Michigan Highways: Since 1997.

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M-22 & M-109 junction route signage in Glen Arbor, Michigan
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M-23 Route Marker On to Next Route:
M-23 is a former state trunkline route existing from July 9, 1913 until May 2, 1927.
Western Terminus*:    M-13 (becoming US-131) just west of White Pigeon in southwestern Saint Joseph Co
Eastern Terminus*:    Downtown Detroit
Final Length*: Updated 167.7 miles
Maps: New! Route Map of Former M-23 (1921)
Notes: * The termini and final length for M-23 reflect the beginning and ending of the route and its length as of the time of its decommissioning in 1927.
  New! M-23 is an historic state trunkline route designation, only existing from mid-1913 until the arrival of the US Highway system in May 1927. The vast majority of M-23 ran along the corridor that eventually became US-112 in 1926–27 (present-day US-12) between southern Cass Co and downtown Ypsilanti. Between downtown Ypsilanti and downtown Detroit, however, US-112 replaced M-17 along the Michigan Ave corridor through Wayne and Dearborn, while M-23 ran along Ecorse Rd further to the south, then in the Allen Park/Melvildale area, utilized Allen Rd, Oakwood Blvd and Fort St into downtown Detroit. Between Ypsilanti and Detroit, the State Highway Dept replaced the original M-23 designation with a rerouting of M-17 (itself supplanted by US-112 between those cities) so as to eliminate any confusion between M-23 and US-23 existing so closely to each other. Because of the existence of the US-23 route designation in Michigan since 1926–27, no other highway has ever been assigned the M-23 designation since.
History: 1913 (July 9) New! – The first segments of M-23 to be officially determined as state trunkline highway are, interestingly, right in the middle of the overall route of M-23—in Branch Co. The 24.1 miles of trunkline assumed into the system includes all of the Chicago Rd in Branch Co outside of the limits of the Village of Bronson and the City of Coldwater. (Oddly, the route of M-23 through the entirety of the Village of Quincy in eastern Branch Co is assumed as trunkline, while the portion through the Village of Bronson is not.)
  1913 (Oct 1) New! – Of the two other segments of M-23 officially determined this year, one is due to the determination of M-14 through Somerset Twp in northeastern Hillsdale Co (M-23 runs concurrently with M-14 for 1½ miles) and the other is a short, 0.7-mile long segment continuing easterly along Chicago Rd where M-14 turns southerly to follow Somerset Rd. This short segment of officially assumed trunkline ends at the Hillsdale/Lenawee Co line. The remainder of M-23 across most of the Lower Peninsula is signed but not under the direct jurisdiction of the State Highway Dept.
  1915 (Aug–Sept) New! – The route of M-23 through the western half of Hillsdale Co (with the excpetion of the Village of Jonesville) is officially assumed into the trunkline system in four separate segments:
  • (Aug 10) – The two miles of Chicago Rd from the east limit of Jonesvile northeasterly to the Fayette/Scipio Twp line.
  • (Aug 25) – 6.3 miles of Chicago Rd from the Branch/Hillsdale Co line west of Allen to easterly to the Allen/Fayette Twp line.
  • (Sept 10) – A short 1½-mile segment of Chicago Rd from the Allen/Fayette Twp line easterly to the west limti of Jonesville.
  • (Sept 28) – The 1.7 miles of Chicago Rd from the Fayette/Scipio Twp line northeasterly to the Scipio/Moscow Twp line.
  1916 (Jan 13) New! – All of M-23 in Saint Joseph Co east of White Pigeon is officially determined as state trunkline highway in two segments totalling 10.8 miles: from the east limit of White Piegon to the west limit of Sturgis and from the east limit of Sturgis to the Saint Joseph/Branch Co line.
  1916 (May) New! – The remainder of M-23 in Hillsdale Co is officially determined as a state trunkline highway as is an additional short segment on the west side of the City of Coldwater:
  • (May 4) – The 11 miles of M-23/Chicago Rd in Hillsdale Co are officially assumed into the trunkline system from the Scipio/Moscow Twp line northeast of Jonesville northeasterly for 7.1 miles to the west jct of M-14 & M-23 at Somerset Center.
  • (May 27) – A short, ½-mile segment of Chicago Rd on the west side of Coldwater in Branch Co from the west city limit easterly to the Coldwater River bridge
  1918 (Aug 2) New! – The 21.3 miles of M-23 along Michigan Ave (present-day US-12) in Washtenaw Co from the Lenawee Co line near Clinton northeasterly through Saline to M-17 in downtown Ypsilanti is officially determined as a state trunkline highway.
  1924 New! – The Wayne Co Road Commission completes work on Ecorse Rd, a major east-west through roadway across the western portion of the County. While not a state trunkline highway, it is widely anticipated to be connected to M-23 in Washtenaw Co in the near future and then be designated as part of that route, becoming a new route between the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area and downtown Detroit, supplementing the heavily-travelled M-17/Michigan Ave (present-day US-12) route through Wayne, Inkster and Dearborn.
  1925 (Sept 12) New! – The Washtenaw Co portion of Ecorse Rd from M-17/E Michigan Ave (present-day BUS US-12) on the east side of Ypsilanti easterly to the Washtenaw/Wayne Co line is completed and opened to traffic. This 3.2-mile long segment of roadway was built by the State Highway Dept to connect Ecorse Rd in Wayne Co with M-17/E Michigan Ave in Ypsilanti. It is likely signed as M-23 upon opening, although it is not officially determined as a state trunkline highway route at the moment—meaning it is a "marked-and-maintained" route only. The route cost $146,000 to build using mostly prison labor doing the work.
  1926(?) New! – It is assumed the route of M-23 is extended easterly from its former terminus at M-17 in downtown Ypsilanti via Ecorse Rd into Wayne Co, then easterly along Ecorse Rd through Van Buren, Romulus and Taylor Twps and into Allen Park. There, M-23 follows Allen Rd and Oakwood Blvd through Allen Park, Melvindale and Oakwood Heights to Fort St, then runs via Fort St into downtown Detroit. This provides a second, signed state trunkline route into Detroit from the west to supplement the M-17/Michigan Ave route through the growing communities Wayne, Inkster and Dearborn. The Ypsilanti–Detroit portion of the route, however, is only "marked-and-maintained" as a state trunkline route for the time being until it is officially transferred to state control.
  1926 (Nov 11) New! – The numbering plan for the new US Highway system is finalized and the vast majority of the route of M-23 is earmarked to become part of the route of US-112, from its entrance into Michigan from Indiana north of Elkhart, Indiana (southeast of Adamsville in Cass Co) east-northeasterly via White Pigeon, Sturgis, Coldwater, Jonesville, the Irish Hills area and Saline into downtown Ypsilanti. There, US-112 will continue into the Detroit area supplanting the M-17 designation along Michigan Ave. The portion of M-23 from Ypsilanti easterly into Wayne Co via Ecorse Rd, then northeasterly through Allen Park, Melvindale and Oakwood Heights and on into downtown Detroit via Fort St is proposed to be renumbered as part of a rerouted M-17. It is assumed this is being done to eliminate any possible confusion between an M-23 numbered route potentially existing close to the future US-23 route running parallel to the existing M-23 through the Ann Arbor–Ypsilanti area.
  1926 (Nov 22) New! – A banquet hosted by Frank F Rogers, State Highway Commissioner, at Evans Lake in the Irish Hills district of northern Lenawee Co celebrates the "completion" of M-23 as a concrete highway connecting Detroit and Chicago. The route actually runs from the Indiana state line north of Elkhart, Ind. to downtown Detroit, but much of the highway has recently received a concrete surface and the portion of Ecorse Rd from Ypsilanti in eastern Washtenaw Co into Wayne Co, then northeasterly via Allen Rd, Oakwood Blvd and Fort St into downtown Detroit has been added to the route of M-23. Boosters of the M-23 route tout its scenic qualities in addition to the fact that it avoids the many larger cities that the primary Detroit–Chicago highway, M-17, traverses.
  1926 (Dec 9) New! – The State Administrative Board, in one of its last acts under the outgoing Groesbeck administration, approves a 22-mile westerly extension of M-23 across the southermost portion of Cass Co, bypassing Edwardsburg to the south and then bending northwesterly into Niles. Construction on such an extension is not emminent, however, nor is the route determined as a state trunkline highway route at this point, either.
  1927 (May 2) New! – Road crews erect temporary cardboard route markers over the existing state trunkline route markers for all new US Highways and changed state highways as a result of the new US Highways. For M-23, all route markers from the Indiana state line near Adamsville east-northeasterly via Sturgis, Coldwater, Jonesville, the Irish Hills and Saline to downtown Ypsilanti at M-17 are covered over with new US-112 route markers. From Ypsilanti easterly into Wayne Co via Ecorse Rd, the the markers along the "marked-and-maintained" route of M-23 (not yet officially determined as a state trunkline route) are covered over with new temporary M-17 markers into Allen Park, then northeasterly through Melvindale and Oakwood Heights into Detroit, then along Fort St into downtown Detroit. This marks the end of the existence of M-23 after just 14 years. (The State Highway Dept plans to have permanent markers in place by midsummer.)
Controlled Access: New! No portion of former M-23 upon decommissioning existed as freeway or expressway.
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