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M-77
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M-79
Western Terminus:    M-66 four miles south of Assyria (7 miles north of Battle Creek)
Eastern Terminus:    I-69 at Exit 48 near Olivet
Length: Updated 10.744 miles
Maps: Route Map of M-78
Notes: Updated M-78 was once one of Michigan's longer highways, beginning at the Indiana state line south of Sturgis (M-66's current southern terminus) and ending at Davison, east of Flint. Over the years, M-66 (in 1965) and I-69 (and TEMPORARY I-69 in 1974) have replaced segments of this highway so that it is only a shadow of its former self. At its longest length at any one given moment, M-78 was 147 miles long, or 13-2/3 times longer than it is today.
  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-78 during that timeframe, including:
  • Converting exisiting M-78 (present-day M-66) from the south limits of Sturgis in southeastern Saint Joseph Co southerly to the Indiana state line to a divided highway. This proposal was never acted upon.
  • Completion of the long-proposed realignment of M-78 from M-86 west of Colon in eastern Saint Joseph Co due northerly to M-60 east of Mendon, with the former ("Marked & Maintained") route from Colon to M-60 south of Athens cancelled as a state trunkline route. This realignment had been assumed into the state trunkline highway system in the 1930s and, technically, it was completed and opened to traffic in 1965, but not as a realignment of M-78, but rather as a part of the M-66 extension. The former "Marked & Maintained" segment of M-78 from Colon northeasterly past Sherwood to M-60 was, indeed, cancelled as a state highway route.
  • Converting the M-60/M-78 route from the proposed M-78 realignment (present-day M-66) east of Mendon northeasterly to existing M-78 (present-day M-66) south of Athens to a divided highway, largely on the existing alignment except for a new alignment cut-off through the Kings Mill area from just east of the proposed M-78 realignment to just northeast of Leonidas. This proposal never came to fruition.
  • Construction of a new divided highway alignment for M-78 from the I-94 & I-194 interchange south of Battle Creek southerly to F Drive South, with the old alignment turned back to local control. A two-lane undivided limited-access highway was constructed along this alignment, but upon its completion became part of the southerly M-66 extension instead.
  • Conversion of the existing route of M-78 (present-day M-66) from Emmett St in Battle Creek northeasterly to the M-66 jct northwest of Pennfield, then easterly for approximately one mile to the beginning of a proposed freeway segment. None of this proposal was ever enacted.
  • Construction of an M-78 freeway beginning at approximately 10 Mile Rd in northern Pennfield Twp (north of Pennfield in Calhoun Co) and continuing northeasterly to the southeast of the existing M-78 alignment avoiding passing through Barry Co, then bending easterly bypassing Bellevue in Eaton Co to the south with interchanges at Sand Rd and Ionia Rd, then heading easterly parallelling Butterfield Hwy just to the south before a freeway-to-freeway interchange with the US-27 (now I-69) freeway near Olivet. This proposal was never implemented.
  • Construction of a freeway in the US-27 corridor through Eaton Co bypassing Olivet, Charlotte and Potterville, merging into I-96 southwest of Lansing at the exact location I-69 would eventually meet up with I-96 thirty years later. M-78 was proposed to run concurrently with US-27 along this freeway. The former route of M-78 from Bellevue to Charlotte and from Charlotte into Lansing was proposed to be turned back to local control. While the I-69/US-27 freeway was constructed (more or less) on the general alignment proposed (except between Charlotte and east of Potterville, where the proposed alignment ran north of Potterville), M-78 was only ever signed along the Olivet-to-Charlottle segment and, even then, only for a few years until it was truncated back to Olivet. So, this proposal effectively came to fruition, but with slightly different end results.
  • Construction of an M-78 freeway from a proposed US-127 freeway northeast of Lansing (from roughly the location of the I-69 & US-127 interchange today) easterly past Bath back to the existing M-78 route at the Clinton/Shiawassee Co line, with the former route of M-78 along Saginaw St/Lansing Rd from US-127 northeasterly turned back to local control. The I-69 freeway was eventually constructed generally along this route in the 1980s, however the planning maps did not indicate what the route of M-78 was to have been through the greater Lansing area, although one could assume it would follow the route of what became I-69 in later decades. As such, this proposal was acted upon, but as part of I-69 instead of M-78.
  • Construction of an M-78 freeway generally along the alignment of present-day I-69 from the Clinton/Shiawassee Co line between Lansing and Perry northeasterly past Bancroft and Durand, then easterly past Swartz Creek to Flint. At the I-75/US-23 interchange, a separate M-21 freeway was proposed to merge in from the northwest, and then continue easterly through the Flint area (on a more southerly alignment of present-day I-69), meaning M-78 would have terminated at I-75/US-23. This proposal was effectively enacted, but as part of I-69 instead of M-78.
History: 1920 (Aug 26) New! While official State Highway Dept maps showing a route for M-78 running from M-79 (present-day M-66) at Burleigh Corners (north of Pennfield and northeast of Battle Creek) northeasterly through Bellevue to M-29 (later US-27, now BL I-69) in Charlotte, existed as early as 1919, the first segment of M-78 was not officially determined as a state trunkline route until 1920. An 11.71-mile long state trunkline route is officially determined in Calhoun, Barry and Eaton Cos beginning at the Battle Creek city limit at the cnr of Capital Ave & Park Ave and proceeding northerly and northeasterly via Capital Ave, present-day M-78, and Battle Creek Hwy to the western village limit of Bellevue. However, the southernmost 5.2 miles of the trunkline route is actually designated as part of M-79, while the remainder, ironically traveling along a highway designated today as M-78, is given the designation of M-78.
      Additionally, official State Highway Dept maps issued to the driving public depict M-78 as continuing easterly from Bellevue to a terminus at M-29 (later US-27) on the southern edge of Olivet. It is assumed this is a "Marked and Maintained" trunkline route, as it does not appear on the official trunkline determination maps as ever having been officially determined and the State Highway Dept already has planned on M-78 continuing northeasterly from Bellevue to Charlotte. This routing headed south from downtown Bellevue for one block via Main St, then easterly along Caroline St for two blocks before picking up Olivet Rd-Greenfield Hwy and continuing easterly along present-day Butterfield Hwy to M-29/Marshall Rd-Main St on the southern edge of Olivet.
  1922 (May 16) Updated A 12.5-mile long state trunkline route is determined directly from Bellevue to Charlotte in Eaton Co. Beginning at the northern village limit of Bellevue, the new route continues northerly for ½ mile via Ionia Rd, easterly along Cronk Rd for 2¼ miles, northeasterly along Battle Creek Rd for 9 miles to the Charlotte city limit, then northeasterly along State St for 0.8 mile, and easterly via Lovett St for 500 ft to Pearl St. The signed route for M-78 then followed Lovett St easterly from Pearl St for four more blocks to its terminus at M-29/Cochran Ave in downtown Chartlotte. Additionally, the signed route through Bellevue continues easterly from the eastern village limit via Capital Ave into downtown, then turns northerly via Main St to meet with the newly-designated trunkline routing toward Charlotte. The signed M-78 route from Bellevue easterly to Olivet, which was never officially determined as a trunkline routing, has its M-78 markers removed.
  1927 (May 19) Updated M-78 pushes closer toward Flint with a 45-mile extension through Lansing and then toward central Shiawassee Co. A 19.2-mile long state trunkline highway route is officially assumed into the system beginning in downtown DeWitt at the cnr of Bridge St & Main St and continues easterly via Main St, then northeasterly out of DeWitt along Round Lake Rd all the way to the Clinton/Shiawassee Co line at Laingsburg. From there, the route continues easterly along Grand River Rd through Laingsburg to M-47 (present-day M-52) at Pittsburg, south of Owosso. This new trunkline route is designated as part of M-78. To fill the gap between the existing and newly-determined M-78 segments, the M-78 designation is added to run concurrently with US-27 from downtown Charlotte northeasterly through Potterville and into Lansing, then northerly to DeWitt.
  1927 (June 6) New! The officially-determined route of M-78 in Charlotte is modified when the 0.2 mile segment along State St from Lincoln St northeasterly to Lovett St and along Levett St from State St to Pearl St is turned back to local control. Simultaneously, 0.3 mile of new state trunkline mileage is determined running northerly from State St for two blocks along Lincoln Ave, then easterly via Lawrence Ave for about one block, ending at the Grand Trunk Western Railroad. The remaining 0.3 mile (4½ blocks) of Lawrence St between the railroad and M-29/Cochran Ave is signed as part of M-78, but it city-maintained.
  1927 (June 27) New! A major southerly extension of M-78 occurs when 15.8 miles of new state trunkline mileage is determined along a route beginning along Capital Ave south of Battle Creek at Goguac Lake (approximately ½ mile south of Columbia Ave) and continuing southerly passing to the east of East Leroy, through downtown Athens and to the Calhoun/Branch Co line just south of Athens. This new segment of trunkline is designated as part of M-78 as is the portion of M-79 from the jct with existing M-78 at Burleigh Corners (northwest of Pennfield) southerly to the northern city limit of Battle Creek at Park Ave. City-maintained Capital Ave from Park Ave southerly through central Battle Creek to Goguac Lake is signed as part of M-78, but remains under city jurisdiction. Thus, M-79 is shortened by about 7½ miles (to end at M-78), while the officially determined length of M-78 is increased by 25.5 miles total.
      While officially determined as a state trunkline south from Battle Creek to the Calhoun/Branch Co line, the signed route of M-78 is further extended along a mixture of county and municipal roadways for an additional 29¾ miles to the Indiana state line south of Sturgis. This "non-determined" extension, as depicted on official state highway maps, runs southerly from the Calhoun/Branch Co line via Athens Rd, then southwesterly past Sherwood along Dunks Rd, southerly on Culver Rd, and westerly via Wattles Rd to Colon. In Colon, the signed route of M-78 turns southerly via Burr Oak Rd, westerly and southerly along Dallas St, northwesterly via State St, southwesterly on Main St, and westerly via South St-Centerville Rd. From Colon, M-78 continues westerly via Spring Creek Rd, southerly along Fairfax Rd, westerly again via Mountain Rd, southerly on Lepley Rd, westerly along Marvin Rd, then southerly along the present-day M-66 corridor into Sturgis, where it turned westerly with US-112/Chicago Rd (present-day US-12), then southerly again Centerville Rd to the Indiana state line.
  1927 (June 30) New! The 0.3-mile segment of Main St in western Lansing from Middle St easterly to Logan St is officially assumed into the state highway system as part of US-27/M-78. The remainder of the route of US-27/M-78 through Lansing remains along the following municipally-maintained streets: Main St easterly from Logan St to Washington Ave, northerly along Washington Ave to Kalamazoo St, easterly via Kalamazoo St to Larch St, northerly along Larch St to North St where the state-maintained trunkline re-commences.
  1928 (July 13) New! A 2.0-mile long segment of trunkline is officially determined as a realignment of M-78 from downtown Bellevue easterly via Capital Ave and northeasterly from Bellevue along Battle Creek Rd to the existing route of M-78 at Cronk Hwy. The former route along Ionia Rd and Cronk Hwy is turned back to local control, while the village-maintained segment of Main St from Capital Ave northerly to the village limit in Bellevue has its M-78 markers removed.
  1928 (Aug 2) New! The 0.8 mile of Athens Rd from M-60/Mendon Rd northerly to the Branch/Calhoun Co line (at the southern end of the officially-determined segment of M-78 designated over a year earlier in 1928) is assumed into the state trunkline system. This segment has been signed for at least a year at this point.
  1929 (Apr 30) New! The 2.5 miles of the already-signed route of M-78 from US-112/Chicago Rd on the west side of Sturgis in Saint Joseph Co southerly to the Indiana state line is officially determined as a state trunkline route. This segment has been signed for approximately two years at this point.
  1929 (Dec 6) New! The 7.7 miles of the already-signed route of M-78 from the northern city limit of Sturgis in Saint Joseph Co northerly to Bonham Rd two miles east of Nottawa is officially determined as a state trunkline route. This segment has been signed for approximately 2½ years at this point.
  1929 (Dec 2) Updated The M-78 designation is removed from the Lansing–De Witt–Laingsburg–Pittsburg routing, with the concurrent US-27/M-78 designation north of Saginaw St in Lansing reverting to just US-27. The De Witt–Laingsburg–Pittsburg trunkline is redesignated as M-104, including the short spur west of US-27 into downtown De Witt. M-78 is, instead, relocated to a new 2-mile long route from Lansing to the western city limit of East Lansing. From US-27/Larch St, M-78 turns easterly for 0.3 miles along municipally-maintained Saginaw St to Pennsylvania Ave. From there, 1.7 miles of Saginaw St between Pennsylvania Ave and US-16/Grand River Ave near the East Lansing city limit is assumed into the state trunkline highway system and designated as an extension of M-78.
  1930 (Jan 16) Updated A 2.6-mile long state trunkline highway extension is officially determined along Saginaw St from US-16/Grand River Ave near the western East Lansing city limit easterly to Haslett Rd, then continues easterly via Haslett Rd to Merritt Rd at the eastern city limit of East Lansing. The M-78 designation is extended along this new trunkline, terminating at the present-day cnr of Haslett Rd & Merritt Rd.
  1931 (Feb 17) Updated – Two segments of an M-78 route extension from the Lansing area toward Flint are officially determined, although one segment would not open to traffic until later in the year, while it would be more than two years until the second segment would be completed:
  • The first 8.32-mile long segment begins at M-71/Durand Rd north of Durand in Shiawassee Co and continues easterly and northeasterly via a mostly newly-built alignment along Lansing Rd to just east of the Shiawassee/Genesee Co line. From there, it turns due easterly along Miller Rd to the western limit of Swartz Creek at Fairchild St. This segment of highway likely opens to traffic in Summer or Fall 1931. An additional 7.9 miles of (county- and city-maintained) Miller Rd is signed as part of M-78 from Fairchild St in Swartz Creek easterly and northeasterly to M-21/Court St in Flint. This segment will be officially determined as part of the trunkline route a year later.
  • The second 13.75-mile long segment of officially-determined M-78 begins at the end of the existing trunkline at Haslett Rd & Merritt Rd on the north side of East Lansing and continues northeasterly via Merritt Rd to Park Lake Rd and Saginaw St (Ingham Co), present-day Old M-78 (Clinton Co) and Lansing Rd (Shiawassee Co) to M-47 just north of Perry. This segment, however, will not be completed and opened to traffic until 1933.
  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-78:
  • In Sturgis: 0.7 mile of Nottawa St from the north city limit southerly to US-112/Chicago Rd as well as the concurrently designated US-112/M-78 along Chicago Rd from Nottawa St westerly to the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad on the west side of downtown.
  • In Battle Creek: The 4.2-mile through-town route of M-78 along Capital Ave from the end of state jurisdiction at Park Ave at the northern city limit southwesterly, Division St southerly, Fountain St westerly, and Capital Ave southerly to the resumption of state control at Goguac Lake ½ mile south of Columbia Ave.
  • In Bellevue: The 0.6 mile of Capital Ave from the west village limit easterly to Main St downtown where state jurisdiction resumes (from the July 13, 1928 determination).
  • Through Charlotte: The 4½ blocks (0.3 mile) of Lawrence St from the Grand Trunk Western Railroad (where state jurisdiction had previously ended) easterly to US-27 at the cnr of Cochran Ave & Lawrence Ave, then continuing easterly with US-27 for three additional blocks along Lawrence Ave from Cochran Ave to Pleasant St & Lansing Rd and one additional block of Lansing Rd from Lawrence Ave & Pleasant St northeasterly to the resumption of state maintenance at Harris St.
  • In Lansing: The 2.2 mile route of US-27/M-78, running along Main St from Logan St to Washington Ave, Washington Ave from Main St to Kalamazoo St, Kalamazoo St from Washington Ave to Larch St, and Larch St from Kalamazoo St to the jct of US-27 & M-78 at Larch St & Saginaw St. Additionally, the 0.3 mile of Saginaw St from US-27/Larch St easterly to Pennsylvania Ave where state jurisdiction picks back up.
  1932 (Feb 2) New!  A 10.9-mile northeasterly extension of M-78 in Shiawassee Co from M-47 (present-day M-52) on the north side of Perry past Morrice and Bancroft to Newburgh Rd 2-2/3 mile west of downtown Durand is officially determined as a state trunkline highway route, although this segment will not be completed and opened to traffic for more than two years.
  1932 (Oct 29) New!  A new, more direct 8.0-mile long alignment of M-66 north of Athens in southwestern Calhoun Co is officially assumed into the state highway system from 3 Mile Rd northeasterly to S Dr South. The former 1.0-mile long route along 3 Mile Rd and S Dr South is turned back to county control.
  1932 (Oct 29) New!  The 7.8-mile long portion of Miller Rd in Genesee Co from Fairchild St in Swartz Creek easterly and northeasterly into Flint to M-21/Court St that has been signed as part of M-78 since 1931 is officially determined as part of the state trunkline highway route.
  1933 (May 26) New!  The segment of M-78 running along the present-day alignment of M-66 from Bonham Rd east of Nottawa due northerly to M-60 two miles east of Mendon is officially determined as a state trunkline highway. However, only the segment from Bonham Rd to Marvin Rd is signed as part of M-78. From Marvin Rd northerly to Prairie Corners Rd-Jacksonburgh Rd exists, but is not improved or maintained as a state trunkline at this time and no roadway exists at all along the route from Prairie Corners Rd-Jacksonburgh Rd northerly across the Saint Joseph River to M-60 east of Mendon. For the time being, M-78 continues to follow its "Marked & Maintained" routing via Marvin, Lepley, Mountain, Fairbanks, and Spring Creek Rds to Colon, the existing Centerville/South, Main, State, Dallas, Burr Oak route through Colon, and Wattles, Culver, Dunks, and Athens Rds past Sherwood to M-60 south fo Athens.
  1934 (June 7) Updated – The portion of newly-determined M-78 in Shiawasse Co from M-47 (present-day M-52) at Perry northeasterly past Morrice and Bancroft to Newburgh Rd west of Durand that was officially added to the trunkline system in early 1932 is finally completed and opened to traffic. From the eastern end of the segment, M-78 is temporarily routed easterly via county- and city-maintained Newburgh Rd into downtown Durand, then northerly via Main St for one mile to the beginning of the Durand–to–Flint segment of M-78, thus closing the gap between the two discontinuous segments. With the opening of the new M-78 between Perry and Durand, a pair of short (less than one mile long) spur routes are also designated to join the downtowns of Morrice and Bancroft with the new highway. M-193 runs from downtown Morrice to M-78, while M-192 begins in downtown Bancroft, terminating at M-78 north of town. These two short highways may have been concessions from the State Highway Dept for not routing the new M-78 through those towns. Also in 1934, US-27/M-78 is realigned from Washington Ave to Cherry St between Main and Kalamazoo Sts downtown Lansing.
  1934 Updated – The signed route of US-27/M-78 in downtown Lansing is modfied, although a corresponding trunkline cancellation of the former route and determination of the new route does not occur for eight years! Running easterly along Main St, US-27/M-78 now continues for two additional blocks via Main St from Washington Ave to Cherry St, then turns northerly for four blocks along Cherry St to the existing route along Kalamazoo St. The new route is "Marked & Maintained" as a state trunkline route (even though it technically remains a municipal street), while the former route along Washington Ave between Main St and Kalamazoo St and Kalamazoo St from Washington Ave to Cherry St remains an unsigned state trunkline highway for the time being.
  1936 (Aug 12) Updated – The 3-mile gap in the route of M-78 northwest of Durand from Newburg Rd west of the city to M-71 north of the city, along with a viaduct over the Grand Trunk Western and Ann Arbor railroad lines, is completed and opened to traffic. The temporary M-78 routing along M-71 (or M-176) on Saginaw St between downtown and M-78/Lansing Rd reverts back to just M-71 (or M-176.)
  1937 (Aug 30) Updated – In downtown Battle Creek, M-78 previously ran northerly via Capital Ave to Upton Ave-Fountain St, then easterly via Fountain St (with US-12) to Division St, then northerly via Division St back to Capital Ave northeast of downtown. With the changes in the routing of US-12 through Battle Creek, the route of M-78 changes as well: Approaching downtown via Capital Ave, M-78 is now co-signed with US-12 north of Columbia Ave. At Fountain St, M-78 now continues northeasterly via Capital Ave (now co-signed with a new US-12A), while US-12 continues easterly on Fountain St. At Michigan Ave downtown, M-78 continues northeasterly solo via Capital Ave back to Division St and its former alignment. The former route of M-78 via Division St from Fountain to Capital is turned back to municipal control.
  1937 (Aug 30) Updated – In downtown Lansing, a second routing of US-27/M-78 is officially assumed into the state trunkline highway system. The new route begins at existing US-27/M-78 at Main St and continues northerly via Capitol Ave through downtown to M-43/Saginaw St, then turns easterly to run concurrently with M-43 along Saginaw St back to the existing US-27/M-78 at Larch St. This new route is signed as the "US-27/M-78 PASSENGER CAR ROUTE." The original route of US-27/M-78 along Main St (east of Capitol Ave), Cherry St, Kalamazoo St and Larch St (northerly to Saginaw St) is now designated the "US-27/M-78 TRUCK ROUTE."
  1939 – The concurrent M-78/US-12A designation via Capital Ave in downtown Battle Creek becomes just M-78 with the "decommissioning" of US-12A.
  1942 (Jan 28) Updated – The six block long former route of US-27/M-78 in downtown Lansing along Washington Ave from Main St northerly to Kalamazoo St and along Kalamazoo St from Washington Ave easterly to Cherry St is turned back to city control, eight years after the replacement route (Main St easterly to Cherry St and Cherry St northerly to Kalamazoo St) is initially signed as the trunkline route. Instead of making the Cherry St route the official route for US-27/M-78 in downtown Lansing, the four blocks of Grand Ave, the parallel street one block west of Cherry St, is actually transferred to state jurisdiction on this date.
  1942 Updated – M-78/M-86 is realigned west of Colon. Formerly running northerly from the western M-78 & M-86 jct on Sturgis Rd to Marvin Rd, then easterly via Marvin, northerly via Lepley, easterly on Mountain and northerly on Fairfax to Spring Creek Rd, the new routing continues northerly via Sturgis Rd to the New York Central Railroad (later Penn Central, now abandoned), then curves easterly paralleling the railroad to the previous alignment at Fairfax Rd. The old routing was never officially determined as a state trunkline highway route—just "Marked & Maintained" by the state, but still officially county roads—so state maintenance is simply discontinued at this point.
  1945 (June 26) Updated – In a project which began prior to the U.S. entry into World War II, a realignment of M-78 is completed in Leroy Twp in Calhoun Co. The new alignment, officially determined as a state trunkline route on this day, runs directly between the existing route south of L Dr South and north of E Dr South. The new alignment is constructed two-thirds the way to the west side of the 150-foot right-of-way, leaving sufficient room for a future set of northbound lanes, if the State Highway Dept ever converted this segment to a divided highway. The former route of M-78 along L Drive South, 5 Mile Rd, and E Drive South is turned back to county control.
  1950 (Nov 3, Nov 27) Updated With the opening of the new Main St bridge over the Grand River in downtown Lansing, the former two alignments of US-27/M-78 are consolidated into one. The former US-27/M-78 PASSENGER CAR ROUTE via Capitol Ave is turned back to city control and the US-27/M-78 TRUCK ROUTE, for the most part, becomes the new through route: from the west, US-27/M-78 now continues easterly via Main St, across the Grand River, to Cedar St then northerly along Cedar St to Kalamazoo St and the existing route. Also on Nov 3, the portion of the former truck route along Washington Ave and Kalamazoo St is turned back to municipal control. Later in the month on Nov 27, the four blocks of Grand Ave from Main St northerly to Kalamazoo St is turned back to city control.
  1940 (Early) – The 7-mile concurrent segment of M-7/M-78 in the Colon area becomes a concurrent M-78/M-86 when all of M-7 is completely redesignated as M-86.
  1940 – The concurrent US-12/M-78 via Capital Ave from Columbia Ave into downtown Battle Creek is redesignated M-78/BUS US-12 when the remainder of the US-12 bypass around Battle Creek (Columbia Ave) is completed and opened to traffic.
  1948 – The final 10 miles of gravel-surfaced M-78 are hard-surfaced, from Colon to M-60 south of Athens.
  1953 (Aug 24) New! – A new 3.55-mile alignment for US-27/M-78 is officially assumed into the state trunkline highway system running parallel and to the north of the existing alignment and beginning approximately 0.4 mile southwest of Bridge St on the western edge of Lansing and proceeding southwesterly for 3½ miles to where it merges back into the existing alignment approximately 0.3 mile northeast of Creyts Rd. The former 3.50-mile route, now called Old Lansing Rd, is simultaneously turned back to county control.
  1956, 1957 (June 17) UpdatedThe 1.8-mile portion of Saint Joseph St in central Lansing fromwhere it diverges from Main St just west of the Grand River bridge (east of Cherry St) westerly to Clare St on the western city limit is transferred to state control on June 17, 1957 and is officially determined as the new sbd US-27 & wbd M-78 routing, while the existing route along Main St from Clare St easterly to the Saint Joseph St divergence becomes the nbd US-27 & ebd M-78 route. Actual construction on this one-way pair, including the new connections from Saint Joseph St to the existing US-27/M-78 along Main St to facilitate the movement of south- and westbound traffic to and from the Saint Joseph alignment is completed in 1956, though, and the new set-up may have been signed as early as 1956, prior to the official determination.
  1958 (Sept 16) New! – A 1.78-mile, gently curving new alignment for M-78/Saginaw St at the northeastern corner of East Lansing is determined as a state trunkline highway, bypassing the former 1.9-mile long route along Haslett Rd from Hagadorn Rd easterly to Merritt Rd and via Merritt Rd from Haslett Rd northeasterly to Saginaw St at Park Lake Rd, which is transferred back to local control.
  1959 (Dec 7) New! – A 1.99-mile long segment of state trunkline highway route is determined in the City of Lansing along Cedar St from a divergence at Larch St near Hillsdale St northerly back to where it merges back into Larch St at North St. The portion of Cedar St added to the state trunkline system from Saginaw St southerly to Main St becomes the new alignment for sbd US-27 & wbd M-78, while the existing trunkline route on Larch St from Main St northerly to Saginaw St is converted to carrying only nbd US-27 & ebd M-78. Wbd M-78 traffic now also continues westerly on Saginaw St from Larch St for an additional block to meet up with the new Cedar St alignment.
  1960 (Aug 13, Aug 23) Updated A 6.16-mile long segment of the M-78 freeway in Genesee Co from M-13/Sheridan Ave south of Lennon (present-day Exit 123) easterly to Miller Rd (present-day Exit 129) on the eastern edge of Swartz Creek is completed and opened to traffic on Aug 13. Ten days later on Aug 23, the new freeway segment is officially determined as a state trunkline highway route, while the former route of M-78 along Lansing Rd from M-13/Sheridan Ave to Miller Rd and Miller Rd from Lansing Rd easterly through Swartz Creek at the east end of the freeway segment is transferred to county and municipal control. (M-78 is temporarily routed between Lansing Rd and the new freeway along M-13/Sheridan Ave, although the 0.9-mile section of M-13/Sheridan Ave from the new M-78 freeway south to the former route of M-78 along Lansing Rd is turned back to county control on Aug 23. It likely remains a "Marked & Maintained" trunkline routing until the freeway is extended southwesterly to Durand in the coming months.)
  1960 (Aug 15) Updated The concurrent M-78/BUS US-12 designation in Battle Creek is extended southerly from Columbia Ave to the newly-opened I-94/US-12 freeway. (US-12 was transferred from Columbia Ave onto the new freeway.)
  1960 (Dec 16, Dec 30) Updated A 5.1-mile segment of the M-78 freeway in Shiawassee Co from the western end of the freeway segment opened to traffic four months earlier at M-13/Sheridan Ave southwesterly to existing M-78/Lansing Hwy just west of the M-71 interchange (present-day Exit 118) near Durand is completed and opened to traffic on Dec 16. The 4.73-mile long section of the former route of M-78 along Lansing Hwy from the western end of the completed freeway northwest of Durand northeasterly to former M-13/Sheridan Ave is turned back to county control two weeks later on Dec 30. Interestingly, this segment of M-78 freeway is not officially determined as a state trunkline highway route until late in the next year (1961) when the portion of the freeway from Durand to the Morrice area is completed.
  1961 (Jan 6) Updated – M-78 is relocated onto new highway alignment in Calhoun Co determined on this date, beginning at E Drive South and continuing northerly to the east of the former alignment for 4 miles as limited-access, two-lane undivided "expressway" to I-94/US-12 (present day Exit 98) south of Battle Creek. From there, the new highway continues northerly as a freeway designated as I-194/BL I-94/M-78, ending at Columbia Ave. The M-78/BL I-94 designation then turns westerly via Columbia back to Capital Ave, and the original route of M-78. The new portion of M-78 from E Drive South to I-94/US-12 is supposed to be developed into a full freeway, with interchanges at D Drive South (near Graham Lake) and Beckley Rd, with an overpass at B Drive South. The right-of-way is acquired, but the freeway will never constructed with only one two-lane roadway ever seeing completion. The former route of M-78 along Capital Ave and 5 Mile Rd from E Drive South northerly to Columbia Ave is turned back to county control.
  1961 (Oct 21, Nov 1) Updated Another 12.2 miles of the M-78 freeway in Shiawassee Co is completed and opened to traffic on Oct 21 starting at the temporary western end of the completed freeway just west of the M-71 interchange (present-day Exit 118) near Durand southwesterly to a point one mile east of the M-78 & M-52 jct on the north side of Perry. At that point, the new M-78 freeway ends and merges into the existing divided highway halfway between Morrice Rd and M-52. The 12.67-mile former route of M-78 along Lansing Rd from the temporary western end of the freeway near Durand southwesterly to the new western end of the freeway between Perry and Morrice is turned back to local control 11 days later on Nov 1.
      Additionally, the entire portion of the M-78 freeway in Shiawassee Co is officially assumed into the state trunkline system on Nov 1, from M-13 south of Lennon westerly and southwesterly past Durand to the end of the freeway between Morrice and Perry, even though portions of it have been open since mid-December 1960.
  1962 (Sept 29) New! – A 1.06-mile long segment of state trunkline highway route is determined in the City of Lansing along Sheridan St from US-27/Larch St easterly to US-16/Grand River Ave (which, itself is transferred to local control from Sheridan St northwesterly and westerly on this same day), as well as a short extension of Sheridan St westerly from Larch St, across Cedar St to almost Center St. This is the first of three phases of a project to add a new westbound alignment for M-78 and M-43 across the north part of Lansing (to be known as Oakland St in its entirety once completed) to help alleviate traffic along parallel Saginaw St, 1–2 blocks to the south. Coupled with the portion of Grand River Ave from Saginaw St at the east city limit of Lansing westerly to Sheridan St which had been part of US-16 until now, the two streets join to form a new westbound route for M-78, while Saginaw St is rechristened as a new eastbound-only route for M-78.
  1962 (Dec 12, Dec 14) Updated The final segment of I-96 between Greater Detroit and Muskegon is completed and opened to traffic on Dec 12 and officially assumed into the state trunkline highway system in Ingham and Eaton Cos two days later on Dec 14. The completion of I-96 around Lansing also signals the removal of the US-16 route designation from Michigan, with M-43 rerouted to run concurrently with M-78 along Saginaw St and Grand River Ave/Oakland St between Cedar-Larch Sts in downtown Lansing easterly to the Grand River Ave & Saginaw St intersection on the eastern edge of the city. Thus, M-43/M-78 eastbound runs via Saginaw St and M-43/M-78 westbound travels along Grand River Ave & Oakland St.
  1963 (Dec 23) Updated The first segment of the I-496 freeway at Lansing is completed and opened to traffic beginning at I-96 (at present-day Exit 106) and runs northerly in to the Lansing/East Lansing area, ending at a one-way pair of streets (Homer St northbound and Howard St southbound). With the completion of this stretch of freeway, M-78 is routed out of downtown Lansing, instead now bypassing the city. From the I-96 & US-27 interchange southwest of Lansing (present-day Exit 98), M-78 now runs easterly via I-96 to I-496, then northerly concurrently as I-496/M-78/BL I-96 to the (temporary) northern freeway terminus at the Red Cedar River. There, M-78 and BL I-96 continue northerly via Homer St (northbound) and Howard St (southbound) to Saginaw St (M-43/M-78 eastbound) and Grand River Ave (M-43/M-78 westbound). The former route of M-78 through Lansing via US-27 and M-43 is redesignated as BUS M-78.
  1964 (Nov 18) Updated The concurrent BL I-94 designation with M-78 at Battle Creek is removed when BL I-94 is rerouted onto its own routing west of downtown.
  1965 (June 2, July 28) Updated – All of M-78 from its jct with M-66 between Battle Creek and Assyria southerly to the Indiana state line becomes part of a 50-mile southerly extension of M-66 and is also accompanied by two other major highway route changes associated with this new extension:
  • M-78 Replacement: The majority of M-78 from the Pennfield area northeast of Battle Creek southerly to the Indiana state line south of Sturgis is redesignated as M-66. From the jct of M-66 & M-78 near Pennfield, M-66 now continues southwesterly replacing M-78 into Battle Creek entering the city via Capital Ave. At Division St (see second point below), M-66 turns southerly via Division St to Hamblin Ave. From there, M-66 continues southerly with I-194 along a just-completed segment to Columbia Ave, where it continues southerly to I-94 south of Battle Creek. Continuing southerly from I-94, M-66 continues to supplant M-78 through Athens to M-60 west of Union City. (M-78 route markers between Pennfield and M-60 are swapped out for M-66 signs by the State Highway Dept on June 2.) There, M-66 turns westerly to run concurrently with M-60 through Leonidas to a point two miles east of Mendon. At that point, M-66 departs M-60 and turns southerly via a newly-completed extension of Sturgis Rd (see third point below) for 4.6 miles to M-86 and the existing route of M-78. (M-78 from M-60 west of Union City southerly and southwesterly past Sherwood to Colon was never officially assumed into the system; rather it was a "Marked & Maintained" route and maintenance is handed back to local control. From Colon westerly to Sturgis Rd, M-78/M-86 becomes just M-86.) M-66 supplants M-78 along the 1.7-mile concurrent segment on Sturgis Rd, then continues southerly replacing M-78 into Sturgis, jogging to the west along US-12, then southerly again to the Indiana state line. With this extension and re-designation, M-66 now runs the length of the Lower Peninsula—from Indiana to Lake Michigan at Charlevoix.
  • New I-194 Segment: A 1.75-mile segment of state trunkline highway is determined in Battle Creek. Beginning at M-66 (in the process of being redesignated fromM-78) at the cnr of Capital Ave & Division St, the new trunkline route runs southerly via Division St to Hamblin Ave, where it continues southerly as a freeway, concurrently designated as I-194/M-66 to the Columbia Ave interchange. The former route of M-78 along Capital Ave (Division St to Columbia Ave) and along Columbia Ave from Capital Ave easterly to the I-194 interchange is temporarily retained as an unsigned state trunkline route, being transferred to local control on Nov 11, 1966.
  • New Sturgis Rd Alignment: Although officially determined as a state trunkline route (as part of M-78) in St Joseph Co on May 26, 1933 from the south jct of M-86 east of Nottawa notherly via Sturgis Rd to Prairie Corners Rd-Jacksonburgh Rd, then northerly over an unbuilt roadway to M-60 east of Mendon, this route would not would not be constructed for over thirty years! Work on this segment of highway began in mid-1963 with the purchase of the necessary land to construct the roadway and construction continued into 1965, including the new bridge spanning the Saint Joseph River just south of the western jct with M-60. While the highway had been proposed as a realignment for M-78 for three decades, upon completion, it is signed as M-66 in conjunction with the overall extension of that route from north of Battle Creek to the Indiana state line south of Sturgis. The former route of M-78/M-86 from M-66/Sturgis Rd easterly into Colon becomes just M-86, while jurisdiction of the "Marked & Maintained" portion of M-78 from Colon northeasterly past Sherwood to the east jct of M-60 & M-66 (formerly M-78) stays with Saint Joseph and Branch Cos, but maintenance by the State Highway Dept ceases on July 28, 1965.
  1966 (Nov 18) Updated With the completion of the US-127 freeway from Mason to I-96 southeast of Lansing, the concurrent I-496/M-78/BL I-96 segment becomes I-496/US-127/M-78, and the M-43/BUS M-78/BL I-96 desgination via Saginaw St, Grand River Ave and Oakland St in Lansing becomes US-127/M-43/BUS M-78.
  1968 (Sept 25) Updated The 2.47-mile portion of the M-78 freeway extension in Genesee Co from Miller Rd easterly to M-121/Bristol Rd is completed and opened to traffic, although sources indicate this segment of freeway is not signed as M-78 at this time, as it does not include an easy reconnection back to existing M-78 along Miller Rd. Through traffic is maintained on the existing M-78 route along Miller Rd at this point. This same segment of freeway is also officially assumed into the state trunkline highway system at this time as well, but with existing M-78 along Miller Rd also remaining on the highway system as well.
  1968 (Oct 18) New! Even though additional segments of the M-78 and M-21 freeway in Genesee and Lapeer Cos running through Flint, easterly through Burton, bypassing Davison and into Lapeer Co to M-24 south of Lapeer will not be open to traffic for the next several years, the 21.39 miles of the new freeway route is officially determined as a state trunkline highway route on this date. Since the freeway is not yet completed and opened to traffic, the existing routes of M-78 and M-21 remain in the system at this time and continue to be signed as such.
  1968 (Oct 22) New! The proposed US-127 freeway running between the cities of Lansing and East Lansing in northwest Ingham Co from the northern end of the existing I-496/M-78 freeway between Trowbridge Rd and Kalamazoo St northerly between the existing one-way pair of Homer St & Howard St (signed as US-127/M-78) to Saginaw St-Grand River Ave (and, for US-127 alone, northerly toward Clinton Co) is officially determined as a state trunkline route, although the actual freeway is still two years from completion at this point.
  1969 (Nov 25) Updated A two-mile segment of the M-78 freeway is completed and opened to traffic in Genesee Co from M-121/Bristol Rd (present-day Exit 131) easterly to I-75/US-10/US-23 (present-day Exit 133), although it is not signed as part of M-78 at this point. Eastbound, the new freeway segment is signed as "TO I-75," while westbound it is signed as "TO WEST M-78." Through M-78 traffic continues to use Miller Rd between the M-78 freeway in Swartz Creek (at present-day Exit 129) and Flint.
  1970 Updated Two non-contiguous sections of the M-78 and M-21/M-78 freeway in the greater Flint area are completed and opened to traffic:
  • The 1.57-mile portion of the M-78 freeway in the Flint area beginning at the I-75/US-10/US-23 interchange and continuing easterly into downtown Flint, ending at BUS M-54/Saginaw St downtown, is opened to traffic. Immediately east of the freeway's new eastern terminus, work on a massive new interchange with the proposed I-475 continues. At this point, the M-78 designation is officially applied to the freeway route from Miller Rd in Swartz Creek (present-day Exit 129) to the BUS M-54/Saginaw St exit at the freeway's current end (at present-day Exit 136) in downtown Flint. The former route of M-78 along Miller Rd is retained as an unsigned state highway route for the time being, however.
  1970 – In the Lansing/East Lansing area, the US-127/M-78 freeway is opened to traffic from the north end of the completed I-496/US-127/M-78 freeway between Trowbridge Rd and Kalamazoo St northerly to M-43/BUS M-78 at Saginaw St/Grand River Ave. The M-78 designation is transferred onto the new freeway while Homer & Howard Sts become frontage streets for the freeway.
  1970 (Dec 18) Updated – The remainder of I-496 through Lansing—from M-99/Logan St easterly to the northern end of the I-496 freeway opened in 1963—is completed and opened to traffic. The two one-mile long segments of Main St & St Joseph st acting as "service drives" for the new I-496 freeway from the eastbound on- and westbound off-ramps just east of M-99/Logan St to the Grand River bridge are turned back to local control, with the US-27 designation formerly using those streets transferred to the newly-completed segment of I-496 from M-99/Logan St easterly to Cedar St. With the completion of I-496, the BUS M-78 designation at Lansing is removed in its entirety, while the M-78 routing around Lansing via I-96, I-496/US-127 and US-127 is unaffected.
  1971 (Aug 16, 11:30 am) Updated – The 16-mile portion of the M-21 freeway—originally proposed as a segment of M-78—from Center Rd in Burton in Genesee Co easterly to M-24/Lapeer Rd south of Lapeer in Lapeer Co is completed and opened to traffic. The former route of M-21 along Davison Rd (Flint St in Davison) remains an unsigned state trunkline route for the time being.
  1971 (Dec 17) Updated The 5.87-mile former route of M-78 in Genesee Co from the Miller Rd interchange (present-day Exit 129) in Swartz Creek northeasterly to M-21/Court St on the west side of Flint is turned back to local control.
  1971 (Dec 21) Updated The 2.5-mile segment of the M-21/M-78 freeway through downtown Flint from the eastern end of the M-78 freeway at BUS M-54/Saginaw St easterly to the western end of the M-21 freeway (opened to traffic four months earlier) is opened to traffic. This completes the east-west freeway through the Greater Flint area. While sources show the freeway east of Flint toward Davison was to have possibly borne the M-78 designation, at this point M-78's eastern terminus is fixed at the future I-475 interchange in downtown Flint with M-21 continuing easterly on its own past Davison and toward Lapeer. West of Flint, M-21 is rerouted at M-13, heading southerly with M-13 through Lennon to the M-78 freeway, then easterly concurrently with M-78 into downtown Flint and on toward Lapeer. The former route of M-21 along Corunna Rd, Miller Rd and Court St between M-13 at Lennon and BUS M-54/Saginaw St in downtown Flint is redesignated as M-56.
  1972 (June 30) New! – The routes of M-66 and M-78 through the intersection of those two routes in the Pennfield area of Calhoun Co northeast of Battle Creek are realigned and reconfigured. As a result, 0.385 miles of new trunkline highway is added to the route of M-78, while 0.617 miles of the route of M-66 is removed and a new alignment for M-66 totalling 0.587 miles is added.
  1972 (Nov 20) Updated In an interesting twist, the route M-78 in southwestern Eaton Co is altered so that it travels generally along a similar path it took from 1920–22, even though that routing was a temporary one. This realignment is permanent, though, as a portion of the route has been constructed on new alignment, with the remainder an upgrade of the existing Butterfield Hwy. M-78 now turns southerly in downtown Bellevue and exits the village via Main St when it picks up the newly-constructed alignment of Butterfield Hwy as it curves easterly toward Olivet. East of Greenfield Hwy, the existing Butterfield Hwy is upgraded and transferred to state control easterly to the interchange at I-69/US-27 (at present-day Exit 48). From that point, M-78 is routed concurrently with I-69/US-27 to Charlotte where it rejoins its existing alignment. The former route of M-78 from Bellevue to Charlotte via Battle Creek Rd is retained as an unsigned state trunkline.
  1974 (Feb) Updated – This is a watershed time for the route of M-78: all of the route from Olivet to Flint is removed and the route takes its present length of 10.75 miles from M-66 to I-69/US-27. The concurrent I-69/US-27/M-78 routing from Olivet to Charlotte becomes just I-69/US-27, while all of M-78 beyond Charlotte becomes either I-69 or TEMPORARY I-69. From Charlotte to I-96 southwest of Lansing, US-27/M-78 becomes US-27/TEMP I-69. The new TEMP I-69 designation replaces M-78 bypassing Lansing via I-96, I-496/US-127 and US-127 becoming co-signed with those routes. From US-127 on the Lansing/East Lansing line northeasterly to the Perry area, M-78 is also redesignated as TEMP I-69. From the beginning of the freeway one mile east of the M-52 jct along the freeway past Durand and Swartz Creek into Flint, M-78 is redesignated as an east-west alignment of I-69, ending at I-475 in downtown Flint.
  1981 (Feb 7) New! The 0.99-mile segment of OLD M-78 in Charlotte along State St from Shepherd St to Seminary St & Lincoln St and via Lincoln St from State St & Seminary St to M-79/Lawrence Ave is turned back to municipal control, nearly a decade after the M-78 route markers were removed from this segment of highway.
  1981 (Dec 7) – The route of OLD M-78 via Battle Creek Rd from Bellevue northeasterly to Charlotte, which had been signed as part of M-78 until 1973, is finally transferred to local control.
Controlled Access: No portion of M-78 is freeway or expressway.
NHS: No portion of M-78 is on the National Highway System.
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