Michigan Highways: Since 1997.

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Former US-33
M-33 Route Marker On to Next Route:
M-34
Southern Terminus:    I-75 at Exit 202 at Alger
Northern Terminus:    M-27 approximately four miles south of downtown Cheboygan
Length: 122.65 miles
Maps: Route Map of M-33
Notes: The portion of M-33 between Onaway and Cheboygan was the former route for US-23 in the 1930s and into the 1940s.
  Michigan State Highway Department sources from the 1930s and '40s show a proposed realignment for M-33 between the present 90° curve between Mio and Fairview in central Oscoda Co and the western jct of M-32 & M-33 in downtown Atlanta. The proposed route would have been a direct northern continuation of M-33 out of Mio into Atlanta, shaving about ten miles from the route. Of course, such a massive relocation of the highway never occurred, and M-33 has continued to use the same Fairview-to-Atlanta routing since the 1920s.
  In addition to the major proposed relocation noted above, the State Highway Department has also long proposed making major changes to the route of M-32/M-33 east of Atlanta on a more direct alignment between that community and Hillman on the eastern boundary of Montmorency Co. As a part fo that proposal, M-33 would extend in a north-northwesterly direction from the current eastern jct of that highway and M-32 to meet up with the relocated M-32, then turn westerly from there into Atlanta. It seems such a realignment may also be doomed to the history books as it may never come to fruition.
  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 realignments and upgrades to the route of M-33 during that timeframe, including:
  • Connecting a new alignment routing of M-47 to the southern end of M-33 at Alger which would run nearly due southerly to join up with the route of M-47 at its northern end at what is now the US-10 freeway east of Midland. The planning maps did not indicate whether the route designation for M-33 would've been changed to M-47 to unify the corridor under one route number, however. This recommendation was never implemented.
  • Constructing a new alignment M-33 beginning at the 90° turn five miles north of Mio (and four miles west of Fairview) and continuing due northerly largely along the general route of CR-610/Mount Tom Rd to Hill Rd, then continuing on completely new alignment due northerly along the section line to the Oscoda/Montmorency Co line. At the county line, M-33 would then travel north generally along Boiling Springs Rd to north of Fish Lab Rd where it would then proceed northerly along the section line on a new alignment to a point just north of Avery Lake Rd. There, the new alignment would bend slightly to the northwest and proceed directly to Atlanta, merging with existing CR-487 near Airport Rd and reunite with its existing route in Atlanta. The existing route between M-72 at Fairview and the eastern jct with M-32 would be turned back to local control. This proposal was also never implemented.
History: c.1920 – In the early 1920s, M-33 runs along its present-day routing only from M-32 six miles east of Atlanta to downtown Mio. From Mio, M-33 runs westerly and southwesterly along portions of the routes that would later become M-72 and M-144 (later M-18) to end at M-76 seven miles east of Roscommon on the Crawford/Roscommon Co line. At this time, M-33 is the sole north-south route in northeastern Michigan between the "shoreline" route of M-10 (later US-23) and the "up-the-middle" route of M-18 (later M-14, then US-27, now I-75).
  c.1928 – By 1928, M-33 is realigned south of Mio to follow (roughly) its present-day route through Rose City before ending at M-55 at Campbells Corners (present cnr of Campbell &amp State Rds), 6 miles northeast of West Branch. The former M-33 southwest of Mio to M-76 becomes a part of the newly designated M-72 from M-76 to Mio, then easterly to Harrisville on the Lake Huron shore, then southerly (along present-day US-23) to Oscoda.
  1934 – The M-33 routing is extended from its northern terminus at M-32 five miles east of Atlanta, westerly along M-32 to Atlanta, then northerly for 26 miles to end at US-23 (present-day M-68) on the western limit of Onaway. The portion of the new route from M-32 in Atlanta to the Montmorency/Presque Isle Co line runs via a newly constructed "earth-surfaced" roadway. Also farther south, M-33 is realigned to run due south from Rose City along its present-day alignment to M-55 at Old State Rd.
  1938 – With the southerly relocation of M-55 from West Branch for 14 miles easterly, M-33 is also extended southerly for two miles to meet up with the new M-55 routing (10 miles south of Rose City).
  1940 – With the realignment of US-23 along the Lake Huron shore between Rogers City and Cheboygan, M-33 is extended concurrently with the newly-designated M-68 west from Onaway for 10 miles to Fingerboard Corner, then northerly for another 17 miles as solely M-33 to end at US-27 four miles south of downtown Cheboygan. Even with the extension, one of the longest continuous sections of paved M-33 is the formerly earthen-surfaced track north of Atlanta, now hard-surfaced into Presque Isle Co.
  c.1944 – M-33 is extended due southerly from its southern terminus at M-55 to end at M-76 one mile northwest of Alger, adding 10 miles to the route.
  1951 – M-33/M-72 between Mio and Fairview is realigned onto its present alignment, eliminating two 90º turns.
  1958 – The last segment of gravel-surfaced M-33 is paved, between the communities of Tower and Legrand in Cheboygan Co.
  1968 – M-33 is extended for a very short distance to end at the newly constructed M-76 freeway at Alger.
  1973 – The southern terminus of M-33 at M-76, while physically at the same location, becomes I-75 with the completion of the last segment of I-75 at Roscommon.
  1995 – A new alignment of M-32/M-33 opens east of Atlanta smoothing out some of the sharper curves and redesigning the M-32 & M-33 intersection.
Controlled Access: No portion of M-33 is freeway or expressway.
NHS: Updated M-33 is part of the NHS from its southern terminus at I-75 northerly to the western jct with M-32 in downtown Atlanta. (70.7 miles) (The I-75–to–M-32 east jct segment was added in 2012 with the passage of the MAP-21 funding and authorization bill.)
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