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Highways 60 through 69

M-60 | M-61 | M-62 | M-63 | M-64 | M-65 | M-66 | M-67 | M-68 | I-69 | M-69 | Jump to Bottom


M-60 Western Terminus: Jct US-12 southeast of Niles in extreme southwestern Cass Co
Eastern Terminus: I-94 at Exit 136 northwest of Jackson
Length: 104.57 miles
Map: Route Map of M-60
Notes: M-60 is a primary through highway, connecting US-12 at Niles with US-131 at Three Rivers and with I-94 and nearby US-127 at Jackson. And from 1925 to 1966, M-60 actually ran west from Niles to end in New Buffalo—part of the time on its own, and other times co-signed with US-112 and US-12. In fact, the spur BUS M-60 into downtown Niles had formerly been a loop-route through the city until the M-60 designation was scaled back to its present terminus in 1966.
History: c.1920 - M-60 runs (roughly) along its present-day alignment for 23 miles from M-62 in downtown Cassopolis, easterly through Vandalia and Jones, ending at M-13 (later US-131, now BUS US-131) in downtown Three Rivers.
1925 - In 1925, M-60 is extended in both directions by a total of 118 miles. On the west, M-60 is extended southwesterly from Cassopolis through Niles, Buchanan and Three Oaks to end at US-12 just north of New Buffalo. On the east, M-60 is extended northeasterly from Three Rivers through Mendon, Union City, Tekonsha, Homer, Concord and Spring Arbor, ending at the jct of US-127/M-50 & US-12 (cnr of West St & W Michigan Ave) in Jackson.
1932 - M-60 is realigned in two places. From Galien to Niles in southern Berrien Co, M-60 is realigned on a partially-new highway, bypassing Dayton and Buchanan (via present-day US-12). The second realignment "smoothes" out the routing from Three Rivers, through Mendon to Leonidas in St Joseph Co. The former alignments are turned back to local control.
1935 - US-112 is concurrently designated with M-60 from downtown Niles westerly to the western termini of both routes at US-12 just north of downtown New Buffalo.
c.1937 - Union City in extreme northern Branch Co and Tekonsha in southern Calhoun Co are bypassed with two shorter realignments of M-60. The former routings are turned back to local control.
1940 - The final ten unpaved miles of M-60 are hard-surfaced, between Tekonsha and Homer.
1949 - In late 1949, M-60 is rerouted to the north of its former alignment in eastern Cass and extreme western St Joseph Co in the Jones area. The former route, via Blair Lake Rd in Cass Co and Harder Rd & Youngs Prairie Rd in St Joseph Co, is turned back to local control.
1953 - A western US-131 bypass of Three Rivers is completed in mid-1953. The formerly concurrent US-131/M-60 segment via W Michigan Ave from downtown westerly becomes BUS US-131/M-60, as the former US-131 through downtown is redesignated as BUS US-131.
1954 - M-60 is extended at its eastern end by approximately 1.5 miles northerly along US-127/BUS US-12/M-50 (West St) to end at the "new" US-12 bypass on the north side of Jackson.
1956 - The part-freeway, part-expressway southern bypass of Niles is completed. The through-routing of M-60 is transferred to the new bypass, while the former routing of M-60 through downtown Niles is redesignated as BUS M-60. The former US-112/M-60 segment on the west side of town becomes BUS US-112/BUS M-60.
1958 - A western M-60 "bypass" of Jackson opens as a fully-controlled access freeway. The new freeway bypass begins at M-60/Spring Arbor Rd (between Reynolds & Robinson Rds) southwest of downtown Jackson and proceeds due northerly to end at I-94/US-12 northwest of Jackson. For the last mile of the new freeway, a newly-extended BUS US-12 is co-signed with M-60. The former routing of M-60 into Jackson along Spring Arbor Rd is turned back to local control.
1960 - With the redesignation of all BUS US-12 routings west of Ann Arbor as BL I-94 designations, the concurrent M-60/BUS US-12 routing west of Jackson becomes M-60/BL I-94.
1961 - All of US-112 in Michigan is redesignated as a major rerouting of US-12, and the 27-mile concurrent US-112/M-60 designation from New Buffalo to Niles becomes US-12/M-60.
1965 - The newly-extended M-66 (this portion was M-78 until this year) is rerouted along M-60 from just east of Mendon in St Joseph Co to just south of Athens in extreme northwest Branch Co.
1966 - The 31-year concurrent designation with US-112 (and later US-12) from New Buffalo to Niles is ended as M-60 is scaled back to end at jct US-12 & BUS US-12 southeast of downtown Niles. BUS M-60 is also scaled back to end at BUS US-12 on the east side of downtown Niles, becoming a spur route from M-60. (The former BUS US-12/BUS M-60 concurrency becomes just BUS US-12.)
Freeway: From Spring Arbor Rd southwest of Jackson to I-94 at Exit 136 northwest of Jackson.
Expressway: From western terminus at US-12 southeast of downtown Niles northeasterly to east of Barron Lake Rd east of Niles.
NHS: From BL I-94/W Michigan Ave to I-94 at Exit 136 west of Jackson.
Business Connection: BUS M-60 - Niles. From M-60 east of Niles to BUS US-12/M-51 in downtown Niles.
Photographs:
Weblinks: M-60 @ Michigan Highway Ends - photos of the termini of M-60 at Dan Garnell's excellent Michigan Highway Ends website.

M-61 Western Terminus: M-115 approximately 1 mile west of jct M-66, five miles southwest of Marion
Eastern Terminus: Downtown Standish at jct US-23 (cnr Cedar St & Main St)
Length: 53.30 miles
Map: Route Map of M-61
Notes:  
History: c.1920 - M-61 runs via its present-day alignment, but only for the six miles from M-18 at Gladwin to M-30 at White Star.
c.1930 - Around 1930, M-61 is extended southerly for 4 miles through Winegars, then stairsteps its way easterly through Highwood and Bentley to end at US-23 in Standish.
1932 - M-61 is realigned between M-30 at White Star and northwestern Bay Co on a direct alignment, bypassing the "stairstep" route to the south, which is returned to local control. Also in 1932, the portion of M-63 from Tustin to Marion via Dighton is redesignated as a part of a second, discontinuous M-61 routing. From Marion, the new "western" M-61 continues easterly and southerly to Temple, then due easterly ending at US-27 (present-day BUS US-127) in downtown Harrison. A gap between the M-61s exists between Harrison and Gladwin. The two disconnected routes will exist separately for another eight years.
1934 - A more direct, northern realignment moves M-61 north of Dighton in Osceola Co, shaving two miles from the route. The former routing through Dighton is turned back to local control.
1940 - Fourteen miles of new M-61 are designated between US-27 just south of Harrison to M-18 in Gladwin, creating one continuous route from Tustin to Standish.
1950 - A minor realignment north of Temple in northwestern Clare Co moves M-61 from Forest & Partridge Rds onto Temple Rd. The former route is turned back to local control.
1958 - The last two short segments of gravel-surfaced M-61 are paved, in eastern Gladwin and northwestern Bay Counties.
1959 - The westernmost 10 miles of M-61 are given back to county control when the western terminus of the route is moved to M-115, five miles west of Marion.
1961 - The concurrent US-27/M-61 routing for three miles in Harrison becomes BUS US-27/M-61 with the completion of the new US-27 expressway.
1974 - M-61 is realigned (and shortened) onto a new highway alignment from Temple westerly to M-115, approximately one mile west of M-66 in Osceola Co. The realignment shaves ten miles from the route. The former route along Temple Rd (in Clare Co) and 20 Mile Rd (in Osceola Co) through Marion becomes a county route.
Freeway/Expwy: No portion of M-61 is freeway or expressway.
Photographs:
Weblinks: M-61 @ Michigan Highway Ends - photos of the termini of M-61 at Dan Garnell's excellent Michigan Highway Ends website.

M-62 Western Terminus: M-140 approximately 2.5 miles east of downtown Eau Claire
Southern Terminus: Indiana state line (connection w/IN SR-23), 3 miles south of Edwardsburg
Length: 28.29 miles
Map: Route Map of M-62
Notes: M-62 arcs from being an east-west highway between Eau Claire and La Grange to a north-south highway between La Grange and the Indiana state line.
A four-mile westerly extension of M-62 from downtown Eau Claire to US-31 (present-day M-139) at Linco Rd was proposed. At that time (and up until 2003), the next St Joseph River crossings in either direction were US-31 (present-day OLD US-31) at Berrien Springs upstream and M-139 (formerly US-31) north of Scottdale. This proposal would explain the 1930-to-1957 stub of M-62 which extended west of M-140 into Eau Claire. The extension would have consisted largely of new highway. Ironically, the new US-31 St Joseph River crossing just north of the current end of the freeway at Berrien Springs, opened in 2003, crosses the river less than 1/2-mile upstream from the long-ago proposed M-62 crossing.
History: 1922 - M-62 in 1922 runs roughly along its present-day routing from the Indiana state line, through Edwardsburg and Cassopolis, ending at M-40 (present-day M-51) in downtown Dowagiac.
1925 - M-62 is realigned to run due southerly from Edwardsburg to meet the road at the Indiana state line which would be designated as IN SR-23 in the future. The former route via Elkhart Rd is turned back to local control.
1930 - M-62 is extended westerly for 11 miles from Dowagiac to terminate in downtown Eau Claire. (M-140 does not exist south of Watervliet in 1930.) Eventual continuation westerly across the St Joseph River to US-31 is planned (but will not come to fruition).
c.1945-46 - A paving and "straightening" project begun before World War II is completed. The project involves the hard-surfacing of the last eight gravel-surfaced miles of M-62, between Cassopolis and Dowagiac. Some sharp curves are "smoothed" out and about one mile is shaved from the route.
1948-49 - The 4 miles of M-62 from M-40 at Dowagiac to Indian Lake Rd west of Dowagiac shows up as "gravel-surfaced" on Michigan official highway maps from 1948 into 1949. This portion of the route is re-hard-surfaced by the end of 1949. This is actually not a totally uncommon experience in Michigan in the late-1940s. During the World War II when materials were in short supply, many hard-surfaced roads were not maintained very well, and after the War, there were so many paved highways in bad shape, the State Highway Dept had a tough time resurfacing them all.
1950-53 - The 5 miles of M-62 from Indian Lake Rd west of Dowagiac into Eau Claire show up as "gravel-surfaced" on Michigan official highway maps beginning in 1950. Most of this segment is re-surfaced by 1952, with the remainder done in 1953. (Same explanation as above.)
1957 - The route of M-62 is shortened by 2 miles when the western terminus is moved east to the former eastern jct of M-62 & M-140 (the present western terminus of M-62). The former M-62/M-140 segment becomes just M-140, and the one mile from M-140 into downtown Eau Claire is turned back to local control.
1980 (June 18) - Realignments in eastern Berrien and northwestern Cass Cos shorten the length of the highway and remove some sharper turns along the route. Beginning approximately 1-1/2 miles east of the highway's western terminus at M-140, M-62 turns southeasterly between Pucker and Clawson Rds before turning easterly again to meet up with the existing portion at Brush Lake Rd on the Berrien/Cass Co line. (Interestingly, an earlier survey proposed a similar realignment for M-62 here, but much closer to its former alignment along the shores of Brush Lake.) Again 3/4 mile east of Brush Lake Rd, M-62 is again relocated onto new alignment from Indian Lake Rd to just west of Sink Rd, removing two sharp turns from the route. In both cases, the former route is turned back to local control.
Freeway/Expwy: No portion of M-62 is freeway or expressway.
Continue on: SR-23 into Indiana - via the Indiana Highway Ends website
Photographs:
Weblinks: M-62 @ Michigan Highway Ends - photos of the termini of M-62 at Dan Garnell's excellent Michigan Highway Ends website.

M-63 Southern Terminus: M-139 (formerly US-31) in Scottdale, south of St Joseph
Northern Terminus: I-196/US-31 at Exit 7 near Hagar Shores, 3 miles north of Riverside
Length: 16.29 miles
Map: Route Map of M-63
Notes: All of M-63 was formerly a part of US-33, being designated as such when US-33 was truncated at US-12 south of Niles in 1986.
As noted in previous versions of this listing, the route of M-63 was anticipated to take the place of the US-31 designation between Scottdale and Berrien Springs when the new US-31 Freeway was completed north of Berrien Springs. However, in 2003 when the next segment of the freeway was opened to traffic, it was M-139 that was extended southerly. Several internal MDOT documents and maps, as well as one generally-trustworthy commercial map of the area, concurred with this anticipation. It can be safely assumed MDOT's own "improvements" at Scottdale, where the predecessor to M-63 (US-33) was realigned to meet what was then US-31 at a 90-degree intersection instead of the shallow angle they had previously. Thus, if M-63 had been extended via the former US-31 to Berrien Springs, it would have to make a 90-degree turn through the signalized intersection, whereas by making it an extension of M-139, the "through route" retains the same designation.
In 2001-02, MDOT sunk $16 million into an ambitious project to rehabilitate and upgrade the route of M-63 from the Blossomland Bridge in St Joseph northerly through the Klock Rd interchange. The 1,700-foot long "Whirlpool Bridge," spanning a former Whirlpool (the appliance company) facility, was removed and replaced with a shorter 300-foot bridge over a railroad track there and the complicated Klock Rd interchange was similarly replaced with an at-grade, signalized intersection. The Klock Rd interchange and the limited-access expressway status of M-63 north of St Joseph were a legacy from when this highway, designated US-31, was the primary route north from St Joseph to Holland, Grand Rapids and Muskegon. After these improvements had been made in the mid-1950s, the decision was made to route US-31 around St Joseph via I-94 and I-96 (now I-196), relegating this segment of what is now M-63 to a lower status. The Klock Rd interchange was also a remnant of a proposal which never came to fruition—that of the Waukonda-Klock Freeway running across the north side of Benton Harbor. The costs of maintaining the interchange combined with the lower traffic counts along M-63 signaled its demise.
History: c.1920 - The first iteration of M-63 begins at Peacock in central Lake Co and heads easterly through Luther to end at M-13 (later US-131, now Old US-131/Mackinaw Trail) four miles southwest of Le Roy in Osceola Co.
1930 - M-63 is extended northerly from its eastern terminus via US-131 to Tustin, then easterly through Dighton to end at M-66 in downtown Marion. Also in this timeframe, M-37 is extended northerly from Baldwin to meet M-63 two miles east of Peacock.
1932 - Much of the two-year old easterly extension of M-63 through Tustin, Dighton and Marion is redesignated as a western routing of a now-disconnected M-61 from Tustin easterly to Marion. The concurrent segment of US-131/M-63 becomes solely US-131 and M-63, once again, terminates southwest of Le Roy.
1935 - At the eastern end of M-63, M-179, a new one mile "connector" highway, is designated via 210th Ave, running north-south between US-131 and M-63, forming a small triangle of state trunklines.
1939 - M-63 is shortened by approximately 2 miles when the western end of the route is scaled back to end at the northern terminus of M-37 north of Wolf Lake. M-37 and M-63 now form an "L-shaped" route, with the two routes terminating at each other near Peacock.
1948 - M-63 no longer ends on the west in the unique 90-degree curve into M-37 when M-37 is extended northerly into Wexford Co. M-63 now ends at a standard "T"-intersection with M-37.
1959 - M-179, the short connector route between US-131 and M-63 between Ashton and Le Roy, finally meets its maker and is decommissioned as a state trunkline and turned back to local control.
1960 - The last few miles of gravel-surfaced M-63 are hard-surfaced, east of Luther.
1961 - The first iteration of M-63 in Michigan comes to an end as the entire route from M-37 to US-131 is "decommissioned" and turned back to local control. This comes, ironically, just one year after the State Highway Dept completes the paving of the route—likely as a condition of its transfer.
1986 - The second incarnation of M-63 begins when US-33 is truncated at US-12 at Niles. All of the former US-33 north of US-31 at Scottdale to the former northern terminus of US-33 at I-196/US-31 (Exit 7) is redesignated as M-63.
2001-02 - The complete removal of the Klock Rd interchange as well as the Whirlpool viaduct north of St Joseph occurs. Please see the second note above in the "Notes" section for details.
Freeway: No portion of M-63 is freeway.
Expressway: M-63 is a limited-access expressway (access only at crossroads) from the Blossomland Bridge on the north edge of downtown St Joseph to Shore Dr north of Benton Harbor.
NHS: From M-139 in Scottdale to the northern jct of BL I-94 in downtown St Joseph.
Circle Tour: Lake Michigan Circle Tour: From the southern jct of BL I-94 in St. Joseph to the northern terminus at I-196/US-31.
Photographs:
Weblinks: M-63 @ Michigan Highway Ends - photos of the termini of M-63 at Dan Garnell's excellent Michigan Highway Ends website.
Michiana Roads - part of Marc Fannin's Roadfan.com website dedicated to the area of Southwest Michigan and Northern Indiana known by many as "Michiana."
M-63/St Joseph River (Blossomland) Bridge - from MDOT: "The Blossomland Bridge is eligible for the National Register as an example of a rare bridge type, the Scherzer rolling-lift bascule, and for its design by the nationally prominent Chicago engineering firm Hazelet and Erdal."

M-64 Southern Terminus: Wisconsin state line (connection w/CTH-B) 9 miles south of Marinesco, 1/4 mile north of Presque Isle, Wisconsin
Northern Terminus: Jct US-45/S Steel St & M-38 in Ontonagon, south of downtown
Length: 64.12 miles
Maps: Route Map of M-64
  Ontonagon State Trunkline Changes 2006
Notes: At Silver City, M-64 changes from a north-south highway to an east-west highway.
M-64 is one of two Michigan state highways having no state-maintained counterparts on the Wisconsin side of the state line (the other is M-95 at Kingsford). M-64 connects with CTH-B (County Trunk Highway B).
One of the last gravel-surfaced state highways in Michigan, M-64 was fully hard-surfaced in 1961. Since that time, all of Michigan's state highways have been paved.
Until Oct 11, 2005, the northernmost several hundred feet of M-64, well within sight of its former northern terminus at US-45 in downtown Ontonagon, featured the last swing bridge in use on the Michigan state trunkline system. This bridge, built during 1939 and opened in January 1940, had been in constant use and by the early-2000s was determined to be at the end of its useful life. According to the EPA, "The swing bridge expands when open in hot weather and needs to be cooled down to close, thus creating motorist delays. The bridge provides a substandard opening for both navigation and water flow in the Ontonagon River. Low underclearance in combination with relatively close pier spacing and windrowed ice at the mouth of the river has also created ice jams on the upstream side of the bridge during the spring breakup." After studying several alternatives, including "no build," a new movable span at the same location and several fixed spans upstream, MDOT selected a fixed span to be built just upstream of the existing railroad bridge. Since the railroad bridge has always been a fixed span, it has marked the upstream limits of large craft navigation on the Ontonagon River. Construction on the new bridge began in 2005 and was completed in October 2006, opening to traffic on the 11th of that month. M-64 was then diverted to cross the Ontonagon River via the new bridge and now terminates at US-45 several blocks south of its former junction with M-38. (See the Ontonagon State Trunkline Changes 2006 map.)

An August 2006 MDOT press release about the dedication of the new Ontonagon Rive Bridge included the following information:

"A project of this magnitude required strong partnerships between MDOT, the village of Ontonagon, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) in order to reach completion," said Michael Premo, manager of MDOT's Crystal Falls Transportation Service Center. "We're very pleased to celebrate this occasion with our partners and the community."

The new bridge features 13 spans and is nearly 1,700 feet long, including two lanes of traffic and a 12-foot-wide pedestrian lane that will accommodate a trail groomer and snowmobiles in the winter. It replaces the Ontonagon River Swing Bridge, which will be removed. The entire project totaled $27 million.

History: c.1920 - M-64 begins at the Ohio state line north of Pioneer, Ohio and runs northerly along present-day M-99, then westerly through Frontier, and northerly again via Hillsdale Rd to end at M-34 in downtown Hillsdale.
1926 - M-64 is extended northerly to replace the portion of M-34 through Jonesville and Litchfield to Homer, then northerly to end at US-12 in downtown Albion.
1929 - All of M-64 in Hillsdale and Calhoun Cos is redesignated as a part of the new M-9, running from the Ohio state line to Lansing. This route would later have another "9" added to it, becoming M-99 in later years. Meanwhile, the M-64 designation is immediately transferred to Keweenaw Co, completely supplanting, ironically, the M-9 routing from US-41 to Eagle Harbor via Eagle Harbor Rd. The M-64 and M-9 designations simply trade places—to opposite ends of the state!
1930 - Very soon after M-64 was transferred onto the former routing of M-9 in Keweenaw Co, that six-mile long highway is redesignated as M-129. The M-64 designation is then immediately transferred onto two new alignments in Ontonagon and Gogebic Counties. First, the westernmost 13 miles of M-35 between Silver City and Ontonagon is redesignated as part of M-64, causing M-35 to terminate in downtown Ontonagon. In Gogebic Co, M-64 begins at the Wisconsin state line and continues northerly to US-2 at Marenisco, then easterly via US-2 for five miles before turning northeasterly to replace—ironically—the M-129 designation to Lake Gogebic State Park. M-64 is now a two-segment, discontinuous route (Wisconsin-Lake Gogebic State Park and Silver City-Ontonagon).
1932 - The gap between the two segments of M-64, along the western shore of Lake Gogebic, is completed and the highway is one complete route from the Wisconsin state line through to Ontonagon.
1936 - The concurrent US-2/M-64 routing is transferred onto a new alignment bypassing "downtown" Marenisco. The former route is turned back to local control.
1939 - On the final several hundred feet of M-64 in downtown Ontonagon, the highway crosses the Ontonagon River. The existing bridge, only about 25 years old, was deemed inadequate and a replacement was designed and contracts let. This year, a temporary bridge over the river was built to maintain a crossing at Ontonagon while the former bridge is dismantled and much of the new bridge is constructed.
1940 (Jan) - The new Ontonagon River bridge, a swing-span, is completed and opened to traffic. The bridge cost $86,431 and remain in service for almost 67 years.
1959 - M-64 is transferred onto new alignment from a point 2 miles north of Bergland to a point 2 miles south of White Pine. The old routing along Old 64 is turned back to local control.
1961 - Two sharp curves south of Marenisco are "smoothed" out when the final 28 miles of gravel-surfaced M-64 are paved. M-64 was one of the last gravel-surfaced state highways in Michigan.
2005 - Construction on a new Ontonagon River bridge at Ontonagon begins and will be complete in October 2006 (see "Notes" section above).
2006 (Oct 11) - The new fixed-span Ontonagon River bridge opens at Ontonagon (see "Notes" section above). M-64 is diverted to cross the river via the new bridge and now terminates at US-45 several blocks south of its former junction with M-38. M-38 continues easterly from the new US-45 & M-64 junction before rejoining its former route on the east side of the village. The portion of the former route of M-64 not removed and obliterated becomes an unsigned state trunkline as OLD M-64. (See the Ontonagon State Trunkline Changes 2006 map.)
2006 (Oct 20-Nov 30) - Removal of the 1939 Ontonagon River swing bridge is largely completed. Final removal cleanup will done in Spring 2007.
2007 (Oct 17) New! - Just over a year from its debut as an unsigned, old state trunkline route, the former route of M-64 from the new western Ontonagon River bridge approach northeasterly is transferred to local control as a village street. (See the Ontonagon State Trunkline Changes 2006 map.)
Freeway/Expwy: No portion of M-64 is freeway or expressway.
Circle Tour: Updated Lake Superior Circle Tour: From the western jct of M-28 at Merriweather to the northern terminus at US-45 & M-38 in Ontonagon.
Photographs:
Weblinks: M-64 @ Michigan Highway Ends - photos of the termini of M-64 at Dan Garnell's excellent Michigan Highway Ends website.
Ontonagon State Trunkline Changes 2006 - a map and explanation of the overall state trunkline changes in the Village of Ontonagon based on the completion and opening of the new Ontonagon River Bridge in October 2006.
Ontonagon Bridge Removal - a three-page photo gallery of the removal of the 1939 Ontonagon River swing bridge in October and November 2006 from CopperCountry.com.
New Ontonagon River Bridge to open Oct. 11 - press release from MDOT: "The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will open the new Ontonagon River Bridge on M-64 Ontonagon on Wednesday, Oct. 11, now that all of the railing has been installed and pavement markings are complete..."
MDOT and partners plan dedication of Ontonagon bridge - press release from MDOT: "The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the village of Ontonagon will dedicate the new bridge over the Ontonagon River with a ceremony and community bridge walk at 8:30 a.m. EDT on Saturday, Sept. 2..."
Environmental Impact Statement/Section 4(f) Evaluation: Ontonagon, Ontonagon County, MI - from EPA: "The FHWA is issuing this notice to advise the public that an Environmental Impact Statement/Section 4(f) Evaluation will be prepared for the proposed M-64 structure replacement over the Ontonagon River..."

M-65 Southern Terminus: US-23 two miles east of Omer and six miles west of Au Gres
Northern Terminus: US-23 eight miles southeast of downtown Rogers City
Length: 97.16 miles
Map: Route Map of M-65
Notes: M-65, in a sense, serves as an alternate route to US-23 on Michigan's "Sunrise Side," with both termini at US-23. In fact, the southernmost (present-day US-23 to M-55) and northernmost (present-day M-32 to Rogers City) portions of today's M-65 actually began as early alignments of US-23 itself. Over the course of many years, newer "shoreline" routings were completed and US-23 was transferred to run closer to Lake Huron.
For 13 years in the 1930s and '40s, M-65 existed as a two-segment, discontinuous route, with a gap in Alcona Co. Even in later years, M-65 was one of the last state highways in Michigan to be completely paved, and that wasn't until 1961!
History: c.1920 - Initially, M-65 consists of two disconnected segments:
  • The first from the Ohio state line running northerly via Lewis Ave through Ida, ending at M-50 between Dundee and Monroe.
  • The second begins at M-17/Huron St in downtown Ann Arbor and heads northerly via Whitmore Lake, Brighton, Hartland and Fenton, ending at M-21/Court St in downtown Flint.
c.1925-26 - The gap between the disconnected segments is filled when M-65 is designated north of M-50 through Maybee, Oakville and Whittaker to M-17 in downtown Ypsilanti, then westerly via M-17/Washtenaw Ave into downtown Ann Arbor, meeting up there with the northern segment of the highway.
1926 - With the debut of the U.S. Highway System, all of M-65 is redesignated as a part of the new US-23.
c.1930 - M-65 begins its second, and current, iteration when a 7-mile stretch of roadway is designated as M-65 beginning at the jct of US-23 & M-55 three miles north of Whittemore in western Iosco Co, and continuing northerly to end in downtown Hale.
c.1932 - When US-23 is relocated along its present shoreline routing through Au Gres to Tawas City, the portion of former US-23 running north-south through Twining and Whittemore to the southern end of the existing M-65 is redesignated as an extension of M-65, more then tripling the length of the highway.
1933 - M-65 is extended northerly, then easterly, then northerly again via its present-day routing to end in Glennie in southwestern Alcona Co.
1934 - M-65 once again consists of two disconnected segments when 16 miles of roadway in western Alpena Co is desginated as a portion of M-65. This new 16-mile long segment begins at M-32 two miles southwest of Lachine, and proceeds southerly ending at the Alcona/Alpena Co line (in the middle of nowhere—even today!).
c.1936-38 - A small realignment "smoothes out" a 90-degree turn just north of the Alcona/Alpena Co line.
1939 - With the completion of the new alignment of US-23 between Alpena and Rogers City, all of US-23 north of M-32 near Lachine into downtown Rogers City is designated as a northerly extension of the northern segment of M-65, adding 35 miles to its route.
c.1945-46 - The northern segment of M-65 is shortened by 5 miles when the northernmost 3 miles in Rogers City is redesignated as a new BUS US-23, and the 2 mile US-23/M-65 concurrent segment becomes just US-23.
1947 - The 26-mile gap between the M-65 segments is filled with 21 miles of routing via "earth-surfaced" road north and south of M-72, and a 5 mile concurrent routing with M-72 through Curran.
1948 - M-65 is realigned north of Posen to run due northerly to US-23, eight miles southeast of downtown Rogers City, shaving 7 miles from the route. The former route via E Metz Hwy, Leer Rd, Co Rd 638 and Co Rd 441 is turned back to local control.
1953 - In mid-1953, six years after M-65 was opened along a stretch of earth-surfaced road between Glennie and M-72 in Alcona Co, that 9 mile segment is hard-surfaced. In addition, the first 4 miles of the concurrent M-72 segment into Curran is "straightened" and paved.
1959 - The final few miles of "earth-surfaced" M-65, one of the last such segments of "earth-surfaced" state highway in Michigan, is improved to all-weather gravel-surface highway in northwestern Alcona Co. Also, a pair of 90-degree curves just south of Spratt are removed with a short highway realignment. In addition, the five-mile concurrent segment with M-72 is lengthened by two miles when M-72 is realigned east of M-65 in Alcona Co.
1961 - The final approximately 25 miles of gravel-surfaced M-65 are paved in Alcona, Alpena and Presque Isle Cos in conjunction with two other projects:
  • The "stairstep" curves along the Alcona/Alpena Co line are removed in favor of two long sweeping curves along the county line. One mile is shaved from the route because of this realignment.
  • Two 90-degree curves at Long Rapids are removed with a realignment onto new highway immediately north of Long Rapids.
In both cases, the former routing is either turned back to local control or abandoned altogether as a public roadway.
2004 (Oct 8-13) - In conjunction with the construction of a new 760-foot long AuSable River bridge in Iosco Co, two miles of realigned M-65 are opened to traffic with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the 13th. The historic truss bridge (see Weblinks below) remains as for pedestrian and recreational use. The portion of the former route not obliterated or abandoned as a public roadway remains an unsigned state trunkline as OLD M-65 until Mar 6, 2006 when it is transferred to local control. MDOT Press Release.
Freeway/Expwy: No portion of M-65 is freeway or expressway.
Photographs:
Weblinks: M-65 @ Michigan Highway Ends - photos of the termini of M-65 at Dan Garnell's excellent Michigan Highway Ends website.
M-65/AuSable River Bridge - from MDOT: "This rivetted Parker truss bridge has two main spans of 120 feet each, and an overall length of 320 feet, making it one of the longest of this type in the state."

M-66 Southern Terminus: Indiana state line 3 miles south of Sturgis (connection w/IN SR-9)
Northern Terminus: US-31 on the south side of Charlevoix
Length: 268.95 miles
Map: Route Map of M-66
Notes: M-66 runs the length of the Lower Peninsula, the only "M-numbered" route to do so.
The routing of M-66 south of M-46 has varied over the years. Until World War II, M-66 turned westerly via M-46 at Six Lakes, then southerly via present-day M-91 through Greenville and Belding, to end near Lowell. At that time, M-66 was switched to its current routing to replace M-14 from M-46 southerly through Stanton, Ionia and Nashville, to end north of Battle Creek. Then in 1965, M-66 was once again extended southerly, this time replacing much of M-78 from Battle Creek to the Indiana state line south of Sturgis.
History: c.1920 - The earliest form of M-66 runs via a routing that would someday become M-91 in its entirety—beginning at M-16 (present-day M-21) in downtown Lowell, proceeding northeasterly to Belding, then north through Greenville and Langston, ending at M-46 near Lakeview (M-91's present-day northern terminus).
1925 - M-66 is extended easterly from Lakeview via M-46 to Six Lakes, then northerly for 91 miles via its present-day routing through Remus, Barryton, Marion and Lake City, terminating at M-13 (later US-131) in Lodi, 7 miles south of Kalkaska.
c.1929-30 - The route of M-66 is extended by another 55 miles, being extended northerly from Lodi via M-131 (later US-131) through Kalkaska to Mancelona, then westerly for 1/2-mile via M-88, then northerly through East Jordan and Ironton to end at US-31 in downtown Charlevoix. Seven miles of this new extension via Airport Rd from M-88 in Mancelona to Eddy School Rd (Co Rd 620) are shown into 1933 on official maps as being "under construction." Also, by 1931, M-66 has been extended southerly from Lowell for 3 miles to end at US-16 one mile east of jct US-16 & M-50.
1933 - By 1933, the "under construction" segment of M-66 via Airport Rd north of Mancelona is withdrawn in favor of aligning M-66 along Mancelona-East Jordan Rd from Eddy School Rd (Co Rd 620) southerly to M-131, then along with M-131 southerly less than a mile into downtown Mancelona.
1934 - M-66 is realigned to run on the west side of the Jordan River in extreme northern Antrim and extreme southern Charlevoix Cos south of East Jordan. Formerly, M-66 ran via Webster Bridge Rd near the Echo/Jordan Twp line in Antrim Co, crossing the Jordan River via the Webster Bridge. On the other side of the river, M-66 ran northwesterly on Mount Bliss Rd into East Jordan where M-66 ran via Maple, State, Mill, Bridge and Water Sts through town. The portion of the former route along Webster Bridge and Mount Bliss Rds is turned back to local control, while the portion from M-32 through East Jordan becomes an extension of M-32. The realignment shaves a mile from the route of M-66. Also in 1934, a small realignment at Old State Rd (Co Rd 624) in Chestonia "smoothes out" a set of sharp curves in the highway.
1936 - M-46 is realigned to bypass the community of Six Lakes in northern Montcalm Co, which also adds about a mile to the length of M-66.
1939 - The concurrent M-66/M-131 segment from Lodi south of Kalkaska to Mancelona changes to a concurrent US-131/M-66 routing when all of M-131 from Fife Lake to Petoskey is redesignated as a northerly extension of US-131.
1941 - Just before the U.S. joins World War II, the Michigan State Highway Dept is able to complete a new 8-mile realignment of US-131 from South Boardman to Kalkaska, signalling the removal of the US-131 designation from M-66 on the stretch between Lodi and downtown Kalkaska.
c.1944 - During World War II, the State Highway Dept removes the entire M-14 designation from the state trunkline system and replaces it with a rerouting of M-66 south of Six Lakes. Instead of heading westerly via M-46 from Six Lakes, M-66 now heads easterly via M-46 for 3 miles, then southerly replacing M-14 through Stanton, Ionia, Nashville and Assyria, ending at M-78 seven miles north of downtown Battle Creek. The former concurrent M-46/M-66 designation between Lakeview and Six Lakes becomes just M-46, while all of the former routing of M-66 from US-16 south of Lowell to M-46 at Lakeview is redesignated M-91.
1950 - Late in 1950, two sharp 90-dergee curves at the Missaukee/Osceola Co line are replaced by two sweeping curves.
1953 - In mid-1953, M-66 is rerouted between Maple Grove and M-79 south of Nashville onto brand new alignment. The former route of M-66 (Assyria Rd) from Maple Grove to Lawrence Rd is turned back to local control, as is the former stretch of M-66/M-79 (Lawrence Rd) from Assyria Rd easterly to the southern (formerly eastern) jct of M-66 & M-79 south of Nashville. With the realignment, M-79 is altered to run concurrently with M-66 from the cnr of Lawrence Rd & Clark Rd south of Nashville northerly into Nashville, when M-79 turns westerly replacing M-214 toward Hastings.
1954 - M-66 is realigned in northeastern Barry Co to run northeasterly from the cnr of Carleton Center Rd (newly designated as M-43) & Clark Rd to the corner of Saddlebag Lake Rd & Lakehead Rd/Saginaw Hwy along the Eaton/Barry Co line, then northerly for 1 mile to the cnr of Saddlebag Lake Rd & Brown Rd/Grand Ledge Hwy (M-50) in Woodbury to meet back up with M-66. M-43 is concurrently designated on this new route as well. The former routing of M-66 via Clark Rd is turned back to local control and the former concurrent M-43/M-50/M-66 designation on Brown Rd becomes just M-50.
1957 - In mid-1957, the final 11 miles of gravel-surfaced M-66 are paved, from Nashville to M-43 in eastern Barry Co.
1963 - The northernmost 14 miles of M-66 are now concurrently designated with an extension of M-32 north of East Jordan.
1965 - M-66 is extended southerly for 50 miles with the re-designation of most of M-78 south of the M-66 jct as part of M-66. Beginning at the jct of M-66 & M-78 four miles south of Assyria, M-66 now assumes M-78's routing through Battle Creek and Athens to M-60, where the M-66 extension heads westerly via M-60 through Leonidas, before the new M-66 extension heads southerly again on S Sturgis Rd to M-86. (The former M-78 from M-60 to Colon is turned back to local control, while the former M-78/M-86 becomes just M-86.) From M-86 southerly through Sturgis to the Indiana state line, the M-66 extension again supplants the former routing of M-78. With this extension and re-designation, M-66 now runs the length of the Lower Peninsula—from Indiana to Lake Michigan at Charlevoix.
1966 - The final 1.3 miles of the I-194/M-66 freeway are fininshed at Battle Creek, linking the completed portion of the freeway at Columbia Ave to Michigan Ave near downtown. The former route of M-66 (which was M-78 until the year previous) via Capital Ave SW and Columbia Ave is turned back to local control.
1972 - A small rerouting on new alignment is completed in Missaukee Co cutting off a 90-degree turn in the route from Morey Rd to Phelps Rd north of Lake City. The realignment shaves less than a mile from the route.
1974 - M-66/M-72 is realigned on the south side of Kalkaska onto a new highway constructed as a continuance of M-72 to US-131 southwest of downtown. M-66/M-72 then continues northeasterly via US-131 into downtown to the highways' former alignment. The former routing of M-66/M-72 via (present-day) Old M-66 and Court and Elm Sts is eventually turned back to local control (although it is not clear when this jurisdictional transfer took place).
1974 - The eleven-year old M-32/M-66 concurrency from East Jordan to Charlevoix is removed, with M-32's western terminus scaled back to East Jordan and M-66 continuing by itself to Charlevoix.
1981 - A realignment in northern Missaukee Co continues the work begun in 1970. The new highway, completely on new alignment between Phelps Rd and the Smithville just north of the Missaukee/Kalkaska Co line, shaves about 4 miles from the route. The former route via Phelps Rd and Old M-66 is turned back to local control.
Freeway: Concurrently with I-194 from I-94 (at Exit 98) to Michigan Ave in downtown Battle Creek
Expressway: From E Dr South south of Battle Creek to jct I-194 & I-94 in southeastern Battle Creek.
NHS: Two segments of M-66 are on the NHS:
  1. Concurrently with I-194 from I-94 to northern end of I-194 in downtown Battle Creek.
  2. Concurrently with M-72 and US-131 from Kalkaska to Mancelona.
Continue on: SR-9 into Indiana - via the Indiana Highway Ends website
Photographs:
Weblinks: M-66 @ Michigan Highway Ends - photos of the termini of M-66 at Dan Garnell's excellent Michigan Highway Ends website.

M-67 Southern Terminus: US-41 one mile west of downtown Trenary
Northern Terminus: M-94 on the south side of Chatham, one mile south of downtown
Length: 12.05 miles
Map: Route Map of M-67
Notes: The routing of M-67 has remained largely unchanged since the 1920s! The highway's southern terminus was originally at M-15, which later became US-41. On the same token, M-67's northern terminus has changed from M-25 to M-28 to M-94, all the while remaining physically in the same place!
History: c.1920 - M-67 follows its present-day routing from M-15 (present-day US-41) in downtown Trenary to M-25M-28, present-day M-94) at Chatham.
c.1936-37 - US-41 is realigned to run west of Trenary and M-67 is extended westerly via part of the former US-41 for exactly one mile to its present western terminus. No other significant changes have occurred to the routing of M-67 since 1937!
Freeway/Expwy: No portion of M-67 is freeway or expressway.
Photographs:
Weblinks: M-67 @ Michigan Highway Ends - photos of the termini of M-67 at Dan Garnell's excellent Michigan Highway Ends website.

M-68 Western Terminus: Alanson at US-31 (cnr Chicago St & Burr Ave)
Eastern Terminus: Downtown Rogers City at BUS US-23 (cnr Erie St & Third St)
Length: 52.67 miles
Map: Route Map of M-68
Notes: All of M-68 from the western jct of M-33 eastward to Rogers City was a part of US-23 in the late 1920s and 1930s.
M-68 is the northernmost east-west state highway of any reasonable length in the Lower Peninsula. Technically, M-212—the three-quarters-mile long spur-route connecting M-33 with Aloha State Park—runs east-west and exists north of M-68.
History: c.1920 - Early on, M-68 is located in the western Upper Peninsula. The route begins near the White Pine Mine (present day White Pine), continues northerly to Silver City, then easterly into downtown Ontonagon before heading southeasterly through Rockland to end at M-26 just southeast of Rockland.
1926 - By 1926, some sources show the western terminus of M-68 being scaled back from White Pine Mine to end approximately one mile west of the community of Green (about halfway between Ontonagon and Silver City), shortening the route by 12 miles.
c.1927 - By 1928, the portion of M-68 from M-26 near Rockland to downtown Ontonagon is redesignated as part of a westerly extension of M-35, thus bringing and end to the first iteration of M-68 in Michigan.
c.1936-37 - A second life for M-68 begins when the route is designated from US-31 at Alanson to US-27 just south of Indian River on the south side of Burt Lake. This segment is only 9 miles in length.
1940 - M-68 becomes a discontinuous highway when a second segment is designated via a portion of the former US-23 in Cheboygan and Presque Isle Cos. The new eastern segment of M-68 begins at a 90-degree turn in M-33 about 2.5 miles east of Afton in central Cheboygan Co, heads easterly concurrently with M-33 to Onaway, then continues easterly on its own to Rogers City, where the route crosses M-33 and ends in downtown at M-65 (present-day BUS US-23).
c.1946 - The gap between the two disconnected segments of M-68 is filled when 9 miles of Onaway Rd from US-27 in downtown Indian River to M-33 east of Afton is designated as M-68. A one mile concurrency with US-27 also results.
1961 - M-68 is rerouted onto new alignment from Onaway Rd west of Afton to US-27 on the south side of Indian River. The former routing via Onaway Rd is turned back to local control. Also, the final gravel-surfaced segment of M-68 along Onaway Rd is bypassed with the completion of the 1961 relocation—which is entirely paved.
1970s(?) - At some undetermined time, this highway's routing is shortened when the concurrent M-68 designation is removed from US-31 from Petoskey to Alanson to its present western terminus. The precise reason why M-68 had been extended westerly via US-31 into Petoskey is rather unclear to begin with. If hazarding a guess, one could speculate it was so that M-68 could run from "shore-to-shore" (Lake Michigan at Petoskey to Lake Huron at Rogers City). Just when the concurrent designation was added is also unclear.
Freeway/Expwy: No portion of M-68 is freeway or expressway.
Photographs:
Weblinks: M-68 @ Michigan Highway Ends - photos of the termini of M-68 at Dan Garnell's excellent Michigan Highway Ends website.
Ocqueoc Falls Hwy/Ocqueoc River Bridge - from MDOT: "Located some four miles north of Millersburg, this graceful concrete arch bridge spans the Ocqueoc River on the Ocqueoc Falls Highway."

M-00 Southern Terminus: Indiana state line two miles south of Kinderhook
Eastern Terminus: Ontario provincial boundary on the Blue Water Bridges (concurrently with I-94) connecting Port Huron, Michgian with Point Edward and Sarnia, Ontario
Length: 201.39 miles
Map: Route Map of I-69
Notes: For its first 81 miles, I-69 is signed a north-south highway. At Mile 81, I-69 is signed as an east-west highway. Until 2001, signs proclaiming "I-69 NORTH BECOMES I-69 EAST" (northbound) and "I-69 WEST BECOMES I-69 SOUTH" (westbound) were located at Mile 81. They were removed, however, during a freeway sign rehabilitation project, those signs were removed and the direction change was signed directly on I-96.
From its debut in Michigan until 2001-02, I-69 ran concurrently with US-27 for its first 89 miles, to Exit 89 southeast of DeWitt. This concurrent designation, as well as all of US-27 in Michigan, was removed when MDOT was given the go-ahead by AASHTO to redesignate all of that highway north of DeWitt as US-127 in 1999. Not wanting to rush into the changes, MDOT planned for US-27's removal for a few years before actual signage changes occurred. In 2001, most of the US-27 route markers along the concurrent stretch with I-69 between the Indiana state line and DeWitt were removed, although a few stragglers remained. The year 2002 saw the complete removal of US-27 from Michigan, being replaced north of I-69 by US-127.
I-69 was the last two-digit Interstate in Michigan to be completed. The last segments were northeast of Lansing near Perry (opened 1990-91) and southwest of Lansing between I-96 and Charlotte (completed October 22, 1992).
While many maps of the "original" Eisenhower Interstate System from the late 1950s and 1960s show I-69 running only as far north as I-94 at Marshall, the Michigan State Highway Dept seemed to have other plans in mind, for I-69's interchange with I-94 was constructed as a full cloverleaf-style interchange, complete with collector/distributor ramps, indicating this wouldn't be the end of the new freeway. In 1968, the northern end of the actual freeway dead-ended almost a mile north of I-94. Extension would come in 1970 and 1971.
Updated I-69 is one of two so-called "NAFTA Highways" in Michigan. With the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement in the early 1990s, many border points between Canada, the United States and Mexico became increasingly important points of international trade, with I-69 and I-94 being two Interstates leading directly from Canadian border crossings to large cities in the Midwest. Proponents of extending I-69 southeasterly into Texas use the "NAFTA Highway" concept in their defense of the extension, while opponents cite the lack of a need for such a highway and the environmental concerns. As of now, I-69 begins in Michigan and ends in neighboring Indiana. In the past several years, "bits and pieces" of the I-69 extension have been completed, opened to traffic, and signed as I-69 in southwest Indiana, Kentucky and Mississippi. Work is ongoing to connect existing I-69 at Indianapolis with the new segment north of Evansville.
On August 31, 1998, the final segment of the US-27 (now US-127) freeway between DeWitt and St Johns opens to traffic. Since the new freeway was constructed approximately 1.25 miles east of the former US-27, the concurrent I-69/US-27 designation was extended by about 1.7 miles, replacing the former I-69/US-127 concurrency. US-127 was then terminated at the I-69/US-27 interchange (Exit 89A-B) southeast of DeWitt. Since then, however, US-27 north of I-69 has been replaced by the US-127 designation.
History: 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.
  • At Marshall, the I-69 designation terminates at I-94, while the US-27 routing turns easterly via I-94 for about 1-1/2 miles back to the original US-27 alignment, then northerly toward Olivet and Charlotte. A brand new BUS US-27 designation is commissioned, beginning at I-69/US-27 on the west side of Marshall (present day Exit 36), and running easterly via Michigan Ave into downtown, then northerly via the former route of US-27 (Kalamazoo Ave & Brewer St) to the jct of I-94 & US-27 north of town at Exit 110. The BL I-94 routing at Marshall is realigned, also, to run westerly from downtown via Michigan Ave (newly co-designated as BUS US-27) to the new I-69/US-27 freeway, then northerly via the freeway to end at I-94. The former routing of BL I-94 northerly from downtown Marshall is redesignated as a part of the new BUS US-27.
1968 (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.
1969 (Dec 13) New! - Section 14 of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1968 modified Title 23 by authorizing mileage to the Interstate Highway System "not to exceed 1,5000 miles for the designation of routes ... in order to improve the efficiency and service of the Interstate System to better accomplosh the purposes of that System." On this date, Transportation Secretary Boyd announces the USDOT has allocated 1,472.5 miles, in 28 States, of the 1,500 additional Interstate miles authorized by Congress at the then estimated cost of $2.43 billion. The Bureau of Public Roads indicated that the States, in filing applications for the added 1,500 miles, had submitted suggested projects totalling more than 10,000 miles. In Michigan, the Michigan Department of State Highways was granted its request for a 96-mile extension to I-69, then terminating at I-94 near Marshall. The new extension took I-69 by way of Lansing to a new terminus at I-75/US-10/US-23 on the western edge of Flint and carried a 1968 cost of $104.4 million.1   It would not be until 1972 that I-69 would be fully signed along the extended portion, however.
1970 - A pair of changes to I-69 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.
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 - Changes to I-69 in 1972 include:
  • 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.
  • M-78 is realigned between Bellevue and Charlotte, first by running easterly to Olivet, then northeasterly for 13 miles concurrently with I-69/US-27 back to the original US-27/M-78 alignment via Lansing Rd from Charlotte toward Lansing. This creates a 13-mile I-69/US-27/M-78 concurrent segment in Eaton Co. This arrangement was to only last about a year, so it is unclear if any M-78 markers were posted along the route of I-69/US-27 between Olivet and Charlotte.
1973 - Additional changes to I-69 in this year:
  • A major extension of I-69 takes the route from terminating at Charlotte to ending in Flint, generally replacing the M-78 designation in the process. However, since the only the Morrice-to-Flint section of this extension is constructed to freeway standards, the ex-M-78 routing between Charlotte and Morrice is designated as TEMP I-69 (TEMPORARY I-69), as such: With the exception of a portion along Saginaw St in East Lansing, all of TEMP I-69 is either four-lane divided highway or freeway. The "TEMPORARY" white-on-blue plates are posted with all I-69 markers on the entire routing of TEMP I-69, with the abbreviation "TEMP" used on some large freeway guide signs. As an additional side note, the designation of BUS M-78 through Lansing is "decommissioned" and no "BL TEMP I-69" ever existed.)
  • (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.
1973 (Sept 4) New! - Legislation passes the U.S. Congress officially extending I-69 by 3.20 miles from its terminus at I-75/US-10/US-23 on the western edge of Flint easterly to I-475 in downtown Flint.1   This extension did not appear on official Michigan highway maps until 1976, so it is somewhat unclear when I-69 route markers were actually erected along this portion of highway.
1974 - BUS US-27 through Charlotte is redesignated as BL I-69.
1975-76 Updated - Official Michigan highway maps from 1976 show the I-69 extension (approved in 1973—see above) easterly via the M-21 freeway from I-75/US-10/US-23 into Flint to end at I-475 in downtown.
1984 - Two important freeway completions take place in 1984 which do not directly involve I-69 at the time, but would within one- to three years, as follows:
  • A new northern freeway bypass of Lansing opens between I-96 (at Exits 89-91) and the US-27/US-127 interchange near DeWitt and is designated US-27, itself now running northerly from its original route, via I-96 from Exit 98 northerly to Exit 91, then 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 BUS US-27. This new 8-mile long freeway, while designated only as US-27 in 1984, will later be incorporated into the completion of I-69 through the Lansing metro area. At this time, TEMP I-69 still bypasses Lansing on the south and east via I-96, I-496/US-127 and US-127.
  • The first segment of the new M-21 freeway opens from M-19 at Emmett easterly to the existing M-21 freeway west of Wadhams. The remaining gap from M-24 at Lapeer to M-19 at Emmet is under construction as well. As with the new US-27 freeway on the north side of Lansing, this section of freeway is designated as M-21, but would later become the easterly extension of I-69.
1984 (Dec) - The entire freeway from Lapeer to Wadhams opens, not as M-21, but rather as an extended I-69! The length of M-21 is reduced by approximately 70 miles, now terminating in Flint. The M-56 designation which had replaced M-21 via Corunna & Miller Rds and Court St between M-13 and I-475/UAW Frwy in downtown Flint is redesignated as M-21, with M-56 ceasing as a state trunkline designation. The former M-13/M-21 through Lennon reverts back to just M-13, while the concurrently designated M-21/I-69 between Lennon and Flint becomes just I-69. Between Flint and Port Huron, including the M-21 freeway segments (I-475 to M-24 and M-19 to I-94) becomes I-69. The former route of M-21 along Imlay City Rd from Lapeer to Emmett becomes an unsigned state trunkline as "OLD M-21." The former M-21 into downtown Port Huron along the Griswold-Oak St pair is designated as BS I-69, ending at M-21's former terminus at M-25/Huron Ave. Interestingly, however, the I-69 designation will not be officially extended in the eyes of the Federal government for over a year (see below).
1985 - All of M-25 south of the I-69/I-94 approach to the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron is redesignated as BL I-94, and the BS I-69 designation is redesignated BL I-69, when BS I-69 is extended concurrently with the "new" BL I-94 from downtown Port Huron northerly via Huron & Pine Grove Sts to end at I-69/I-94 north of downtown.
1987 (Feb 10) New! - Legislation passes the U.S. Congress officially extending I-69 by 63.60 miles from its terminus at I-475 in downtown Flint easterly to I-94 at Exit 271 west of Port Huron.1   This segment of freeway was opened to traffic in December 1984 and has been signed as I-69 since that time. It would seem the federal legislation did not officially extend I-69 concurrently with I-94 for that route's final four miles to the Blue Water Bridge approach, unlike the actual signage in the field seems to indicate.
1987 (Fall) - With the opening of a new segment of I-69 freeway between US-127 and Peacock Rd in southeastern Clinton County in late 1987, the I-69 designation is re-routed via I-96/US-27 northerly from I-96 at Exit 98 southwest of Lansing, northerly to Exit 91, then easterly across the north side of Lansing concurrently with US-27, to DeWitt, then easterly via US-127 for an additional 2 miles, before heading easterly along the 6 miles of new freeway. Between State and Peacock Rds, traffic from the newly completed freeway segment is shifted back onto the original TEMP I-69 (formerly M-78) lanes. The TEMP I-69 designation via I-96, I-496 and US-127 around the south and east sides of Lansing is removed. At the same time, the remainder of the TEMP I-69 routing from US-127 on the Lansing/East Lansing city limits northeasterly to the new Exit 94 is redesignated as part of a new BL I-69. From US-127, the new BL I-69 designation continues westerly via M-43 through the north end of Lansing, to terminate at I-96/I-69/US-27, in Delta Twp at Exit 93. TEMP I-69 remains on the two non-freeway segments from Charlotte to I-96 and from Peacock Rd in Clinton Co to Morrice.
1991 - The last 11 miles of freeway under construction northeast of Lansing are opened to traffic. The westbound lanes of the new I-69 freeway from Peacock Rd in southeastern Clinton Co to Morrice near Perry were actually opened in stages beginning in 1989 and 1990, with the entire freeway completed in 1991. The makeup of Lansing Hwy, the former routing of TEMP I-69 (and M-78 before that) is changed with the completion of the freeway. The westbound lanes of the divided highway were removed to make room for the eastbound lanes and right-of-way of the new freeway, so two-way traffic is now maintained on the former eastbound side of TEMP I-69. The portion of Old M-78 and Lansing Hwy formerly designated as TEMP I-69 is now an unsigned trunkline designated "OLD I-69."
1992 (Oct 22) - The final segments of the new I-69/US-27 freeway are opened between Charlotte and I-96 southwest of Lansing. The former route of TEMP I-69/US-27 (Lansing Rd) becomes an unsigned state-maintained road, as does the decertified BUS US-27 (Lansing Rd) from I-96 into Lansing. The signed BUS US-27 now runs from the jct of I-69/US-27 near DeWitt southerly to terminate at Michigan Ave in Lansing. (For the next decade, MDOT would still refer to Lansing Rd in southwest Lansing as "BUS US-27," even though all signs have been removed from that portion of the route.) As of October 1992, I-69 is now one complete route in Michigan, from Indiana to Ontario.
1998 (Aug 31) - At 9:17am on Monday, August 31, 1998, the northbound lanes of the final link in the long-awaited US-27 "St Johns Bypass," as it is referred to locally, was opened to through traffic. The southbound lanes opened within a couple hours of the northbound side. 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 Exits 87 & 89 near DeWitt. No changes were made in the routing of I-69.
2001 - Most of the US-27 route markers along the concurrent portion of I-69—from the Indiana state line northerly to DeWitt near Lansing—are removed in preparation for the complete "decommissioning" of US-27 in Michigan. A few US-27 markers remain along I-69 for awhile, though, but are definitely exceptions.
2002 - As noted above, the "decommissioning" of US-27 in Michigan sees the removal of the remaining US-27 markers along I-69 between the Indiana state line and US-127 at DeWitt. Formerly concurrent with US-27 for 89 miles, I-69 now only runs concurrently with I-96 for six miles and with I-94 at Port Huron for approximately five.
2004 (Oct 8) - The 48 miles of I-69 from its southern entrance at the Indiana state line to the Calhoun/Eaton Co line southwest of Olivet is officially designated as a Recreational Heritage Route in ceremonies at the newly-reconstructed Coldwater Welcome Center south of Coldwater.
2006 (July 17) New! - The 22-mile stretch of I-69 in Branch Co is dedicated as the Purple Heart Trail in a ceremony after a bill designating it as such was passed in the state legislature.
Freeway: All of I-69 is freeway.
NHS: Entire route.
Circle Tour: Lake Huron Circle Tour: From M-25 in Port Huron into Ontario and a connection with Hwy 402 on the Blue Water Bridges.
Business Connections: BL I-69 - Coldwater. From I-69 at Exit 10 to I-69 at Exit 13.
BL I-69 - Charlotte. From I-69 at Exit 57 to I-69 at Exit 61.
BL I-69 - Lansing. From I-96/I-69 at Exit 93 to I-69 at Exit 94.
BL I-69 - Port Huron. From jct I-69 & I-94 to I-94/I-69 at the foot of the Blue Water Bridges.
Continue on: Hwy 402 into Ontario.
I-69 into Indiana - via the Indiana Highway Ends website
Photographs:
Weblinks: I-69 @ Michigan Highway Ends - photos of the termini of I-69 at Dan Garnell's excellent Michigan Highway Ends website.
Blue Water Bridges - from MDOT: "Blue Water Bridges are a major international crossing over the St. Clair river at the southern end of Lake Huron."
Interstate 69 Guide - from AARoads' Interstate-Guide.com website.
Interstate 69 Business Routes - from AARoads' Interstate-Guide.com website.
High Priority Corridors 18 & 20 - from the excellent AARoads website.
I-69 from Indianapolis to Port Huron - from the Chris Lawrence's great I69Info.com website.
The National I-69 Steering Committee - is the national-level planning and coordinating entity for the extension of the existing I-69 from Port Huron, Michigan to the Texas/Mexico border.

M-69 Western Terminus: Downtown Crystal Falls at US-2/US-141 (cnr Superior Ave & Crystal Ave)
Eastern Terminus: US-2/US-41 between Bark River and Hyde west of Escanaba
Length: 65.44 miles
Map: Route Map of M-69
Notes: In 1991-92, the length of M-69 was tripled when the route was extended southeasterly via its pre-1960 routing from Sagola to US-2/US-41 near Bark River. The portion of the newly re-designated highway from M-95 to US-2/US-41 had been designated as county-maintained G-30 from 1971 until 1991. Ironically, this also created the interesting occurrence of M-69 intersecting G-69 at Foster City, which it still does. The story, related to the webmaster, why this route was re-assumed into the state trunkline highway system was primarily due to political arrangements. For example, a downstate state legislator may need support for a bill or project so a U.P. legislator agrees to support it in exchange for, in this instance, additional state trunkline mileage.
History: c.1920 - The initial iteration of M-69 begins at the Wisconsin state line between Florence, Wisc. and Crystal Falls and proceeds northerly via present-day US-2/US-141 to Crystal Falls, then westerly and northerly from there via present-day US-141 through Amasa, terminating at M-28 in Vermilac, east of Covington. One source also shows the M-69 designation applied to the short spur of highway between what is today's northern jct of US-2/US-141 & M-95 north of Iron Mountain and the Wisconsin state line. This is supported by the fact that Wisconsin designated the highway between these two segments (via Spread Eagle and Florence, Wisc.) as STH-69 (State Trunk Highway 69).
1926-27 - With the debut of the U.S. Highway system, the entire routing of M-69 is replaced by some of these new route designations. A few sources from 1926 show M-69 being replaced by a US-2/US-41 designation between the Wisconsin state line and Crystal Falls and by just US-41 from Crystal Falls to Covington. However, these 1926 maps were made from preliminary system maps and were often wrong, being corrected in 1927. When the U.S. Highway system was finalized, M-69 is replaced by a solo US-2 into Crystal Falls and by US-102 (present-day US-141) from there to Vermillion. The M-69 designation is then transferred to a route perpendicular to its former one, replacing the M-12 designation, beginning at US-2 in downtown Crystal Falls (it's present western terminus) and proceeding easterly to M-45 (present-day M-95) at Sagola, then southerly via M-45 for several miles, and easterly supplanting the M-90 designation to Foster City, in central Dickinson Co, where it terminated.
c.1928-31 - M-69 is extended southeasterly from Foster City to end at US-2/US-41, lengthening the route by 29 miles. Ironically, M-69 runs (roughly) along its entire present-day routing at this time. For several decades later in the century, though, this would not be the case.
1932 - The route is realigned onto new highway from the east side of Crystal Falls to Colonys Corners in eastern Iron Co. The former route of M-69 (today's Old 69) is turned back to local control.
1956 - The route of M-69 is realigned onto new highway between M-95 and the hamlet of Metropolitan, around a large strip mining operation at the Groveland Mile, which displace a portion of the old route. The portions of the former route not becoming part of the strip mine are turned back to local control.
1960 - All of M-69 east of M-95 is "decommissioned" as a state trunkline and the six-mile concurrency with M-95 becomes just M-95, which trims 52 miles from M-69's 65-mile route. The former route of M-69 east of M-95 is turned back to local control, becoming Co Rd 569.
1972 - The former M-69 routing between M-95 and US-2/US-41 is designated as G-30, one of many new county-designated highways.
1991 - In a rash of new highway designations and elongations in the early 1990s, M-69 is extended by the 52 miles it lost in 1960, restoring the highway to its 1932-1960 routing. The old county G-30 designation, of course, becomes history as M-69 supplants that entire route.
Freeway/Expwy: No portion of M-69 is freeway or expressway.
Photographs:
Weblinks: M-69 @ Michigan Highway Ends - photos of the termini of M-69 at Dan Garnell's excellent Michigan Highway Ends website.
M-69/Paint River Bridge - from MDOT, this bridge "features attractive decorative lamp posts and railings."

 

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