignment is completed along US-27 between M-55 and M-157 near Prudenville.
1945 (June 26) US-27 is relocated onto mostly new alignment north of Grayling from North Down River Rd to M-93/Hartwick Pines Rd (onto present-day BL I-75/M-93). The former route is mostly abandoned and now exists within the limits of the Grayling McNamara Army Air Field.
1949 (Nov 7-10) A new alignment of US-27 is completed, bypassing Houghton Lake and Higgins Lake to the west from the junction of M-169 (2 miles west of the hamlet of Houghton Lake) to the existing route 6 miles south of Grayling. The former M-169 is redesignated as US-27/M-55. The former route of US-27 between the ex-M-169 and M-55 at Houghton Lake becomes part of a rerouted M-55, while the portion of US-27/M-55 on the south side of Houghton Lake becomes just M-55. The former US-27 between Prudenville and Roscommon becomes an extension of M-18 and the last 10 miles back to the new US-27 becomes M-18/M-76. With the re-routing of M-55 along the former US-27 west of Houghton Lake, then northerly along the new US-27 (ex-M-169) back to M-55, the M-169 designation is transferred to the former M-55 through Houghton Lake Heights. This last change, though, is short-lived, as the newly-moved M-169 through Houghton Lake Heights is redesignated BUS M-55 by the beginning of 1950. These changes to the route of US-27 officially take effect on November 7 for the Crawford Co portion and November 11 for the Roscommon part.
(Nov 7) Also on November 7, US-27 is realigned to follow present-day M-27 between the two intersections with Ranch Rd southwest of Topinabee. The former route of US-27 along Ranch Rd is turned back to local control.
1950 Two routing changes in downtown Lansing:
  • (Nov 3, 27) US-27/M-78 TRUCK ROUTE is rerouted in downtown Lansing to continue easterly on Main St from the intersection of Cherry St, across the Grand River to Cedar & Larch Sts, then northerly on Larch back to the former route at Kalamazoo St. This route becomes official on November 3rd, but the transfer of the old route along Cherry & Kalamazoo Sts back to local control isn't official until November 27.
  • (Nov 30) Just a few days after the rerouting of US-27/M-78 TRUCK ROUTE in Lansing, the US-27/M-78 PASSENGER CAR ROUTE along Capitol Ave and Saginaw St is officially removed from the state trunkline system, although signage changes may have occurred simultaneously with the above relocation. Capitol Ave is turned back to local control, and the existing US-27/M-78 TRUCK ROUTE becomes just plain old US-27/M-78.
1951 (Oct 29) A new route into St Johns from the south opens, when a curving highway on new alignment is completed from the existing route at the corner of Scott & Townsend Rds northwesterly to Whittemore St, then northerly along Whittemore to the jct of the existing US-27 & M-21 east of downtown. The former portion of US-27—in part co-signed with M-21 along E State St and then southerly along Scott Rd—receives a new BUS US-27 route designation.
1952–53 (Aug 24, 1953) While officially credited as August 24, 1953, a new four-lane divided alignment of US-27/M-78 opens southwest of Lansing bypassing the hamlet of Millett, with the change first showing up on some of the 1952 official highway maps. The former route is turned back to local control, signed today as Old Lansing Rd.
1957 (Oct 21) Eleven days before the opening of the Mackinac Bridge between the Lower and Upper Peninsulas, the route of US-23/US-27 is officially transferred onto the approach roadway for the Bridge. While US-23 and US-31 end at the southern end of the new Bridge, US-27 continues across the structure to St Ignace. While the official transfer of the routes is October 21, the new highways open to traffic on November 1st. The former route of US-23/US-27 northerly along Huron St into Mackinaw City to the State Ferry Docks is turned back to local control.
1959 (Dec 7) In order to increase capacity and safety, the north- and southbound traffic flows along US-27 through the center of Lansing are separated. Nortbound US-27 remains on Larch St while southbound is moved over to the parallel Cedar St from Main St northerly to North St.
      Also, north of Lansing near Ithaca, the first short portion of the new partially-limited-access US-27 "expressway" is opened from Bagley Rd to Washington Rd.
c.1960 The I-75 designation is applied to the Mackinac Bridge with the opening of additional segments and the US-27 designation is scaled back to end in Mackinaw City once again. US-27 was only the second of three highway designations to ever cross the Mackinac Straits; the first was US-31 in the late-20s and early-30s, the third was, and still is, I-75.
1960 (Dec 30) Another leg in the new limited-access expressway opens from M-46/Monroe Rd west of St Louis to the south side of Mount Pleasant. Interchanges are located at M-46 and Blanchard Rd (east of Shepherd), with the remaining crossroads closed or crossing at-grade. This new segment is officially added to the state trunkline system on December 30th. The former route from the beginning of the expressway southeast of Ithaca to the southern Ithaca interchange, along Bagley & Washington Rds, as well as the segment of former US-27 from M-46 west of St Louis to the end of the new highway on the south side of Mt Pleasant (Luce, Shepherd, Federal, Blanchard and Mission Rds) is turned back to local control on that date as well.
1961 Some major changes come to US-27 this year:
  • New! (Aug 10) The northbound lanes on the US-27 freeway bypass at Mount Pleasant in Isabella Co are opened to traffic from the southern Mount Pleasant interchange (present-day US-127 Exit 139) northerly for 3.3 miles to M-20 (present-day Exit 143). Nbd US-27 traffic then continues west along M-20/Pickard Rd back to existing US-27 at Mission St. Southbound US-27 traffic continues to use the existing route through Mount Pleasant.
  • Updated (Dec 1) With the opening of a new 33-mile segment of I-75 freeway from south of Grayling to M-32 at Gaylord on this date, the US-27 designation is drastically scaled back from Mackinaw City to end at jct I-75 & M-18/M-76 six miles south of Grayling. The total loss of mileage for US-27 is 94 miles. The new freeway is built on top of the old US-27 alignment between the new terminus of US-27 and the city of Grayling. Through Grayling, the former US-27 becomes BL I-75, then a county road between there and Waters. Since the new I-75 freeway is not complete from Waters to north of Indian River, the former US-27 is designated as "TO I-75," a temporary designation. It is unclear whether any "TO I-75" route marker assemblies actually went up, or if the old US-27 shields were just retained for the time being. One map source, however, shows a concurrently designated I-75/US-27 between Grayling and Gaylord and a preserved US-27 routing from there to Indian River in 1962. From the end of the completed I-75 north of Indian River into Cheboygan, US-27 is redesignated as M-27, and the final stretch to Mackinaw City, concurrent as US-23/US-27, becomes just US-23. Official effective dates (not necessarily dates of opening to traffic) follow the next note below.
  • Updated (Nov 10, Nov 14) Three segments of the partially limited-access US-27 "expressway" are open on Nov 10: 1) from Washington Rd at Ithaca to M-46/Monroe Rd west of St Louis; 2) from the southern Mount Pleasant interchange northerly to the northern Clare interchange at Clare Ave; and 3) from the southern Harrison interchange at M-61 northerly to M-55 at Houghton Lake. Four days later on Nov 14, a 17-5-mile segment of US-27 expressway is opened to traffic from M-55 at Houghton Lake northerly to a new northern terminus for US-27 at I-75, six miles south of Grayling. For all four segments of expressway, interchanges are located at many major roads with intersections at some secondary roads (others are blocked-off). From Clare northerly to I-75, US-27 is also designated as "TO I-75." One source, however, says that actual "I-75" route markers were erected along the route instead of "TO I-75" or "TEMPORARY I-75" signs. All of the former route of US-27 between Ithaca and I-75 is turned back to local control, except for portions through Ithaca, St Louis, Mount Pleasant, Clare, and Harrison, which become new designations of BUS US-27. The former ALT US-27 (or US-27A) through Alma also becomes BUS US-27. Official effective dates (not dates of opening to traffic) are as follows:
    • Aug 11: Certification of new US-27 expressway from Bagley Rd southeast of Ithaca to Gratiot/Isabella Co line.
    • Aug 11: Transfer of former route of US-27 to county control along State Rd from Polk Rd north of Ithaca to Lincoln Rd south of St Louis.
    • Nov 25: Certification of new US-27 expressway from Gratiot/Isabella Co line northerly to Isabella/Clare Co line.
    • Nov 25: Certification of new BUS US-27 connections on the south and north sides of Mt Pleasant in Isabella Co.
    • Nov 25: Transfer of former route of US-27 to county control along Mission Rd from BUS US-27 on the north side of Mt Pleasant to BUS US-27 on the south side of Clare.
    • Dec 4: Certification of new US-27 expressway from the Isabella/Clare Co line northerly through Clare and Roscommon and into Crawford Co.
    • Dec 4: Transfer of former route of US-27 to county control from the new expressway north of Clare to jct M-61 southeast of Harrison; from the north Harrison interchange to the new northern terminus of US-27 in Crawford Co south of Grayling.
    • Dec 4: Transfer of former route of US-27 to county control from M-93 north of Grayling to the Crawford/Otsego Co line.
    • Dec 18: Transfer of former route of US-27 to county control from the Crawford/Otsego Co line northerly to Marlette Lake Rd in Waters.
  • (Dec 11) A new two-lane US-27 bypass is constructed around the east side of Charlotte, with the former route through the city designated BUS US-27.
1962 With the completion of I-96 around the west and south sides of Lansing, the concurrent M-78 designation is transferred to that route from US-27 through Lansing. The route through town becomes US-27/BUS M-78.
In Northern Michigan, several segments of what had formerly been part of US-27 are transferred to local control after more of the I-75 freeway is completed in the area. They are:
  • (June 20) From Marlette Lake Rd in Waters to M-32 in downtown Gaylord is transferred to local control,
  • (Sept 1) The portion from M-32 in Gaylord northerly to Airport Rd in Vanderbilt is handed back, and
  • (Nov 15) The segment from Vanderbilt northerly to Indian River is transferred to the locals.
1962 New! (Mid) The last segment of the US-27 expressway between the northern Clare interchange at Clare Ave and the southern Harrison Interchange at M-61 in Clare Co is completed and opened to traffic, even though the entire route through Clare Co was determined on Dec 4, 1961 and the existing route of US-27 along Clare Ave between Clare and M-61 southeast of Harrison had been officially transferred to county control on that same day.
1964 (June 30) While it had been replaced by the "new" US-27 routing thirteen years earlier, BUS US-27/Scott Rd along the eastern city limit of St Johns from Townsend Rd northerly to M-21 is transferred back to local control. While some official State Highway Department documents label the route as BUS US-27, another source shows it additionally as CONN M-21, although it is not clear precisely which route designations were actually posted in the field.
c.1965 By 1965, the conversion of the portion of the partially limited-access "expressway" between Ithaca and Clare into a freeway with full control of access (ie. overpasses constructed at the remaining intersections) is complete.
(early Nov)
The conversion of the final portion of partially limited-access "expressway" between Clare and I-75 south of Grayling into a freeway with full control of access (ie. overpasses construced at the remaining intersections) is complete in November.
1967 The first segments of the new I-69/US-27 freeway open:
  • (Nov 1) The segment of the I-69/US-27 freeway from the Indiana state line northerly to the Branch/Calhoun Co line is certified, and much of the former route of US-27 is turned back to local control on this day. The exception is the 3 miles from Fenn Rd northerly to US-12/Chicago St downtown Coldwater, which becomes part of a new BL I-69.
  • (Dec 15) Six weeks later, the segment of the I-69/US-27 freeway from the Branch/Calhoun Co line northerly to I-94 at Marshall is certified. Old US-27 here remains an unnumbered state highway for several more months.
1967 Three more changes to the route of US-27 this year:
  • (June 28) The portion of former US-27 from the Branch/Calhoun Co line northerly to BL I-94/Michigan Ave in downtown Marshall, replaced by the new I-69/US-27 freeway six months earlier, is turned back to local control.
  • (Oct 22) Officially, the portion of the new I-496/US-27 freeway from the Lansing Rd interchange on the western limit of Lansing to the US-27/US-127/Cedar St interchange southeast of downtown is certified into the state highway system, but doesn't open to traffic until the next year.
  • (Nov 29) The portion of US-27/BUS M-78 along Main & St Joseph Sts from the new interchange with I-496 (under construction) to Sbd M-99/Birch St is officially turned back to local control. This stretch remains signed as US-27/BUS M-78 until the I-496/US-27 freeway is completed the next year, though.
1969 (Dec 12) A new segment of the I-69/US-27 freeway is certified as state trunkline from I-94 at Marshall northerly to the Calhoun/Eaton Co line, although this segment will not be completed until the end of 1970. US-27 remains fully-signed on the existing route for the time being.
1970 Three changes to US-27 in this year:
  • (Dec 8) Six miles of the new I-69/US-27 freeway are opened to traffic from I-94 at Marshall to Garfield Rd in northern Calhoun Co... but there is a catch! This new segment of freeway is signed for automobile traffic only! The existing US-27 route is retained as a signed state highway for truck traffic, as the temporary connector from the end of the open freeway back to US-27 along Garfield Rd is a substandard county road. According to Tom Ketchum, this connection along Garfield "was a terrible stretch of asphalt in 1971, surface-wise, width-wise and also was very curvy," much as it remains today. Tom relates signs clearly posted the truck route and the cars-only restriction on the new freeway. The Garfield Rd connection was temporarily assumed into the state highway system on December 8th, and it is assumed this coincided with the opening of the 6-mile stretch of the new freeway. —Many thanks to Tom Ketchum for the excellent information!
  • (June 24) The route of the proposed I-69/US-27 freeway from Garfield Rd in northern Calhoun Co to Charlotte is officially certified as a state trunkline on this date, but is about two years from completion and opening to traffic.
  • (Dec 18) With the completion of the I-496/US-27 freeway through downtown Lansing, the former route of US-27 along the Main St/St Joseph St one-way pair is turned back to local control (specificially the segments from Sbd M-99/Birch St easterly to Cherry St). US-27 is now concurrently signed with I-496 between Lansing Rd and Cedar St.
1971 New! (Fall) The US-27 bypass of Charlotte in Eaton Co—originally constructed as an undivided, two-lane limited-access highway in 1961—is converted to a fully controlled-access freeway with grade separations, interchanges, and a new set of northbound lanes with the southbound lanes using the original bypass highway. It is unclear whether I-69 route markers appear on the Charlotte bypass at this time or if that occurs when the freeway connection is completed from the south.
1971 (June 30) The BUS US-27 designation is removed from Marshall and the the portion of the former BUS US-27 (recently part of US-27 itself) between BL I-94/Michigan Ave in downtown Marshall to I-94 north of the city is turned back to local control.
1972 The I-69/US-27 freeway is opened northeasterly from Garfield Rd in northern Calhoun Co past Olivet and along the Charlotte bypass, ending at the junction of US-27, BUS US-27 & M-78 northeast of Charlotte. While truck traffic is now allowed on the I-69/US-27 freeway north of I-94, the former route of US-27 from Marshall northerly to Charlotte is retained as an unsigned state trunkline for about a year. The temporary connector route along Garfield Rd in northern Calhoun Co, however, is turned back to local control on November 20th. At Charlotte, the BUS US-27 routing between the two junctions of I-69/US-27 is retained.
1973 Additional changes to US-27 in this year:
  • The final link of I-75 is completed between Roscommon and West Branch, signalling the removal of the "TO I-75" designation from US-27 north of Clare, and any accompanying I-75 route markers along the route.
  • (Apr 4) The route of BUS US-27 in downtown Ithaca is slightly changed. The designation is removed from Center St between Main & Pine River Sts and from Pine River St from Center to Emerson Sts, and is relocated to Main & Emerson Sts. The rest of the route is untouched.
  • (July 20) The former route of US-27 from I-94 at Marshall to the Calhoun/Eaton Co line is turned back to local control.
1974 BUS US-27 through Charlotte is redesignated as BL I-69.
1974 (Feb) M-78, concurrently posted with US-27 between Charlotte and Lansing, is scaled back to end at jct I-69/US-27 at Olivet and a designation of TEMP I-69 ("Temporary I-69") is routed along US-27 between Charlotte and Lansing to replace what had been M-78.
1975 The US-10/M-115 freeway opens from US-27 westerly, north of Clare and Farwell. US-10 now runs concurrently with US-27 between Clare and the new US-10 freeway.
1979 (May 15) South/eastbound traffic on BUS US-27 in downtown Alma is moved onto a different route via Lincoln, Center & Pine Sts, with north/westbound traffic remaining on Superior St.
1985 A new northern freeway bypass of Lansing, designated as US-27, opens between I-96 (at Exits 89-91) and the US-27/US-127 interchange near DeWitt. The US-27 designation now runs northerly from its original alignment via I-96 from Exit 98 northerly to Exit 91, then turns easterly across the north side of Lansing back to its original routing near DeWitt. All of the former US-27 between I-96 (at Exit 98) and US-127 (near DeWitt) is redesignated as a new BUS US-27 routing.
(Sept 25)
With the opening of a new segment of I-69 freeway between US-127 and Peacock Rd in southeastern Clinton County on Sept 25, 1987, the I-69 designation is routed via I-96/US-27 northerly from I-96 at Exit 98 southwest of Lansing to Exit 91, then easterly across the north side of Lansing concurrently with US-27 to DeWitt, continuing easterly along US-127 for an additional 2 miles.
1991 MDOT applies to the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO) to have US-27 truncated at Fort Wayne, Indiana. AASHTO denies this request, presumably because MDOT doesn't make clear what they intend to do with US-27 between De Witt and Grayling. For the time being, US-27 will remain as it has for 65 years in Michigan, but it is clear the route has been placed on the endangered list and may not be long before decommissioning.
1992 (Oct 22) The final segments of the new I-69/US-27 freeway open between Charlotte and I-96 southwest of Lansing. The former route of TEMP I-69/US-27 (Lansing Rd) becomes an unsigned state trunkline, as does the decertified BUS US-27 (Lansing Rd) from I-96 into Lansing. BUS US-27 now runs from the junction of I-69/US-27 near DeWitt southerly to end at Michigan Ave in Lansing. BUS US-27 along Lansing Rd between I-69/US-27 Exit 72 and I-496 Exit 4 becomes an un-signed trunkline, while "officially" retaining the BUS US-27 designation for internal MDOT purposes.
1995 (Nov 9) The first segment of the new "St Johns Bypass" opens between Price Rd and M-21 east of St Johns. The northern portion between M-21 and US-27 north of St Johns is held up due to the discovery of mastadon bones in the construction zone. Accordingly, this segment is not signed as US-27, but as "TO M-21 EAST" northbound and as "TO US-27 SOUTH" southbound. Through US-27 traffic is maintained on the existing highway through St Johns.
1996 New! (June 4) In preparation for the completion and opening of the full "St Johns Bypass" by the end of the year, Price Rd from the existing US-27 easterly to the interchange with the relocated US-27 freeway interchange is officially transferred to state control as part of the anticipated BUS US-27 route. For its first two years, however, this segment of Price Rd would actually be signed as and used for the mainline route of US-27 until the segment of freeway from Price Rd southerly to the I-69 & US-127 jct is completed.
1996 (Dec 15) The full "St Johns Bypass" opens around St Johns and the US-27 designation is transferred onto it. The former route of US-27 through St Johns becomes BUS US-27, although the actual "BUSINESS" signs aren't physically erected along the route until late-1997/early-1998.
1998 (Aug 31) At 9:17am on Monday, August 31, 1998, the northbound lanes of the final link in the long-awaited "St Johns Bypass," were opened to through traffic. The southbound lanes open within a couple hours of the northbound side. US-27 is now a freeway for the first 106 miles in Michigan, with only 15.7 miles of non-freeway divided highway between St Johns and Ithaca yet to be upgraded. With the opening of the new freeway, US-27 gains almost 3.6 miles, while US-127 loses about 1.7 miles in length. This was caused by the US-27 designation replacing the US-127 designation along I-69 between Exit 87 and 89 near DeWitt. The 7.73 miles of former US-27 from I-69 (at Exit 87 near DeWitt) to Price Rd (5 miles south of downtown St Johns) is now an un-numbered state trunkline, erroneously labled as BUS US-27 on some commercial maps. The portion of US-27 temporarily routed along Price Rd from the former US-27 to the new freeway becomes a part of St Johns' BUS US-27, adding 1.25 miles to that highway's route. In all the entire so-called "St Johns Bypass" includes four new interchanges, 14 highway overpasses and four freeway overpasses at the abandoned Central Michigan Railroad east of St Johns.
1999 Updated (Apr 16) At the April 16, 1999 meeting of the Standing Committee on U.S. Route numbering, MDOT applies once again to AASHTO for truncation of the US-27 designation back to Fort Wayne, Indiana (with the cooperation of InDOT), and for the redesignation of all of US-27 from DeWitt northerly to Grayling as part of US-127, and is given the go-ahead. Specifically, this is done the other way around, first petitioning to redesignate US-27 from DeWitt northerly as US-127, then immediately petitioning to truncate the newly-truncated US-27 back to Fort Wayne. It seems doing it the other way around was what caused AASHTO to deny the truncation eight years earlier. While MDOT intends on carrying through with the changeover, almost no signage changes take place for two years from the truncation approval.
2000 (Sept 18) The final signalized intersection on US-27 in Michigan is removed with the completion of the M-57 interchange in southern Gratiot Co.
2001 Most of the US-27 route markers are removed from the 89-mile portion of the route concurrent with I-69, between the Indiana state line and jct US-127 at DeWitt north of Lansing. Most of the signs were removed in June and July, with most of the stragglers being removed later in the year. A few markers remained, though, into 2002.
2002 (May) The Big Changeover from US-27 north of Lansing to US-127 occurs. Starting in May in the Bay and North Regions (Gratiot, Isabella, Clare and Roscommon Counties), new US-127 markers go up along the freeway and the various Business Connections. This signals the end of US-27 in Michigan.


Additional Information

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