Michigan Highways: Since 1997.

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M-53
M-54 Route Marker On to Next Route:
M-55
Southern Terminus:    I-75 at Exit 109 west of Grand Blanc
Northern Terminus:    I-75/US-23 at Exit 136 in Birch Run
Length: Updated 27.148 miles
Maps: Route Map of M-54
Notes: The modern-day iteration of M-54 was originally conceived as a replacement for the US-10 designation in the Greater Flint area. When the I-75 freeway was completed through Genesee Co in the early 1960s, US-10 was routed via I-75 and I-75/US-23 throughout the area. The Dept of State Highways decided to keep much of the former routing of US-10 and BUS US-10 in the state trunkline system and the M-54 designation was applied to the route. BUS US-10 then became BUS M-54. The new M-54 ran along what had been US-10 from the Oakland/Genesee Co line through Grand Blanc on Saginaw Rd, then turning northerly to bypass Flint to the east via Dort Hwy, returning to Saginaw Rd for a time near Clio, eventually turning northerly to supplant a portion of M-83 into Saginaw Co. At Birch Run Rd in southeastern Saginaw Co, the new M-54 designation was bent to the west, co-signed with M-83, to end at I-75/US-10/US-23 at Birch Run. BUS M-54 followed Saginaw St in its entirety from the southern intersection of Dort Hwy north of Grand Blanc to the northern intersection of Dort Hwy north of Mount Morris.
  Only two main changes to this route have taken place over the past five-plus decades. First, in the early 1980s, most of the BUS M-54 signage was removed, leaving an unsigned state trunkline through downtown Flint. For much of its route, the former BUS M-54 was replaced by the nearby I-475/UAW Frwy. It was not until the 1990s and early 2000s that much of Saginaw St was given back to local control. Then in the late 1980s, the southern Dort Hwy extension was completed, routing M-54 out of downtown Grand Blanc to a more direct connection with I-75.
  New! As originally planned by State Highway Dept planners in 1960, the former route of US-10 through Flint and Genesee Co was originally planned to become a southerly extension of M-83 once the US-10 designation was relocated to the I-75 and US-23 freeway corridor. Similarly, the route of BUS US-10 through Flint was to have been designated BUS M-83. This proposed designation was indicated on official planning maps prepared in 1960. Those maps indicated the proposed BUS M-83 routing would follow N Saginaw St southerly from the northern end of Dort Hwy through downtown Mount Morris and into downtown Flint, then turn easterly along with the proposed BUS M-21 routing via E Court St to a terminus at Dort Hwy (proposed to be M-83). The southern portion of what became BUS M-54 along S Saginaw St from downtown Flint to Dort Hwy near Grand Blanc was to have been turned back to municipal and county control under the plans from 1960. In the end, most of the former US-10 route in Genesee Co was given the M-54 designation (and proposed BUS M-83 was designated BUS M-54) instead.
  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 many changes to existing state highway routes during that timeframe, including the following for the route of M-54 (which wouldn't be reconstituted as a state highway routing for nearly two years in the future):
  • Constructing a southerly extension of Dort Hwy leading from Saginaw St south to a new interchange at I-75/US-10 southwest of Grand Blanc. It would take 27 years for this proposal to be implemented, although the original proposal was for an unlimited-access divided highway, while today's M-54/Dort Hwy Extension was constructed as a four- and five-lane, undivided highway in the 1980s.
  • Jurisdictionally transferring what would become BUS M-54 (signed as BUS US-10 in 1960) to local control from M-54/Dort Hwy northwest of Grand Blanc northerly to M-21/Court St in downtown Flint. This proposal would eventually be implemented when BUS M-54 was transfered to local control in the 1980s and 1990s.
History: c.1920 – The first incarnation of M-54 in Michigan begins at M-16 (later US-16) on the west side of Grand Rapids and continues northerly via the present-day M-37 corridor through Sparta, Newaygo, and White Cloud to end at M-20 (now US-10) in Baldwin.
  1926 – The entire 75.5-mile length of M-54 between Grand Rapids and Baldwin becomes a northerly extension of M-37, and the M-54 designation ceases to exit for 12 years.
  1939 (Mid) New!By mid-1939, the route of US-2A leading from US-2/Cloverland Dr southerly and southwesterly into downtown Ironwood and then onward to the Wisconsin state line at the Montreal River, is redesignated and re-signed as M-54.
  1942 (Aug 10–15) Updated – The route of M-54 in Ironwood, which begins at US-2/Cloverland Dr & Douglas Blvd and continues southerly 7½ blocks to Frederick St, southwesterly one block via Frederick to Suffolk St, southeasterly 2 blocks along Suffolk to Aurora St, then southwesterly 4 blocks to a point approximately 125 feet beyond Albany St where it terminates, is redesignated in its entirety as BUS US-2, with new route markers replacing the existing M-54 signs Aug 10–15. Additionally, the remaining 0.3 mile of Aurora St from the previous end of M-54 to Silver St and Silver St westerly to the Montreal River on the Wisconsin state line is added to the BUS US-2 route. This additional 0.3 mile is officially transferred to state control on Aug 17. The new bi-state business route is craeted after an agreement with Wisconsin highway officials results in a completion of the loop from US-2 into downtown Hurley, then northerly back to US-2 via US-51. As such, the second iteration of M-54 comes to an end.
  1962 – With the completion of I-75 south of Flint, US-10 is transferred from its S Saginaw Rd/Dort Hwy/N Saginaw Rd alignment through Genesee Co to run concurrently with I-75. The M-54 designation is reincarnated and applied to the former routing of US-10 from I-75 at Exit 106 south of Grand Blanc northerly to jct M-83 at Clio. From there, M-54 replaces M-83 northerly via Clio and Gera Rds to Birch Run Rd, where both M-54 and M-83 travel west concurrently to I-75/US-10/US-23. In addition, BUS US-10 through downtown Flint via Saginaw St is redesignated as BUS M-54.
  New! 1975 (July 25) – The one block of BUS M-54/Saginaw St between Water St and the Detroit St/First Ave/Saginaw St intersection, including the Flint River bridge, ceases to be a state trunkline highway and is turned back to City control according to MDOT documents for a heretofore unknown reason.
  New! 1978 (Nov 21) – The portion of BUS M-54/Saginaw St from 2nd St north to Water St in downtown Flint ceases to be a state trunkline highway and is turned back to City control according to MDOT documents, even though MDOT highway maps show the continued existence of BUS M-54 through downtown Flint for some time to come.
  1984 – The route of BUS M-54 becomes an unsigned state highway when all BUS M-54 route markers along Saginaw St through Flint are removed.
  1987 – The Dort Hwy Extension is completed south from Hill Rd, west past Grand Blanc, to a new interchange with I-75 at Exit 109. The former alignment of M-54 through Grand Blanc is turned back to local control. A proposed further southerly extension of the Dort Hwy Extension south to Cook Rd is not completed at this time and the highway terminates at the interchange with I-75.
  New! 1993–94 – The land needed to construct the proposed southerly extension of the Dort Hwy Extension (constructed in the 1980s) between I-75 at Exit 109 and the intersection of Cook & McWain Rds just to the south is sold off in two parcels in February 1993 and March 1994. By doing so, MDOT and the Genesee Co Road Commission seem to signal that such an extension is unnecessary.
  c.1990s – In the late-1990s, much of the former route of BUS M-54 (Saginaw St) is turned back to local control. Specifically, the portions of Saginaw St from north of downtown to the intersection with M-54/Dort Hwy north of Mount Morris; and from Atherton St southerly to the intersection with M-54/Dort Hwy northwest of Grand Blanc.
  2002 (June 26) – The remaining portions of OLD BUS M-54 (S Saginaw St) between Atherton St and 2nd St south of downtown Flint are turned back to local control. The highway has not been signed as a state trunkline in nearly twenty years. The only portions of Saginaw St within the City of Flint remaining as state trunkline are the "M-21 Connector" between M-21 and I-69 in downtown and the Thread Creek bridge, which was not relinquished by MDOT.
  New! 2011 (Feb 4) – The final portion of the former route of BUS M-54 in the City of Flint—namely the Thread Creek bridge and its approaches—is abandoned as a state trunkline highway and jurisdictionally transferred to the City of Flint relinquished by MDOT, a total of 0.06 mile of trunline route.
Controlled Access: Freeway: No portion of M-54 is constructed as freeway.
  Expressway: The portion of M-54/Dort Hwy from Hill Rd southerly to I-75 is a limited-access, two-lane expressway. (3.0 miles)
NHS: The segment of M-54 from its southern terminus at I-75 at Exit 109 (west of Grand Blanc) to M-57 east of Clio is on the National Highway System (NHS). (28 miles)
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