d Michigan Highways: Route Listings: M-95

Michigan Highways: Since 1997.

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M-22 & M-109 junction route signage in Glen Arbor, Michigan
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Southern Terminus:    Wisconsin state line at Kingsford south of Iron Mountain at connection with CTH-N (County Trunk Highway N)
Northern Terminus:    US-41/M-28 at Koski Corners three miles east of Champion in western Marquette Co
Length: 55.174 miles
Maps: Route Map of M-95
Notes: Prior to the debut of US-45 in Michigan in 1935, the entire length of M-95 was designated M-45. The change was made so as to not confuse motorists, especially those unfamiliar with the area, since the two highways (the new US-45 and the existing M-45) paralleled each other less than 60 miles apart. The M-45 designation was later applied to a former portion of M-50 west of Grand Rapids.
  M-95 is one of a few state highways in Michigan where mining activities have necessitated the relocation of the highway, others which include M-35 at Negaunee, US-41/M-28 at Humboldt (both in Marquette Co), and US-23 at Rogers City in Presque Isle Co. M-95 had entered the community of Republic in western Marquette Co from the south alongside M-95 Republic mine bypass USGS Topographic map comparison 1955 1977the Republic Mine operations since the time it was redesignated from M-45 in mid-1935. (M-45 was realigned onto the direct north-south alignment in 1933–34 using present-day Co Rd LLL.) The Republic Mine—a traditional underground operation from 1871 to 1928—was reopened in the 1950s and converted to an open-pit surface mining operation, which required the use of the land on which M-95 ran from Republic southerly toward the new community of South Republic, itself being built from 1955–1973 because of the housing being removed from the new open-pit operations. The new open pit operations supported shipping pelletized iron ore, but after reaching more than 600 feet in depth, it ceased operations in 1981.
Corrected! 2024-02 Compare 1955 and 1977 USGS topographic maps of the Republic Mine area.
  M-95 begins on the MDOT-maintained bridge spanning the Menominee River leading from CTH-N (County Trunk Highway "N") in Aurora, Wisconsin into Kingsford. At the bridge there is no "END M-95" sign southbound and the first M-95 reassurance route marker northbound is approximately ¼ mile north past the Maple St intersection. At the bridge, though, the standard MDOT signage welcoming motorists to Michigan is present.
  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 the following pair of changes to the route of M-95 during that timeframe:
  • Cancellation of the state trunkline route for M-95 from US-2/US-141 in downtown Iron Mountain southerly past Kingsford to the Wisconsin state line with the route being turned back to county and municipal control. This would result in the southern terminus of M-95 being at US-2/US-141 approximately 3 miles north of downtown Iron Mountain. As M-95 still extends to the Wisconsin state line, this proposal was never acted upon.
  • Extension of M-95 northerly from its terminus at US-41/M-28 at Koski's Corner between Humboldt and Champion by a little more than ½ mile to a new terminus at a relocated US-41/M-28 divided highway route to the north of the existing alignment. As the divided highway conversion of US-41/M-28 west of Ishpeming never occurred, this proposal never came to fruition as well.
History: 1921 (Feb 4) – A 5-mile long state trunkline route is officially established in Presque Isle Co beginning at M-10 (later US-23, now M-68) in downtown Onaway and proceeding northerly to Bonz Beach Hwy at the entrance of the brand-new Onaway State Park. The park had been acquired from the County and private donors in 1920 and would be dedicated later in 1921. The new M-95 is created solely as an access route to the new state park.
  1935 (June) – The first iteration of M-95 comes to a close as the entire route from Onaway northerly to Onaway State Park is redesignated as M-211. This change is due to state highway officials needing to replace the M-45 route designation in the central Upper Peninsula. This occurs as US-45 is extended from Illinois northerly through Wisconsin then supplanting M-26 from Land O' Lakes through Bruce Crossing to M-35 near Rockland, then replaces M-35 from Rockland into Ontonagon where it ends at M-64 downtown. With the brand-new US-45 running just 60 miles to the west of the existing M-45, state highway officials wisely decide to give M-45 a new designation to minimize confusion. Thus the second (and current) iteration of M-95 commences when all M-45 route markers between Kingsford in southwestern Dickinson Co and US-41/M-28 near Humboldt and Barron Mine (present-day Humboldt Mine) in western Marquette Co are swapped out for M-95 markers.
  1935 (Oct 28) – A new 6.626-mile long state trunkline route for M-95 in northwest Dicksinson Co is officially established as a state trunkline route from Channing northeasterly bypassing Sawyer Lake to the southeast and merging into the existing route of M-95 on the eastern edge of Silver Lake (formerly Deadmans Lake)
  1936 (Feb 20) – The 7.2-mile long segment of former M-95 from Channing in northwest Dickinson Co northerly and northeasterly past Saywer Lake to Silver Lake that was bypassed by the segment assumed into the state trunkline system the previous October is officially cancelled and turned back to county control. Much of the former route is present-day Sawyer Lake Rd, while the remainder runs along a two-track known as Silver Lake Rd.
  1937 (Aug 30) – A new 3.79-mile segment of trunkline highway is officially established along the route of M-69/M-95 south of Sagola in west-central Dickinson Co. The 3.9-mile long former route, running generally alongside the Chicago, Milwaukee & St Paul RR line, is partly turned back to County control (a portion of today's Kramer Rd) and partly obliterated or abandoned as a public roadway (including a portion under the current Louisiana Pacific OSB manufacturing facility near Cary's Spur.
  1937 (Dec 29) – A new M-95 alignment is officially established as a state trunkline highway route in northern Dickinson Co beginning at Silver Lake then northerly through Floodwood to the Dickinson/Marquette Co line immediately south of the Michigamme River bridge. The new alignment runs just east of the former route, which is cancelled as a state trunkline highway route. Additionally, the 1.6 miles of existing M-95 from the Dickinson/Marquette Co line northerly to Witch Lake are also cancelled as a state trunkline highway, including the Michigamme River bridge, however this portion of the realignment and the new Michigamme River bridge will not be complete until 1939, so the existing route remains a "marked and maintained" trunkline route until the new route and bridge open to traffic.
  1939 – The Michigamme River bridge and its approaches on M-95 at the Marquette/Dickinson Co line between Witch Lake and Channing are completed and opened to traffic. The former route of M-95 at this point, which had been turned back to county control at the end of 1937 but remained a "marked and maintained" trunkline route, has its M-95 route markers removed and all maintenance on the roadway is turned over to the counties.
  1940 (Nov 12) – In an apparent effort to correct a one-tenth of a mile in the gap of the officially established route of US-2/US-141/M-95 on the north edge of downtown Iron Mountain in Dickinson Co, the portion of Stephenson Ave from just south of Third St northerly to approximately Hamilton St is officially assumed into the trunkline system. As this is a correction, this short segment has always been signed as US-2/US-141/M-95.
  1941 (Fall) – The first 3.2 miles of the M-95 realignment in western Marquette Co from Republic northerly to Granite Lake Rd near Granite Lake is completed—except for final hard surfacing—but is not yet signed as part of M-95 pending the completion of the remainder of the relocated highway from Granite Lake northerly to US-41/M-28 west of Humboldt and Barron Mine (present-day Humboldt Mine). News reports note this project as, "the most extensive... ever to be untertaken by the state highway department in a boulder-infested area..."
  1942 (Fall) – The last 3.275 miles of the M-95 relocation in western Marquette Co between Republic and US-41/M-28 west of Humboldt and Barron Mine (present-day Humboldt Mine) is completed and opened to traffic. Except for final hard-surfacing, the realigned highway completes an overhaul of M-95 which began in 1933 when the route was still known as M-45. The newly reconfigured route removes countless sharper curves and winding stretches in the highway and places it onto a more modern alignment. The former route between Republic and Humboldt remains an unsigned state trunkline route for the time being, however.
  1943 (Feb 26) – The 6.47-mile long realignment of M-95 between Republic and US-41/M-28 west of Humboldt and Barron Mine (present-day Barron Mine) is officially established as a state trunkline highway route, while the former 7.5-mile long route between Republic and Humboldt is cancelled and turned back to county control. The former route becomes Co Rd 601 from Republic northeasterly to Barron (now Humboldt) Mine and is obliterated/abandoned between there and Humboldt (as Co Rd FNP).
  1944 – While completed and opened to through traffic (and signed as M-95) in 1942, the segment of M-95 from Republic to its new northern terminus at US-41/M-28 west of Humboldt and Barron Mine (present-day Barron Mine) in western Marquette Co is paved, eliminating the last gravel-surfaced stretch of the entire route.
  c.1950–52 – Using right-of-way acqusition dates as a cue, the approximately ¾-mile segment of M-95 along Carpenter Ave at Kingsford in southwest Dickinson Co is realigned onto its present-day alignment from just north of the Menominee River bridge to Breen Ave. The former alignment, much of it running just to the southeast of the new route, is abandoned as a public roadway or is subsumed under the new route.
  1953 (Sept 22) – As a result of expanding operations at the Humboldt (formerly Barron) Mine west of Humboldt in western Marquette Co, the route of US-41/M-28/M-35 in northern Humbolt Twp is adjusted to take it away from the new mining operations and onto a new alignment to the north of the former one. Due to the realignment of US-41/M-28/M-35, a 0.715-mile long northerly extension of M-95 is also established as a state trunkline route and likely opens to traffic at this time as well. The extension begins at the former terminus of M-95 at the former US-41/M-28/M-35 (present-day Co Rd 601 and Co Rd FNO) and continues northerly to the new alignment of US-41/M-28/M-35 at Koski's Corners.
  1958 (Sept 1–Oct 8) – An expansion of the Republic Mine, including its conversion from a shaft mining venture to an open pit mine, requires the relocation of M-95 out of the community of Republic in western Marquette Co where the mine is located. A new 6.16-mile long western bypass of the Republic area, including the Republic Mine and the newly-established community of South Republic, is constructed and opened to traffic around Sept 1. The former route along present-day Co Rd LLL from one mile south of South Republic northerly through the Republic Mine to Repiblic and today's Co Rd LLK and FLK from Republic northerly for approximately 1½ miles is cancelled as part of M-95 on Oct 8, while simultaneously the 6.16-mile long bypass route is officially established as a state trunkline route The former 5.64-mile long route is largely turned back to county control (as Co Rd LLL, and Co Rd LLK and FLK) while the segment of old M-95 through the expanding Republic Mine is abandoned as a public roadway and obliterated by mining activities.
  1960 (Dec 5) – The 6-mile concurrent M-69/M-95 segment becomes just M-95 with the cancellation of M-69 as a state trunkline route east of M-95 and the truncation of the M-69 route to a new eastern terminus at M-95 in Sagola.
  1965 (July 15) – A 6.77-mile stretch of M-95 is re-engineered and reconstructed along its existing corridor from Co Rd LHA (previously Co Rd 601 and, before that part of M-45, the predecessor of M-95) south of Witch Lake northerly to Co Rd LLC/Cap Creek Rd at the Ely/Republic Twp line two miles south of South Republic in southwest Marquette Co. The State Highway Dept terms this a "modernization" project to "bring the route up to Class A standards." The former route of M-95 is abandoned or obliterated as a public roadway, although segments of pavement from the old route, built in 1933, still exist to this day, especially in the Witch Lake area including where the old roadway cuts across the western end of the lake on a causeway between the present highway and the Escanaba & Lake Superior RR line. From Co Rd LHA northerly to Co Rd LLD/Maple Ln, the old road is west of the current alignment, while from that point northerly to Co Rd LLC is generally ran immediately adjacent to the current highway on the east.
  1967 (Dec 1) – A new 1.31-mile long realignment of M-95 from the US-2/US-141 jct north of Iron Mountain (just east of the US-2/US-141 interstate bridge leading into Wisconsin) northerly to the intersection of Twin Falls Rd–Old Carney Lake Rd is officially established as a state trunkline route. Simultaneously, the former 1.51-mile long route is cancelled as a trunkline route. The portion of former M-95 along present-day Spring Lake Ln is turned back to county control, while much of the remainder is obliterated or subsumed under the new highway construction.
  1991 (Oct 1) Updated 2023-10 – In a rash of new highway route establishments and extensions in the early 1990s, M-69 is extended by the 53.44 miles it lost in 1960, restoring the highway to its 1929–1960 routing. As such, the 6-mile M-69/M-95 concurrency from Sagola southerly to north of Randville is re-established.
Controlled Access: No portion of M-95 is freeway or expressway.
NHS: Nearly all of M-95—from the southern jct with US-2/US-141 in downtown Iron Mountain northerly to US-41/M-28 at Koski Corners in Marquette Co—is on the National Highway System (NHS). (52.4 miles)
Memorial Highways: The following Memorial Highway designations have been officially assigned to all or parts of M-95 by the Michigan Legislature:
  • Leif Erikson Memorial Highway – "The portion of highway M-95 beginning at the border between Michigan and Wisconsin in Dickinson county and extending north to Champion in Marquette County..." (2001) From MDOT: "Named in honor of Leif Erickson, a Norse explorer, born in Iceland and son of Eric the Red, discoverer and colonizer of Greenland. It is believed that Leif Erickson visited the shores of North America! early in the lith century, Dedicated by (Resolution of 1952). It has been said that Eriksson is considered by many to be the first European to reach North America, centuries ahead of Christopher Columbus. In1964 the United States Congress authorized the president to proclaim each October 9 as Leif Eriksson Day."
  • United Spanish War Veterans' Memorial Highway – "the portion of M-95 beginning at Iron Mountain and extending north to Sagola..." (2001) From MDOT: "The United Spanish War Veterans was an American Veterans organization which consisted of veterans of the Spanish–American War, Philippine–American War and China Relief Expedition."
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