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M-61
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Western Terminus:    M-140 approximately 2.5 miles east of downtown Eau Claire
Southern Terminus:   Indiana state line (connection w/IN SR-23), 3 miles south of Edwardsburg
Length: Updated 28.328 miles
Maps: Route Map of M-62
Notes: M-62 arcs from being an east-west highway between Eau Claire and La Grange to a north-south highway between La Grange and the Indiana state line.
  A four-mile westerly extension of M-62 from downtown Eau Claire to US-31 (present-day M-139) at Linco Rd was proposed. At that time (and up until 2003), the next St Joseph River crossings in either direction were US-31 (present-day OLD US-31) at Berrien Springs upstream and M-139 (formerly US-31) north of Scottdale. This proposal would explain the 1930-to-1957 stub of M-62 which extended west of M-140 into Eau Claire. The extension would have consisted largely of new highway. Ironically, the new US-31 St Joseph River crossing just north of the current end of the freeway at Berrien Springs, opened in 2003, crosses the river less than ½-mile upstream from the long-ago proposed M-62 crossing.
  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 a couple changes to M-62 during that timeframe, including:
  • Converting the existing route of M-62 between the Indiana state line and the southern limit of the Village of Edwardsburg to a four-lane divided highway. This proposal was never implemented.
  • Converting the existing route of M-62 between the northern limit of the Village of Edwardsburg and the southern limit of the Village of Cassopolis to a four-lane divided highway. Similarly, this proposal was also never implemented.
History: 1913 (Oct 2) New! – An 18.5-mile new state trunkline route is officially determined in Cass Co, beginning at the Indiana state line southwest of Edwardsburg and continuing north along Conrad Rd to present-day US-12, then east-northeasterly via present-day US-12 to Edwardsburg where it turns northeasterly and northerly via present-day M-62 to the southern limits of the Village of Cassopolis. Then from the village limits at the northwestern corner of Cassopolis, the newly-determined trunkline route runs generally along the present-day route of M-62 through Lagrange to the eastern limits of the City of Dowagiac. This new trunkline is designated as T.L. 62.
  1916 (Mar 28) New! – T.L. 62 in its entirety is cancelled as a state trunkline route, but is simultaneously re-determined with two changes. T.L. 62 now begins at the Indiana state line southeast of Edwardsburg and continues northwesterly along Elkhart Rd to the eastern limits of the Village of Edwardsburg. T.L. 62 re-starts again at the northern Edwardsburg village limits and continues along its 1913–1916 route to Cassopolis. The Cassopolis-to-Dowagiac segment is identical to the 1913 version. (Why the State Highway Dept cancelled the entire trunkline rather than just the portions superceeded by other segments is unclear.)
  1919 (July 1) New! – T.L. 62 is signed in the field as M-62 as all state trunkline highways in Michigan are signed with route markers. Gaps in the route within Edwardsburg, Cassopolis and Dowagiac are signed as M-62 but is not officially under state jurisdiction.
  1919 (Dec 17) New! – Most of the signed route of M-62 through the Village of Cassopolis is officially determined as state trunkline, with the exception of one block of Broadway St downtown. From the southern village limit, the now-state-controlled route of M-62 follows O'Keefe St northerly, South St westerly, then northerly via Broadway St (concurrently with M-60) to Jefferson St. There, M-62 continues northerly for one block as a city-maintained street. State control now resumes at State St (northern jct with M-60) and continues to the western limits of Cassopolis.
  1923 (May 18) Updated – M-62 is realigned from Edwardsburg southerly as the present-day route of the highway is assumed into the state trunkline system between the state line and the northern limits of the village of Edwardsburg (3.0 miles). This realignment facilitates a connection with what would become Indiana SR-23 in the future. The former 2.7 mile route of M-62 southeasterly from Edwardsburg along Elkhard Rd is turned back to county control.
  1923 (Oct 23) New! – The route of M-62 in the southern part of Cassopolis is rerouted when Reid St from O'Keefe St westerly to Broadway St and Broadway from Reid northerly to South St is transferred to state control. (M-60—recently extended southwesterly from Cassopolis to Niles is concurrently designated along the portion of Broadway St.) The former route along O'Keefe St from Reid St to South St and via South St from O'Keefe to Broadway is turned back to village jurisdiction.
  1925 (Oct 5) New! – Most of the signed route of M-62 into the City of Dowagiac is officially determined as state trunkline, with the exception of two blocks of Division St downtown. From the eastern village limit, the now-state-controlled route of M-62 follows Division St westerly to the New York Central RR crossing. There, M-62 continues westerly for two blocks as a city-maintained street to its terminus at M-40 (present-day M-51) at Front St.
  1930 (Dec 2) Updated – An 13.8-mile long state trunkline route is determined beginning in Cass Co at M-40 (present-day M-51) on the west side of Dowagiac and continuing westerly into Berrien Co, through the Village of Eau Claire and to a terminus at US-31 (present-day M-139) between Berrien Springs and Scottdale. From Laberdy Rd westerly across the St Joseph River to US-31, no roadway exists and the trunkline route itself is not signed west of Hochberger Rd just west of Eau Claire. The State Highway Dept plans to construct a crossing at the St Joseph River to complete the physical highway in the future.
  1931New! – Act 131 of 1931—the Dykstra Act—is passed allowing the State Highway Dept to take over control of state highways running into and through incorporated cities, thereby officially incorporating them as state trunkline highways. The following segments of formerly city-controlled streets are assumed into the system as part of M-62:
  • The one-block (0.1-mile) portion of Broadway in downtown Cassopolis between Jefferson St and State St (as concurrent M-60/M-62).
  • ¾ mile of Main St (Lowe St to Front St), Front St (Main St to Division St), and Division St (Front St to New York Central RR) in Dowagiac. The portions along Main and Front Sts are concurrent with M-40.
  c.1945-46 – A paving and "straightening" project begun before World War II is completed. The project involves the hard-surfacing of the last eight gravel-surfaced miles of M-62, between Cassopolis and Dowagiac. Some sharp curves are "smoothed" out and about one mile is shaved from the route.
  1948–49 – The 4 miles of M-62 from M-40 at Dowagiac to Indian Lake Rd west of Dowagiac shows up as "gravel-surfaced" on Michigan official highway maps from 1948 into 1949. This portion of the route is re-hard-surfaced by the end of 1949. This is actually not a totally uncommon experience in Michigan in the late-1940s. During the World War II when materials were in short supply, many hard-surfaced roads were not maintained very well, and after the War, there were so many paved highways in bad shape, the State Highway Dept had a tough time resurfacing them all.
  1949 (Nov 4) New! – All of the officially-determined trunkline route of M-62 from downtown Eau Claire at Pipestone Rd (present-day Old Pipestone Rd) westerly to US-31/US-33 is cancelled. Main St from Pipestone Rd westerly to Hochberger Rd and Staley Rd from Hochberger to Laberdy Rd is turned back to local control, while the remainder of the never-built route would remain forever unbuilt.
  1950–53 – The 5 miles of M-62 from Indian Lake Rd west of Dowagiac into Eau Claire show up as "gravel-surfaced" on Michigan official highway maps beginning in 1950. Most of this segment is re-surfaced by 1952, with the remainder done in 1953. (Same explanation as 1948–49 note above.)
  1957 (June 24) Updated – The 2.1-mile segment of Main St from Pipestone Rd (present-day Old Pipestone Rd) in downtown Eau Claire easterly to the eastern jct with M-140 east of Eau Claire is turned back to village and county jurisdiction. This includes the ¾-mile concurrent portion with M-140, presumably due to State Highway Dept plans to realign M-140 starting at the eastern jct with M-62 and continuing southerly toward Niles. For the time being, M-140 remains signed along the former joint route of M-62/M-140 as a "Marked & Maintained Route" that is technically a county roadway being temporarily used as a state trunkline. (As the M-140 south realignment would never occur, the segment of former M-62/M-140 would be officially re-determined as a state trunkline as just M-140 five years later.) At this point, M-62 takes on its present-day western terminus.
  1980 (June 18) – Realignments in eastern Berrien Co and northwestern Cass Co shorten the length of the highway and remove some sharper turns along the route. Beginning approximately 1½ miles east of the highway's western terminus at M-140, M-62 turns southeasterly between Pucker and Clawson Rds before turning easterly again to meet up with the existing portion at Brush Lake Rd on the Berrien/Cass Co line. (Interestingly, an earlier survey proposed a similar realignment for M-62 here, but much closer to its former alignment along the shores of Brush Lake.) Again ¾ mile east of Brush Lake Rd, M-62 is again relocated onto new alignment from Indian Lake Rd to just west of Sink Rd, removing two sharp turns from the route. In both cases, the former route is turned back to local control.
  1990 (Oct 8) New! – The route of M-51/M-62 through downtown Dowagiac is realigned when the portion of Division St between Main St and Front St is assumed into the state trunkline system, while the former route along Main St (from Division St to Front St) and Front St (from Main St to Division St) is turned back to city control. The realignment results in a shorter and more direct route for both trunklines. The intersection of Main St & Division St is also reconfigured to favor the through trunkline route, requiring eastbound Main St traffic at Division St to make a 90° turn to continue into downtown via Main St.
Controlled Access: No portion of M-62 is freeway or expressway.
NHS: None of M-62 is on the National Highway System (NHS).
Continue on: SR-23 into Indiana – via the Indiana Highway Ends website
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