Michigan Highways: Since 1997.

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M-22 & M-109 junction route signage in Glen Arbor, Michigan
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US-2 Route Marker  Woodward Ave On to Next Route:
Southern Terminus:   Downtown Detroit at cnr Woodward Ave & Adams St, three blocks south of I-75/Fisher Frwy
Northern Terminus:   Jct BL I-75 & BUS US-24 at cnr of Woodward Ave & Square Lake Rd between Pontiac and Bloomfield Hills
Length: 21.462 miles
Map: Route Map of M-1
Notes: M-1 is known as Woodward Ave for its entire length. Also once a portion of US-10, Woodward Ave is also referred to as "Detroit's [or Southeast Michigan's] Main Street.
  M-1/Woodward Ave was designated a Historic Heritage Route by the Michigan Department of Transportation-Design Division in July 1999 and as a National Scenic Byway by FHWA National Scenic Byways Program on June 13, 2002.
  The current M-1 is the only such designation in the history of state trunklines in Michigan. Prior to 1970, there was no M-1 routing in the state. M-1 was one of the first of the "single-digit" state routes in Michigan since the late-1930s and a precursor to several other single-digit state route designations around Detroit added in the 1970s (e.g. M-3, the former M-4, M-5 and M-8).
  In "State Trunkline Needs, 1960–1980," a set of maps prepared by the State Highway Dept's Office of Planning, Programming Division in 1960 many possible additions, upgrades and improvements to the state trunkline system over the ensuing twenty years were depicted. Interestingly, those maps seemed to indicate the general plan was to move the US-10 designation from the Woodward Ave corridor between Detroit and Pontiac over to the I-75/Fisher Frwy once it was completed. A BUS US-10 designation was proposed for what is now M-1 in 1960, but when it came time to relocate the US-10 designation, it went west onto the John C Lodge Frwy and US-24/Telegraph Rd while Woodward itself was designated M-1.
History: 1969 (Oct 26) – In the year prior to the debut of the M-1 designation, at its regular meeting at the Sheraton Hotel in Philadelphia, the U.S. Route Numbering Subcommittee of the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) approves a request from the Michigan Dept of State Highways to relocate the route of US-10 between Detroit and Pontiac, removing it from Woodward Ave and placing it onto the John C Lodge Frwy from downtown Detroit to US-24/Telegraph Rd in Southfield, thence northerly with US-24/Telegraph Rd to the Pontiac area where it meets up with its existing route at Square Lake Rd.
  1970 – Based on the AASHO approval to relocate the route of US-10 between Detroit and Pontiac in 1969, the US-10 designation is removed from the Woodward Ave corridor and placed onto the John C Lodge Frwy between downtown Detroit and US-24/Telegraph Rd in Southfield, replacing the BS I-696 designation along that route. From Southfield, US-10 is now signed concurrently with US-24 along Telegraph Rd northerly to the northern terminus of US-24 at existing US-10 at Square Lake Rd southwest of Pontiac. The former route of US-10 along Woodward ave is redesignated as M-1 with the portion along Square Lake Rd between Woodward Ave and US-24/Telegraph Rd south of Pontiac becoming part of an extended BUS US-10 routing.
  1977 (May 10) – With the debut of the "Woodward Mall" project in downtown Detroit along the portion of Woodward Ave between US-12/Michigan Ave & Cadillac Square and Grand Circus Park, M-1 was either chopped into a discontinuous route or scaled back to Adams St altogether. Woodward Ave itself is closed to all vehicles except public transportation and the street is relieved of its state highway designation. Official MDOT maps show the portion of Woodward Ave from US-10/Jefferson Ave to US-12/Michigan Ave as "M-1" through 1981, and as part of US-12 from 1982–1991, again as M-1 from 1992–1996, and once again as US-12 from 1997–2001. (Additionally, from 1980–87, Rand McNally maps showed M-1 as following E Elizabeth St easterly from Woodward to Beaubien St, then south on Beaubien to M-3/Gratiot Ave for southbound traffic, and as beginning at M-3/Gratiot Ave and heading northerly on Brush St to E Columbia St, west on Columbia back to Woodward Ave for northbound traffic.) While trunkline route signage on "surface" routes (e.g. not freeways) in Detroit, especially downtown, is somewhat lacking, it seems the Dept of State Highways & Transportation's intention is to redesignate the 3½ blocks of Woodward Ave between US-10/Jefferson Ave and the Woodward–Michigan–Monroe–Cadillac Sq intersection. As such, it can be assumed the M-1 designation is truncated to Adams St at this time or sometime after.
  1978 (Dec 14) New! 2023-12 – The 0.41-mile, five-block segment of Woodward Ave in downtown Detroit—the "Woodward Mall" project noted above—is officially cancelled as a state trunkline highway route and transferred to city control.
  1981 (June 25) – At its regular meeting in Dallas, the U.S. Route Numbering Subcommittee of the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO) approves a request from MDOT to extend the route of US-12 in downtown Detroit from its terminus at M-1/Woodward Ave then southerly via M-1/Woodward Ave for 3½ blocks to a new terminus at US-10/Jefferson Ave.
  1997 (Sept 13) – The name of the downtown M-1 Birmingham "bypass" offically becomes Woodward Ave, changing from Hunter Blvd. The older alignment of Woodward through downtown Birmingham becomes renamed Old Woodward Ave.
  1999 (July) – The entire length of M-1/Woodward Ave is designated as a "Historic Heritage Route" by MDOT. See the Pure Michigan Byways (Heritage Routes) section of this website for more information.
  2001 (Mar 15) Updated 2024-01 – During a spate of jurisdictional transfers in the City of Detroit, which included several former state trunklines in the Campus Martius area of downtown being transferred back to City of Detroit control, M-1 was actually extended south by three city blocks, or 0.23 mile. The three blocks transferred to the state, from Adams to Grand River, were part of the segment transferred to the city in the late-1970s as part of the "Woodward Mall" project. The southern terminus of M-1 is now Grand River Ave, which is the northern boundary of Detroit's Campus Martius project. Additionally, the 0.24-mile, 312 block segment of Woodward Ave from M-10/Jefferson Ave to US-12/Michigan Ave is transferred to city control—however this segment has been alternately identified as being part of US-12 or M-1 for decades. In the official transfer documents, MDOT refers to this portion of Woodward Ave as "M-1," contradicting the 1981 AASHTO approval to extend US-12 along this segment replacing M-1 in the process. Map of Campus Martius transfers.
  2004 (Apr 1) – In a reversal (on April Fool's Day, no less!), just three years after the route of M-1 was extended southerly along Woodward Ave from Adams St to Grand River Ave, those same three blocks were transferred back to the City of Detroit again! No clear reasoning as been uncovered as to why the three blocks of Woodward Ave from Adams to Grand River were transferred to state control in 2001 and then back to the City again in 2004.
  2022 (Oct 26–Nov 29) New! 2024-02 – A very minor state trunkline establishment occurs in the vicinity of the I-696/Walter P Reuther Frwy & M-1/Woodward Ave junction on the boundary between the cities of Royal Oak and Pleasant Ridge. The segment of Main St from M-1/Woodward Ave northerly to the westbound I-696 Service Drive is transferred from city to state control in two segments. On October 26, the 0.03-mile portion of Main St from the Pleasant Ridge/Royal Oak city limit (essentially in the middle of the Main St overpass spanning I-696) northerly to the westbound I-696 Service Drive is transferred to the state, while the 0.10-mile segment of Main St from the northbound M-1/Woodward Service Drive northerly to the Pleasant Ridge/Royal Oak city limit is transferred. MDOT states this portion of Main St has been "acting as a northbound M-1 connector/ramp for I-696 traffic" and had apparently been maintaining it as a state trunkline connector for some time.
Controlled-Access: No portion of M-1 is freeway or expressway.
NHS: The entire length of M-1 is on the National Highway System (NHS). (The segment of M-1 from its southern terminus to I-75 in downtown Detroit was added in 2012 with the passage of the MAP-21 funding and authorization bill.)
Pure Michigan
Recreational Heritage Route MarkerWoodward Avenue Recreational Heritage Route: From I-75/Fisher Frwy in downtown Detroit to the northern terminus of M-1 at Pontiac. (Byway continues north into Pontiac.)
Memorial Highway: At present, no portion of M-1 has been designated as part of a Memorial Highway.
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