Michigan Highways: Since 1997.

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Former M-12
M-13 Route Marker On to Next Route:
M-14
Southern Terminus:    I-69 at Exit 123, 1½ miles south of downtown Lennon
Northern Terminus:    US-23, 2.4 miles south of downtown Standish
Length: 72.22 miles
Map: Route Map of M-13
Notes: From Saginaw northerly, M-13 runs along the former pre-freeway routing of US-23 through Bay City, Linwood and Pinconning to the Standish area. In fact, according to Robert Droz' Alternate U S Highways: Bannered Routes website, the Michigan State Highway Department originally designated M-13 from Kawkawlin to Standish as ALT US-23 ("Alternate US-23") when the current I-75/US-23 freeway was completed in 1967. The story goes that the MSHD actually posted the former US-23 as "ALT US-23," but when the designation was not approved by AASHO, the department gave in and extended the M-13 designation along the route in 1968!
  Untitled Had the proposed US-23 inland freeway between Standish and Tawas City come to reality, there was a distinct possibility M-13 would have been extended from its northern terminus at Standish. If the freeway had been built, MDOT supported the idea of keeping the former shoreline alignment of US-23 in the state trunkline system. M-13 would have been the likely candidate to take over the shoreline route.
  New! In "State Trunkline Needs, 1960–1980," a set of maps prepared by the State Highway Dept's Office of Planning, Programming Division in 1960 showing possible additions, upgrades and improvements to the state trunkline system over the ensuing twenty years, MSHD staff recommended several major upgrades to the route of M-13 during that timeframe. They included:
  • Constructing an M-13 freeway parallel to and just to the east of the existing route of M-13 from M-78 (present-day I-69) near Lennon north past Montrose and Burt. At Verne, the proposed freeway would bend to the west (echoing a similar nearby sweeping curve along existing M-13) then back north again to continue parallelling existing M-13 approximately ½ mile to the east. After passing under S Washington St, the proposed freeway was to have bent to the east and terminated at an intersection at Williamson St just west of Sheridan Ave. There, M-13 would have continued north as surface street along Sheridan Ave into downtown Saginaw, turning northeasterly via Cherry St, then north again along Sixth St back to its existing route at N Washington Ave on the north side of the city. The existing route of M-13 from M-78 at Lennon north to Sixth St & N Washington Ave in Saginaw would have been turned back to local control had this new routing been implemented as planned.
  • While the completion of the I-75/US-23 freeway from Bay City north to Standish was still eight years away, MDSH planners had already earmarked the M-13 designation to replace the US-23 routing between Kawkawin and Standish. However, as of 1960, those planners envisioned a future US-23 freeway departing I-75 southwest of Standish and running almost due northeasterly toward the US-23 & M-65 junction and beyond. Under those plans, the M-13 designation would have continued through a US-23 interchange about one mile south of downtown Standish to a terminus at M-61 in downtown Standish.
Of course, the first concept went nowhere, while the second was largely realized, although of the US-23 freeway had ever bypassed Standish, it would seem logical that MDOT would create a BUS US-23 designation to run through the city as opposed to extending M-13 into or through town.
  1920 – In the days before the debut of the US Highway system, M-13 ran along what was later designated US-131, from Indiana south of Mottville, northerly through Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Cadillac and Petoskey to end in Harbor Springs. Interestingly, the 'original' M-13 doesn't follow the later course of present-day US-131 directly from Walton to Fife Lake in southeast Grand Traverse Co, but rather running northerly along present M-113, then east along present M-186 back to Fife Lake!
  1922 – M-13 is realigned from the Indiana state line to White Pigeon in St Joseph Co. Formerly, M-13 began where present-day M-103 enters Indiana, then running due easterly along the state line for four miles before stair-stepping into White Pigeon. Now, M-13 runs north from the Indiana state line to Mottville, then easterly with M-23 (later US-112 now US-12) to White Pigeon, turning northerly resuming its former route. The former route is turned back to local control.
  1923 – M-13 is transferred to a new routing between Tustin and Cadillac. Formerly running easterly from Tustin for several miles, then turning due north into Cadillac, M-13 now turns west in Tustin, running about a mile before turning northerly into Wexford Co to a small hamlet called Benson. From there, M-13 now runs northeasterly with M-55 into Cadillac. The former route, however, seems to be retained for at least 3 or 4 years as an un-numbered state trunkline.
  c.1924–25 – The route of M-13 is slightly realigned near Fife Lake when, instead of proceeding westerly from Houseman (southwest of South Boardman) on present-day Woodman & Cedar Creek Rds to Fife Lake Rd, then south into Fife Lake, the route of M-13 now runs southerly from Houseman via Shippy Rd, westerly along Ingersoll Rd, then through Fife Lake on State St to its former alignment. Also, prior to this time, M-13 ran due south from Three Rivers via present-day Lutz Rd via Florence, then jogged southwesterly on Centerville-Constantine Rd to Kalamazoo St, then south on Kalamazoo St into White Pigeon. M-13 is now re-routed to run westerly from Lutz Rd via present-day Featherstone Rd into downtown Constantine, then south to M-23 (now US-12) just west of White Pigeon, where M-13 then picks back up on its old route. The former route of M-13 is turned back to local control.
  1926 – The new US-131 designation supplants the portion of M-13 from the Indiana state line via Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Big Rapids and Cadillac, to just west of Fife Lake in southeastern Grand Traverse Co. From Fife Lake northeasterly, M-13 continues to run to its terminus in downtown Harbor Springs. US-131 received the unlikely and illogical terminus at the jct of M-113 & M-13 west of Fife Lake (near the present jct of M-113 & M-186) presumably because US-131 was to originally run north-northwesterly from this point to a terminus at US-31 in the "East Bay" area of Traverse City.
  1927 – In 1927, what was left of M-13 is now redesignated as M-131, done so to match the designation of US-131 which turns into M-131 near Fife Lake. The M-13 designation would remain in 'hiatus' for about 5 years.
  c.1931–32 – A short, new state highway debuts along Sheridan Ave from M-78/Lansing Rd south of Lennon to M-21 just north of Lennon, and is given the route number "M-13," marking that designation's second iteration.
  1933 – M-13 is extended northerly along Sheridan Ave for 10 miles, to where a short two-mile long M-194 "spur" turns off to the west, ending in downtown New Lothrup.
  1934 – In late-1934, M-13 is extended northerly along Sheridan Ave and East St for 22 more miles to end in Saginaw at M-46/Holland Ave.
  1939 – The final six miles of gravel-surfaced M-13 is paved.
  1940 – M-13 is extended northerly along Washington Ave in Saginaw to end at jct US-10 & US-23 (cnr of Washington & Genesee Aves).
  1960 – First, with the completion of the M-78 freeway between Durand and Swartz Creek, the southern terminus of M-13 was moved north one mile from Old M-78/Lansing Rd to end at the new M-78 interchange south of Lennon. Second, accompanying the completion of the I-75/US-23 freeway from Saginaw to Bay City, as well as the US-23 freeway extention to Kawkawlin, the M-13 designation is extended from its former northern terminus at Genesee & Washington Aves in Saginaw northerly along the former route of US-23 through Bay City, ending at US-23 near Kawkawlin.
  1967 – With the completion of US-23 from Bay City to Standish, a brand-new ALT US-23 designation is commissioned along the former US-23 routing from south of Kawkawlin to Standish. This is seen as somewhat odd, as the State Highway Department was, by this time, removing the last of the remaining ALTERNATE US Highways in Michigan!
  1969 – With the "ALT US-23" route sign assemblies reported already in place, the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the group charged with directing the layout and numbering of the US Highway system, reportedly refused to allow the ALT US-23 designation, forcing the State Highway Department to remove that designation and replace it with another. This resulted in the extension of M-13 along its present-day routing from Kawkawlin to Standish. The short segment of ALT US-23 freeway from US-23 to M-13 at Kawkawlin is designated CONNECTOR M-13. —Many thanks to Robert Droz for the ALT US-23 heads-up!
Controlled-Access: No portion of M-13 is freeway or expressway.
NHS: Updated M-13 is part of the NHS in two different segments:
  • In the Saginaw area from M-46/Rust Ave south of downtown northerly to jct I-75/US-23 at Exit 153 north of the city. (5.9 miles) (This segment was added in 2012 with the passage of the MAP-21 funding and authorization bill.)
  • In the Bay City area from the eastern jct with M-84 (cnr Lafayette Ave & Broadway) south of downtown Bay City northerly to Beaver Rd north of Kawkawlin. (7.8 miles) (The portion of M-13 from Wilder Rd northerly to Beaver Rd was added to the NHS in 2012 with the passage of the MAP-21 funding and authorization bill.)
Circle Tour: Lake Huron Circle Tour: From M-25/Jenny-Thomas Sts in Bay City to M-13's northern terminus at Standish.
Business Connection:  CONN M-13 - From I-75/US-23 Exit 164 northwest of Bay City to M-13 at Kawkawlin.
Photographs:  
Weblinks:
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