Michigan Highways: Since 1997.

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M-22 & M-109 junction route signage in Glen Arbor, Michigan
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Former M-126
US-127 Route Marker On to Next Route:
M-129
Southern Entrance:   Ohio state line 10 miles south of Hudson (southeast of Waldron)
Northern Terminus:   I-75 at Exit 249 six miles south of downtown Grayling
Length: 214.256 miles
Maps: Route Map of US-127
Notes: US-127 is the major through highway route running up the middle of the Lower Peninsula, entering the state from Ohio then passing through or around Jackson, the capital city of Lansing, Mount Pleasant, and Clare before terminating at the longest Interstate highway in Michigan, I-75, just south of Grayling. More than 78% of US-127 in the state is currently built to freeway standards, with 84% of the route either freeway or divided highway. US-127 enters Michigan as a rural, two-lane highway and continues northerly as such to the Greater Jackson area where it becomes a freeway. The only two gaps in the freeway from that point on are a non-freeway-to-freeway interchange with I-94 northwest of downtown Jackson and 14.07 miles of uncontrolled-access divided highway between Saint Johns and Ithaca (exclusive of the M-57 interchange in Gratiot Co). The latter freeway gap, from Saint Johns to Ithaca, has been long been planned to be converted to a freeway, but with progress on the project having been stalled for many years.
  As one might infer from the name of the "old road" which parallels portions of US-127 from Lansing northerly, this segment of US-127 was not always designated as such. Indeed, the history of this route is a somewhat interesting one. In the original U.S. Highway system from 1926, US-27 began in Cincinnati, Ohio (later extended to Miami, Florida) and ran northwesterly into Indiana then northerly through Richmond and Fort Wayne, entering Michigan south of Coldwater. US-27 then continued via Marshall, Charlotte, through Lansing and then northerly through Saint Johns, Alma, Mount, Pleasant, Clare, around the east sides of Houghton and Higgins Lakes, then northerly via Grayling and Gaylord to Cheboygan (later extended along US-23 to Mackinaw City and, for a very short time, across the Mackinac Bridge to Saint Ignace!). US-127 was originally a short-ish spur route beginning at its parent route in Lansing and continuing southerly to Jackson and Somerset before turning southeasterly via Adiran to a terminus in Toledo, Ohio. Then in 1930, US-127 was removed from the Toledo routing and, indead, routed southerly into Ohio where it continuted to Cincinnati, reconnecting to its parent route there. (In 1959, it would be extended southerly through Kentucky and Tennessee to its current southern terminus at Chattanooga.) Then, between 1999 and 2002 when all of its parent route, US-27, was decommissioned in Michigan and scaled back to end in Fort Wayne, Indiana, US-127 was, again, extended, this time northerly to take over the route of its former parent through much of the Lower Peninsula to end at I-75 just south of Grayling. So, the spur route that originally only ran for approximately 110 miles from Lansing to Toledo now encompases a nearly 760-mile existence from Chattanooga to Grayling!
  As noted above, MDOT petitioned AASHTO in 1999 to truncate US-27 at Lansing (at jct I-69/US-27 & US-127 near DeWitt) and then extend US-127 over the length of the former US-27 from Lansing to I-75 at Grayling. (MDOT and InDOT then petitioned to have US-27 removed altogether from the I-69 concurrent routing between Lansing and Fort Wayne, Ind.) Some applauded this move as an attempt to simplify route numbering along what effectively became one corridor while others questioned the necessity of such a major, costly and disruptive change. In the end, all of US-27 north of I-69 at DeWitt was re-signed as US-127 in the Spring of 2002 and all BUS US-27 routings from St Johns to Harrison were redesignated as BUS US-127 routings.
  During the mid-1990s, after the U.S. Congress had created a "High Priority Corridor" from Detroit to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and gave that corridor the "I-73" route designation, MDOT requested the corridor be moved west in Michigan to run from Toledo northwesterly to Jackson, then northerly via US-127 and US-27 past Lansing, Mt Pleasant and Clare to Grayling, thence northerly via I-75 acrossthe Mackinac Bridge to Sault Ste Marie. The hope was to be able to capture additional federal funding to complete the non-freeway segments of this route (Ottawa Lake-Jackson and St Johns-Ithaca) and upgrade the substandard portions already "freeway-ized" (e.g. the US-127 Jackson Bypass), then designate the corridor from Toledo to Grayling as I-73. Studies were performed through the late-1990s and in June 2001, MDOT announced a halt to all further I-73 studies, instead opting to use that money to improve deficiencies in the existing corridor instead. With the amount of money MDOT spent on new US-127 signage north of Lansing in 2001–02, one could speculate the corridor will retain its existing route designations for quite some time.
  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 for US-127 during that timeframe:
  • Construction of a US-127 freeway from the Ohio state line northerly to the end of the "Jackson East Belt" bypass southeast of Jackson. This freeway would have run within a few miles to the east of the existing US-127 route from the Ohio line northerly to Addison, then shift to the west side of the existing highway just south of Addison. An interchange with the proposed US-112 freeway northwest of Addison would have been included. At the US-127 & US-112 (present-day US-12) intersection would have been an interchange and the location where the proposed US-127 freeway would have effectively taken over the existing alignment of US-127 opened in 1955 from there to M-50 southeast of Jackson. This proposal was never implemented and the highway remains today much as it was in 1960. (See map image at right for a representation of what this wouldve looked like had it ocurred.)
  • Conversion of the recently-completed US-127 expressway between Jackson and Mason to a fully limited-access freeway with the elimination of all crossroad traffic. This proposal eventually came to fruition six years later in 1966.
  • Completion of the US-127 freeway between Mason and the eastern end of I-496 at I-96 southeast of Lansing, then continuing US-127 northerly along I-496 into East Lansing. This proposal was also acted upon and completed six years later in 1966.
  • Extension of that US-127 freeway from I-496 at East Lansing northerly to a connection with the proposed M-78 freeway (present-day I-69) southeast of DeWitt. This proposal also eventually came to fruition in phases in 1969, 1970 and 1974, although the original plan was to have US-127 terminate at a "⊤-interchange" at the M-78 freeway with the proposed US-27 freeway northerly toward St Johns and Ithaca running farther west, but that freeway was eventually constructed as a northerly extension of US-127... which ended up helping MDOT in its effort to redesignate all of US-27 north of Lansing to Grayling as part of US-127 in 1999–2002.
History: 1926 – One of the original "1926 U.S. Highways," US-127 is designated to run from Toledo, Ohio via Adrian and Jackson to US-27 at Lansing. Specifically, US-127 is to replace the following former highway designations: M-34 from the Ohio state line near Sylvania to Adrian (via present-day US-223), M-80 from Adrian to M-14 north of Addison (via present-day US-223), M-14 from north of Addison westerly US-112 (formerly M-23) to Somerset Center, then northerly via Jackson Rd through Jackson and on to Lansing generally via its present-day corridor to Mason and via Cedar St from there to its ending. At Lansing, US-127 will terminate at US-27 at the cnr of Cedar St & Kalamazoo Ave. Maps indicate M-14 is not completely removed from all of the route of US-127, however, remaining concurrently designated with US-127 from Jackson southerly to north of Addison. At Jackson, US-127 will enter the city from the south via Fourth St, veering northeasterly via Greenwood Ave, jogging west for ½ block on Morrell St, then northerly via Blackstone Ave, before veering northwesterly out of town via Lansing Ave.
  1927 (May 15) – The new US Highway designations across the state of Michigan officially become effective today, with US-127 superceeding portions of the routes of M-34, M-80, and M-14, as noted above. 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. (The State Highway Dept plans to have permanent markers in place by midsummer.
  1927 – Two minor realignments to US-127 within the first year of its existence:
  • (Jun 24) – A minor realignment near Ottawa Lake (just north of the hamlet of Ottawa Lake) in southwestern Monroe Co shaves about 1/10 mile from the route.
  • (Sept 9) – Another minor realignment at Rome Center in western Lenawee Co adds 2/10 mile to the route of US-127 (present-day US-223) with part of the former route turned back to local control and the rest obliterated.
  1928 (May 25, Jun 28) – From 1926-28, the route of US-127 through Mason, essentially the former route of M-14 through town, is: from the south via Jefferson Ave, northwesterly via Lansing St to Ash St, westerly via Ash to Cedar St, then north and northwesterly via Cedar St. On May 25, Jefferson Ave from cnr of Lansing St (jct US-127) northerly into downtown to M-36/Ash St is transferred back to state control. (It had been a trunkline from 1919–1923) On June 28, Ash St from Jefferson Ave westerly to US-127/Lansing St was similarly transferred to the state. While the US-127 mainline remains on Lansing St bypassing downtown, the Jefferson-Ash route becomes an alternate routing. It is unclear at this time what route designation it bears, but one could assume it is signed US-127A.
  1929 (May 20) Updated 2024-05 – The beginnings of a new western "bypass" of the downtown area of Jackson for US-127 and M-50 is formed when St Clair Ave (from Lansing Ave westerly to N West Ave), N West Ave (from St Clair Ave southerly to Ganson St), and S West Ave (from Glenwood Ave southerly to High St) are established as state trunkline routes. While not completely under state control, it appears this "downtown bypass" is signed as the US-127 and M-50 mainline route at this time. The former route of US-127 along Glenwood Ave, Morrill St, Blackstone St, and Lansing Ave (to to Clinton Rd) was a "marked-and-maintained" route and simply remains under city control while the ½-mile section of Lansing Ave from Clinton Rd to St Clair Ave becomes an unsigned state trunkline route.
  1930 (May 26) – The American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO, today's AASHTO) approves a pair of US Highway System changes in Michigan. First, instead of turning southeasterly via Adrian toward Toledo, Ohio, US-127 is approved to continue southerly from US-112 in the Somerset area via M-14 through Addison to the Ohio state line. (In Ohio, US-127 is extended to run along the western portion of the state to a new terminus in Cincinnati.) Second, AASHO then approves a new US Highway route designation for the segment of US-127 from US-112 southeasterly through Adrian, Blissfield and Ottawa Lake and into Ohio near Sylvania: US-223.
  1930 (late-Oct) – After receiving AASHO approval for the change six months prior, the route change for US-127 (and the debut of US-223) occurs as all M-14 route markers are replaced by US-127 markers and all US-127 markers along its former route from US-112 through Adrian and Blissfield into Ohio are replaced with US-223 signs in late October. The concurrent US-127/M-14 segment between Jackson and Somerset becomes solely US-127.
  1931 (May 19) – Act 131 of 1931 (the Dykstra Act), which allows for the control of in-city streets as state trunklines by the State Highway Dept, helps to complete the 1929 "downtown Jackson bypass" when West Ave from Ganson St southerly to Glenwood Ave, High St from S West Ave easterly to Fourth St, and Fourth St from High St southerly to the New York Central RR south of Prospect St are transferred to state control. The route of US-127 through Jackson, now all under state control, runs from the south via Fourth St, High St, West Ave, St Clair Ave and Lansing Ave.
  1932 (Oct 29) – Part of the former "downtown route" of US-127 into Jackson from the north along Lansing Ave from St Clair Ave southerly to Clinton Rd is transferred back to city control.
  1944 (Feb 14) – State Highway Commissioner Charles Zeigler announces federal highway engineers have listed US-127 between Lansing and Jackson as a "military highway" and will be improved and relocated following World War II. Bypasses of both Mason and Leslie are included in the improvements. The existing route of US-127 from Miller Rd south of Lansing southeasterly to Dart Rd northwest of Mason is to be improved. From that point, a new US-127 westerly bypass of Mason will carry the highway around that city back to the existng route of US-127 south of Kipp Rd, then southerly immediately adjacent to the existing route of US-127 south to north of Kinneville Rd northwest of Leslie. There, this new proposed US-127 route continues southerly alongside Hull Rd to Olds Rd, then southeasterly on new right-of-way to State Rd near Territorial Rd, then due southerly again to M-50/Clinton Trl and a hook-up with the proposed US-12 "Jackson North Belt" bypass highway at M-50/West St, just west of existing US-127/Lansing Rd.
  1950 (Nov 3) – When US-27/M-78 is realigned in downtown Lansing to cross the Grand River via a bridge on Main St to Cedar St, then northerly via Cedar St to Kalamazoo St, the route of US-127 now runs concurrently with its own parent route (US-27) for even longer than it had in the past—1½ miles—to its northern terminus at US-16/Grand RIver Ave in the "Old Town" section of Lansing.
  1953 (July 23) – A new western US-127 bypass of Mason is completed and opened to traffic as a two-lane, surface highway. The new bypass departs existing US-127 (present-day Hull Rd) approximately ½ mile north of Tomlinson Rd south of the city and veers northwesterly crossing Kipp Rd at grade before swinging north-northwesterly crossing both Stitts Rd/South St and Columbia St at grade before merging back into existing US-127 just southeast of Howell Rd. The former route of US-127 in Mason via Lansing St from Jefferson Ave to Ash St and along Cedar St from Columbia Rd northwesterly to the new bypass is retained as an unsigned trunkline route for the time being. With the coming of the new bypass, Mason receives a new business connection: BUS US-127 begins at the southern end of the Mason bypass just north of Tomlinson Rd and continues northerly via Hull Rd and Jefferson Ave into downtown, then turns westerly concurrently with M-36 via Ash St, then northerly via Cedar St, and westerly again via Columbia Rd, where both M-36 and BUS US-127 now terminate at the new bypass.
  1953 (Nov 6) – With the completion of the US-12 "Jackson North Belt" bypass, the portion of US-127 in Jackson from the cnr of N West Ave & St Clair Ave easterly via St Clair to Lansing Ave, then northerly via Lansing Ave to the new US-12 "Jackson Bypass" is transferred to local control. US-127 now continues northerly from Jackson concurrently with M-50/Clinton Rd to the US-12 bypass, then easterly via US-12 to Lansing Ave, then northerly again on its existing alignment.
  1954 (Jan 4) – The Mason bypass, opened to traffic less than 5½ months prior, is finally officially established as a state trunklline highway route. Simultaneously, the portion of the former route of US-127 through the City of Mason which was not redesignated as part of the new BUS US-127 route is turned back to local control. This includes Lansing St from Jefferson Ave to Ash St and Cedar St from Columbia Rd northwesterly to the new bypass northwest of town. The portion of Columbia Rd from Cedar St westerly to the new US-127 bypass west of town is officially assumed into the trunkline highway system, even though it has been signed as part of the new BUS US-127/M-36 route for the past 5½ months.
  1955 (Nov 18) – An entirely new alignment for US-127 from jct US-112 & US-223 in northwesternmost Lenawee Co northerly into Jackson Co to M-50 southeast of Jackson near Vandercook Lake is officially added as a state trunkline, running generally along the line of existing Meridian Rd, but immediately west of that road. From the jct with M-50, US-127 now runs concurrently with M-50 into Jackson via Brooklyn Rd & Prospect St. The former route of US-127 from US-112 at Somerset Center northerly via S Jackson Rd to the southwest corner of Jackson is cancelled as a state trunkline route and turned back to local control.
  1956 (Nov 16) – A seven-mile long stretch of new US-127 expressway (access only at select crossroads—in this case, at Covert, Barnes and Tomlinson Rds) is completed and opened to traffic from Kinneville Rd (near N Main St) northwest of Leslie, northerly to the BUS US-127 junction at the southern end of the existing US-127 Mason Bypass south of Mason. The new expressway is constructed immediately to the west of existing US-127 with the former route along Hull Rd becoming an easterly service road for the new highway, while a new westerly service road (Churchill Rd) is constructed to give access to property to the west of US-127. The more than $2 million project, which is completed nine months ahead of schedule and also includes a second set of lanes (the northbound side) added to the existing US-127 Mason Bypass, completing the four-lane divided expressway from just north of Leslie to northwest of Mason. The Mason bypass remains a controlled-access expressway, with access at Kipp Rd, Stitts Rd/South St and BUS US-127/M-36/Columbia Rd. Interestingly, this new portion of US-127 will not be officially established as a state trunkline for 2½ more years!
  1957 (Dec 18–30) Updated 2024-05 – The 13.8-mile four-lane, divided US-127 expressway is completed and opened to traffic at 1:00pm on December 18 from the US-12 "Jackson North Belt" freeway northerly into Ingham Co to the southern end of the expresway segment opened in November 1956. The project, which cost $5,284,000 to construct, completes the four-lane highway between Lansing and Jackson. Twelve days later, the 10.304-mile section of the US-127 expressway from the US-12 freeway northerly to the Jackson/Ingham Co line is officially established as a state trunkline on December 30 while, simultaneously, the 10.3-mile segment of former US-127 along Lansing Rd from the US-12 freeway northerly to the Jackson/Ingham Co line is cancelled as a state trunkline route and turned back to county control.
  1958 (June 27–Nov 29) – On June 27, the State Highway Dept officially requests a truncation of US-127 on its northern end in Lansing from the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO, todays AASHTO). US-127's northern terminus had been at the cnr of US-27/Cedar St (nbd) and US-27/Larch St (sbd) & US-16/Grand River Ave on the north side of Lansing. Interestingly, this creates a 1½ mile concurrency with its parent route: US-27. (Why US-127 doesn't terminate at US-27 at the cnr of Cedar St & Main St is unclear.) The State Highway Dept's reasoning for the truncation is "to simplify traffic routing and make possible better direction of traffic thru the urban area. US-127 at present overlaps three other marked routes one of which is US-27." Indeed, in addition to the US-27 concurrency between US-27/M-78/Main St and US-16/Grand River Ave, this segment of the Cedar–Larch one-way couplet also includes M-78 between Main St and Saginaw St and M-43 from Michigan Ave to Saginaw St. As such, Cedar and Larch Sts between Michigan Ave and Saginaw St is signed as US-27/US-127/M-43/M-78, of which US-127 is an unnecessary designation, as it terminates as Grand River Ave while the underlying US-27 continues northerly. AASHO approces the change at its meeting on November 29 and notifies the MSHD of the approval on December 17.
  1958 (Sept 16) – Official establishment of the new US-127 expressway alignment continues into Ingham Co from the northern end of the expressway establishment from December 30, 1957 northerly past Leslie to the southern end of the completed expressway at N Main St at Leslie is made. The former route of US-127 through Leslie via Jackson Rd, Fitchburg Rd, Mill St and Main St is turned back to local control. It seems the expressway alignment opens to traffic as well at this point.
  1958 (Oct 31) New! 2024-05 – The northernmost 2½ of the "Jackson East Belt" freeway bypass—to become part of the US-127 freeway bypass around the city of Jackson when completed—is opened to local traffic between the Page Ave interchange and the US-12 "Jackson North Belt" freeway.
  1959 (Mar 25) – The expressway segment from northwest of Leslie northerly to south of Mason completed in 1957 (see above) is officially established as a state trunkline highway, with the former route via Hull Rd from N Main St to north of Tomlinson Rd is now officially cancelled and turned back to local control.
  1959 (May 1–June 11) – On May 1, the State Highway Dept officially requests a relocation of US-127 around Jackson from the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO, todays AASHTO). A new US-127 bypass of Jackson is currently under construction which also result in the concurrent designation of US-127 along a segment of the I-94/US-12 "Jackson North Belt" bypass. The State Highway Dept's reasoning for the relocation is "in order to utilize a higher type facility, a portion of which is Interstate, approved and constructed as such." AASHO approves the change at its meeting in Chicago on June 11 and notifies the MSHD of the approval on June 17.
  1959 (Nov 6, Nov 21) Updated 2024-05 – The entire 5.65-mile long "Jackson East Belt" freeway from the jct of US-127 & M-50 southeast of Jackson northerly to the I-94/US-12 "Jackson North Belt" northeast of Jackson is opened to traffic on November 6 and officially established as state trunkline route two weeks later on November 21. The US-127 designation is routed northerly via the new freeway to I-94/US-12, then westerly concurrently with I-94/US-12 to the jct of I-94/US-12 & US-127/M-50 northwest of Jackson. The former route of US-127/M-50 through Jackson is redesignated as M-50/BUS US-127.
  1962 (Apr 5) – An engineering study prepared by the State Highway Dept results in a recommendation to spend $3.8 million to bring US-127 between Mason and Jackson up to full freeway standards. It would take four years for this to come to fruition.
  1964 (Oct 15) – Several trunkline reroutings at Mason. First, the portions of BUS US-127 via Hull Rd and Jefferson Ave from US-127 south of Mason northerly to M-36/Ash St downtown and the portion of M-36/BUS US-127 via Columbia Ave from Cedar St westerly to US-127 are transferred back to local control, signaling an end to BUS US-127 at Mason (the route is decommissioned).The 1926–1954 route of US-127 via Cedar St northwesterly from Columbia Ave is re-added as a state trunkline, designated as M-36 from Columbia out to the new US-127 freeway interchange northwest of the city (present-day Exit 66).
  1964 (Dec 6) – State Highway Commissioner John C. Mackie approves an engineering report which will result in the construction of the US-127 freeway from I-496 at the Trowbridge Rd interchange (present-day Exit 8) northerly along the block between the Homer & Howard one-way couplet to M-43/M-78/BUS M-78 at Saginaw St–Grand River Ave, then continue northerly through an interchange with Lake Lansing Rd and into Clinton Co where it will turn westerly and end at an interchange with US-27 (present-day Old US-27) southeast of DeWitt.
  1965 (Aug 20–Oct 2) – On August 20, the State Highway Dept officially requests a relocation of US-127 between Mason and Lansing from the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO, todays AASHTO). A new US-127 freeway from Mason northerly to the Lansing/East Lansing area is currently under construction and this request is to reroute US-127 from Mason northerly along the new freeway to I-96, then northerly concurrently with I-496/M-78 (and replacing the existing BL I-96 designation) to the north end of the existing freeway at the Red Cedar River, then continuing northerly along the M-78/Homer–Howard one-way couplet (continuing to also replace the existing BL I-96 designation) to jct M-43, M-78 & BUS M-78 at the Saginaw St–Grand River Ave one-way pair. The request then asks for US-127 to continue westerly (continuing to also replace the existing BL I-96 designation) along M-43/BUS M-78 along the Saginaw St–Grand River Ave/Oakland St one-way couplet to a new northern terminus at US-27/Cedar St–Larch St. The State Highway Dept's reasoning for the relocation is "in order to utilize a high type facility that will accommodate the most important and heaviest motor traffic flow in the area." AASHO approves the change at its meeting on October 2 and notifies the MSHD of the approval on October 18.
  1966 (Feb 2) – Michigan State Highway director Howard E Hill officially proposes a 49-mile freeway connecting US-23 north of Sylvania, Ohio with Jackson. The proposed 49-mile long freeway will run 35½ miles along the US-223 corridor past Blissfield and Adrian to Addison, then northerly for 13½ miles in the US-127 corridor to a connection with the southern end of the existing US-127 freeway bypass of Jackson. The new freeway is proposed to be under contract within six years, pending legislative approval of increases in gas and weight taxes to raise the needed additional revenue for this project and others. (In the end, this proposal would never come to fruition.)
  1966 (Oct 14, 9:00 am, Nov 18) – The new, $8-million US-127 freeway from Cedar St at Mason to jct I-96 & I-496 is completed and opened to traffic at 9:00 am on Oct 14, while it is officially established as a state trunkline route a month later on Nov 18. The US-127 designation travels northerly from Mason via the new freeway to I-96, then continues northerly via I-496/M-78 into Lansing/East Lansing, where the freeway ends and US-127 utilizes the one-way pair of Homer & Howard Sts northerly to M-43/BUS M-78 at Grand River Ave-Saginaw St. There, US-127 turns westerly via M-43/BUS M-78/Grand River Ave-Saginaw St to a terminus at US-27 at Cedar–Larch Sts. The former route via Cedar St from Mason to the south side of Lansing at I-96 temporarily remains a state trunkline highway while Cedar St from I-96 northerly into downtown Lansing is redesignated as BL I-96.
  1966 (early Nov) – The remaining at-grade intersections along US-127 between Jackson and Mason are either eliminated or converted to grade separations (overpasses and underpasses) and interchanges, with the project completing in early November. US-127 is now a fully limited-access freeway from Jackson to Lansing.
  1967 (Apr 3) – The former route of US-127 via Cedar St, 7.537 miles from the US-127 interchange at Mason to jct BL I-96 on the south side of Lansing is officially cancelled as a state trunkline highway route and turned back to local control.
  1968 (Oct 22) – The proposed US-127 freeway from the on- and off-ramps at Kalamazoo St on the Lansing/East Lansing border northerly into Clinton Co and to US-27 at present-day I-69 Exit 87 is officially established as a state trunkline, although the freeway is not yet complete at this time.
  1969 (Dec 23, 10:00am) – The northbound lanes of the ½-plus-mile northerly extension of the US-127 freeway on the boundary between Lansing and East Lansing from Kalamazoo Ave off-ramps northerly to the Grand River Ave–Saginaw St ramps are opened to traffic. The route of US-127/M-78 now moves up onto the new freeway, while Homer St—the former route of nbd US-127/ebd M-78—now becomes a freeway frontage street and is retained as an unsigned/old state trunkline route as OLD US-127. The southbound lanes of this segment of freeway are scheduled to open in the spring.
  1970 (June 18, 10:00am) – The southbound lanes of the ½-plus-mile northerly extension of the US-127 freeway on the boundary between Lansing and East Lansing from the Grand River Ave–Saginaw St on-ramp southerly to the Kalamazoo St on-ramp are opened to traffic. (The northbound lanes opened six months prior.) As with the northbound lanes, the route of sbd US-127/wbd M-78 moves up onto the new freeway, while the former route of sbd US-127/wbd M-78 along Howard St similarly becomes a freeway frontage street and is retained as an unsigned/old state trunkline route as OLD US-127.
  1973 (Dec 3, 10:00am) – The southbound lanes of the northerly extension of the US-127 freeway in the Lansing area are opened to traffic from Lake Lansing Rd southerly to the existing freeway at M-43/BUS M-78/Grand River Ave–Saginaw St, although the northbound lanes will remain closed until the entire US-127 freeway extension into Clinton Co is completed and opened to traffic in 1974. Local officials and law enforcement objects to opening the northbound lanes to Lake Lansing Rd, fearing a deluge of cars and trucks emptying onto the local street system at that point until the remainder of the freeway is opened. Until then, US-127 remains along its existing Saginaw St and Grand River Ave–Oakland St one-way pair routing between the north end of the existing freeway and its nothern terminus at US-27/Cedar–Larch Sts northeast of downtown Lansing.
  1974 (Aug 27) – While the Ingham Co portion of the northerly extension of the US-127 freeway in the Lansing/East Lansing area was physically completed during 1973, only the southbound lanes from Lake Lansing Rd southerly to the existing freeway at M-43/BUS M-78/Grand River Ave–Saginaw St interchange are opened to traffic until the full freeway is completed. The Clinton Co portion of the freeway was scheduled to be completed in 1973, but various delays pushed it until late August 1974 when the entirety of the freeway is opened between M-43/BUS M-78/Grand River Ave–Saginaw St and US-27 just southeast of DeWitt, which now becomes the new northern terminus for US-127. The former route of US-127 along the one-way couplet of M-43/BUS M-78/Grand River Ave–Saginaw St between the US-127 freeway interchange and US-27/Cedar St–Larch St retains the other route designations.
  1985 (July 18) – A new northern freeway bypass of Lansing opens between I-96 (at Exits 89-91) and the US-27/US-127 interchange near DeWitt and is designated US-27, itself now running northerly from its original route, via I-96 from Exit 98 northerly to Exit 91, then easterly across the north side of Lansing back to its original routing near DeWitt. All of the former US-27 between I-96 (at Exit 98) and US-127 (near DeWitt) is redesignated as BUS US-27. This new 8-mile long freeway, while designated only as US-27 in 1984, will later be incorporated into the completion of I-69 through the Lansing metro area. At this time, TEMP I-69 still bypasses Lansing on the south and east via I-96, I-496/US-27 and US-127.
  1987 (Nov 23) – With the opening of a new segment of I-69 freeway between US-127 and Peacock Rd in southeastern Clinton Co in late 1987, the I-69 designation is re-routed via I-96/US-27 northerly from I-96 at Exit 98 southwest of Lansing, northerly to Exit 91, then easterly across the north side of Lansing concurrently with US-27, to DeWitt, then easterly via US-127 for an additional 2 miles, before heading easterly along the 8 miles of new freeway.
  1998 (Aug 31) – At 9:17am on Monday, August 31, 1998, the northbound lanes of the final link in the long-awaited, $108-million US-27 "St Johns Bypass," as it is referred to locally, was opened to through traffic. The southbound lanes opened within a couple hours of the northbound side. With the opening of the new freeway, US-27 gains almost 3.6 miles, while US-127 loses about 1.7 miles in length. This was caused by the US-27 designation replacing the US-127 designation along I-69 between Exits 87 & 89 near DeWitt. No changes are made in the routing of I-69.
  1999 (Apr 16)MDOT, unhappy with the 89-mile concurrent designation of I-69/US-27, which has been in place since the late-1960s, petitions AASHTO's Standing Committee on U.S. Route Numbering to first truncate the US-27 designation at DeWitt and extend the US-127 designation northerly from DeWitt to I-75 at Grayling in Northern Michigan, then immediately petitions AASHTO to completely remove the rest of the US-27 designation from the state as well. This action adds approximately 140 miles to a highway previously only having about 85 miles in Michigan! It will take MDOT the next few years to first prepare for the massive changeover, then swap out the hundreds of route markers.
  2002 (May) – The Big Changeover from US-27 north of Lansing to US-127 occurs. Starting in May in MDOT's Bay and North Regions (Gratiot, Isabella, Clare and Roscommon Counties), new US-127 markers go up along the freeway and the various Business Connections. It would take the University Region several more months to change over the signs in Clinton Co, however, meaning for a time, US-127 ends at DeWitt where US-27 picks up, then US-27 itself "fades away" in Gratiot Co replaced by US-127 again! In the end, this signals the demise of US-27 in Michigan.
  2002 (Dec 16) New! 2023-11 – The 2.521 miles of frontage roads at the recently-completed US-127 & M-57 interchange in southern Gratiot Co—which was completed and opened to traffic in mid-September 2000 as the US-27 & M-57 interchange prior to US-127's northerly extension from DeWitt to Grayling—are all cancelled as state trunkline highway routes and turned back to county control. All but 1,115 feet (or 0.21 mile) of the transferred roadways were newly-constructed as part of the interchange project. (The 1,115 feet comprises a segment of the former northbound lanes of the US-27 divided highway beginning 0.539 mile due south of the M-57 centerline. Everything else is new construction.) The frontage road on the east side of US-127 is named Bagley Rd (the name of the former US-27 mainline prior to the M-57 interchange construction) and the westside road is named Romney Rd.
  2019 (Mar 29) – The Michigan Legislature designates the "portion of highway US-127 beginning at exit 56 in Ingham County and extending south to the Jackson County line" as the "Trooper Craig A. Scott Memorial Highway".
  2019 (Dec 20) – The Michigan Legislature designates the "portion of highway I-94 in Jackson County between the US-127 South interchange and Hawkins Road shall be known as the 'Trooper Manuel H. Fields Memorial Highway.'" This segment of I-94 runs concurrently with US-127 on the north side of Jackson.
Controlled-Access: Freeway: Three segments of US-127 are freeway:
  1. From Exit 34 (southern M-50 & BUS US-127 jct at Mile 34.25) southeast of Jackson to Livingston Rd (Mile 100.25) north of St Johns, with the exception of the western I-94 & US-127 interchange at Jackson. (66.0 miles)
  2. From Roosevelt Rd one mile south of M-57 (at unposted Mile 107) to just south of the Great Lakes Central Railroad crossing north of M-57 at unposted Mile 104.45. (1.4 miles)
  3. From the former Bagley Rd intersection at Mile 114.32 (exactly one-third mile north of the Pierce Rd intersection) southeast of Ithaca to the northern terminus of US-127 at I-75 south of Grayling. (99.94 miles)`
NHS: The portion of US-127 from US-223 to its northern terminus at I-75 south of Grayling is on the National Highway System (NHS).
Business Connections:
  • BUS US-127 – Jackson. From Exit 34 southeast of Jackson to Exits 41A-B (jct US-127, I-94 & M-50) northwest of downtown.
  • Former BUS US-127 – Lansing. From jct BL I-96 at cnr Larch St & North St in Lansing to I-69 at Exit 87 (Old 27) southeast of DeWitt.
  • BUS US-127 – Saint Johns. From Exit 91 south of town to Exit 99 north of the city.
  • BUS US-127 – Ithaca. From Exit 117 east of Ithaca to Exit 119 northeast of town.
  • BUS US-127 – Alma. From Exit 123 east of town to Exit 127 north of the city.
  • BUS US-127 – Saint Louis. From Exit 124 south of the city to Exit 127 west of town.
  • BUS US-127 – Mount Pleasant. From Exit 139 southeast of town to Exit 144 north of the city.
  • BUS US-127 – Clare. From Exit 156 south of Clare to Exit 160 north of Clare.
  • BUS US-127 – Harrison. From Exit 170 southeast of town to Exit 176 north of Harrison.
Memorial Highways:  The following Memorial Highway designations have been officially assigned to parts of US-127 by the Michigan Legislature:
  • Trooper Manuel H. Fields Memorial Highway– "The portion of highway I-94 in Jackson County between the US-127 South interchange and Hawkins Road..."
  • Haskell L. Nichols Memorial Highway – "The portion of highway US-127 beginning at the north county line of Jackson county and extending south to the intersection with I-94..." From MDOT: "Haskell L. Nichols was a Republican politician who served in both houses of the Michigan Legislature between 1933 and 1966."
  • Trooper Craig A. Scott Memorial Highway – "The portion of highway US-127 beginning at exit 56 in Ingham County and extending south to the Jackson County line..." From MDOT: "On February 9, 1982, Trooper Craig A. Scott ... observed a red 1974 Camaro speeding northbound, ... gave pursuit and stopped the car south of Leslie, Michigan. The driver produced a Michigan identification card but no papers for the Camaro. (The driver and his front seat passenger had stolen the car in Ann Arbor four days earlier.) He ... placed [the driver] under arrest... The front seat passenger exited the vehicle and shot Trooper Scott three times with a .38-caliber revolver from a distance of three to four feet. Trooper Scott died from his injuries. He was 28 years old."
  • James M. Pelton Firefighters Memorial Highway – "The portion of highway US-127 in Ingham county..." From MDOT: "Chief Pelton was a 37-year veteran of the Mason City Fire Department and had served as the Fire Chief since 1992. He was Mason’s first full-time fire chief and was involved in initiating the construction of a new fire station, recruiting fire-fighters, and improving training standards. Chief Pelton died on August 10, 2001 in an automobile accident while on his way to a department meeting."
  • Olds Freeway (Ransom E. Olds Freeway) – "That portion of highway I-496 that is within the city limits of the city of Lansing..." (The majority of the concurrent I-496/US-127 segment is within the Lansing city limits.) From MDOT: "Ransom E. Olds was the founder of Oldsmobile and the REO Motor Car Company, headquartered in Lansing."
  • Gary Priess Memorial Highway – "That portion of highway US-127 beginning at the border between Ingham county and Clinton county and extending north to the Price road exit..." From MDOT: "Gary Priess, a Dewitt Township police officer killed in the line of duty. Officer Priess was struck by a semi-truck while he conducted a traffic stop. He was a husband and father of two children. In response to his death and others like it, a law was enacted last year to protect police officers and other emergency workers who work on the shoulders of busy roadways."
  • PFC Ronald James Fitch Memorial Highway – "The portion of highway US-127 in Clinton County beginning at the intersection of highway US-127 and Wildcat Road and extending north to the intersection of highway US-127 and Livingston Road..." From MDOT: "Ronald James Fitch enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, completed basic training, and ... was deployed to Thua Thien Province, Vietnam, in early 1967 and assigned to Operation Big Horn in April 1967. On April 5, a convoy with PFC Fitch was ambushed, and two resupply Otters were disabled, with five wounded. Thirty meters from a hamlet, the lead platoon was met with heavy machine gun and small arm fire, along with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades. All but one in the lead platoon were killed. Private First Class Ronald James Fitch was 20 years of age."
  • Tim Sanborn Memorial Highway – "The portion of highway US-127 in Clinton county beginning at the intersection of highway US-127 and Colony road and extending north to highway M-57" From MDOT: "Firefighter Timothy Sanborn, a 6 year veteran of the Clinton Area Fire and Rescue Department, died Friday June 22, 2007. Timothy was operating a pumper at a structure fire when he suffered a major heart attack. He was transported to a local hospital but passed away before arriving."
  • Kevin Sherwood Memorial Highway – "The portion of highway US-127 in Clare county..." From MDOT: "On October 9, 2003, Clare County Sheriff’s Deputy Kevin Sherwood was responding to a 9-1-1 call about a drunk driver traveling the wrong direction on US-127, when the driver hit his patrol car head-on, killing him. Deputy Sherwood was a nine-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Department and the first Clare County deputy to be killed in the line of duty. He left behind a wife and three daughters, for whom he was the sole provider."
Photographs:  
Weblinks:
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