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M-56
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Western Terminus:    US-131 at Exit 101 three miles south of Cedar Springs
Eastern Terminus:    M-15 just north of Otisville (cnr Vienna Rd & State Rd)
Length: Updated 105.376 miles
Maps: Route Map of M-57
Notes: For many years, long-range plans are to extend M-57 east of M-15 to a connection with M-90 in northern Lapeer Co. However, this extension has merely been "a line on a map" and no concrete plans have been made to actually construct this highway.
  A portion of M-57 in Gratiot and Saginaw Counties was once voted the "Second Most Boring Highway in Michigan" by one of the major Detroit daily newspapers, ranking only behind a desolate stretch of M-28 in the central UP. Basically, M-57 was considered the most boring state highway in the entire Lower Peninsula!
  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 some changes to M-57 during that timeframe, including:
  • As M-57 began at M-37 in Kent City at the time these maps were made and continued easterly to Cedar Springs, southerly with US-131, then easterly along its present-day alignment, the plans were to run M-57 concurrently with a proposed US-131 freeway that actually ran east of the existing US-131 and east of Cedar Springs. Thus, M-57 was proposed to turn northerly with the proposed US-131 freeway in the vicinity of Ritchie Ave for 3 miles before turning westerly via 17 Mile Rd/Muskegon St through Cedar Springs back to its previous route.
  • An angling "cut-off" eliminating two 90º turns in extreme southwestern Saginaw Co was proposed, although that modification had been made in 1959, a year before the planning maps were issued!
History: 1915 (Aug 28) New! – A 4.3 mile stretch of state trunkline highway is determined in Charlevoix Co, running from the Boyne River bridge along present-day M-75 then northwesterly to the eastern limits of the City of Boyne City and is designated as part of T.L. 57 (later signed as M-57). A 0.2-mile gap in the highway route exists between the eastern end of T.L. 57 and T.L. 13 (later M-13, then M-131, now US-131) in downtown Boyne Falls.
  1919 New! – T.L. 57 is signed in the field as M-57 as all state trunkline highways in Michigan are signed with route markers.
  1919 (Dec 18) New! – Two "in-town" extensions to the route of M-57 are added in both Boyne City and Boyne Falls:
  • In Boyne Falls, M-57 is extended for 0.2 mile from the Boyne River bridge (the western village limit) easterly to a terminus at M-13 (later M-131, then US-131) at the corner of Railroad St & Mill St.
  • In Boyne City, M-57 is extended into and through the city following the present-day route of M-75 along Boyne Ave northwesterly to East St, northerly via East St for two blocks to State St, then easterly for approximately a mile along State St to the eastern city limit where it now terminates.
  1920 (Apr 4) New! – An 8.0-mile segment of state trunkline highway is determined (added to the system) from the terminus of M-57 on the eastern boundary of the City of Boyne City then northeasterly via State Rd (part of which is present-day Old 75 and South Shore Dr) to a terminus at M-13 (later M-131 and then US-131) at the corner of Springvale Rd & RIver Rd south of Clarion, east of the community of Walloon Lake.
  1926 – The entirety of M-57 is redesignated as M-75. Ironically, the individual numerals on the route markers don't change... they just switch places! (5–7 to 7–5)
  1930 – A second iteration of M-57 is created from the route of M-85 and the northern portion of M-43. All of M-85 is redesignated as M-57 from M-66 (present-day M-91) just south of Langston to the former M-43 (which becomes M-14, present-day M-66) in Stanton. From Stanton easterly, the former M-43 is redesignated as M-57 through Ithaca, ending at M-47 (present-day M-52) in St Charles.
  1935 (Oct 22) New! – Heading westerly from its eastern terminus at St Charles in Saginaw Co, the alignment of M-57 is modified when a new 12.7-mile trunkline routing is determined. Beginning at M-47/Saginaw St (now M-52) north of downtown St Charles, the new M-57 route continues westerly via North St, then north via Beaver Rd, west again via Townline Rd to Chapin Rd, north via Chapin to Grabowski Rd, then westerly along Grabowski Rd to Merril Rd, southerly via Merrill Rd back to the previous route at Ithaca Rd. The former alignment from St Charles westerly via Spruce St and Ithaca Rd to Merrill Rd is turned back to local control.
  1936 (Feb 20) New! – The first of two major route relocations occurs that will eventually move the entire M-57 corridor to the south by approximately 8 miles, running parellel to the existing alignment. The 24.5-mile portion of M-57 from St Charles in Saginaw Co to US-27 east of Ithaca in Gratiot Co is turned back to local control. Simultaneously, a 23.2 mile route is assumed into the trunkline system beginning at 4th St on the west side of Chesaning and continuing westerly via Brady Rd, then sputherly along Chapin Rd, westerly on Peet Rd, then a short northerly jog at Meridian Rd, before turning westerly into Gratiot Co and continuing along Cleveland Rd to US-27 (now US-127). From there, M-57 then runs concurrently for 8 miles with US-27 back to its former alignment at Ithaca. While the new trunkline route is more than a mile shorter than the one transferred to local control, the overall route of M-57 actually grows by 7 miles, due to the (temporary) 8-mile concurrency with US-27 to connect the new and old portions of M-57 with each other.
  1937 (Dec 27) New! – The second of the two major M-57 route relocations occur when a new M-57 trunkline routing is determined beginning at the US-27 & M-57 junction in southern Gratiot Co and proceeds westerly for 36.6 miles through Carson City to M-66 (present-day M-91) on the south side of Greenville. M-57 turns northerly with M-91 into downtown Greenville where it then turns westerly again for an additional 15.1 new trunkline route miles to its new terminus at US-131 three miles south of Cedar Springs. The former route of M-57 along Washington Rd (Gratiot Co) and Stanton Rd (Montcalm Co) from Ithaca to M-66 (present-day M-91) south of Langston is turned back to local control, while the portion formerly concurrent with US-27 from Ithaca, southerly, for almost two years retains the US-27 designation.
  1937 (Dec 29) New! – Just two days after the major trunkline relocation noted above, a 20.6-mile segment of state trunkline highway is determined and assumed into the system as an easterly extension of M-57. Beginning at the corner of Peet Rd & Front St-Sharon Rd on the southern limit of the Village of Chesaning, the new route continues easterly on an unbuilt alignment across the Shiawassee River to S Main St-Corunna Rd, where the route picks up on the existing Peet Rd and continues easterly to M-13. There, the newly-determined M-57 continues easterly for another 10.9 miles via Vienna Rd through downtown Clio, ending at US-10/US-23/Saginaw Rd east of Clio.

Interestingly, the state trunkline route through the Village of Chesaning—south from Brady Rd via Fourth St, east along Broad St into downtown, then southerly via Front St to Peet Rd—was turned back to local control just four months prior on August 30, 1937 when a new route for M-47 [now M-52] was determined running west of the village. Technically, M-57 now exists in two segments, one from Brady Rd & Fourth St in Chesaning westerly, the other from Peet Rd & S Front St-Sharon Rd easterly, of which the first 0.5 mile does not exist as a constructed roadway! This gap would be rectified a little over 11 months later.
  1938 (Dec 6) New! – Almost a year after M-57 was extended easterly from Chesaning through Montrose to Clio, the 1.7-mile gap in the state trunkline route through the Village of Chesaning that was created earlier in 1937 when M-47 (,now M-52) was realigned to the west of the village, when that 1.7 miles—south from Brady Rd via Fourth St, east along Broad St into downtown, then southerly via Front St to Peet Rd—was re-assumed into the state trunkline system. A gap in the physical route of M-57 still exists, though, as no bridge spans the Shiawassee River on the line of Peet Rd between S Front St-Sharon Rd and S Main St-Courunna Rd on the southern edge of Chesaning.
  1939 (July 13) New! – The final gap in the route of M-57 at Chesaning is rectified when the portion of Front St from Broad St downtown southerly to Peet Rd on the southern village limit as well as the unbuilt alignment from that point easterly across the Shiawassee River to the intersection of Peet Rd & S Main St-Corunna Rd is cancelled as a state trunkline. Front St is turned back to local control. A new 1.0-mile state trunkline highway route is simultaneously assumed into the system beginning at Broad St & Front St downtown, continuing easterly via Broad St across the Shiawassee River to Main St, then southerly via Main St back to the existing M-57 at Peet Rd.
  1941 (May 14) Updated – M-57 is extended east of US-10/US-23 along Vienna Rd on a newly-determined state trunkline route for an additional 5.8 miles, terminating at Belsay Rd, approximately 7 miles east of Clio.
  1945 (June 26) Updated – The routing of M-57 is extended easterly once again—in two ways! First, a new state trunkline route is determined (added to the system) along Vienna Rd from the eastern terminus of M-57 at Belsay Rd east of Clio to Irish Rd, then continuing easterly as a proposed new highway alignment to M-15/State Rd north of Otisville. Second, as the officially determined route does not completely physically exist, a temporary "marked-and-maintained" route is signed heading southerly from Vienna Rd along Belsay Rd for one mile, then easterly via Wilson Rd into downtown Otisville at M-15/State St.
  1948? (Sept 16) Updated – M-57 is extended northerly and westerly from its western terminus; first northerly for 3 miles concurrently with US-131 into Cedar Springs, then westerly for 10½ miles via 17 Mile Rd to terminate at M-37 in Kent City. While the Official Highway Map clearly shows this extension starting in 1948 onward, the official State Highway Dept Trunkline Determination Maps clearly show the Cedar Spring-to-Kent City segment as being determined as a state trunkline highway route on September 16, 1958—ten years later! As other official State Highway Dept maps show this segment prior to 1958, this segment may have been inadvertently overlooked for a decade, only to be officially assumed into the system in 1958, or it could have been "marked-and-maintained" (usually a sign of a temporary routing) for its first ten years, or the Determination Maps may be in error and this segment was, indeed, officially added in 1948.
  1950 (Nov 3) New! – A new 1.39-mile realignment of M-57 in the City of Greenville is determined as a state trunkline route, beginning just east of the present day intersection with Industrial Park Dr & Fairplains St and curving northerly then back westerly onto Washington St, proceeding into downtown Greenville back to its existing route at M-91. The former route along Fairplains St from the new alignment westerly to M-91/S Lafayette St is retained as an unsigned state trunkline route for the time being.
  1951 (July 2) New! – The 1.2-mile segment of the former M-57 route along Fairplains St in the southern portion of Greenville from M-57 on the east to M-91/S Lafayette Ave on the west is officially transferred to city control. This segment was bypassed in 1950 by a new alignment to the north.
  1956 (Mar 26) Updated – Two new segments of state trunkline highway route are assumed into the system in Montcalm Co between Greenville and M-66 south of Sheridan, shortening the route of M-57 by a total of 1.35 miles:
  • From Carson City Rd & Miller Rd east of Greenville, M-57 formerly turned southerly via Miller, then ran easterly along Boyer Rd to Derby Rd, then northerly via Derby back to Carson City Rd. This 3.0-mile alignment is turned back to county control as a new, more direct 2.02-mile alignment along Carson City Rd is officially determined as a state trunkline highway.
  • Just to the east, from the intersection of Carson City Rd & Nelson Rd, M-57 formerly continued due easterly via Nelson to Holland Rd, then northerly along Holland Rd back to Carson City Rd. This 1.5-mile route is transferred to county control as a new, more direct 1.14-mile angling route is assumed into the state trunkline system.
  c.1957 Updated – The easterly extension of the route of M-57 in northern Genesee Co officially determined as a state trunkline route is physically constructed and opens to traffic between Belsay Rd and M-15/State Rd just north of Otisville. The formerly signed route along Belsay Rd between Vienna and Wilson Rds and via Wilson Rd easterly from Belsay Rd was only a "marked-and-maintained" route that was never officially a state trunkline route and remains under county control.
  1957 (June 17)New! – The two 90° turns in the route of M-57 on the west side of Chesaning are bypassed when a new sweeping 0.2-mile long S-curve alignment is constructed and assumed into the state trunkline highway system joining Broad St and Brady Rd in the area of Fourth St. The former 0.3-mile long alignment along Broad St, Fourth St and Brady Rd is turned back to village control.
  1959 (Nov 20) Updated – The last four 90° curves in the route of M-57 in southwestern Saginaw Co are removed with a short, 2.2-mile realignment of M-57. The former 3.5-mile route along Meridian Rd from Brady Rd to Peet Rd, easterly via Peet Rd from Meridian to Merrill Rd, and along Merrill Rd from Peet back to Brady, is turned back to county control. In conjunction with this realignment, the final 7 miles of gravel-surfaced M-57 (southeastern Gratiot and southwestern Saginaw Cos) is paved.
  1962 (Nov 15) Updated – With the completion of the M-37 "bypass" of Sparta, Kent City and Casnovia, a ½-mile westerly extension of the route of M-57 along 17 Mile Rd west of Kent City to meet the new routing of M-37 is offically assumed into the state highway system.
  1966 (Nov 15) New! – The portion of M-57 along 14 Mile Rd between Podunk Rd and Montcalm Ave in northeastern Kent Co is cancelled as a state trunkline highway (with the non-obliterated parts transferred to county control as Old 14 Mile Rd) when a new alignment route for M-57 is officially assumed into the state trunkline system running farther to the south, eliminating several sharp turns in the highway route.
  1968 (Nov 1) New! – In conjunction with the northerly extension of the US-131 freeway north of Grand Rapids, the 1¼ miles of M-57 from Tefft Ave westerly to existing US-131/Northland Dr is cancelled as a state trunkline highway (the portion west of Ritchie Ave turned back to county control). A new alignment is assumed as a state trunkline highway routing, arching to the north of the former alignment, crossing existing US-131/Northland Dr between 14 Mile Rd and Russell St, continuing for an additional 1½ miles to an interchange with the new US-131 freeway. It is assumed the M-57 designation terminates at Northland Dr, while the remainder of the 14 Mile Rd alignment from there westerly to the new freeway is temporarily designated as US-131 until the freeway is extended farther to the north in five more years.
  1973 (Sept 21) Updated – The US-131 freeway in northern Kent and western Montcalm Counties is completed, and M-46 is rerouted to run via the westernmost 10 miles of M-57 (along 17 Mile Rd) from Kent City to the new US-131 freeway at Cedar Springs. The M-57 designation is removed from the 17 Mile Rd alignment and the concurrent US-131/M-57 routing along Northland Dr, and extended westerly for 1½ miles via 14 Mile Rd to a new western terminus at the US-131 freeway. The former M-57 along 17 Mile Rd- Muskegon St in Cedar Springs and along Northland Dr between Cedar Springs and 14 Mile Rd are retained as unsigned state trunkline routes for the time being.
Controlled Access: No portion of M-57 is freeway or expressway.
NHS: The portion of M-57 from I-75/US-23 at Exit 131 west of Clio to M-54/Saginaw St east of Clio is on the National Highway System.
Photographs:  
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