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M-51
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M-53
Southern Terminus:    Ohio state line (connection w/OH SR-109), 12 miles south of Adrian
Northern Terminus:    M-46 nine miles west of Saginaw
Length: Updated 127.069 miles
Maps: Route Map of M-52
Notes: The modern-day M-52 is made up of three older, shorter state highways. M-52, itself, from the Ohio state line northerly toward Tecumseh, M-92 from Tecumseh northerly to M-36 north of Stockbridge (replaced by M-52 in 1962), and M-47 from US-16 near Webberville northerly to M-46 west of Saginaw (replaced by M-52 in 1969).
  In the 1950s or 1960s, plans were laid to construct an M-52 expressway/freeway northerly from Adrian. The portions of M-52 completed in 1959 and 1962 from M-50 northerly to Manchester were constructed to limited-access standards with access only at crossroads and ample right-of-way to add an additional set of two lanes. A full cloverleaf interchange was graded out for a planned fully-controlled access interchange with a proposed US-12 freeway just north of the M-52 & US-12 junction. This interchange is still visible, especially the twin mounds of dirt for the US-12 overpasses. Why the planned expressway/freeway was cancelled is not yet clear.
  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 several changes to the route of M-52 during that timeframe. Note that at this same time, the State Highway Dept seemed to want to extend the M-47 designation south from its southern terminus at US-16 near Webberville along what would become M-52 nearly a decade later. Thus, the proposals for M-47 are listed fromUS-16 southerly (the proposed southerly extension) and then northely (the existing route of M-47 in 1960 which became part of M-52).

The proposed changes to M-47 (now M-52) from US-16 near Webberville southerly included:
  • A new alignment for M-47 beginning at the US-16 junction and contining southerly from Grand River Ave curving to the southeast along the C&O Railroad line before curving back to the south at an interchange with the proposed I-96/US-16 freeway at Stockbridge Rd southwest of Webberville.
  • Extending M-47 southerly from the proposed I-96/US-16 interchange southwest of Webberville via Stockbridge Rd to the jct of M-36 & M-92 north of Stockbridge. From there, the M-47 designation was planned to supplant the M-92 designation southerly through Stockbridge then southeasterly through Chelsea to an interchange with I-94/US-12 on the south side of Chelsea. There, M-47 was planned to run due southerly to the northern end of the M-92 realignment completed from Manchester southerly to US-112 the year prior (1959). From jct M-92 & US-112 (now US-12), M-47 was proposed to run on a new alignment due southerly to a freeway-to-freeway interchange with a proposed US-112 freeway. From there, M-47 was to continue south as a full freeway with interchanges at M-50 west of Tecumseh, Shepherd Rd, existing M-52 (proposed BUS M-47) northeast of Adrian, and Deerfield Rd (proposed as M-34) east of Adrian, to an interchange with a proposed US-223 freeway southeast of Adrian. M-47 was to have then run westerly concurrently with the US-223 freeway bypass for two miles back to the existing route of M-52 about two miles south of downtown Adrian. M-47 would then contineue southerly, supplanting the M-52 designation to the Ohio state line.
  • Whle many of the individual upgrades to the above route—like the Chelsea-to-Manchester realignment and the freeway upgrade between US-112 and US-223—were not implemented, the overall trunkline gap-filling and route designation consolidation did occur, albeit using a different route designation than the proposed M-47. Within two years, the M-92 designation from Clinton to M-36 north of Stockbridge was consolidated with M-52 and seven years after that in 1969, the M-36-to-I-96 gap was filled and the M-47 designation from Webberville to M-46 west of Saginaw was replaced by a northerly extension of M-52.
The proposed changes to M-47 (now M-52) from US-16 near Webberville northerly included:
  • Converting the existing route of M-47 to an uncontrolled access divided highway from an interchange with the proposed M-78 freeway (now I-69) at Perry to the southern city limit of Owosso, then again from the northern Owosso city limit at Wilkinson Rd to the southern limit of the Village of Oakley, ½ mile north of Johnstone Rd in Saginaw Co. This proposal was never implemented.
  • Construction of an M-47 western bypass of St Charles, beginning at the bend in the highway 1¼ miles north of Ring Rd, continuing northerly to near the intersection of Beaver & Townline Rds where it would curve northeasterly to merge back into the existing route of M-47 about ¼ mile south of the Andrews Rd intersection north of St Charles. This proposal was never acted upon.
  • A new-alignment freeway routing for M-47 beginning approximately ½ mile south of the M-46 & M-47 (now M-52) junction between Saginaw and Hemlock at an interchange with a proposed M-46 freeway, continuing just slightly west of due northerly just west of Graham Rd to the southern end of the new two-lane limited-access expressway connector opening in 1960 between US-10/Midland Rd—itself being relocated onto a new freeway alignment betwen Midland and Bay City and Saginaw that year—and the M-20 freeway, which was in the process of becoming US-10. From there, the M-47 freeway would continue northerly to the US-10 freeway between Midland and Auburn. At that point, M-47 was proposed to transition back to a two-lane highway about halfway between Carter & Flajole Rds into Arenac Co where it would continue generally northerly to the southern terminus of M-33 at the interchange with the proposed I-75 freeway near the community of Alger. The only portion of this proposal that made it to fruition was the freeway portion from Midland Rd near Freeland to the US-10 freeway, which was in the process of being completed when the maps were created. None of the other parts of this proposal were ever implemented, although the partial cloverleaf interchange at US-10 is explained by these plans.
History: c.1920 – M-52 follows roughly its modern-day alignment from the Ohio state line via Adrian to M-50, then easterly via M-50 into Tecumseh where M-52 turns north again into Clinton, terminating there.
  1942 (Jan 28) – South of Adrian, a new 1.27-mile segment of state trunkline highway following Cadmus Rd from US-223 at Treat Hwy westerly to M-52/Adrian Hwy is determined and the US-223 routing is transferred onto it. At M-52, US-223 now turns northerly with M-52 into downtown Adrian where it meets up with its former routing. The former route of US-223 from M-52/Main St east along E Church St, south along S Center St, east and southeast vis Treat St and then southerly along Treat Hwy to existing US-223 is redesignated as BUS US-223. (See map.)
  1943 (Feb 26) – Winter St from US-223/Church St southerly for a bit more than one block to US-223/M-52/Main St in downtown Adrian is determined as a state trunkline highway and the US-223 route is moved onto it, acting as a "cut-off" of sorts. The US-223 route along Main St from Winter St to Church St remains designated M-52, while the portion of Church St from M-52/Main St westerly to Winter St now becomes a short westerly extension of the BUS US-223 routing. (See map.)
  1954M-92 (to be designated as part of M-52 in eight years) is extended southerly from its terminus at US-12 south of Chelsea to jct US-112 & M-52 in downtown Clinton, thus creating a situation where two north-south trunklines terminate at the same intersection, staring at each other across US-112.
  1956 (Mar 26) – The concurent US-223 designation along M-52 in Adrian becomes a concurrent BUS US-223 route when a new US-223 southwestern bypass of Adrian is officially assumed into the system.
  1959 – A new segment of M-92 (to be designated as part of M-52 in three years) is completed between Austin Rd (former M-11) on the east side of Manchester and US-112 west of Clinton. This segment is constructed to limited-access standards, with access only at cross-roads and ample right-of-way to add an additional set of two lanes in the future.
  1959 (Mar 29) – In downtown Adrian, the one block of Front St between Main St and Winter St along with the four blocks of Winter St from Front St southerly to Church St are transferred to state control and become the new southbound route of M-52 through the center of the city. The change for BUS US-223 is that the one block "cutoff" along Winter St between Church St and Main St is now one-way southbound and part of the new southbound M-52 routing. Thus, the "cutoff" is now eastbound BUS US-223 only, while westbound BUS US-223 now continues northerly on Main St one additional block to Church St where it turns west via Church to Winter St to continue on its existing route. (See map.)
  1960 (Jan 6) – Less than a year after M-52 was split into a one-way pair routing through downtown Adrian (nbd via Main St, sbd via Front-Winter Sts)—which resulted in BUS US-223 using the southernmost city block of this one-way pair before turning west along Church St—BUS US-223 itself becomes a one-way pair when Maumee St from nbd M-52/Main St westerly for four blocks to Church St is transferred to state control on this date. The new westbound route for BUS US-223 continues north from Church St with M-52 via Main St for an additional block, then turns west along Maumee St for four blocks back to its existing routing. Eastbound BUS US-223 now uses the formerly two-way route along Church St from Maumee St easterly to sbd M-52/Winter St where it turns southerly. Interestingly, the one block of Church St between sbd M-52/Winter St and nbd M-52/Main St remains a state trunkline route, though not "technically" part of the eastbound route of BUS US-223, which turns south with sbd M-52 along Winter St. (See map.)
  1962 – A new segment of M-52 is completed from M-50 to the newly-redesignated US-12 (formerly US-112) at jct M-92. The M-52 designation is then extended northerly via the entire length of M-92, terminating at M-36 north of Stockbridge. The M-92 designation is "decommissioned" in the process.
  1969 (Nov 7, 1:00 pm) Updated – Stockbridge Rd from M-36 to I-96 at Exit 122 near Webberville is officially opened to traffic after a two-year long, $1.8-million project to completely upgrade the former county road by re-engineering and reconstructing the roadway, including moving it 50 feet to the east. The M-52 designation is extended northerly over the new roadway to meet M-47 at I-96 and is then extended northerly via M-47, replacing it, all the way to M-46 west of Saginaw. M-47 is scaled back to end at M-46 (cnr of Midland & Gratiot Rds) just west of Saginaw. Interestingly, a lack of communication between the State Highway Dept and the Dept of Natural Resources resulted in all copies of the "1970 Rules for Hunting Deer and Bear in Michigan" continuing to refer to the route as M-47, which forms part of the boundary for the use of shotguns and 41-caliber or larger muzzle-loading rifles in the Lower Peninsula.
  1973 (June 29) – Several trunkline changes in downtown Adrian effectively remove the routes of M-52 and BUS US-223 from the downtown core. Main St from Church St northerly to Front St is turned back to local control, while Church St from Main St easterly to Broad St, Broad northerly from Church to Front St and Front from Broad back westerly to Main becomes the new northbound M-52 route and the westbound BUS US-223 route, which now continues westerly another block via Front St to Winter St, then southerly via Winter to Maumee St where it then continues westerly. Maumee St (formerly part of wbd BUS US-223) between Main & Winter Sts is also turned back to local control. The sbd M-52 and ebd BUS US-223 routes remain unchanged. (See map.)
  1995 (Nov 7) – The two blocks of Church St, functioning as ebd BUS US-223 between Maumee St and sbd M-52/Winter St in downtown Adrian, are turned back to city control on this date. This conicides with the first wave of returning some of the downtown streets to two-way traffic flow. The former ebd BUS US-223 along Church St is now a two-way city street, while the former wbd BUS US-223 from sbd M-52/Winter St westerly to Church St is now the two-way route for both directions of BUS US-223. Since M-52 still occupies the "one-way box" routing around the downtown core, however, wbd BUS US-223 still travels concurrently with M-52 north via Main St, east via Church St, north via Broad St, west via Front St, and south via Winter St to Maumee St. Ebd BUS US-223 now turns southerly from Maumee St onto sbd M-52 via Winter St. Thus the only one-way portions of BUS US-223 in downtown Adrian are portions shared with M-52. (See map.)
  2010 (May 28) – Apparently the removal of the one-way pair for BUS US-223 along Church and Maumee Sts is a success, as the City of Adrian decides to remove the remainder of the one-way streets in its downtown area, after a 51-year experiment with that configuration. The 1959 southbound routing for M-52 via Front St from Main St to Winter St and along Winter St from Front south to Main St is turned back to city control. Since the City still does not want through trunkline traffic to use the two main streets through its downtown core—north/south Main St and east/west Maumee St—MDOT converts Church St east of Main St, Broad St from Church St to Front St and Front St from Broad back to Main to two-way traffic and, with it, that becomes the sole route for M-52 through the city. So as to not cause a discontinuity in the BUS US-223 route, the 1995 jurisdictional transfer of Church St from Maumee St to Winter St is "undone" and Maumee St from Winter St to Church St is, this time, downloaded to city control. Coupled with the one block of Church between Main and Winter that has not technically had a trunkline designation since 1960 once again regains the BUS US-223 designation that segment of street had from 1943 to 1960. Now M-52 and BUS US-223 enter downtown Adrian from the south via M-52/Main St, to Chruch St where BUS US-223 heads west and M-52 turns east for one block before turning north along Broad St and west along Front St back to Main St. (See map.)
Controlled Access: Freeway: No segment of M-52 is constructed as freeway.
  Expressway: The portion of M-52 from M-50 west of Tecumseh northerly to Austin Rd on the eastern limits of Manchester is built as a two-lane, undivided expressway, with access only at select intersecting roads. (9.4 miles)
NHS: No portion of M-52 is on the National Highway System (NHS).
Continue on: Ohio SR-109 into Ohio via Dan Garnell's Ohio State Ends (archived) website.
Photographs:  
Weblinks:
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