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Frwy at Exit 185 in northwestern Detroit -or-
Cnr Grand River Ave & Cass Ave in downtown Detroit
|Northern Terminus:||At Pontiac Tr & Martin Pkwy (roundabout) in Commerce Twp, Oakland County at the northern end of the "Haggerty Connector"|
|Length:||20.86 miles -or- 28.8 miles|
|Map:||Route Map of M-5|
|Notes:||The current iteration of M-5 can, in many ways, be described as "A Tale of Three Highways," in
that it is made up three distinct sections.
The current M-5 routing came into existence as a replacement for the BS I-96 designation in Detroit when the I-96/Jeffries Frwy was completed in the 1970s. Previously, BS I-96 proceeded from the end of the I-96 freeway at Farmington along Grand River Ave, terminating in downtown Detroit. When I-96 was completed, the BS I-96 designation was retired and M-5 was designated along the route from M-102/8 Mile Rd southeasterly to the first junction with the I-96/Jeffries Frwy in Detroit. Former BS I-96 northwest of 8 Mile Rd became part of M-102, while the portion southeast of the first junction with the I-96/Jeffries Frwy into downtown became an unsigned state trunkline with an internal designation of "Old BS I-96."
The second chapter in the current M-5 routing begins in 1994 when the designation was extended northwesterly along what had been part of M-102 via Grand River Ave then bypassing downtown Farmington using the freeway originally constructed as part of I-96. The M-102 designation was scaled back to terminate at the intersection of 8 Mile Rd & Grand River Ave. The extension of M-5 to the massive I-96/I-275/I-696 interchange was done in preparation for the "Haggerty Connector" construction.
The third part of the M-5 story involves the "Haggerty Connector"—a limited-access expressway (access only at select crossroads) leading northerly from the massive I-96/I-275/I-696 interchange into central Oakland Co along the right-of-way of what had originally been proposed as the I-275 northerly extension. The "Haggerty Connector" was built to relieve some of the traffic problems created when local citizens rejected the completion of the I-275 freeway. Instead of adding a fifth route designation to the already complicated junction of I-96/I-275/I-696, MDOT simply extended the M-5 routing northerly along the new highway, thus creating a route which runs basically east-west from downtown Detroit to the Novi/Farmington Hills area, then north-south between Novi and Commerce Twp.
|Until a late-September 1997 press release from MDOT reported the remaining portion of the "Haggerty Connector" would only consist of a four- to six-lane "boulevard" with "Michigan turnarounds," a fully-controlled access freeway had been originally planned for that route, likely using the original I-275 plans for the design.|
|In c.2000, MDOT moved to more directly control the regular maintenance on the "surface" state trunklines in the City of Detroit. Regular maintenance on all non-freeway state highways within Detroit had long been contracted to the city, but had begun to decline over the years. When MDOT re-took control of maintenance, a few trunkline designation changes within the city were made as well, some actual and some on paper. Beginning with the 2001 Official Transportation Map, it seemed as if MDOT was indicating that M-5 continued southeasterly along Grand River Ave all the way into downtown Detroit, supplanting the unsigned trunkline designation of "Old BS I-96" that had been in place since 1977. However, the state made no attempt at signing this portion of Grand River Ave as M-5 and it was later learned that while the department has a general rule to not mark unsigned state trunklines on its official transportation map, the "Old BS I-96" extension of M-5 was included as a red line (indicating state trunkline status) into downtown Detroit for unknown (likely political) reasons. Then during April–May 2016, M-5 route markers were reported along the "Old BS I-96" portion of Grand River Ave from I-96/Jeffires Frwy (Exit 185) southeasterly into downtown Detroit at the cnr of Grand River Ave & Cass Ave.|
|On June 9, 1999, the section of M-5 between M-102/Eight Mile Rd east of Farmington and the I-96/I-275/I-696 interchange was dedicated as the Keith Deacon Memorial Highway. Mr. Deacon, according to Farmington Hills Mayor Aldo Vagnozzi, "was a former member of the Economic Development Corporation who worked diligently" to make the reconstruction of the Grand River Ave & M-5 interchange a reality. Statutorily, it was Act 12 of 1999, effective April 27 of that year, which wrote the memorial designation into law. (More on Michigan's Memorial Highways from MDOT.)|
|History:||1926 – A six-mile long spur route beginning in Cedarville and continuing northerly (along a portion of the current routing of M-129), ending at US-2 in the hamlet of Rockview along the Chippewa/Mackinac Co line is designated. (US-2 in this area becomes M-121 in the early 1930s.)|
|1934 – Several highway changes occur in the extreme eastern U.P.: M-121 from its junction with M-5 at Rockview is redesignated as an extension of M-5, 28 miles north to end at US-2 in Sault Ste Marie. M-5 is now 35 miles long, and completely occupies the routing of today's M-129. Most of M-121 west of Rockview is redesignated as M-4, roughly along the alignment of today's M-134.|
|1939 – In the first half of 1939, M-5 is redesignated M-129 in its entirety. Also, M-4 is redesignated as M-134. These redesignations come at a time when the State Highway Department is removing all single-digit highway numbers from the state, reportedly to be reserved for a proposed "superhighway" system. In Lower Michigan, M-3 becomes M-39, M-6 becomes M-111, M-7 becomes M-86, and M-9 becomes M-99.|
|1977 – With the completion of the I-96/Jeffries Frwy, the portion of BS I-96/Grand River Ave between M-102/Eight Mile Rd and I-96 is renumbered as M-5. This route had been BS I-96 since the removal of US-16 in 1962.|
|1994 (Oct) – In October, the M-5 designation is extended along the route of M-102 from Clarenceville (Livonia/Farmington Hills corporate boundary at cnr of Grand River Ave & Eight Mile Rd) past Farmington, then along the completed portion of the "Haggerty Connector" freeway in Novi. M-102 is scaled back to end at M-5. This first segment of the newly-completed "Haggerty Connector" cost $35 million to complete, and consists of a full freeway with 11 miles of pavement, seven bridges and 11 ramps, according to MDOT reports.|
|1999 (Aug 2) – Monday, August 2, 1999 saw the opening of an additional 2.2 miles of the "Haggerty Connector," from 12 Mile Rd north to 14 Mile Rd as a four-lane controlled-access "expressway." Originally, MDOT had wanted to just open the highway in the middle of the night with no fanfare, but the Novi City Council wanted to mark the occasion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, which was held at noon that day at 12 Mile Rd. The road was to be opened fully to traffic by 1:00pm. Construction on this phase of the "Haggerty Connector" began in late July 1996, and cost approximately $23 million to build.|
|2002 (Nov 1) – The final two miles of the M-5 "Haggerty Corridor" between 14 Mile Rd and Pontiac Tr are opened to traffic, completing a project begun more than a decade earlier. No further construction north of Pontiac Tr will occur for the same reasons I-275 was never constructed there—homeowner opposition and new, stronger environmental regulations. MDOT Press Release.|
|2011 (Nov 5) – A "northern continuation," of sorts, to the M-5 Haggerty Connector is completed and opened to traffic along with a large roundabout at Pontiac Trail in Commerce Twp. In 2004, in order to construct Martin Pkwy from the northern end of M-5 to Oakley Park Rd, the Commerce Twp Downtown Development Authority (DDA) purchased two golf courses and fifty acres of Huron Clinton Metropolitan land to provide relief from traffic congestion at M-5 and Pontiac Trail, while providing the opportunity for a new library, town hall, and town center identity for the community. Work on Martin Pkwy began in 2008 and was finally connected to the northern end of M-5 when the roundabout at Pontiac Tr was completed and opened to traffic on this date.|
|2016 (Apr-May) – Reports indicate M-5 route markers have been installed along Grand River Ave in Detroit from the existing southern/eastern terminus of M-5 at I-96/Jeffries Frwy (at Exit 185) along the unsigned state trunkline route (designated internally by MDOT as "Old BS I-96") to the terminus of "Old BS I-96" at the cnr of Grand River Ave & Cass Ave in downtown Detroit.|
|Controlled-Access:||Freeway: From just south of 13 Mile Rd in Novi to jct Grand River Ave southeast of downtown Farmington.|
|Expressway: From the end of the freeway just south of 13 Mile Rd in Novi northerly to northern terminus at Pontiac Tr & Martin Pkwy in Commerce Twp.|
|NHS:||The entire length of M-5 is part of the NHS.|
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