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Western Terminus:    BL I-196/LaGrange St at cnr LaGrange St & Phillips St in South Haven
Eastern Terminus:    I-96 Exit 122 at jct I-96 & M-52 near Webberville
Length: Updated144.230 miles
Maps: Route Map of M-43
Notes: Updated With the exception of the first, short-lived iteration of M-43, this highway has always taken a rather circuitous path throughout its history as a marked route. Over the past 75-plus years, M-43 has been gradually extended, contracted and realigned so that its 1924 and present-day routings merely touch at one point at Woodbury. Even in modern times, the route of M-43 continues to get even more circuitous—major trunkline changes in Kalamazoo in 2019 resulted in this highway's route undergoing even more change! See the history section below for details on the many changes this highway has undergone.
  With the completion of I-96 between Brighton and Eagle, bypassing Lansing, in late 1962, US-16 was decommissioned in the state of Michigan. At Lansing, the M-43 designation was extended easterly via then-BUS M-78/Saginaw and Oakland Sts (former US-16), then southeasterly along Grand River Ave (former US-16) through downtown East Lansing and Williamston to end at I-96 near Webberville (running concurrently with then-M-47 for the last two miles). The former route of M-43 along Michigan Ave between downtown Lansing and downtown East Lansing was redesignated as M-143.
  New! In 2019, every through trunkline route in Kalamazoo—BL I-94, BUS US-131 and M-43—as well as the unsigned M-331 were all turned back to local control by MDOT after many, many years of discussion between City and MDOT planners and engineers. City staffers had long sought to eliminate what they termed as "confusing" one-way streets through the heart of downtown Kalamazoo as well as trying to limit or eliminate large trucks from traversing through the city. MDOT, on the other hand, had long stuck to its mandate to provide a smoothly-operating network of arteries, minimizing delays and congestion. The two sides could never come to a satisfactory solution so, in 2018, MDOT staff in Southwest Region finally gave up and acquiesced to the City's demands by agreeing to transfer all downtown trunkline highway routes to local control. As of January 7, 2019, the downtown trunklines became city streets. To retain "route connectivity," MDOT decided to reroute M-43 along US-131 from Kalamazoo to Plainwell, then southeasterly concurrently with M-89 to Richland where it meets back up with the existing route. Unfortunately, this left several "stub routes" terminating at random locations around the city. MDOT employed three different strategies to deal with this:
  • Retaining the existing route designation, which is the case for the northern "stub" of BUS US-131 from US-131 Exit 41 to the northern Kalamazoo city limit. It remains BUS US-131, but is a spur route now instead of being a complete loop route through the city.
  • Removing any signed designation and maintaining the route as an unsigned state trunkline, as was the case with the former BL I-94/BUS US-131 segment along Stadium Dr from US-131 at Exit 36 to Rambling Rd, and the former M-43 along W Main St from US-131 at Exit 38 easterly to Douglas St.
  • Assigning a new route desigation, as was done to the former segment of M-43 along Gull Rd from Richland southwesterly to Riverview Dr northeast of downtown Kalamazoo. This portion of highway was designated M-343 by MDOT Southwest Region staffers in early 2019. Also, the stub of what had been BL I-94 east of the city is redesigated as BS I-94 (Business SPUR I-94).

  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 many changes to the route of M-43 during that timeframe, including:
  • Converting the existing alignment of M-43 from US-31/Blue Star Hwy (present-day A-2) in South Haven to the City of Bangor to an uncontrolled-access divided highway. This proposal was never implemented.
  • Converting the existing alignment of M-43 from the Van Buren/Kalamazoo Co line easterly to Drake Rd on the western limits of Kalamazoo to an uncontrolled-access divided highway. This proposal was never implemented.
  • Converting the existing alignment of M-43 from the east limits of Kalamazoo (in front of the Borgess Medical Center) to the southern limits of Richland at DE Ave to an uncontrolled-access divided highway. This proposal was never implemented.
  • Rerouting M-43 beginning at the intersection of 32nd St & AB Ave, 2½ miles north of downtown Richland and continuing northerly via 32nd Ave to the Kalamazoo/Barry Co line. From there, the proposal had M-43 arcing to the northeast on a new highway alignment around the west and northwest sides of Long Lake, crossing Bendre Rd 1 3 mile east of Lockshore Rd, then proceeding northeasterly to the intersection of Hickory Rd & Wall Lake Rd, the existing alignment of M-43. The former route was to have been turned back to local control. This proposal has never been implemented.
  • Converting M-43 from the west jct of M-37 & M-43 west of Hastings to the west city limit of Hastings to an uncontrolled-access divided highway. The portion from the Heath Rd-Green St intersection easterly into Hastings was proposed to be built on a brand-new alignment. While not a divided highway, M-37/M-43 was realigned as per the proposal between Heath Rd-Green St and the City of Hastings in the early 1970s.
  • Rerouting M-43 north of Hastings in conjunction with a major rerouting of M-50. Beginning where M-43 curves to the east off Broadway St and onto Carleton Center Rd, the proposal has M-43 continuing due northerly for two miles via Broadway St to Brown Rd southeast of Freeport, which was proposed to be a new routing for M-50 between Woodbury and Holland through northern Barry and Allegan Cos. From there, M-43 and M-50 would run concurrently via Brown Rd for 9 miles to the existing route of M-50 southeast of Lake Odessa, then two additional miles easterly via M-50 to jct M-43/M-50/M-66 at Woodbury. The existing route of M-43 along Carleton Center Rd from Broadway St through Woodland to M-66 was to have been turned back to local control. This proposal was never implemented.
  • Converting M-43 to an uncontrolled-access divided highway from Oneida Rd just west of Grand Ledge in northern Eaton Co easterly to Waverly Rd at the Eaton/Ingham Co line. While it was not converted to a divided highway, the majority of this segment of M-43 was widened into a five-lane cross-section.
  • At Lansing at the time these planning maps were prepared, M-43 entered the city from the west via Saginaw St, then turned southerly via Larch St (with US-27) for six blocks, then headed easterly via Michigan Ave into East Lansing and a terminus at US-16/Grand River Ave. The proposal was to turn M-43 along Michigan Ave from Lansing to East Lansing back to local control, likely moving the eastern terminus of M-43 to the cnr of Saginaw St & Larch St. This is because the MSHD was planning to construct the "Van Atta Connector"—a route beginning at the wide spot in the median of I-96 west of Meridian Rd southeast of Okemos, then continuing north-northwesterly meeting Grand River Ave just west of Cornell Rd. The Van Atta Connector along with Grand River Ave from there westerly through East Lansing into Lansing and then westerly along Saginaw St to US-27/Larch St was proposed to be a "Business Route" for I-96 and/or US-16 and not as an extension of M-43. The only part of this proposal to be implemented was the removal of M-43 from Larch St and Michigan Ave in Lansing and East Lansing (although the portion along Michigan Ave was retained as a state trunkline route as M-143). What did happen within a couple years, however, was that M-43 was rerouted via Saginaw St and Grand River Ave through East Lansing, Okemos and Williamston to a new terminus near Webberville, supplanting the US-16 designation along that route. (The "Van Atta Connector" was also never built, although in 1970 the State Highway Dept had scheduled it for construction in 1973.)
History: c.1920 – In the early 1920s, the first iteration of M-43 in Michigan is a 23-mile long highway beginning at M-11 (later US-31, now BUS US-31) in downtown Muskegon and running due easterly, ending at M-54 (now M-37) in Casnovia on the Muskegon/Kent Co line.
  1924 This first iteration of M-43 (Muskegon-to-Casnovia) is completely assumed into a westerly extension of M-46. However, the M-43 designation is immediately applied to another route, beginning atWoodbury at jct M-39 (present-day M-50), the new M-43 runs due northerly through Ionia and Sheridan to Stanton (via present-day M-66), where it turns 90° to the east to run via Ithaca to downtown St Charles in Saginaw Co, terminating at M-47.
  1926 By 1926, M-43 has been extended southwesterly and now begins in downtown Kalamazoo and runs northeasterly, roughly along its present-day alignmnent through Hastings and Woodland to join up with the rest of M-43 at Woodbury.
  c.1930 About 1930, the route of M-43 is both extended and scaled back. Beginning at Woodbury northerly through Ionia and Sheridan to Stanton, M-43 is replaced by M-14, and M-43 east of Stanton through Ithaca to St Charles becomes a portion of the new M-57 for a loss of 86 miles. On the other end of the highway, M-43 is extended westerly from downtown Kalamazoo via its present-day routing through Bangor to end at US-31 in South Haven for a gain of 40 miles. In all, M-43 experiences a net loss of 46 miles.
  1938 (Early) Updated M-43 is extended easterly from its eastern terminus at Woodbury to replace the M-39 designation through Sunfield, Mulliken, Grand Ledge and Lansing, ending at US-16/Grand River Ave in downtown East Lansing.
  1939 In mid-1939, a new alignment of M-37 opens between Middleville and Hastings at M-43, creating a 4 mile concurrent M-37/M-43 stretch at Hastings.
  1939 (Sept 19) – A memorial designation for the portion of M-43 running between Lansing and Grand Ledge is approved by the State Highway Dept in honor of late Governor Frank D. Fitzgerald. As the Frank D. Fitzgerald Memorial Highway, the highway dept anticipates widening the Lansing–Grand Ledge segment to four lanes. In addition to being the 34th (Jan 1, 1935–Jan 1, 1937) and 36th (Jan 1, 1939–Mar 16, 1939) governor of the state of Michigan and the only governor to die while in office, Fitzgerald was also a former business manager for the State Highway Dept.
  1950 The portion of Larch St in Lansing formerly designated TRUCK US-27/TRUCK M-78/M-43 between Saginaw St and Michigan Ave becomes just US-27/M-78/M-43 with the "decommissioning" of the "PASSENGER CAR ROUTE US-27 & M-78" via Capitol Ave through downtown.
  1954 M-43 is realigned in northeastern Barry Co. Instead of heading northerly from Woodland to meet M-50, M-43 is routed easterly via Carleton Center Rd to meet M-66 two miles east of town. M-43 and M-66 now run concurrently for two miles (one mile of which is brand new highway) to meet M-50 at Woodbury.
  1955 M-43 is realigned in Barry Co for a second time in the 1950s when it is transferred from Coats Grove and Woodland Rds to Barber and Carleton Center Rds, eliminating two 90° turns. The former route is turned back to county control. Also, with this realignment, the final gravel-surfaced segments of M-43 are bypassed (the new segments are hard-surfaced) and all of M-43 (South Haven to East Lansing) is paved.
  1957 M-43 is realigned for a third time in Barry Co, this time moving the route onto Broadway due northerly out of downtown Hasting for 6 miles, then due easterly on Carleton Center Rd for 1½ miles back to its former alignment. The former route is turned back to local control.
  1959 A new bypass is completed on the southwest side of Grand Ledge. The former M-43 through downtown Grand Ledge becomes BUS M-43.
  1962 With the completion of I-96 between Brighton and Eagle, bypassing Lansing, US-16 is decommissioned in Michigan. In Lansing (from the jct of US-27/M-78/BL I-96), the M-43 designation in Lansing now continues easterly from US-27/BL I-96/Cedar-Larch Sts concurrently with M-78/Saginaw-Oakland Sts (former US-16), then southeasterly via Grand River Ave (former US-16) through downtown East Lansing and Williamston to end at I-96 near Webberville, running concurrently with M-47 for the last two miles. The former route of M-43 via Michigan Ave between downtown Lansing and downtown East Lansing is redesignated as M-143. Also, for approximately one year, US-131 runs concurrently with M-43/West Main St from present day US-131 Exit 39 into downtown Kalamazoo while the US-131 freeway south of M-43 was under construction.
  1963 With the completion of the first segment of I-496 southeast of Lansing, the concurrent portion of M-43/M-78 via Saginaw-Oakland Sts and Grand River Ave becomes BL I-96/M-43/BUS M-78.
  1964 With both directions of traffic formerly using Saginaw St between Logan St and US-27/BL I-96/Larch-Cedar Sts in Lansing, westbound M-43 traffic is moved onto the parallel Oakland St while eastbound M-43 traffic is maintained on Saginaw St.
  1965 To facilitate increased traffic, M-43 (as well as BL I-94 and BUS US-131) is split onto two parallel streets through downtown Kalamazoo: eastbound M-43 runs along its original Michigan Ave routing, while westbound traffic is moved onto Kalamazoo and Douglas Sts.
  1966 With the completion of the US-127 freeway from Mason to I-96, the BL I-96/M-43/BUS M-78 designation along Saginaw St, Oakland St and Grand River Ave in Lansing becomes US-127/M-43/BUS M-78.
  c.1968 By 1968, BUS M-43 through downtown Grand Ledge is decommissioned. Also in 1968, the remaining westbound M-43 traffic in Lansing on Saginaw St (Logan St west to the western Lansing city limit) is transferred onto Oakland St. Eastbound M-43 traffic is maintained on Saginaw St.
  1969 M-47 from Webberville northerly becomes a part of M-52, and the concurrent segment with M-43 becomes M-43/M-52.
  1970 – The State Highway Dept announces construction of an M-43 expressway from I-496/US-127 at Trowbridge Rd (present-day Exit 7) easterly through the Michigan State University campus immediately north of the Grand Trunk Western RR connecting with existing M-43/Grand River Ave west of Okemos as well as the "Van Atta Connector" from M-43/Grand River Ave east of Cornell Rd east of Okemos southerly to I-96 at Mile 112. The M-43 designation is planned to utilize both new segments of highway, although neither will ever be constructed.
  1972 (Dec 29) Possibly in preparation for the proposed M-37 Hastings-Battle Creek Expressway, the route of M-37/M-43 from downtown Hastings westerly to the western jct of M-37 & M-43 is moved to its present-day alignment. The former route of M-37/M-43 via Green St will be turned back to local control the next year.
  1973 (Mar 30, Jun 29) The former route of M-37/M-43 from downtown Hastings westerly superceeded by the present-day alignment (see above) is turned back to local control. Green St from downtown Hastings (at Broadway St) westerly to the west city limit is turned back to city control on March 30th, while the portion in Rutland Twp from the west limit of Hastings westerly to the new alignment is turned back to the county on June 29th.
  2004 (Nov 2) The route of OLD M-43 in eastern Van Buren Co's Alamena Twp, from M-43 west of 29th St to M-43 west of Co Rd 653, is turned back to county control in its entirety. This portion of highway had been bypassed by the present-day route of M-43 many years earlier and the old, unsigned trunkline route is finally returned to the county.
  2000s–2010s New! – For many years, disagreement about the proper function of the major thoroughfares through downtown Kalamazoo, the most major of which were state trunkline highway routes, existed between City planners and engineers and the planners and engineering staffs at the MDOT regional office. Several attempts were made to find common ground with little to no success. A push in the mid- to late-2010s resulted in City staff members making headway while MDOT staff grew tired of the impass, resulting in the state agreeing to simply turn back all downtown Kalamazoo state highway routes to the City.
  2019 (Jan 7) New! – The Kalamazoo City Commission agrees to the Memorandum of Understanding from MDOT on the conditions of the trasfer of the affected streets in the city, thereby removing them from the state trunkline highway system and transferring them to the city primary street system. For M-43, this affected the entire route from Douglas St west of downtown to the intersection of Riverview Dr & Gull Rd/Gull St northeast of downtown, including the one-way pair of Michigan Ave (eastbound) and Kalamazoo Ave/Douglas St (westbound) through the heart of the city.
  2019 (June 3–7) New!MDOT crews remove the state trunkline route markers from both the transferred roadways in dowtown Kalamazoo as well as along those segments which will remain as unsigned state trunkline routes. Thus, in the field, M-43 becomes a two-segment, disconnected route with route markers trailing off northeast of downtown Kalamazoo and picking back up at the western edge of the city at US-131. The M-43 route markers along the new diversion via Plainwell and the M-343 route markers between Kalamazoo and Richland will be installed at a future date.
  2019 (Aug 19) New!MDOT crews begin removing the M-43 route markers from the Richland–Kalamazoo portion of former M-43, replacing them with M-343 markers. M-43 markers are installed along M-89 from Richland northwesterly to US-131 at Plainwell at this time as well. M-43 is still a two-segment disconnected route—as far as the signed route is concerned in the field—as M-43 is not indicated as following US-131 in any way at this point.
Controlled Access: No portion of M-43 is freeway or expressway.
NHS: Two segments of M-43 are on the National Highway System (NHS):
  1. Updated From 9th St approximately ½ mile west of US-131 at Exit 38 west of Kalamazoo, easterly to US-131. (½ mile) (This segment was added to the NHS in 2012 with the passage of the MAP-21 funding and authorization bill.)
  2. New! Along the concurrent segment with US-131 between Exit 38 west of Kalamazoo and Exit 49 at Plainwell.
  3. From I-96/I-69 at Exit 93 west of Lansing to Okemos Rd in Okemos east of Lansing. (12.4 miles) (The portion of M-43 from jct BL I-69 at cnr Saginaw St & Grand River Ave on the Lansing/East Lansing city limit easterly to Okemos Rd was added to the NHS in 2012 with the passage of the MAP-21 funding and authorization bill.)
Memorial Highway:  New! The following Memorial Highway designation has been officially assigned to a part of M-43 by the Michigan Legislature:
  • Frank D. Fitzgerald Memorial Highway – "The portion of highway M-43 beginning in the city of East Lansing and extending west to the city of Grand Ledge..." From MDOT: "Frank Fitzgerald born January 27, 1885 in Grand Ledge, attended Ferris Institute, and in 1919 was appointed Deputy Secretary of State. He was appointed business manager for Michigan State Highway Department in 1923. In 1930 he was elected Secretary of State, and in 1934 elected Governor of Michigan. He died March 16, 1939."
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