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M-79 Route Marker On to Next Route:
Western Terminus:    M-37 three miles southeast of Hastings and 2 miles west of Quimby (cnr Quinby Rd & Bedford Rd)
Eastern Terminus:    Jct BL I-69 & M-50 in downtown Charlotte (cnr Lawrence Ave & Cochran Ave)
Length: 24.818 miles
Maps: Route Map of M-79
Notes: On October 1, 1998, the portion of county-maintained A-42 from US-131 at Bradley to M-43 west of Hastings was assumed into the state trunkline system as a part of the Rationalization process. Instead of M-79 being routed westerly through Hastings, then onto A-42 westward to US-131, resulting in a potentially-confusing triple-concurrency, MDOT chose to designate the new highway as M-179.
  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 just one notable change to the route of M-79 during that timeframe:
  • Realigning M-79 to run due westerly from the cnr of Quimby Rd & Nashville Rd in central Barry Co to a new terminus at M-37/Bedford Rd south of Hastings, with the former route along Nashville Rd and along State and Green Sts in Hastings being turned back to local control. With minor tweaks, this proposal came to fruition within four years from the plan's publication.
History: 1919 (Nov 15) – A 25.8-mile long state trunkline route in Barry Co is officially assumed into the system beginning on the eastern city limit of Hastings and continuing southeasterly along Nashville Rd to Quimby Rd, easterly via Quimby Rd, southerly on Morgan Rd, easterly again via Scott Rd into Nashville. In Nashville, the route continues easterly along Fuller St, southerly along Main St, jogging westerly via Cosgrove St, then southerly again on Durkee St. Outside the village, the route continues southerly along Clark Rd, then westerly via Bivens Rd, southerly again on Assyria Rd through Maple Grove and Assyria, terminating at the Barry/Calhoun Co line. This new trunkline is given the designation of M-79.
  1920 (Feb 2) – A 1.0-mile long extension of the M-79 trunkline route is established along the present-day route of M-66 from the Barry/Calhoun Co line southerly to the present-day jct of M-66 & M-78 at Burleigh Corners northwest of Pennfield.
  1920 (Aug 28) – An 11.71-mile long state trunkline route is officially established in Calhoun, Barry and Eaton Cos beginning at the Battle Creek city limit at the cnr of Capital Ave & Park Ave and proceeding northerly and northeasterly via Capital Ave, present-day M-78, and Battle Creek Hwy to the western village limit of Bellevue. However, the southernmost 5.2 miles of the trunkline route is actually designated as part of M-79, while the remainder, ironically traveling along a highway designated today as M-78, is given the designation of M-78.
  1924 (Jan 25) – The 0.5 mile of E State St in Hastings from the north/western end of officially-established M-79 at the eastern Hastings city limit to Star School Rd is officially assumed into the state trunkline system. The signed route of M-79 continues into downtown Hastings via State St (under city jurisdiction), terminating at jct M-37 & M-43.
  1927 (June 27) – A major southerly extension of M-78 occurs when 15.8 miles of new state trunkline mileage is established along a route beginning south of Battle Creek and continuing southerly to the Calhoun/Branch Co line just south of Athens. This new segment of trunkline is designated as part of M-78 as is the portion of M-79 from the jct with existing M-78 at Burleigh Corners (northwest of Pennfield) southerly to the northern city limit of Battle Creek at Park Ave. Thus, M-79 is shortened by about 7½ miles to end at M-78.
  1928 (Nov 9) – A 1.8-mile state trunkline routing is assumed into the system in eastern Barry Co along Assyria Rd from M-79/Scott Rd west of Nashville southerly to M-79 at the cnr of Assyria Rd & Bivens Rd southwest of Nashville. The exact route designation for this 1.8-mile highway is unclear—it may have been signed as a second routing of M-79 or it may not have been signed at all at this point.
  1930 (Dec 31) – The portion of M-79 from Nashville southerly to M-78 is redesignated as part of a new M-14 running northerly from Nashville to Edmore. The Hastings-to-Nashville routing of M-79 is unaffected, and a new eastern extension of the highway is designated. From jct M-14 at the cnr of Fuller St & Main St in Nashville, M-79 turns northerly to run concurrently with M-14 along Main St through downtown for 0.7 mile, then easterly for 1 mile via Kellogg St/Kellogg Rd, northerly along Hager Rd (the Barry/Eaton Co line) for 0.95 mile, then easterly again via Scipio for 2.5 miles into Vermontville, where M-79 now terminates at Main St just south of downtown. In all, M-79 is extended via M-14 for 2.9 miles and then on its own into Vermontville for 2.5 additional miles, for a total of 5.4 miles. Also at this time, the 1.8-mile long trunkline route southwest of Nashville along Assyria Rd between M-79/Scott Rd and M-14/Lawrence Rd seems to have been designated "M-14 SPUR," according to some State Highway Dept documents.
  1931 (June 14) – Act 131 of 1931—the Dykstra Act—is passed allowing the State Highway Dept to take over control of state highways running into and through incorporated cities, thereby officially incorporating them as state trunkline highways. The portion of M-79 traveling along State St in Hastings from Star School Rd northwesterly and westerly into downtown along formerly city-controlled streets is assumed into the state trunkline system.
  1935 (Jan 7) – A 14.5-mile state trunkline highway route is officially established beginning in eastern Barry Co southwest of Nashville at the cnr of Assyria Rd & Lawrence Rd and continuing easterly for 3 miles to the Barry/Clinton Co line, then an additional 11.5 miles along Lawrence Hwy to a terminus at M-78 at the cnr of Lawrence Ave & Lincoln St in Charlotte, six blocks west of downtown. This trunkline is incorporated into the route of M-79, which now runs from Hastings through Quimby, bypassing Nashville, then easterly to Charlotte. (The signed route of M-79 may have extended easterly with M-78 along Lawrence Ave to a terminus at US-27 & M-50 in downtown Charlotte.)
      To connect the new and existing M-79 routings, the M-79 designation, approaching the Nashville area from the west along Scott Rd, now turns southerly along Assyria Rd (formerly designated "M-14 SPUR" since 1930) for 1.8 miles to M-14 at Lawrence Rd, then continues southerly with M-14 for another mile to the western end of the new trunkline routing heading easterly to Charlotte. The former route of M-79 from Assyria Rd easterly into Nashville, northerly through downtown Nashville with M-14, then easterly to Vermontville is redesignated as M-214.
  1937 (Aug 30)M-14 is rerouted south of Nashville in Barry Co. Formerly running concurrently with M-79 for one mile along Assyria Rd from Lawrence Rd to Bivens Rd, then turning easterly along Bivens for 2.3 miles to Clark Rd where it turns northerly into Nashville. Bivens Rd from M-79/Assyria Rd easterly to Clark Rd is turned back to county control, while Clark Rd from Bivens Rd southerly to M-79/Lawrence Rd is established as a state trunkline route as part of M-14, which then runs concurrently with M-79 along Lawrence Rd to Assyria Rd where M-14 turns southerly and M-79 turns northerly.
  1940 (Nov 20) – The routes of M-79 and M-37 in Hastings are both adjusted. M-79 enters the city from the southeast on Nashville Rd and State St and continues northwesterly to M-37 at Hanover St, where it terminates. M-37 turns westerly at that point and contines through downtown via State St to a jct with M-43 at Broadway St. Now, M-79 veers westerly from State St onto Green St for 2½ blocks, terminating at M-37/Hanover St. There, M-37 now turns westerly along Green St to meet M-43 three blocks south of its former jct. The former route of M-79 along State St from Green to Hanover is turned back to city control.
  c.1944 – The route of M-14 from Battle Creek northerly through Nashville, Ionia and Stanton to Six Lakes is redesignated as a rerouting of M-66 along its present-day corridor, supplanting the entire existing route of M-14. The concurrent M-14/M-79 segment near Nashville becomes M-66/M-79.
  1953 (Nov 6) – The routes of M-66 and M-78 are both reconfigured in the greater Nashville area in east-central Barry Co. The last remaining segment of M-214 running from M-79 at the cnr of Scott Rd & Assyria Rd easterly into Nashville to M-66/Main St is redesignated as a rerouting of M-79. The route of M-79 then turns southerly to run concurrently with M-66 along Clark Rd back to its previous route on Lawrence Rd, where it turns easterly toward Charlottle. M-66 then continues southwesterly from M-79 on a completely new alignment before merging back into Assyria Rd south of Maple Grove Rd. The former route of M-79 along Assyria Rd from Scott Rd southerly to Lawrence Rd and the former route of M-66/M-79 on Lawrence Rd from Assyria Rd easterly to Clark Rd is turned back to county control.
  1960 – The final eightmiles of gravel-surfaced M-79 are paved, in western Eaton Co and extreme eastern Barry Co.
  1964 (Nov 19) – The westernmost 7.05 miles of M-79 in Barry Co from Barryville Rd at Barryville westerly through Quimby and northeasterly into Hastings to M-37/Hanover St is cancelled as a state trunkline routing, while simultaneously a new 5.11-mile long route is officially established for M-79, overlapping the former route for 2¼ miles of the distance. At Barryville, a new sweeping S-curve alignment for M-79 is completed, with the former route along Scott, Morgan, and Greggs Crossing Rds turned back to local control. Farther west, the former route of M-79 along Nashville Rd from M-79 at Quimby Rd northwesterly to the Hastings city limit and State St from there to Green St, then Green St westerly to M-37/Hanover St is turned back to county and city control. The new route runs generally due west from Nashville Rd, except for a slight bow to the north as it approaches its new western terminus at M-37/Bedford Rd south of Hastings.
Controlled Access: No portion of M-79 is freeway or expressway.
NHS: No portion of M-79 is on the National Highway System (NHS).
Memorial Highway: At present, no portion of M-79 has been designated as part of a Memorial Highway.
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