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M-22 & M-109 junction route signage in Glen Arbor, Michigan
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M-72 Route Marker On to Next Route:
Western Terminus:    Empire at M-22
Eastern Terminus:    US-23 in Harrisville (cnr Main St & State St)
Length: Updated 156.576 miles
Maps: New! Route Map of M-72
Notes: One of only three cross-peninsular "M-numbered" state highways in the Lower Peninsula. The others are M-46 (Muskegon-to-Port Sanilac) and M-55 (Manistee-to-Tawas City).
  M-72 started as a short highway in Alcona Co, beginning near Lincoln and heading easterly into Harrisville, before turning southerly to follow the Lake Huron shoreline to Greenbush. Over the years, M-72 was extended westerly in spurts, first in 1923, then again in 1927, 1932, and 1940, when it replaced the M-76 designation west of Grayling. Further extensions in 1946 and 1947 completed the highway from coast-to-coast.
  M-72 between Grayling and Traverse City is a heavily-travelled corridor, carrying travellers between downstate areas and the Grand Traverse region. Because of this, the highway is slowing being upgraded, with several miles of new passing lanes completed in the past several years. More development along the corridor plus additional growth around Traverse City will require many more upgrades to come. One upgrade, a direct connection between M-72 & I-75 in Grayling, is already being studied.
  New! In "State Trunkline Needs, 1960–1980," a set of maps prepared by the State Highway Dept's Office of Planning, Programming Division in 1960 showing possible additions, upgrades and improvements to the state trunkline system over the ensuing twenty years, MSHD staff recommended one major change and two smaller ones to the route of M-72 during that timeframe, including:
  • Constructing a "cut-off" in southern Leelanau Co beginning approximately ¼ east of Gilbert Run and continuing southeasterly to the cnr of Traverse Hwy, Coleman Rd & Armstrong Rd, eliminating the 90° turn at the corner of CR-669/Coleman Rd & Empire Hwy and the very sharp curve at CR-669/Coleman Rd, Traverse Hwy & Armstrong Rd. The old route was to have been turned back to county control. This proposal was never put into place.
  • Rerouting M-72 from Grandview Pkwy in Traverse City via Division St to a jct with a proposed BUS US-31 route at Front St, then easterly concurrently with BUS US-31 on Front St to Railroad St where BUS US-31 and M-72 would turn to follow Railroad St to 8th St, then transition to a newly constructed alignment parallel to the C&O Railway tracks easterly out of Traverse City. BUS US-31/M-72 would meet a proposed US-31 freeway bypass of Traverse City close to Mount Holiday (just east of the 5 Mile & Mount Holiday Rd intersection) where BUS US-31 would end. M-72 would continue easterly via a proposed US-31 freeway for another 1½ miles to a freeway-to-freeway interchange where the US-31 freeway would turn due northerly and a newly-constructed and rerouted M-113 would feed in from the south. M-72 would continue due easterly from here as a freeway as well, ironically on the same path that was originally proposed for the highway in the 1940s and 50s! Once in Kalkasa Co, the proposed M-72 freeway would shift slightly north and feature interchanges at the existing M-72, and US-131 (proposed as BUS US-131) before interchanging with a proposed US-131/M-66 freeway 1½ miles east of the existing route. M-72 would turn southerly on the US-131/M-66 freeway for 3½ miles, bypassing Kalkaska to the east, to an interchange at the existing route of M-72 at Mitchell Rd, where it would resume its existing route easterly toward Grayling. None of these proposals ever came to frutition.
  • Rerouting M-72 in western Alcona Co to follow M-65 from the intersection of Grosse Pointe Rd southerly to a due westerly extension of the rest of the highway through Alcona Co, then easterly to the other end of Grosse Pointe Rd. Interestingly, this project occurred in late 1959 the year before these planning maps were published!
History: 1917 (Feb 19) New! A 10.8-mile long segment of highway is officially determined as a state trunkline route beginning at the cnr of F-30/Mikado Rd & Cedar Lake Rd in the community of Greenbush in southeastern Alcona Co and continuing northerly, in part, on present-day Everett Rd, Huron Shore Rd (present-day US-23) and State St into downtown Harrisville. From there, the trunkline route turns due westerly via Main St and present-day M-72, continuing westerly from the west village limit of Harrisville for six more miles to a terminus at T.L. 10 (later M-10, US-23 and M-171, now F-41) south of Lincoln. This trunkline segment is assigned the designation of T.L. 72 (Trunk Line 72).
  1919 (July 1) New! – T.L. 72 is signed in the field as M-72 as all state trunkline highways in Michigan are signed with route markers.
  1922 (Jan 31) Updated A 10.6-mile westerly extension of M-72 is officially assumed into the state trunkline highway system beginning at the former west terminus of M-72 at M-10 (now F-41) south of Lincoln and ending at O'Donnell Rd southwest of Barton City.
  1924 (May 23) Updated An additional 5.2 miles of state trunkline highway route are determined as an extension of M-72, beginning at the eastern terminus of M-72 in Greenwood and continuing southerly via Cedar Lake Rd to Cedar Lake Dr, continuing down the east side of Cedar Lake, terminating at the Alcona/Iosco Co line. Based on maps, this extension of M-72 may not be signed in the field at this time.
  1924 (July 19) New! – Only two months after and extension of the route of M-72 is officially designated from Greenwood southerly to the Alcona/Iosco Co line, the southernmost 4.1 miles of the route is turned back to County control, which includes all of the Cedar Lake Dr route and the portion of Cedar Lake Rd from Cedar Lake Dr northerly to Smith Rd. Simultaneously, a 4.1-mile extension/relocation of M-72 is officially determined following Cedar Lake Rd southerly from Smith Rd on the west shore of Cedar Lake, terminating at the Alcona/Iosco Co line.
  1927 (Feb 7) Updated – Just 2½ years after the cancellation of the M-72 route on the east shore of Cedar Lake in Alcona Co and the simultaneous designation of the route on the west shore of the lake, the entire 4.1-mile 1924 routing for M-72 along Cedar Lake Dr from Smith Rd southerly is cancelled as a trunkline route and turned back to County control. At the same moment, a brand-new 10.2-mile new trunkline route is determined from Cedar Lake Dr at approximately Smith Rd, then southeasterly to the present alignment of US-23, continuing southerly paralleling the Lake Huron shore into Iosco Co, to a new terminus at jct US-23 (formerly M-10) on the northern outskirts of Oscoda.
  c.1927 (Sept 9) Updated – M-72 is extended from its western terminus near Barton City in central Alcona Co, M-72 is substantially extended westerly through Curran and Hardy and into Oscoda Co to Fairview where it meets M-33. (This segment of M-72 is apparently not officially designated as a state trunkline route at this time, but only "Marked and Maintained" as such until an official route is designated.) From Fairview to Mio, M-72 runs concurrently with M-33 via Miller, Knepp, Kneeland, and Mount Tom Rds. M-72 then supplants the former route of M-33 (which is transferred to run southerly from Mio via the existing route of M-97) from Mio through Luzerne and into southeastern Crawford Co to a terminus at M-76 approximately 6½ miles east of Rocscommon.
  1932 (Oct 29) Updated – A new, more direct alignment for M-72 is determined in southeast Crawford Co, southwest of El Dorado. The new 4.5-mile route begins at the corner of Brush Rd & present M-18 and continues southwesterly along present-day M-18 to Hunters Lake Rd, then westerly via Hunters Lake Rd to Forester Rd, southerly on Forester Rd to a terminus at M-76 on the Crawford/Roscommon Co line. The former 5.5 mile route along Brush Rd westerly to the former Hickey Creek Rd, the now-obliterated Hickey Creek Rd southwesterly to the still-extant Hickey Creek Rd to Forester Rd, Forester Rd southerly to Hall Rd, westerly and southwesterly along Hall Rd to Pioneer Rd, Pioneer Rd westerly to Willows Rd, and Willows Rd southerly to a terminus at M-76 is turned back to county control.
  1933 (July 12) New! – Even though M-72 from central Alcona Co via Curran and Hardy to M-33 in downtown Fairview in Oscoda Co has appeared on official highway maps since c.1927, that route was never officially determined as a state trunkline route until now. Continuing west from O;Donnell Rd southwest of Barton City in Alcona Co, the officially-determined route of M-72 continues due westerly for 3½ miles, then northwesterly vua Grosse Pointe Rd and the present-day M-65/M-72 corridor to Reeves Rd, northerly along Reeves Rd for a mile to Tower Rd, westerly via Tower Rd for a mile to Curran, northerly again along present-day M-65/M-72 for a mile to Flynn Corners, then westerly for 4 miles along present-day M-72 to Hardy on the Alcona/Oscoda Co line. From Hardy, M-72 continues into Oscoda Co on a due westerly alignment mostly along existing roadyway (with the exception of a 1½ mile stretch over Waterhole Hill approximately 3 miles west of Hardy) including Oaks Rd to Weaver Rd, northerly ½ mile on Weaver Rd, then west 1 mile on Miller Rd to M-33 in Fairview. M-72 then continues on the route it's been signed along since c.1927.
  1935 (Jan 7) New! – The 4.5-mile segment of M-72 in southeastern Crawford Co determined as a state trunkline in October 1929 is turned back to county control. Simultaneously, a new 5.5-mile trunkline routing for M-72 is assumed into the trunkline system beginning at Brush Rd & present-day M-18 and continuing westerly along Brush Rd for ½ mile, then southerly along an unconstructed facility and present-day F-97/Co Rd 502, then westerly via Dry Lake Rd and Hall Rd to the existing route of M-72 at Forester Rd.
  1936 (Aug 20) Updated – The remainder of the new shoreline routing of US-23 between Oscoda and the Alpena/Alcona Co line is completed and opened to traffic north of Harrisville. At this point, the US-23 designation is transferred onto the new Oscoda–Greenbush–Harrisville–Ossineke route, supplanting the portion of M-72 from Oscoda via Greenbush to Harrisville. The new eastern terminus for M-72 is now at US-23 in Harrisville.
  1937 (Aug 30) New! – A 0.6-mile easterly extension of M-72 is officially assumed into the state trunkline system in Harrisville. From the eastern terminus of M-72 at US-23/State St, M-72 now continues easterly via Main St for 4 blocks to Huron Ave, then turns southerly via Huron Ave to a new terminus a the entrance to Harrisville State Park.
  1937 (Dec 29) New! – The new alignment for M-72 in southeastern Crawford Co determined in January 1935 is cancelled and the existing roadway segments are turned back to county control. Ironically, the "new" determined route for M-72 is the one from October 1932 that was cancelled in January 1935—essentially a reversal of the January 1935 change! M-72 again runs southwesterly from Brush Rd via present-day M-18, then westerly along Hunters Lake Rd, and southerly via Forester Rd.
  1940 (Nov 12) Updated – The route of M-72 is drastically altered from Luzerne in Oscoda Co westerly. From Luzerne, M-72 now runs westerly along a newly-(re-)determined state trunkline routing which had formerly been a route designated as M-208 from January 1935 until November 1939. The route of M-208 had only been signed/completed from US-27 at Grayling to Smith Bridge spanning the South Branch (of the Au Sable) River, whereas the remainder was only an officially-designated route, not actually signed in the field. Now, however, the newly re-designated route from Luzerne westerly for 12.2 miles runs along a curvy, "earth-surfaced" roadway to Smith Bridge where it transitions to use the former 13.3 miles of M-208 from there to US-27 at Grayling. The former routing of M-72 southwesterly from Luzerne to M-76 east of Roscommon is redesignated as M-144. From US-27 in Grayling heading westerly for 24 miles to M-66 south of Kalkaska, the M-72 designation replaces, ironically, the M-76 designation along the route.
      Additionally, more than 36 miles west of Kalkaska, the route of M-76 designated from M-22 on the west edge of Traverse City to M-22 in Empire is also redesignated as M-72, although at this point, only the first 7.4 miles of the route from Empire easterly to Fritz Rd in south central Leelanau Co is actually signed as M-72 (formerly M-76), while the remainder of the 22.0-mile route (14.6 miles of it) from Fritz Rd easterly to Traverse City is officially designated but not completed or signed in the field. M-72 is now a two-segment, discontinuous route.
  1941 (May 14) New! – The officially-determined route of M-72 in extreme southeastern Leelanau Co is altered, even though this portion of the route does not appear on official highway maps and all sources indicate this portion of the route is not signed in the field. Formerly designated to travel northeasterly then generally easterly along Carter Rd from its present-day alignment to M-22 in downtown Greilickville, then southerly with M-22 into Traverse City, the officially-determined (yet unsigned) route moves to its present-day alignment from Carter Rd to M-22 on the Grand Traverse/Leelanau Co line. The former toute along Carter Rd is transferred back to county control. It would be an additional six years before this route was actually completed and signed as part of M-72.
  1942 (Aug 17) New! – Two relatively minor changes are made to the yet unsigned portion of M-72 in southeastern Leelanau Co west of Traverse City:
  • Until this date, the officially-determined route of M-72 utilized Angus Rd looping to the north off the existing route of M-72 between Carter Rd and CR-616/Bugai Rd. The Angus Rd loop is turned back to county control while the official route of M-72 is straightened to follow its present-day alignment.
  • Another short loop of former roadway is bypassed when a new, direct route for M-72 is determined between Harrys Rd and Allgaier Rd. The former alignment looping off the present-day route is obliterated as a public roadway.
  • By the end of the year, the State Highway Dept has completed construction on the future route of M-72 from M-22 westerly for approximately 3¾ miles to the Elmwood/Solon Twp line, although the highway is likely not signed as part of M-72 at this point.
  1946 Updated – During 1946, a 5.3-mile long segment of the officially-determined (but still unsigned) route of M-72 in southern Leelanau Co from Ruthardt Rd easterly to the Solon/Elmwood Twp line is graveled and the State Highway Dept, thus, considers the entire Empire–Traverse City portion of the route to meet state trunkline standards and now signs the entire segment as part of M-72. (The Empire–Traverse City segment had been officially assumed into the trunkline system in 1935 as part of the route of M-76, but was ony signed over the westernmost 4.7 miles of the route running easterly out of Empire.
  1947 Updated – After approximately seven years as a two-segment, discontinuous route, the two signed portions of M-72 are joined into one when 18.9 miles of county road between Acme east of Traverse City and Kalkaska becomes a "Marked and Maintined" trunkline highway, where jurisdiction technically remains with the county, but the roadway is signed as a state trunkline and maintenance is the responsibility of the State Highway Dept. "Marked and Maintained" routes are generally ones anticipated to only be signed as such temporarily. Official SHD sources show the permanent route for M-72 was proposed to depart US-31 at the cnr of Four Mile Rd east of Traverse City and run due easterly along the East Bay/Acme Twp line for 5 miles, then continue due easterly along that same section line, eventually running along Nash Rd to US-131/M-66 north of Kalkaska (where the northern US-131/M-66 & M-72 jct is today). The plan would be to cease the maintenance of the "temporary" route and remove all signage at such time the more direct proposed route is complete. Until then, M-72 departs US-31 at Acme and runs easterly on a mostly direct line through Bates, Williamsburg and Barker Creek where it enters Kalkaska Co and follows a more winding path with se several sharp turns.
  1949 (Nov 10) Updated – Two new segments of state trunkline highway route are officially brought into the highway system along M-72 in southern Leelanau Co west of Traverse City, bypassing a total of four sharp turns in the route. An 0.8-mile segment of new highway bypasses a 1.1-mile long segment of the former route from ½ mile east of Cedar Rd to present-day Partridge Run Dr. The segments of former M-72 east and west from Cedar Rd are obliterated as public roadways, while the portion of Cedar Rd making up part of the former route of M-72 is turned back to county control. Just to the west, a 1.8-mile segment of highway on new alignment similarly bypasses a 2.4-mile segment of the former route from Cedar Valley Rd westerly to Ruthardt Rd. While the new construction obliterates a segment of the former route between Cedar Run and Tager Rds, the remainder of the former route along Cedar Valley, Cedar Run, Tager and Ruthardt Rds is turned back to county control.
  1951, 1952 (Nov 10) Updated – In late 1951, both M-72 and M-33 are realigned onto their present routing between Mio and Fairview, although the official jurisdictional changes will not occur for over a year until Nov 10, 1952. At that time, the 4.0 miles of Miller Rd from Knepp Rd westerly to Mount Tom Rd and Mount Tom Rd from Miller Rd southerly to Kneeland Rd is transferred to state control (having been "Marked and Maintained" as M-33/M-72 for over a year), while Knepp Rd from Miller Rd to Kneeland Rd and Kneeland Rd from Knepp Rd westerly to Mount Tom Rd is turned back to county control.
  1952 (Nov 11) New! 2023-11 – In a project designed to remove through traffic and trucks from the heart of Traverse City's downtown core, a new shoreline boulevard named Grandview Parkway is constructed along the shoreline of the West Arm of Grand Traverse Bay and opened to traffic. The new thoroughfare begins at the M-22 & M-72 jct on the northwest side of Traverse City, then continues southeasterly along the bayshore as M-22/M-72 to Division St. There, M-22 terminates and US-31/M-37/M-72 continues easterly along the new parkway byassing downtown, merging back into the existing route at Front St near Railroad Ave. Division St from Front St northerly to Grandview Parkway becomes the new signed route for US-31/M-37 from the south. The former route of US-31/M-37/M-72 along Front St from Division St easterly through downtown to the new Grandview Parkway (near Railroad St) is temporarily retained as an unsigned state trunkline route.
  1953 (Nov 6) New! 2023-11 – Almost exactly a year after it opened to traffic, Traverse City's Grandview Parkway—part of M-22/M-72 west of Division St and US-31/M-37/M-72 east of Division—is officially established as a state trunkline highway route. The 1.2-mile segment of Division St from Fourteenth St northerly to Grandview Parkway is also officially established as a trunkline route, although the 10-block segment between Fourteenth and Front Sts has been signed as part of US-31/M-37 and maintained as a trunkline since late 1949. At the same time, the former route of M-22/M-72 along Bay St, Elmwood Ave and Front St easterly to Division St and the former route of US-31/M-37/M-72 through downtown via Front St from Division St easterly is officially cancelled as a state trunkline highway route and transferred to city control.
  1954 (Jan 4) UpdatedM-65/M-72 is realigned from Curran south- and easterly with the determination of 3.0 miles of new trunkline route, replacing 3.2 miles of former route mileage. The former route running easterly from the community of Curran via Tower Rd for 1 mile, then southerly along Reeves Rd for 1 mile is turned back to County control, while the portion easterly and southeasterly from Reeves Rd is obliterated as a public roadway.
  1957–1958 Updated – Seventeen years after it was designated over the Luzerne-to-Smith Bridge route in western Oscoda and eastern Crawford Cos, the 9.1-mile stretch of M-72 is cancelled and immediately re-designated on on a different but generally parallel route also totalling 9.1-miles, over the course of two construction seasons:
  • 1957 (Nov 6) – In Oscoda Co, the 3.6 miles of M-72 are cancelled and replaced by a new 4.0 mile routing with the completion of work between Luzerne and Meridian Rd on the Oscoda/Crawford Co line. The former route is obliterated as a public roadway and heavily planted with coniferous trees.
  • 1958 (Sept 16) – Continuing the progress from 1957 in Oscoda Co westerly into Crawford Co, the 5.3 miles of M-72 travelling along the somewhat windy "earth-surfaced" route from 1940 is cancelled and largely obliterated, replaced by a new 5.1-mile modern route betwee the Oscoda/Crawford Co line and (what is now) Old M-72 approximately ¾ mile west of the South Branch (of the Au Sable) River bridge. The non-obliterated portion of the former M-72, from the former Smith Bridge over the river westerly back to the new route of M-72 is turned back to county control.
  1958 (Sept 16) Updated – The Michigan State Highway Dept seems to officially give up on their long-proposed realignment of M-72 between the East Bay area of Traverse City and Kalkaska when the 18.9 miles of existing state trunkline route between US-31 at Acme and US-131/M-66 on the north side of Kalksaka via Bates, Williamsburg and Barker Creek is officially assumed into the state trunkline highway system. For 11 years, this had been a "Marked and Maintained" route, but was never officially determined as a trunkline. As the proposed route was coincident with few existing roadways, the expense of nearly all-new construction likely spelled its demise.
  1959 – The last 9 miles of the Traverse City-to-Kalkaska segment of M-72 are paved, leaving only the Luzerne-to-Mio segment unpaved.
  1959 (Nov 6) Updated – A trio of changes come to the route of M-72:
  • A 1.6-mile segment of new state trunkline route is determined running from the present-day intersection of M-72 & Grosse Pointe Rd in west-central Alcona Co due westerly to the newly-completed segment of M-65 southeast of Curran. M-72 then runs northerly with M-65 to the previous route of M-72 along Grosse Pointe Rd 2.3 miles north of the new M-65 & M-72 jct. The former route of M-72 along Grosse Pointe Rd is turned back to county control.
  • A 1.4-mile segment of new state trunkline route is officially assumed into the system bypassing the former hamlet of Hardy on the Alcona/Oscoda Co line between Curran and Fairview. The new alignment consists of gentler curves than the former 1.5-mile one. The portion of the former M-72 from McCollum Lake Rd easterly (on the north side of the new alignment) is obliterated as a public roadway, while the portion west of McCollum Lake Rd (south of the new alignment) is turned back to county control as Old M-72.
  • A 5.2-mile segment of new state trunkline route is determined along the present alignment of M-72 from Hack Rd, six miles east of Fairview in eastern Oscoda Co, westerly toward Fairview to Weaver Rd. The former officially-determined route from Hack Rd westerly 3 miles to Rogers Rd (across Waterhole Hill) was never constructed and is cancelled as a trunkline routing, while the next two miles to the west along Oaks Rd from Rogers Rd to Weaver Rd and for ½ mile along Weaver from Oaks to M-72/Miller Rd is turned back to county control. The entire stretch of highway from M-33 at Fairview to M-65 north of Curran is also paved in the process.
  1961 (Jan 3) Updated – The 3.6-mile portion of M-72 in Oscoda Co from the Lost Creek bridge, approximately 5 miles west of Mio, to CR-489/Deter Rd & CR-490 in Luzerne is cancelled as a state trunkline highway route, replaced by a new 3.4-mile routing along its present alignment (Cripps Rd). A portion of the new highway alignment—between approximately Lenroy Valley and Gorton Rds—lies atop the original alignment, while the remainder is new construction. The two remaining segments of the former route along CR-489/Park Rd, Lenroy Valley Rd and Gorton Rd are turned back to county control. This project also paves the last several miles of gravel-surfaced M-72 between Luzerne and Mio.
  1962 (May 1) Updated – A 5.5-mile stretch of new highway between Barker Creek and Kalkaska in northwestern Kalkaska Co is determined as a state trunkline highway, replacing a 6.8-mile segment that wound around and featured two 90° turns along the way. The new segment runs from west of McNulty Hill Rd east of Barker Creek to CR-593/Valley Rd just northwest of Kalkaska. The former route along McNulty Hill Rd, CR-597/Rapid City Rd, Old M-72 and CR-593/Valley Rd is turned back to county control except for a short segment between Rapid City Rd and Old M-72 that is obliterated as a public roadway.
  1963 (June 28) New! – The 0.6-mile easterly extension of M-72 along Main St and Huron Ave in Harrisville officially designated in 1937 to serve the main entrance of Harrisville State Park is cancelled as a state trunkline route and turned back to village control. The Harrisville State Park main entrance is now off US-23 south of town.
  1966 (Dec 13) New! – A 3.78-mile segment of tunkline on new alignment is assumed into the state highway sytem bypassing a segment of M-72 (and the community of Williamsburg) in northeastern Grand Traverse Co. Beginning approximately ½ mile west of Moore Rd between Bates and Williamsburg, the new alignment for M-72 dips to the south to bypass Williamsburg then crosses to the north side of the old route about 1 mile east of Cook Rd before merging back into the existing roadway approximately ¼ mile east of Skegemog Point Rd. Much of the former route is turned back to county control, although the county abandoned the stretch of former M-72 running northeasterly off Watson Rd to approximately the cnr of new M-72 & Skegemog Point Rd one year later.
  1974 (Jan 7) UpdatedM-66/M-72 is realigned on the south side of Kalkaska onto a 0.78-mile long new highway constructed as a continuance of M-72 westerly from M-66 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 retained as an unsigned state trunkline highway route for now.
  1978 – Michigan's only "runaway truck ramp" (or, as MDOT calls it, a "truck trap") is constructed on M-72 west of Traverse City, west of the junction with M-22. The cost of this "truck trap" is $66,400, as lies near the bottom of a long down-grade. Beyond the ramp is a busy intersection with M-22 and the West Arm of the Grand Traverse Bay.
  1996 (June 28–Sept 17) Updated 2023-11 – The 1.256-mile segment of OLD M-66/OLD M-72 from downtown Kalkaska southerly to the jct of M-66 & M-72 south of Kalkaska—the portion bypassed by the realignment of M-66 and M-72 to the south of town in 1974—is finally cancelled as a state trunkline route after more than 22 years and turned back to local control in two transactions: First, on June 28, the 0.748 mile of Old 66 from jct M-66 & M-72 northerly to the Kalkaska village limit is turned back to county control. Then on September 17, the 0.506-mile section along Elm and Court Sts from the village limit northerly and northwesterly to US-131/M-66/M-72/Cedar St is turned back to village control.
Controlled Access: No portion of M-72 is freeway or expressway.
NHS: The portion of M-72 from jct US-31, M-22, M-37 & M-72 in Traverse City (at cnr Grandview Pkwy & Division St) to southern jct of BL I-75 in Grayling is on the National Highway System (NHS).
Circle Tour: Lake Michigan Circle Tour MarkerLake Michigan Circle Tour: From the jct of M-22 in Traverse City to the eastern jct of US-31 & M-72 in Acme.
Memorial Highway: New! The following Memorial Highway designation has been officially assigned to part of M-72 by the Michigan Legislature:
  • Hazen Shirley "Kiki" Cuyler Memorial Highway – the entirety of M-72 in Alcona Co. From MDOT: "Hazen Shirley Cuyler was a right fielder from Harrisville, Michigan, who played major league baseball from 1921 to 1938. He began playing for the Pittsburg Pirates, but also played for the Chicago Cubs, the Cincinnati Reds, and the Brooklyn Dodgers. Over the course of his career, he held several records for stolen bases, triples, and runs scored. Hazen also drove in the winning run in the 1925 World Series. He is ranked number 44 among the best right fielders of all time, and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1968. He died in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1950."
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