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M-30
US-31 Route Marker On to Next Route:
Former M-31
Southern Entrance:    From Indiana southwest of Niles in Berrien County
Northern Terminus:    I-75 at Exit 336, three miles south of Mackinaw City
Length: Updated 357.035 miles
Maps: Route Map of US-31
Map of US-31 Freeway in Berrien County
Niles Area Trunklines Map, 2010–
Notes: US-31 is a major highway corridor leading up the western side of the Lower Peninsula, connecting the cities of South Bend, Ind., Benton Harbor/St Joseph, Holland, Muskegon, Ludington, Traverse City and Petoskey. Approximately 40 percent of US-31 (about 145 miles) is currently constructed to freeway standards, with two additional freeway segments proposed for the next decade. US-31 is a major artery carrying tourist traffic to Michigan's North Country and, as such, has been experiencing congestion issues in such northern cities as Traverse City and Petoskey for many years now. Improvements in those areas may not be forthcoming, however.
  The US-31 corridor has seen a variety of major activity in each of the last five decades and that activity will continue for at least another two decades! In the 1950s, the highway saw major upgrades between Holland and Grand Haven and even some of the first freeway mileage built in West Michigan. The 1960s saw the freeway mileage extended from Benton Harbor/St Joseph to Holland and from Grand Haven toward Oceana Co. The 1970s saw major freeway projects push ever closer to Ludington through Oceana Co and the beginnings of the freeway upgrades in Berrien Co, which all continued into the 1980s. The 1990s continued that progress, with more of US-31 converted to freeway in Berrien and Mason Cos with even more freeway mileage added in the the first decade of the 21st Century. In the next 15–20 years, the final freeway connection in Berrien Co will be completed and the gap in freeway between Holland and Muskegon may be bridged. At that time, more than 180 miles of US-31 in Michigan will be built to freeway standards.
  Some of the ongoing projects noted above have not been without controversy. In Berrien Co, the completion of the freeway gap there has been delayed for environmental reasons and the design and route of the freeway have been altered as well. Further north in Ottawa Co, the decision to route the US-31 freeway though the largely-agricultural central portion of that county has raised howls of protest. Farther north, the proposed US-31 bypasses of the cities of Traverse City and Petoskey have had no shortage of controvery as well. Full details on each of these US-31 projects can be found on their own pages:
  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 the route of US-31 during that timeframe, including:
  • Construction of a US-31 freeway from the Indiana state line to St Joseph. The first section looks much like the present-day US-31 freeway west of Niles, with the exception of an interchange at Bertrand Rd and the present US-12 interchange was to have been a freeway-to-freeway interchange with the proposed US-112 freeway. A BUS US-31 routing was proposed to serve downtown Niles. Farther north, interchanges were planned at Rangeline and Shawnee Rds (instead of the current one at Snow Rd) and the proposed freeway was to have stayed to the west of the existing US-31/US-33 route after passing Berrien Springs, with interchanges at Scottdale Rd and I-94 near Lincoln Rd. The freeway was to have continued north-northwesterly along the path of the long-proposed BL I-94 "penetrator" route, with the freeway merging back into Niles Ave at Washington Ave where US-31 was proposed to continue into downtown St Joseph via the existing street routing. With the exception of the BUS US-31 routing at Niles, all of the existing US-31/US-33 route was to have been turned back to local control. In the end, while a US-31 freeway was built through much of Berrien Co, north(west) of Berrien Springs, it took on a much different route than was envisioned in 1960.
  • Conversion of the route of US-31 through Ottawa Co to a full freeway facility, with additional interchanges at a relocated M-40 in Holland, at Port Sheldon Rd between Holland and West Olive, at Lake Michigan Dr (then designated as M-50 and a proposed turnback candidate through all of Ottawa Co!), and Lincoln St south of Grand Haven. No interchanges or grade separations were shown in the City of Grand Haven, however, so the exact plans for freeway conversion through the city weren't clear from the maps. In the end, none of these proposed upgrades were ever completed.
  • Conversion of US-31 through Muskegon Co to a full freeway, although with fewer interchanges in the Muskgon area than were eventually built. As much of this segment was either completed, under construction or in planning at the time these maps were issued, most of the proposed upgrades in Muskegon Co were eventually carried out.
  • Construction of a mostly new-alignment US-31 freeway for the length of Oceana Co, although in a rather different configuration than was built in the 1970s. Instead of crossing to the west side of the existing route of US-31 (Oceana Dr) at the Muskegon/Oceana Co line, the proposed freeway would have run to the east of much of the existing US-31 route with interchanges at Rothbury, relocated M-82 (now M-20) near New Era, at existing M-82/Johnson Rd near Shelby, and at both Polk and Tyler Rds east of Hart. North of Hart, the proposed US-31 freeway would have bent to the west to an interchange with existing US-31 (Oceana Dr) at BUS US-31/Monroe Rd, before turning north and following the existing alignment of US-31 along Oceana Dr to the Mason Co line with interchanges at Cypress Ave and the north jct of BUS US-31 northeast of Pentwater. In Mason Co, the proposed US-31 freeway would have jogged east before turning back north again to run appoximately 1/2 mile east of the existing route (along Pere Marquette Hwy) due northerly to an interchange at US-10 east of Ludington. There, the freeway would have turned northeasterly, through an interchange at Fountain Rd, before it turned to run due northerly again at Freeman Rd into Manistee Co where it would have interchanged with a proposed BUS US-31 routing for Manistee at the existing alignment four miles south of downtown. (Continued in next bullet)
  • Construction of a new-alignment freeway from the proposed BUS US-31 interchange south of Manistee northeasterly through the Village of Stronach (with an interchange at Stronach Rd), then turning due northerly to an interchange with M-55 east of East Lake. The freeway would have turned northeasterly again after crossing the Manistee River cutting through Blacker Airport to a combined interchange for the Manistee BUS US-31 and M-22 at the location of the existing US-31 & M-22 junction. The proposed US-31 freeway would have stayed west of the existing route past Onekama (with an interchange at 8 Mile Rd) before crossing back over the existing route south of Bear Lake near 11 Mile Rd (with an interchange) then passing to the east of Bear Lake through an interchange at 13 Mile Rd. The freeway would have continued northeastly skirting Glovers Lake (with an interchange at Glovers Lake Rd) and into Benzie Co where it would interchange with M-115 and a proposed BUS US-31 routing for Beulah/Benzonia/Honor near King Rd, continuing through an interchange at Homestead Rd near Zimmerman Rd and on to an interchange with the proposed Beulah/Benzonia/Honor BUS US-31 route at existing US-31 about ½ mile east of Valley Rd. (Continued in next bullet.)
  • Construction of a new-alingment freeway from the proposed Beulah/Benzonia/Honor BUS US-31 route at existing US-31 east of Honor turning due easterly to parallel the existing US-31 about one mile to the north through an interchange at Lake Ann Rd before entering Grand Traverse Co and interchanging with an extended M-137 near Cedar Hedge Lake. The proposed freeway would continue due easterly to interchanges with M-37 and a proposed Traverse City BUS US-31 route at Chums Corners and another at River Rd & Beitner Rd just to the east. The freeway would then swing northeasterly past Traverse City through an interchange at Garfield Rd (at Potter Rd) to an interchange with M-72 and the proposed BUS US-31 east of Traverse City at roughly the Mount Holiday Ski Area. The combined US-31/M-72 freeway would continue due easterly from there for approximately 1½ miles to an interchange with M-72 continuing easterly as a full freeway toward Kalkaska and M-113 coming in from the south on a completely new alignment (instead of turning westerly through Kingsley). At this point, US-31 would then split off M-72 to head northerly as a full freeway paralleling Lautner Rd ¼ mile to the west before merging back with the existing US-31 route about two miles north of Acme where the freeway would end.
  • Conversion of the existing alignment of US-31 from the northern end of the proposed freeway two miles north of Acme to the Grand Traverse/Antrim Co line south of Elk Rapids.
  • Conversion of the existing US-31 route from Charlevoix-Boyne City Rd northeast of Charlevoix into Emmet Co to the western limits of Petoskey near Resort Pike.
  • Construction of a notherly extension of the proposed US-131 freeway from Petoskey to I-75 south of Mackinaw City. This would have resulted in US-31 continuing through the heart of downtown Petoskey via Mitchell St, which itself would be converted to a full freeway starting at the eastern Petoskey city limit. US-31 would interchange with the US-131 freeway bypass at approximately Mitchell St & Division Rd, where US-31 would then continue northeasterly through an interchange with the existing route of US-31 east of Round Lakeas well as an interchange at Hathaway Rd (at North Conway Rd), where M-68 would split off and run easterly via a straighened Powers Rd to Alanson. The proposed US-31 freeway would continue roughtly north through interchanges at Brutus Rd, Robinson Rd (west of Pellston), Leavering Rd (west of Levering), and Gill Rd about ½ mile west of Carp Lake. The freeway was then to have continued northeasterly to an interchange at I-75 at roughly its current northern terminus.
  Some of the historical information presented here was clarified by Marc Fannin... many thanks!
History: 1920s – Before the debut of the US Highway system in 1926, the route of present-day US-31 in Michigan consisted of two state highways: M-58, from a connection with Indiana SR-1 at the state line south of Niles to M-11 (later US-12) in St Joseph; and M-11 from St Joseph up the entire western shore of the Lower Peninsula to end with M-10 (later US-23) in downtown Mackinaw City.
  1927 As the US-31 designation replaces the trunkline routings noted above, the former designations—M-58 and M-11—go on to exist on other routes elsewhere in the state. Also, the US-31 designation is chosen over the US-23 designation to run across the state highway ferries at the Straits of Mackinac—the first route designation to cross the Straits. US-31 runs an additional nine miles northerly from St Ignace to end at US-2 at Rogers Park. US-31 is one of only three route designations to ever cross the Straits. The others will be US-27 (1957–1960) and I-75 (1960–).
  1927 Several changes along US-31 this year:
  • (Mar 28) Several small realignments and relocations in western Charlevoix Co straighten out the route of US-31. Most of the former alignments—those portions not obliterated completely—are turned back to local control, including Old Orchard Tr and Schmidt Rd, Ferry Rd easterly to Beatty Rd and Beatty northerly to US-31, Cedarview Dr and Clipperview Dr north of Cedarview, and others.
  • (June 30) A new direct Grand River crossing from Grand Haven northerly into Ferrysburg via an electrically-operated swing bridge was completed on November 11, 1924, replacing an old hand-operated interurban bridge to the east. On this date, that bridge and its approach roadways were incorporated into the state trunkline system and the former route is officially cancelled.
  • (Aug 20) A slight realignment occurs in Muskegon Heights. Entering the city from the southeast via Merriam Ave, the route formerly continued via Merriam to Summit Ave, then westery via Summit for one block before turning northerly along Peck St toward downtown Muskegon. Now, US-31 curves westerly from Merriam Ave onto Lincoln Ave for two blocks, then turns northerly via Peck St. The former route along Merriam from Lincoln to Summit and along Summit from Merriam to Peck is turned back to local control.
  1929 A trio of realignments and establishments in 1929:
  • (July 5) The stair-stepping route of US-31 from the north limits of Saugatuck northeasterly for 2.2 miles is turned back to control when a new, more directly 1.4-mile long alignment is assumed into the state trunkline system. Construction on the new alignment, however, may not have been complete until 1930.
  • (Aug 19) Since originally debuting in 1926, US-31 entered Michigan from Indiana and continued northerly into downtown Niles via 3rd St. On this date, the 3rd St route is transferred to local control and the parallel 11th St alignment is determined as a state trunkline highway and becomes the new route of US-31.
  • (Aug 19) The portion of US-31 from Oden northerly thorugh Alanson to south of Brutus in Emmet Co via Milton Rd/Milton St is turned back to local control when the present-day route is officially established as a state trunkline route. The new route is also 1 10 mile shorter than the former. Construction on the new route, however, is likely not complete until the next year.
  1930 (Sept 10) The route of US-31 undergoes a realignment southeast of Whitehall in Muskegon Co. Formerly turning northwesterly via Bell Rd, then westerly along Lakewood Rd and northerly via Durham Rd to Whitehall Rd, the new route along present-day Whitehall Rd is officially assumed into the state trunkline system and likely opens to traffic soon after. The former route is turned back to local control.
  1930 (Dec 2) A new alignment for US-31 entering Manistee from the south is determined as a state trunkline, but will never be built as specified. The route begins at present day cnr of US-31/Grant Hwy & Preuss Rd and turned northwesterly "across country" to the cnr of Red Apple Rd & Maple St and continued northerly via Maple St to First St, and easterly on First to the existing route of US-31 at Division St. This never-implemented route would be officially cancelled 25 years later.
  1930 The route of US-31 in southwestern Emmet Co is relocated onto a more direct alignment from Bay Shore easterly for 3.4 miles to just east of Townsend Rd west of Petoskey. The former route runs via present-day Church St (in the Bay Shore area) and Old US-31, but in an interesting twist, is NOT transferred to local control while the relocation is also NOT officially established as a trunkline. (See also the November 7, 1949 listing.)
  1930–31 A new shoreline routing for US-31 from downtown Benton Harbor to South Haven is determined on three different dates, although sources indicate the entire route is likely constructed during 1931 and also likely opens at one time. The US-31 routing formerly followed US-12 northeasterly from Benton Harbor to Watervliet, then northerly along what becomes M-140 to South Haven. The new shoreline routing shaves five miles off the total distance. The official determinations for this new shoreline alignment are:
  • 1930 (Nov 22) The route along present-day M-63 from Paw Paw Ave to Eaman Rd north of Benton Harbor is determined. From the cnr of Paw Paw Ave & present-day M-63 southerly into Benton Harbor, US-31 will follow Paw Paw Ave itself, although that roadway is never officially added to the trunkline system, only being "marked and maintained" as a temporary link for several decades.
  • 1930 (Dec 23) The route, via present-day M-63, from Eaman Rd northerly to the Berrien/Van Buren Co line is determined.
  • 1931 (Oct 23) From the Berrien/Van Buren Co line northerly to existing US-31 (present-day M-140) south of South Haven is officially assumed into the state trunkline system. It is assumed the entire highway from Paw Paw Ave north of Benton Harbor to South Haven opens around this time.
  1930 (Apr–June) Updated On April 14, 1930, the State Adminisrative Board gives preliminary approval for a new easterly bypass of downtown Muskegon and Muskegon Heights. Then, on June 30, 1930, a 1.5-mile state trunkline route is officially determined as a state trunkline highway route along Getty Ave beginning at Sherman Blvd and continuing southerly to Broadway Ave, then due southerly along a yet-to-be-constructed roadway to Norton Ave, continuing southerly via a minor roadway (to be upgraded) ending at the US-31 relocation on the north shore of Mona Lake nearing completion (present-day BUS US-31 in modern-day Norton Shores). The remainder of the future bypass route, while already in existence as locally-built roadway segments, will be officially determined in the future. After pressure from business interests trying to keep tourist dollars from bypassing the city, highway officials reassure civic and business leaders when the new bypass is completed, the mainline US-31 route designation will remain on the Peck–Terrace–Clay–Ottawa route through the downtowns of Muskegon and Muskegon Heights with the bypass receiving an "optional" designation.
  1931 (July 13) New! After waiting a couple years for fill dirt to finish settling in the swampy soils at the eastern end of Mona Lake, a realignment of US-31 is finally paved and opened to traffic south of Muskegon Heights in Muskegon Co. The short, ½-mile realignment takes the highway farther away from the lake between Grand Haven Rd and the future southerly extension of Getty Ave and includes a new bridge spanning Black Creek. The former roadway is, in part, abandoned as a public roadway, while the remainder becomes an access roadway into Hidden Cove Park. The old US-31 bridge spanning Black Creek is left in place as an amenity for park users.
  1931 (July 14, 17) New! A new US-31 route across the Muskegon River delta north of downtown Muskegon (the "east arm" or northbound lanes of the present-day M-120/Veterans Memorial Causeway) is completed and opened to traffic between the northern end of Ottawa Ave in Muskegon and jct M-20 at North Muskegon on July 14. The former route is obliterated as a public highway, while a segment of the later "west arm" (the future southbound lanes) will be built atop a portion of this former, obliterated route. The new route is officially determined as a state trunkline highway route three days later on July 17.
  1931 (July 22) A one mile northerly "extension," of sorts, of Pere Marquette Hwy in Mason Co east of Ludington from 6th St northerly to US-10/US-31/Ludington Ave is completed and added to the state trunkline system as US-31A, providing an easterly bypass of Ludington. The mainline US-31 route still turns westerly via 6th St, northerly on Madison St, westerly along 2nd St and northerly again via Washington Ave to US-10 at Ludington Ave where both US-10 and US-31 run easterly out of the city toward Scottville. The mile-long US-31A "cutoff" is approved by the State Administrative Board at its June 19 meeting.
  1931 (Aug 31) A brand-new alignment for US-31 is officially established on this date from Beulah to Honor in Benzie Co, bypassing Benzonia in part. Beginning two blocks north of the notherly US-31 & M-115 jct in Benzonia, US-31 now veers easterly off Spring Valley St and enters Beulah via present-day Beulah Hwy, bypassing the downtown district. North of downtown Beulah, the new alignment overlaps the old one for a short distance from Benzie Blvd to Crystal Dr, but then veers northeasterly again and completes the trip into Honor via Beulah Hwy and Honor Hwy. The former route via Spring Valley St from Michigan St in Benzonia to Benzie Blvd in Beulah, along Benzie Blvd from Spring Valley to Beulah Hwy and then via Crystal Dr, Edenhill Rd, Worden Rd and Moss Rd from Beulah to west of Honor is turned back to local control.
  1932 (Oct 25, 29) New! The 3.5 mile remainder of the new Muskegon bypass route is determined as a state trunkline route when the 2.8-mile segment of Getty St from Sherman Blvd northerly to Marquette Ave and the 0.7-mile segment of Marquette Ave from Getty St westerly to US-31/Ottawa Ave north of downtown Marquette are transferred to state control on October 29. The newly-constructed segment of Getty St between Sherman Blvd and Norton Ave and the upgraded roadway from Norton Ave southerly to US-31 at Mona Lake are completed and opened to traffic around this time as well. The new Getty–Marquette bypass route of Muskegon is designated as US-31A. The roadway itself is opened to traffic four days earlier on October 25.
  1932 (Oct 29) Three new location trunkline establishments occur on this date along US-31:
  • (Oct 29) An easterly bypass of North Muskegon is officially determined as a state trunkline in late 1932 and likely opens to traffic at the same time. Beginning at the eastern jct of US-31 & M-20 (cnr Whitehall Rd & Holton Rd-Lake Ave) the new route continues northwesterly back to the original alignment of US-31 at Witham Dr. The former route along Lake Ave and Center St to Ruddiman Ave retains the M-20 designation while the portion along Center north of Ruddiman and along Witham Dr northerly to the new bypass is turned back to local control.
  • (Oct 29) A new route for US-31 entering Charlevoix from the southwest is established along its present-day route from Barnard Rd easterly, then curving northerly into the city to Carpenter Ave where it then continues northerly via Bridge St to M-66 at Garfield Ave. There, US-31 supplants the M-66 designation northerly for five blocks to Antrim St and the former route of US-31. The former route along Barnard Rd from US-31 northeasterly to Carpenter Ave is turned back to county control but will later be removed when the airport runways are built across it in later years. The former route in the city along Norwood Rd northerly to Sheridan St, then northerly via Sheridan to Antrim St and easterly via Antrim to Bridge St is turned back to city control.
  • (Oct 29) A more direct routing for US-31 from Levering to Carp Lake is officially assumed into the state trunkline system on this date, however sources indicate construction on the 4.2 mile route is not complete until 1933, though traffic may have been allowed to use the unpaved alignment starting this year. The former route via Levering Rd westerly from US-31 to Reed Rd, northerly via Reed to Gil Rd and easterly along Gill to the new alignment of US-31 is turned back to local control.
  1932 (Nov 1) New! The west arm of the US-31 "North Muskegon Causeway" (present-day M-120/Veterans Memorial Causeway) is completed and opened to traffic. A portion of the new southbound side of US-31 between North Muskegon and Muskegon through the Muskegon River delta is constructed atop the former route of US-31 through the area which existed prior to the completion of the east arm of the causeway, which opened to traffic in 1931 and now becomes the northbound lanes of US-31.
  1933 A variety of occurrences along US-31 this year:
  • (July 12) A new, more direct alingment for US-31 is completed along the route of present-day Oceana Dr between Hayes and Water Rds, halfway between New Era and Shelby. The former route along Hayes Rd and Water Rd is turned back to local control on this date.
  • (July 12) Also on July 12, the new alignment of US-31 from northeast of Bay View northeasterly through Conway and Oden to south of Alanson in Emmet Co is officially determined as a state trunkline route and the former route (that portion which does not lie underneath the new alignment), mostly Hiawatha Tr from M-131 (present-day M-119) to Conway, is turned back to local control. The new alignment was completed, however, during 1930 and it is unclear why the jurisdictional transfer takes place three years later.
  • The Manistee River bascule (draw) bridge in downtown Manistee is completed and opened to traffic. The bridge remains in service to the present-day.
  1934 (Oct 10) Two 90° corners in the route of US-31 in western Allegan Co are bypassed by a new curving alignment. Formerly turning easterly from 70th St for one mile along 114th Ave, then northerly for 11 3 mile via 68th St, US-31 now follows the route of modern-day Blue Star Hwy from Glenn northeasterly. The former route along 114th Ave and 68th St, however, remains as an unsigned state trunkine for the time being and is turned back on August 30, 1937. However, the State Highway Dept notes they ceased maintenance on the former route as of January 7, 1935 as per letter dated December 19, 1934.
  1935 (Jan 7) A new route for US-31 in Ottawa Co from Grand Haven southerly to the Lake Macatawa outlet into Lake Michigan is determined, closely following the shoreline of the Big Lake. This route would never see any construction whatsoever and it would be officially deleted 21 years later.
  1936 (late) The final few miles of gravel-surfaced US-31 in Michigan, between Charlevoix and the intersection of Boyne City-Charlevoix Rd in Charlevoix Co., are hard-surfaced.
  1936 (Dec 9) A new shoreline route for US-31/M-72 is established along the East Arm of Grand Traverse Bay between Traverse City and Acme, beginning at the present-day Holiday Rd intersection and continuing northeasterly to the present-day 5 Mile Rd intersection. Not only does the new alignment bring the highway closer to the bay, it also removes a 90° turn and two railroad crossings. The former route along Holiday Rd easterly to 5 Mile Rd and then northerly via 5 Mile back to the the location is retained, however, for nearly a year.
  1937 Several realignments and route determinations during this year:
  • (Aug 30, Sept 27) On August 30, a new trunkline route for US-12/US-31 through downtown Benton Harbor is officially added to the state trunkline system along Main St from Water St easterly to Fair Ave, then northerly via Fair Ave to the existing route along Territorial Rd. The former trunkline route northerly from Main St via Water St and easterly along Territorial to Fair remained in system for nearly a month before being turned back to local control on September 27.
  • (Aug 30) A second new route determination for part of US-31, this one an eastern bypass of Saugatuck in Allegan Co. The former route through downtown Saugatuck via Lake, Gulver, Butler, Francis and Holland Sts is turned back to local control. Sources seem to indicate, however, that construction on the new bypass may not be complete until 1938.
  • (Aug 30) Several sharp turns in the route of US-31 in Mason Co are replaced by a new, sweeping alignment for the highway southeast of Ludington. The former route along Meyers, Hesslund and Lenz Rds is turned back to local control.
  • (Aug 30) The former route of US-31/M-72 in the East Bay area east of Traverse City via Holiday and 5 Mile Rds, bypassed by a new alignment completed in 1936, is turned back to local control.
  • (Aug 30, Dec 29) Updated The final segments of the new alignment of US-2 in Mackinac Co between Brevort and St Ignace are officially established as a state trunkline route on December 29 and likely open about the same time, however the former route of US-2 from Brevort easterly via Worth Rd to Moran, then southeasterly via Tahquamenon Tr (present-day M-123) to US-31 at Rogers Park is turned back to local control on August 30! The newly built highway takes US-2 along the Lake Michigan shoreline from Brevort, past Gros Cap, and into St Ignace. There, the US-2 routing supplants the US-31 designation northward to Rogers Park and the former route. While it could be assumed that either of these dates is when US-31 is removed from the U.P. and truncated back to the State Highway Ferry Docks in Mackinaw City, official State Highway Dept maps will continue to show US-2 and US-31 running northerly from St Ignace concurrently to Rogers Park through 1939, where the US-31 designation appears to simply end while US-2 continues northerly toward Sault Ste Marie. One could speculate why the MSHD didn't remove the US-31 symbol from the UP portion of the route until 1939, but it may have also been a cartographic error as well.
  • (Dec 29) A brand new route for US-31, partially on new alignment, partially using existing roadway, is officially assumed into the state trunkline system from 1.4 miles northeast of Saugatuck (at 64th St) northeasterly via Blue Star Hwy to 58th St, then northerly via 58th St to the Allegan/Ottawa Co line, continuing northeasterly via Michigan St to the cnr of River Ave & State St in Holland (although the portion of Michigan from 33nd St to 28th St had been added on December 9 of the previous year). This new route is now signed as the mainline US-31 between Saugatuck and Holland. The former route via 64th St northerly to 32nd St, then easterly for two miles via 32nd to Lugers Rd, northerly on Lugers to South Shore Dr, easterly via South Shore Dr and 17th St to River Ave in Holland is redesignated as US-31A. This route, however, may have been open more than a year before it was officially determined.
  1936–37 The mainline route of US-31 is relocated onto what had previously been the US-31A bypass of Ludington following present-day BUS US-31/Pere Marquette Hwy from 6th St northerly to US-10/Ludington Ave. The former route of US-31 into Ludington via 6th St, Madison St, 2nd St and Washington Ave is temporarily redesignated as M-116 until being transferred to local control on August 30 and September 27, 1937.
  1938 (early) US-33 is commissioned in Michigan, completely co-signed with US-31 from its entrance at the Indiana state line near Niles northwesterly to downtown St Joseph, US-33's northern terminus. (From downtown St Joseph, the co-signed US-12/US-31 route continues northeasterly into downtown Benton Harbor, sans US-33.)
  1938 (Dec 6) US-31A between Saugatuck and Holland is cancelled as a state trunkline and the route is turned back to local control. This route lasted less than on year, as what was designated US-31A between Saugatuck and Holland was part of the mainline US-31 route until December 29, 1937.
  US-31M-1311939 (Nov 8) New! – The route of US-31/M-131 on the west side of Petoskey is relocated onto new alignment (Mitchell St) from jct US-31 & US-131 at the cnr of Spring St & Charlevoix Ave northeasterly and easterly into downtown. At the moment, this is a Marked & Maintained route—technically not transferred to state control yet, but signed and maintained by the State Highway Dept as a trunkline route. The former route easterly via Charlevoix Ave, northerly via Connable Ave, easterly via Jackson St and northerly via Liberty St to Mitchell St remains an unsigned state trunkline route for the time being.
  1940 - Five more changes in 1940:
  • (June) Updated The Muskegon bypass, consisting of Getty St and Marquette Ave and designated as US-31A in 1932, is redesignated as part of mainline US-31. The former route of US-31 through downtown Muskegon via the Merriam–Lincoln–Peck–Terrace–Clay–Ottawa route becomes US-31A. Essentially, the two route designations at Muskegon are "flip-flopped" with each other.
  • (Nov 12) The route of US-31 between Shelby and Hart in central Oceana Co is relocated onto a more direct alignment, along with a great deal of cut-and-fill through the area hills. The former route departed modern-day Oceana Dr two miles north of downtown Oceana and followed Water Rd northerly to Russell St (Polk Rd) on the southern limit of Hart. The new route continues northerly from the Water Rd turnoff via present-day Oceana Dr to Russell St-Polk Rd, turning westerly via Russell back to the former route at Water Rd-State St in Hart.
  • The concurrent designation with M-42 between Chum's Corner (two miles east of Grawn) and Traverse City is redesignated as M-37. This reflects M-37's extension into Traverse City along what had been part of M-42.
  • US-31M-131(Nov 12) Updated – The new Marked & Maintained route ofUS-31/M-131 into downtown Petoskey from the west/southwest signed for the first time the previous November is officially assumed into the state trunkline highway system. Simultaneously, the former route easterly from the US-31 & US-131 jct via Charlevoix Ave, northerly via Connable Ave, easterly via Jackson St and northerly via Liberty St to Mitchell St is turned back to municipal control.
  • The concurrent designation with US-2 is removed between St Ignace and the former junction of US-2 and US-31 at Rogers Park, 9 miles north of St Ignace (the present-day junction of Old M-123 and Mackinac Trail/H-63). US-31 now ends with US-23 and US-27 at the State Ferry Docks in Mackinaw City.
  1940–41 New! Grading contracts are let and work begins on a relocation for US-31 in northern Charlevoix Co between Charlevoix and Bay Shore. The existing route of US-31 (present-day Old 31) has been noted as being one of the worst stretches of the route in the entire state between the Indiana state line and Mackinaw City. The new route, while 0.1 mile longer than the existing route, will run closer to the shore of Lake Michigan and Little Traverse Bay between Agate Bay and Nine Mile Point, providing for a much more scenic route for motorists and tourists. Paving and construction of an overpass for the Pere Marquette Railroad was expected to take place by 1942, however the outbreak of World War II stalled progress on the relocation and the graded roadway is left until after wartime to be completed.
  c.1942–45 At some point during World War II, US-33 is extended northerly nine blocks through downtown St Joseph. Formerly terminating at the southern jct of US-12 & US-31 (cnr Niles Ave & Main St), US-33 now ends at the cnr of Main St & Ship St, where US-12 & US-31 turn easterly toward downtown Benton Harbor. The reason for this extension is unknown, although it may have had something to do with the State Highway Dept's plans for a new bridge to be constructed across the St Joseph River at the northern end of Main St immediately following the War. (See October 27, 1949 entry below.)
  1942 (Jan 28) A new bypass around South Haven is officially assumed into the state trunkline system along present-day Blue Star Hwy from M-140 south of the city northeasterly around the city, to the existing route at North Shore Dr northeast of the city, although the highway would not be open to traffic until the late summer timeframe.
  1942 (Jan 28) Also on this date, the new location for US-31 between Charlevoix and Bay Shore in Charlevoix Co is established as a state trunkline highway, but as this is within the first two months of the U.S. involvement in World War II, all further work on the segment ceases until the war is over. In the meanwhile, US-31 remains posted along the former route: Charlevoix-Boyne City Rd from Charlevoix easterly two miles, then northeasterly via present-day N Old US-31 to Murray Rd just west of Bay Shore. While this former route is officially turned back to local control, it remains "marked-and-maintained" by the State Highway Department until the new route is completed.
  1942 (Sept 5) The new South Haven bypass is completed and opened to traffic along present-day Blue Star Hwy from M-140 south of the city northeasterly around the city, returning to the existing route at North Shore Dr northeast of the city. Only one-half of the new highway is complete at this time, with two-way traffic utilizing one set of lanes of what will be completed as a four-lane, divided highway within a year in 1943. The former route through downtown via La Grange St, Phillips St, Broadway, Dyckman Ave and North Shore Dr is redesignated as BUS US-31.
  1943 (Feb 26) A minor realignment at the 109th Ave intersection between South Haven and Glenn removes a sharp curve in the highway and also shortens the route by several hundreths of a mile. The former route via present-day Adams Rd is turned back to local control.
  c.1945 For a time, US-31 is concurrently signed with ALT US-16 between Grand Haven and Muskegon Heights. This concurrent designation is removed by 1947.
  1948 (Apr 23) New!– The US-31/US-33 bridge spanning the St Joseph River at Berrien Springs in central Berrien Co suddenly collapses into the river taking a grocery truck with it. Plans are immediately formulated by the State Highway Dept to replace the collapsed span with a new, temporary bridge while arrangements for a permanent replacement are formulated.
  1948 (May 20) New! – After enduring 26 days of isolation, Berrien Springs is again connected to the eastern portion of Berrien Co via a temporary bridge over the St Joseph River, replacing the previous span which suddenly collapsed into the river in late April.
  1949 Several changes along US-31 during this year:
  • The new relocation of US-31 between Charlevoix and Bay Shore, established in early 1942, is completed and opened to traffic. While the new alignment is 1 10 mile longer, the former route is a windy, narrow road with many turns, also twice crossing the C&O Railway line.
  • (June 27) – The new Charlevoix bascule bridge spanning the Round Lake Channel is opened to traffic, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony three days later on June 30. Construction began on the bridge in May 1947 and was officially dedicated as a memorial to 22 local men who died during World War II.
  • (Oct 27) The new Blossomland Bridge, a bascule span, opens across the St Joseph River in downtown St Joseph, replacing an older structure on State St just downstream. The bridge sits on a northerly extension of Main St in St Joseph. One block south of the new Blossomland Bridge, US-31 continues to turn easterly concurrently with US-12 into dowtown Benton Harbor, however, as a new highway connecting the new bridge to existing US-31 north of the 'Twin Cities' is not complete. For the time being, traffic from the bridge detours west via Oak St to the now-severed N State St (present-day Upton Dr).
  • (Nov 7) The route of US-31 in use since it was completed in 1930 from Bay Shore easterly for 3.4 miles to east of Townsend Rd in southwestern Emmet Co is officially established as a state trunkline while the former route via Church St and "Old US-31," which has not been posted as part of US-31 since 1930, is similarly transferred to local control. It is assumed these jurisdictional transfers are to clean up unfinished business from twenty years earlier.
  • (Nov 10) The southwesterly approach into Traverse City for US-31/M-37 is completely revamped. Starting two miles north of Chums Corners, the highway formerly followed McCrae Hill Rd, a roadway since obliterated from present-day US-31/M-37 northeasterly to the 90-degree curve in South Airport Rd, then South Airport northerly to Veterans Dr (formerly Rennie St), Veterans (Rennie) northerly into Traverse City to 14th St, 14th easterly to Union St and Union northerly to jct M-22/M-72 at Front St downtown. Most of this route is turned back to local control on this date when the newly-completed route following present-day US-31/M-37 is established as a state trunkline from the southern intersection with McCrae Hill Rd northerly to 14th St in Traverse City. Oddly, this leaves a gap in the established route from the cnr of Division St & 14th St and Front St & Union St, although sources indicate the route of US-31/M-37 is likely signed northerly from 14th St along Division St to M-22/M-72/Front St, then easterly along M-22/M-72/Front St back to the former route at Union St.
  1950 A few changes to US-31 during 1950:
  • The concurrent US-33 designation with US-12/US-31 in downtown St Joseph is scaled back nine blocks to end at the jct of US-12/US-31/US-33 (Niles Ave & Main St), as it had prior to the War.
  • (Feb 20) UpdatedThe 3.10 miles of Harvey St in the Muskegon area from Laketon Ave due southerly to just north of US-16/Airline Hwy that were constructed in 1948 are officially determined as a state trunkline highway route for the future US-31 Muskegon East Belt bypass, although this initial segment is not yet designated as part of US-31 at this time.
  • (Nov 30) A new alignment for US-31 is completed and opened to traffic from M-21/Chicago Dr at Holland northwesterly for 9.6 miles to West Olive where it rejoins its former route. The highway is built as a two-lane facility on a four-lane, limited access alignment. The former route remains an unsigned state trunkline for more than a year.
  1951 One major rerouting and two minor realignments in three communities along US-31 this year:
  • (Early Feb) Updated US-31 is rerouted to bypass the Muskegon area via the Hervey St alignment, known as the Muskegon East Belt. The new route contains a mixture of marked-and-maintained segments (roadways which are still technically under local jurisdiction but are signed and maintained as a state trunkline for a period of time before the signs are removed and state maintenace ceases) and actual trunkline route. Beginning at existing US-31 at the cnr of Grand Haven Rd & Hile Rd south of Muskegon, US-31 now heads easterly via the marked-and-maintained Hile Rd for ¾ mile, then northerly via marked-and-maintained Harvey St for 0.4 mile where it picks up the 3.1 miles of Harvey St determined as a trunkline route one year earlier. At Laketon Ave, the US-31 bypass continues due northerly along marked-and-maintained Harvey St for an additional 2.0 miles to the Brusse St area where it curves westerly onto Access Highway for an additional 1¾ mile back to existing US-31 where Ottawa St meets the southern end of the North Muskegon causeway. Muskegon's BUS US-31 route is extended on each end to meet with the rerouted US-31 mainline route: southeasterly via Merriam St from Getty St and southerly along Grand Haven Rd to Hile Rd; and northerly via Ottawa St from Marquette Ave to the new route at Access Hwy. The portion of the former route of US-31 along Getty St from Merriam St to Marquette Ave and Marquette from Getty to Ottawa St is retained as an unsigned trunkline for the time being.
  • (July 2) A minor realignment in New Era shaves 0.1 mile from the length of US-31. When the new "First St extension" is assumed as a state trunkline route on this date, the former route via Ray and 3rd Sts is turned back to local control.
  • (July 19) A new 0.3-mile long southerly approach to the Manistee River bascule bridge is officially determined as a state trunkline via present-day Cypress St from River St at the southern end of the bridge southerly to First St where it rejoins the existing route. The former route westerly from Cypress along River St, southerly via Division St and easterly via First to Cypress is transferred to local control.
  1952 (Feb 14) Fifteen months after being superseded by a new alignment for US-31 northeast of Holland, the former route from downtown at 8th St northerly via N River Ave, 136th Ave, and West Olive Rd to West Olive is officially cancelled as a state trunkline route and turned back to local control.
  1952 (Feb 14) New! On the same date as the superseded US-31 alignment in Holland is cancelled and turned back, the same thing occurs at Muskegon and Muskegon Heights: The former route of US-31 along the 5.0-mile Getty St–Marquette Ave alignment between BUS US-31/Merriam St south of Muskegon Heights and BUS US-31/Ottawa St north of downtown Muskegon is cancelled as a state trunkline route and turned back to local control.
  1953 (Nov 6) In a project designed to remove through traffic and trucks from the heart of Traverse City's downtown core, the entire length of Grandview Parkway running along the shoreline of the West Arm of Grand Traverse Bay is established as a state trunkline on this day and likely opens to traffic at the same time. Simultaneously, Division St from 14th St northerly to the new Grandview Pkwy is also established as a state trunkline, carrying US-31/M-37 northerly from the southwest corner of the city to the parkway where both routes turn easterly along with M-72 to follow Grandview bypassing downtown before merging back into Front St near Railroad Ave. (The rest of Grandview Pkwy from Division St northwesterly to M-72 becomes part of M-22/M-72.) The former route of US-31/M-37/M-72 along Front St from Division St easterly to the new Grandview Pkwy is transferred to local control.
  1954 (Jan 4) The "Elk Rapids bypass" realignment for US-31 is officially established, departing the exisiting route south of the village and swinging northeasterly then northerly following the Elk River shoreline bypassing downtown, across the Elk River, terminating at the existing route along Dexter St-Ames St, where all US-31 traffic turns easterly onto Ames St. The former route of US-31 through Elk Rapids via South Bayshore Dr, Ottawa St, Spruce St, River St and Dexter St is turned back to local control.
  1954 (Jan 25) A new alignment of US-31 opens beginning in downtown St Joseph at the corner of Ship & Main Sts, then north-northeasterly parallelling the Lake Michigan shoreline for about 4 miles to the former alignment at Paw Paw Ave. This former alignment along Paw Paw Ave from US-12/Main St in downtown Benton Harbor to the new highway is redesignated as an extension of M-139. This new route utilizes the new Blossomland Bridge, a bascule span over the St Joseph River, opened nearly 4½ years earlier.
  1954 (Mar 24) New! The Michigan Senate votes to designate US-31 in Oceana and Mason Cos as the Pere Marquette Highway. Sen Don Vanantwerp (R-Fremont) had the House version of the bill amended to remove Manistee Co from the route prior to its passage.
  1955 Several occurrences along the route of US-31 this year:
  • (Aug 3) While the short portion of the "Holland Bypass" from M-21/Chicago Dr southerly to 16th St was determined as a state trunkline on November 3, 1950, the remainder of the bypass around the east and southern sides of the city are determined on this date and the whole route likely opens at the same time. The fomer route through downtown via Chicago Dr, 8th St, River Ave, Michigan St and Washington Ave becomes BUS US-31.
  • (Aug 3) Also on this date, a new 4.99-mile long bypass (of sorts) of Pentwater is assumed into the state trunkline system and opened to traffic. The new alignment runs along present-day Oceana Dr between Monroe and Washington Rds and shaves three miles from the route of US-31 through downtown Pentwater, which is now redesignated as BUS US-31.
  • (Nov 18) The US-31 realignment project south of the Manistee River bascule (draw) bridge in Mansitee begun in 1951 with the opening of the first phase is completed with a rerouting/realignment of the highway through the remainder of the city. From First St, US-31 now continues southerly via Cypress Ave to 8th St where it bends southeasterly via a new highway alignment along present-day Manistee Hwy before merging back into the existing route near the present-day intersection with Stronach Rd. The former stair-stepping route of US-31 is turned back to local control on this day. —Thanks to John McDowell for the heads-up!
  • (Dec 2) New! A new easterly bypass of Hart is completed and officially opened to traffic from Russell St-Polk Rd on the southern city limit northerly to N State St north of the city. The former route of US-31 through Hart via Russell St and State St temporarily becomes an unsigned state trunkline highway route.
  1956 (Mar 26) The route of US-31 in western Charlevoix Co is completely reconstructed from the west Charlevoix city limit southwesterly toward Norwood. While much of the 1956 alignment lies directly atop the previous route, a few minor relocations result in abandonments and obliterations of the old route. The one major relocation and cancellation occurs just southwest of the Charlevoix Municipal Airport where the road known today as "Old US-31 S" is bypassed by the present route of US-31 and turned back to local control.
  1956 (Mar 26) The shoreline routing of US-31 in Ottawa Co from Grand Haven southerly to the Lake Macatawa outlet, unconstructed since its determination in 1935, is officially removed from the books and cancelled as a potential trunkline routing.
  1956 (Sept 29) New! The Michigan State Highway Dept announces that plans for an easterly bypass of Niles primarily following the Seventeenth St corridor through the eastern portion of the city which has been a point of contetion with local officials and Niles residents. State Highway Commissioner Charles Ziegler has been a strong proponent of the near-eastside bypass of Holland even in the face of intense opposition, which champion a bypass route to the west of the city. The Seventeenth St bypass route was a key component in relocating US-31 to follow a much-upgraded M-140 corridor northerly from the city through Watervliet before rejoining its existing route at South Haven. (Existing US-31 from Niles through Berrien Springs, St. Joseph and the Hagar Shore area to South Haven was to have been designated as US-33 under this plan.)
  1957 Various changes to the route of US-31 during this year:
  • (June 17) A new, more direct highway alignment is completed and opens to traffic from the center of Grand Haven Twp northerly via its present-day alignment and Beacon Blvd to Jackson St in the middle of the city of Grand Haven. The former route of US-31 from Ferris St northerly along 168th and Beechtree Sts, westerly via Fulton St and northerly again via 7th St to Jackson St is turned back to local control.
  • (June 24) New!The 3.8 miles of the northern portion of the US-31 Muskegon bypass—the portion of Harvey St from Laketon Ave northerly to Brusse St and Access Highway from Harvey St westerly to BUS US-31/Ottawa St—is finally determined as a state trunkline highway route, almost 6½ years after it first opened to traffic as a portion of the mainline of US-31! (Until now, this segment has been a marked-and-maintained segment.)
  • (June 24) The remaining portion of the former route of US-31/M-37 along McCrae Hill Rd southwest of Traverse City, from Silver Pines Rd northerly to US-31/M-37, is turned back to local control. The rest of this former route of US-31/M-37 had been transferred in 1949 and its is unclear at present why this portion was retained for eight additional years.
  • (Oct 21) One week prior to the opening of the new Mackinac Straits Bridge between Mackinaw City and Saint Ignace, the freeway approach highway is officially assumed into the state trunkline system from US-31/Nicolet Ave northerly to the foot of the new bridge. It is unclear whether the freeway opens to traffic as far as the Jamet St interchange for this next week or if traffic is only allowed on as of the bridge's opening on November 1st, however it can be assumed US-31 remains posted on its existing route to the State Highway Ferry Docks until that time when it is transferred to the freeway approach on the 1st, terminating with US-23 at the southern end of the bridge. Officially, though, the former route of US-31 along Nicolet Ave, the "Old 31" cut-across and along Huron st from the US-23/US-27 jct northerly to the ferry docks is transferred to local control on this date.
  • (Nov 25) Updated The new easterly bypass of Hart opened to traffic in December 1955 is (finally!) officially assumed into the state trunkline system. The former route of US-31 through Hart via Russell St and State St, which had been an unsigned state trunkline route for the past 23 months, is turned back to local control.
  1958 (Sept 9) In a northerly continuation of the 1954 "Elk Rapids bypass," US-31 is relocated onto a new limited access alignment for approximately 7 miles beginning at Dexter St-Ames St in Elk Rapids northerly, merging back into the former route at Cairn Hwy north of Kewadin. The highway is a two-lane facility built on four-lane right-of-way, though the proposed northbound lanes would never be constructed. The former route along Ames St and Cairn Hwy from Elk Rapids through Kewadin is turned back to local control.
  1958 (Oct 22) Updated The first portion of US-31 freeway is completed and opened to traffic from the Grand River in Ferrysburg to just north of the US-16 & BUS US-31 jct southeast of Muskegon. The freeway is built parallel to Old US-31/Grand Haven Rd within a mile to the east, curving to the east north of Sternberg Rd and merging into the 1950 Harvey St bypass at Airport Rd just north of Airline Rd. The six-mile, $2.5-million project is officially opened to traffic at a special dedication ceremony. The former route of US-31 between Ferrysburg and Muskegon Heights remains an unsigned state trunkline highway for the time being.
  1959 (June 12) A new six-lane bascule (draw) bridge is completed spanning the Grand River between Grand Haven and Ferrysburg, replacing the 1924 swing bridge. The new structure consists of nine spans, is 750 feet long, and clears the river channel by about 25 feet. The 1924 bridge, sitting immediately upstream from the new bridge, is removed in 1960.
  1959 (July 24, Oct 22) Updated The portion of the US-31 freeway in Ottawa Co opened to traffic the previous October is determined on July 24 (with the former route along 174th Ave transferred to local control) while the portion in Muskegon Co on October 22 (again, with the former route via Grand Haven Rd turned back to local control). It is unclear why it takes almost a year to officially assume the route into the state highway system, however.
  1959 (Oct 22) In a major trunkline realignment project, a brand-new limited-access expressway route into downtown Muskegon from the southeast side is completed. The new Seaway Drive route, initially known as the "Norton–Glade Expressway," named for two of the existing streets the highway runs parallel to, is given the US-16/BUS US-31 designation and bypasses Muskegon Heights en route into downtown Muskegon where the route splits into two, parallel one-way streets, Muskegon Ave (nbd) and Webster Ave (sbd), to M-46/First St. The former BUS US-31 route along Merriam and Peck Sts is returned to local control.
  1959 (Nov 25) Two miles of new freeway are completed and opened to traffic from the Nicolet St interchange (present-day Exit 337) south of Mackinaw City southerly and a new freeway connection is made with I-75 three miles south of Mackinaw City. From Mackinaw Hwy, US-31 now turns northeasterly for a short distance and merges into the new freeway to continue northerly with I-75 to end at the foot of the Mackinac Bridge. (The future direct alignment from the corner of Mackinaw Hwy and the new US-31 ramps southwesterly to Carp Lake would not open for more than two more years.) The former route of US-31 along Mackinaw Hwy from the Nicolet St interchange southerly to the ramps from present-day Exit 336 is turned back to local control.
  1960 Updated The 1950 "Harvey St bypass" route along the east side of the City of Muskegon is converted from a two-lane surface route to a fully-controlled access freeway from the northern end of the completed freeway (1959) near Airport Rd southeast of the city northerly either atop (Airport-Laketon) or immediately adjacent to (Laketon-Lawrence) the Harvey St route to Lawrence Ave approximately ¼ mile north of the M-46/Apple Ave interchange, where it temporarily merges back down into the two-lane Harvey St alignment. (The portion of this route from Laketon Ave northerly to Lawrence Ave is determined as a trunkline and the former route via Harvey St is turned back to local control on October 12, 1961, however sources indicate it was likely complete and open to traffic in 1960.) The 3.1 miles of new US-31 freeway from the US-16 jct northerly to Laketon Ave consists of a new 24-foot-wide set of northbound lanes constructed immediately east of the existing Harvey St route of US-31, which is converted into the southbound lanes of the freeway bypass, while the 1.4 miles from Laketon Ave to 2,100 feet north of M-46/Apple Ave consists of two new 24-foot-wide sets of parallel roadways constructed immediately to the west of the existing Harvey St.
  1960 (Aug 19) A sweeping curve is added to the route of US-31 in northernmost Mason Co to replace two sharp 90° turns in the highway. The former route via Hoague and LaSalle Rds is turned back to local control on this date. —Thanks to John McDowell for the heads-up!
  1960 (Nov) Updated The State Highway Dept announces the northerly extension of the US-33 route designation concurrently with US-31 northerly from St Joseph for approximately 10 miles to a new northern terminus (for US-33) at Hagar Shore Rd northwest of Coloma, while US-31 continues northerly along its existing route toward South Haven. This is done, according to State Highway Dept officials, in preparation for the rerouting of US-31 along the new I-96 (present-day I-196) freeway under construction from I-94 northerly.
  1961 (Sept 25) The "downtown Petoskey bypass" route for US-31, also known as Sunset Dr, is officially determined as a state trunkline and likely opens at this time as well. The new two-lane bypass takes traffic out of Petoskey's downtown core and removes three 90-degree turns from the route as well. The former route along Mitchell St from Elizabeth St easterly to Howard St, northerly via Howard to Bay St, easterly on Bay to Lewis St and northerly via Lewis back to Sunset Dr is turned back to local control.
  1961 (Oct 21) New! As the existing US-31 Harvey St "Muskegon East Belt" bypass is being upgraded to full freeway standards, the 1.45-mile segment from Laketon Ave northerly to Mancoux Ave north of M-46/Apple Ave is cancelled as a state trunkline and turned back to local control. Simultaneously, the 1.32-mile segment of the parallel US-31 freeway from Laketon northerly to Lawrence Ave (where the freeway temporarily terminates and merges back into Harvey St) is officially deterimed as a state trunkline highway.
  1962 (Dec 10–12) Updated With the decommissioning of US-16 in Michigan, the routing of US-16/BUS US-31 into downtown Muskegon becomes BS I-196/BUS US-31.
  1962 (Late Aug, Sept 29, Nov 15) Updated A realignment and two related official derminations for a US-31 "cut-off" in the Carp Lake area in northeastern Emmet Co:
  • (Late August) – In Late August, the new, two-lane, limited-access realignment of US-31 from Carp Lake northeasterly to Mackinac Hwy (existing US-31) at the new I-75 interchange south of Mackinaw City is completed and opened to traffic, The new alignment, in addition to being limited-access (no private driveway acess), is more direct, shaving 1.185 miles from the route of US-31 and removes a sharp, 90° curve from the route as well.
  • (Sept 29) The new, 4.115-mile long limited-access alignment of US-31 between Carp Lake and Mackinaw Hwy is officially determined as a state trunkline route, even though it has been opened to traffic for a month. Simultaneously, the 5.3-mile long former route of US-31 along Paradise Trail and Mackinaw Hwy is cancelled as a trunkline highway and turned back to county control on this date.
  • (Nov 15) – A month-and-a-half later, the short segment of US-31 between Mackinaw Hwy and the I-75 interchange is also determined as a state trunkline highway route (at the same time all of I-75 in Cheboygan Co is similiarly determined), but this is just an official transfer, as I-75 and the US-31 interchange have both been complete at this location for two years.
  1963 (Aug 30, 11 am–Noon) UpdatedA 22½-mile long segment of I-96/US-31 freeway opens from I-94 northeast of Benton Harbor (present-day Exit 34) northerly through western Van Buren Co, bypassing South Haven to the east, and terminating at North Shore Dr (present-day Exit 22), ½ mile north of the Van Buren/Allegan Co line. At the northern terminus of the completed freeway, the US-31 designation temporarily heads westerly via North Shore Dr back to its existing alignment along Blue Star Hwy. The first ribbon-cutting ceremony takes place at the I-94 interchange for the northbound lanes, while a second ceremony at South Haven one hour later opens the southbound lanes of I-96/US-31. Construction on the next segment of the freeway from South Haven to Douglas is nearing completion. The US-31 designation is routed northerly from Scottdale via the ex-M-139 to I-94, then northeasterly with I-94 to the new freeway and then northerly to the end of the freeway at Hagar Shores Rd (at present-day Exit 7). The former route of US-31 through St Joseph between Scottdale and Hagar Shore Rd becomes solely US-33.
  1963 (Sept 30) New!21.92 miles of the 22½-mile long segment of I-96/US-31 freeway opened to traffic one month earlier are officially determined as a state trunkline route from the southern terminus of I-96 at I-94 northeast of Benton Harbor to the Van Buren/Allegan Co line northeast of South Haven. The final ½-mile of this newly-opened segment is not yet officially assumed into the trunkline system, nor is the connector along North Shore Dr between the new freeway and existing US-31 along Blue Star Hwy. The 12.48-mile portion of the former route of US-31 along Blue Star Hwy from Hagar Shore Rd in northern Berrien Co northerly to M-140 south of South Haven in Van Buren Co is turned back to county control at this time.
  1963 (Oct 21) New! The I-96 and I-196 route designations are flip-flopped west of Grand Rapids. This results in the 22½-mile segment of completed I-96/US-31 freeway between Benton Harbor and South Haven being redesignated as I-196/US-31. The portion of the freeway being constructed from South Haven to Holland will now open as I-196/US-31 instead of I-96/US-31, as originally intended.
  1963 (Sept 30) Also determined on this date in Manistee Co are two slight realignments to the route of US-31: from northeast of Milarch Rd northeasterly to Lyman Rd in the Norwalk area and in the immediate vicinity of the 9 Mile Rd Linderman Rd intersection. The two segments of the former route of US-31 are both turned back to local control.
  1963 (Dec 16, Noon) Updated - The 5½-mile segment of the Benton Harbor–Holland freeway from existing US-31/Blue Star Hwy (present-day Exit 41) northeast of Saugatuck to existing US-31/Blue Star Hwy–Washington Ave on the south edge of Holland is completed and opened to traffic. Having received approval from AASHO less than two months prior, this segment opens as I-196/US-31 instead of as I-96/US-31, as the route was originally intended to be designated. On this same date, the completed portions of I-196/US-31 freeway in Allegan Co—from the Van Buren Co line at South Haven northerly to existing US-31 (present-day Exit 36) south of Douglas and from existing US-31 (present-day Exit 41) northeast of Saugatuck to existing US-31 at the southern end of the existing US-31 bypass of Holland. The former route of US-31 from Hagar Shores in Berrien Co to south of Douglas and from northeast of Saugatuck to the south side of Holland is turned back to local control.
  1964 (June 30) Updated A major portion of the northerly extension of the US-31 freeway at Muskegon is opened to traffic beginning at Lawrence Ave (north of M-46/Apple Ave) continuing across the the Muskegon River and north to Colby Rd at Whitehall, where US-31 temporarily transitions back to its existing route through Whitehall and Montague. The new freeway north of Colby Rd to its ending north of Fruitvale Rd north of Montague is still under construction and will open later in the year. Additionally, upon openng, only the new freeway's northbound lanes are complete and open to traffic between Lawrence Ave at Muskegon and M-20/Holton Rd (present-day M-120) northeast of North Muskegon, while southbound US-31 traffic is forced to exit the new freeway at M-20, travel southwesterly via M-20 into North Muskegon, then use the Veterans Memorial Causeway into Muskegon before reaccessing the existing Muskegon "East Belt" freeway via the Access Highway Route. The southbound lanes will open to traffic later in the year. While the freeway is open only to Colby Rd at Whitehall, the entire freeway from Lawrence Ave at Muskegon to north to north of Fruitvale Rd north of Montague is determined as a state trunkline route. Simultaneously, the segment of former US-31 along Whitehall Rd from M-20/Holton Rd (present-day M-120) at North Muskegon and Colby Rd at Whitehall is transferred to local control, while the 0.341-mile segment of Colby Rd between Whitehall Rd and the new freeway as well as the 0.482-mile portion of Fruitvale Rd between the former US-31 (present-day Old US-31) and the new freeway are both transferred to state control as part of the future BUS US-31 routing at Whitehall–Montague (once the remainder of the freeway opens later in the year). Opening this segment of the $10 million freeway start with a ribbon-cutting at 10:00 am followed by an auto tour of the route by dignitaries and those in attendance, with the highway itself open to traffic by Noon.
  1964 (July 31) The I-196/US-31 Douglas/Saugatuck "bypass" is determined from existing US-31 at Exit 36 to existing US-31 at Exit 41 and likely opens at the same time. The former route of US-31 along Blue Star Hwy is turned back to local control.
  1964 (Sept) Updated – The southbound lanes of the new US-31 freeway northeast of Muskegon—specifically from the M-20/Holton Rd (present-day M-120) interchange southerly across the Muskegon River flats to the tri-level north BUS US-31 interchange—are completed and opened to traffic a few months after the remainder of the freeway is opened to traffic on June 30. Southbound traffic had been routed off the US-31 freeway onto M-20 into North Muskegon, then southerly across the Veterans Memorial Causeway (also signed as part of M-20 since 1961) and the back to the new freeway along the Access Highway corridor during the previous few months.
  1964 (Oct 30) New! – The "Whitehall–Montague Bypass" portion of the new US-31 freeway in northern Muskegon Co is completed and opened to traffic. This is the last segment of the $10 million northerly extension of the US-31 freeway from the Muskegon area to just shy of the Oceana Co line. This portion of the freeway runs from Colby Rd on the east side of Whitehall and northwesterly across the White River, turning northerly through an interchange at Fruitvale Rd where the new freeway narrows down to two lanes immediately north of the Fruitvale Rd interchange north of Montague and merges back into the existing highway near Meinert Park Rd. The former route through Whitehall and Montague via Colby Rd/St, Thompson St, Dowling St, Water St and Fruitvale Rd is now officially signed as the Whitehall–Montague BUS US-31 routing. The former route of US-31 between Fruitvale Rd and the northern end of the new US-31 freeway near Meinert Park Rd (present-day Old US-31) is retained as an unsigned state trunkline highway segment.
      At this same time, the northside connector portion of Muskegon's BUS US-31 route between the tri-level interchange northeast of the city and the jct of BUS US-31 & M-20 at the southern end of the Veterans Memorial Causeway north of downtown is completed and opened to traffic. The temporary route of BUS US-31 via M-20 north across Veterans Memorial Causeway into North Muskegon then northeasterly to US-31 is removed and transferred to its new permanent route.
  1965 (Jan 20) New! – The segment of Muskegon's BUS US-31/Skyline (Seaway) Dr expressway from Bayou Dr through the M-20/Veterans Memorial Causeway junction then easterly to the tri-level US-31 interchange northeast of Muskegon that opened to traffic nearly three months previously is officially determined as a state trunkline highway. Simultaneously, the former route of BUS US-31 along Ottawa St from Bayout St northeasterly to the Veterans Memorial Causeway intersection is turned back to city control, as are the segments of 1.) Access Hwy from the dead-end west of Getty St (the portion west of the dead-end is either subsumed under the new BUS US-31 route or obliterated as a public roadway) easterly to the point where it meets the US-31 freeway and 2.) the segment of Harvey St immediately across the US-31 freeway from Access Hwy (about 1,000 south of Stebbins Rd) southerly to a point directly across the freeway from Marcoux Ave.
  1965 (June 9-25) Updated The final link in the route of Muskegon's BUS US-31 route of Seaway Dr/Skyline Dr is finally completed and opened to traffic on June 9 on the northeast end of downtown Muskegon. These changes are reflected in official determinations and cacellations 16 days later on June 25 when the 1.274-mile segment of BUS US-31 along Muskegon & Webster Aves from First St northeasterly to Spring St and then north-northeasterly along Skyline/Seaway Dr from Spring St to Bayou St is officially determined as a state trunkline highway route. At the same time, the 1.038 mile of Ottawa Ave from Bayou St south-southwesterly to Cedar St, then southwesterly along Clay Ave to Terrace St, as well as the two blocks of Terrace St beween Clay St and Muskegon Ave are all cancelled as part of the trunkline route and turned back to city control. The temporarily Marked & Maintained segment which carried southbound BUS US-31 and westbound M-20 traffic along Eastern Ave from Ottawa St to Western Ave and then via Western from Eastern to Terrace St and Terrace St for the one block back to Clay Ave is no longer a marked trukline route for southbound BUS US-31 and westbound M-20 and state maintenance ceases.
  1966 (July 1) Two realignments to the route of US-31 in northeastern Grand Traverse Co are officially certified on this date. The first realignment at Yuba straightens the route of the highway with the former route being either abandoned or obliterated. The second relocation removes two sharper turns in the highway beginning at Bates Rd and continuing southwesterly, with the former US-31 from Bates Rd southwesterly being abandoned as a public road and the portion along Bates Rd itself being turned back to local control.
  1967 (June 16) A minor realignment in the Village of Honor in Benzie Co shaves a few hundredths of a mile from the route of US-31, with the former route being turned back to local control.
  1969, 1971 The former US-31 (Blue Star Hwy) between South Haven and Holland is designated as A-2 in 1969, one of two original County Designated Highways. A-2 is extended in 1971 southerly along Blue Star Hwy to end at US-33 in Berrien County.
  1972 The former US-31/Blue Star Hwy alignment around South Haven, designated as BL I-196 in 1963, is redesignated as a portion of A-2, although it remains a state trunkline into the 1980s. (This, ironically, was the original bypass of South Haven from the mid-1940s, which itself was bypassed twenty years later.) The route of BL I-196 is then transferred to the downtown route through South Haven on its present-day alignment.
  1972 (Dec 15) A minor realignment just west of Petoskey in Emmet Co shaves a few hundredths of a mile from the route of US-31 between Black Bird Rd and Resort Pike, with the former route being relinquished and obliterated.
  1973 The new I-196 freeway is completed between exisiting I-196/US-31 southwest of Holland and Grand Rapids. At this time, a new BL I-196 designation is routed along US-31 northerly toward Holland, then northerly on BUS US-31 into and through downtown, and finally easterly along the former M-21 past Zeeland back to I-196.
  1975 Two new freeway developments in Oceana and northern Muskegon Counties:
  • (Apr 16) An 18.09-mile long northerly extension of the US-31 freeway from just north of the Fruitvale Rd interchange north of Montague northerly to Polk Rd west of Hart is officially determined as a state trunkline highway routing. The freeway is not yet complete at this time, however, and would be opened in two stages, the first of which would come later in the year. Also transferred to state control on this date is Polk Rd itself from the new US-31 freeway interchange easterly to State St and State northerly from Polk to Lincoln St, ostensibly for a new BUS US-31 route once the freeway is completed and is likely not signed in the field at this time.
  • (June 17) New! At its regular meeting in White Sulphur Springs, WV, the U.S. Route Numbering Subcommittee of the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO) approves a request from the Michigan Dept of State Highways & Transportation to relocate the route of US-31 from south of New Era to north of New Era and placing it onto a new freeway facility from the current freeway's northern terminus to M-20, then easterly along M-20 back to the existing route. This action comes just over six months prior to that freeway segment being completed and opened to traffic.
  • (Dec 23) – The first stage of the US-31 freeway extension into Oceana Co opens from the northern end of the completed freeway three miles north of Montague to the new M-20 extension at Stoney Lake Rd near New Era, where US-31 temporarily turns easterly via the M-20 extension back to its former alignment. The former US-31 routing via Whitehall Rd in Muskegon Co (north of B-15/B-23/Fruitvale Rd) and OLD US-31/Oceana Dr in Oceana Co becomes an unsigned state trunkline.
  1976 Two more freeway developments in Oceana Co:
  • (July 13) New!At its regular meeting in Hot Springs, Virginia, the U.S. Route Numbering Subcommittee of the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO) approves a request from the Michigan Dept of State Highways & Transportation to relocate the route of US-31 from New Era to Hart and placing it onto a new freeway facility from the current freeway's northern terminus at M-20 northerly to a "temporary connection to the present US-31 in Hart." This action comes just five months and a day prior to that freeway segment being opened to traffic.
  • (Dec 14) Another new portion of US-31 freeway is completed and opened to traffic from M-20 at New Era northerly 9.2 miles to Polk Rd west of Hart. There, US-31 traffic is routed easterly via Polk Rd to the existing US-31. OLD US-31/Oceana Dr from M-20 northerly through Shelby to Polk Rd at Hart becomes an extension of the unsigned state trunkline.
  • (Dec 14) On the same day as the M-20-to-Hart segment of the US-31 freeway is opened to traffic and with constrution to the north yet to begin in earnest, a 5.66-mile long extension of the US-31 freeway in Oceana Co from Polk Rd at Hart northerly to just north of the BUS US-31/Monroe Rd interchange southeast of Pentwater is officially determined as a state trunkline. This portion of the freeway will not open for nearly two years.
  1977 (Mar 23) The 0.37 mile portion of Polk Rd at Hart from State St easterly to Oceana Dr is "temporarily" transferred to state control on this date, primarily because Polk Rd is now operating as the temporary connector between the northern end of the new US-31 freeway west of Hart and the existing highway along Oceana Dr southeast of downtown. As of 2006, this "temporary" connector is still an unsigned state trunkline.
  1977 A nine-mile stretch of US-31 Freeway in the wooded hills of Oceana Co is named most beautiful highway in the country in a forest environment in a national competition sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration.
  1978 (June 29) New!At its regular meeting in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, the U.S. Route Numbering Subcommittee of the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO) approves a request from the Michigan Dept of State Highways & Transportation to relocate the route of US-31 from Hart to southeast of Pentwater and placing it onto a new freeway facility from the current freeway's northern terminus northerly to BUS US-31. The freeway segment opens to traffic in exactly three months.
  1978 (Sept 29) – The US-31 freeway is extended northerly 5½ miles from Polk Rd at Hart to the southern leg of BUS US-31 (at the Monroe Rd interchange) southeast of Pentwater and US-31 is temporarily directed easterly via Monroe Rd (formerly part of BUS US-31) back to its previous route at Oceana Dr. OLD US-31/Oceana Dr from Polk Rd at Hart northerly to Monroe Rd becomes yet another extension of the unsigned "OLD US-31" state trunkline, as does Polk Rd from the US-31 freeway easterly to Oceana Dr/OLD US-31.
  1978 (Oct 28) New!At its regular meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, the U.S. Route Numbering Subcommittee of the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO) approves a request from the Michigan Dept of State Highways & Transportation and the Indiana State Highway Commission to relocate the route of US-31 from South Bend, Indiana to Niles, Michigan placing it onto a new freeway facility being constructed. This segment of US-31 freeway will open to traffic in less than a year.
  1979 (Jan 24, 1980) A portion of the new US-31 freeway extending northerly from Indiana near South Bend to US-12/Pulaski Hwy just southwest of Niles is opened to traffic in late 1979. From the northern end of the new freeway, US-31 is routed easterly via US-12 for approximately one mile, then northeasterly via BUS US-12 (Chicago Rd, Lincoln St/Grant-St Joseph Sts & W Main St) into downtown Niles, where it meets up with its former route and the co-signed US-33. The former US-31/US-33 between South Bend, Indiana and Niles becomes solely US-33. Oddly, though, the freeway itself from the state line to US-12 is not officially determined as a state trunkline until January 24, 1980. —Thanks to Marc Fannin for clarification on this routing!
  1980 (Oct 16–21) The US-31 freeway in Oceana Co is extended northerly from the southern leg of BUS US-31 (at the Monroe Rd interchange) southeast of Pentwater to the northern jct of BUS US-31 & US-31 on the Oceana/Mason Co line, where the new freeway merges back down into the existing two-lane alignment of Pere Marquette Rd just inside Mason Co. This designation is official on October 16 and the freeway likely opens to traffic at this time. OLD US-31/Oceana Dr between the junctions of BUS US-31 east of Pentwater becomes an extension of the existing unsigned state trunkline. Across the county line in Mason Co, a further northerly extension of the US-31 freeway is officially determined as a state trunkline a few days later on October 21 all the way from the county line to US-10 east of Ludington. It would be a decade before all of this portion of the freeway will be open to traffic, however.
  1981 (June 25) New!At its regular meeting in Dallas, the U.S. Route Numbering Subcommittee of the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO) approves a request from the Michigan Dept of Transportation to relocate the route of US-31 from BUS US-31 southwest of Pentwater to BUS US-31 northeast of Pentwater, placing it onto the new freeway facility which opened to traffic nine months earlier.
  1984 The entire routing of BS I-96 in Muskegon/Muskegon Heights is removed and BUS US-31 becomes the sole routing along Seaway Dr.
  1986 (June 9) New!At its regular meeting in State College, Pennsylvania, the U.S. Route Numbering Subcommittee of the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO) approves a request from the Michigan Dept of Transportation to relocate the route of US-31 at Niles, placing it onto the new freeway facility which is scheduled to open to traffic in the next year. The relocation runs from the northern end of the existing freeway at US-12 northerly to Walton Rd, then northeasterly via a temporary connection along Walton Rd back to existing US-31 north of Niles.
  1986 (Aug 25) US-31's companion route through much of Berrien Co, US-33, is drastically scaled back from north of Coloma to end at jct US-31 & BUS US-12 in downtown Niles. The former US-31/US-33 between Niles and Scottdale becomes solely US-31 and all of the ex-US-33 between Scottdale and I-196/US-31 at Exit 7 north of Coloma is redesignated as M-63. While the changeover from US-33 is made official on this date, it's unclear precisely when the route markers themselves are changed, although it appears to be around this same time.
  1986 (Sept 10) – The bridge carrying southbound US-31 over the Pentwater River in Oceana Co between Pentwater and Hart is washed out during a heavy rain storm which flooded the area. With the southbound lanes of the US-31 freeway closed, traffic is detoured easterly on Monroe Rd (formerly BUS US-31), then southerly via Oceana Dr (formerly US-31) into Hart, then westerly along Polk Rd (most of which is part of Hart's BUS US-31 routing) to rejoin the freeway at Hart.
  1987 (Oct 1) – The replacement Pentwater River bridge carrying the southbound lanes of the US-31 freeway in northwestern Oceana Co between Pentwater and Hart is completed and opened to traffic, more than a year after the original bridge is washed out. Traffic once again flows through the area on the US-31 freeway instead of using the temporary detour route.
  1987 A couple changes to US-31 and associated routes in 1987:
  • The US-31 freeway bypass of Niles is extended northerly from US-12/Pulaski Hwy to Walton Rd northwest of Niles, where US-31 now turns northeasterly via Walton back to its existing route. A new BUS US-31 routing at Niles is then created by cobbling together a variety of different routes: From the US-31 & US-12 interchange, the new BUS US-31 proceeds easterly via US-12 to US-33/11th St, then northerly via 11th St supplanting the US-33 routing into downtown Niles, then westerly via BUS US-12/Main St to Front St (the former route of US-31), then northerly via Front St and the former US-31 to Walton Rd, where it terminates. The former route of US-31 (not assumed into the new BUS US-31 routing) via BUS US-12 (Chicago Rd, Lincoln St/Grant-St Joseph Sts & W Main St) in Niles retains the BUS US-12 designation. —Thanks to Marc Fannin for clarification on this routing!
  • A new "spur" business routing debuts as BUS US-31 via Polk Rd and State St into downtown Hart.
  1988 (June 7) New!At its regular meeting at Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, the U.S. Route Numbering Subcommittee of the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO) approves a request from the Michigan Dept of Transportation to relocate the route of US-31 in Mason Co, placing it onto the new freeway facility currently under construction. The relocation runs from the northern end of the existing freeway at BUS US-31 on the Oceana/Mason Co line northerly to US-10/US-31 east of Ludington.
  1989 (Sept 12, Sept 22) The US-31 freeway is extended northerly from BUS US-31 at the Oceana/Mason Co line to the existing route southeast of Ludington, approximately three miles south of US-10. The northbound lanes of the new freeway open first on Sept 12, followed by the southbound lanes 20 days layer on Sept 22 at 2pm. The former route of US-31 via Pere Marquette Hwy from the Oceana/Mason Co line to the northern end of the new freeway segment becomes an extension of the unsigned "OLD US-31" state trunkline.
  1989 (Oct 6) – The Standing Committee on U.S. Route Numbering of the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO) officially approves the "Relocation of U.S. Route 31" on this day at their scheduled meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. The text of the request reads: "Beginning at the intersection of present U.S. Route 31 and a new facility west of Niles, then northerly over the new facility to the intersection of present U.S. Route 31 east of Benton Harbor." It would seem this request is both to cover for the relocation of US-31 onto the newly-constructed freeway from US-12 to Walton Rd two years prior and for the northerly extensions toward I-94 to come in the future.
  1990 (July 26, 2:42pm) – The second segment of the US-31 freeway in southern Mason Co is completed and opens to traffic from the end of the existing freeway at the Old US-31/Pere Marquette Hwy interchange southeast of Ludington to US-10/US-31 east of the city. The section of former US-31 via Pere Marquette Hwy between the US-31 freeway interchange and US-10 at Ludington is retained as an unsigned state trunkline as "OLD US-31," but would become BUS US-31 fifteen years later.
  1991 A new two-lane Scottville bypass is completed from US-10 around the west side of Scottville in Mason Co. The former route of US-31 from US-10 in downtown Scottville to the new bypass remains an unsigned state trunkline route for the time being, however.
  1992 The US-31 freeway is extended northerly from Walton Rd (Exit 7) northwest of Niles to existing US-31 (present-day Exit 15) immediately northwest of Berrien Springs. This highway, orignally intended to be a fully-controlled access freeway, is opened as a four-lane, divided, partially-controlled access expressway with access only at the many crossroads. This new expressway was first opened with two-way traffic on one side of the highway in early November, with the other half of the expressway opening approximately a week later. (Thanks Marc!). The portion of what had been signed as US-31 along Walton Rd between Old 31/BUS US-31 is now signed as an extension of BUS US-31, while the remainder of the former route from Walton Rd northerly through Berrien Springs becomes an unsigned state trunkline designated as "OLD US-31" while locally referred to as "Old 31."
  1993 (May 4) New! – An 8.74-mile long segment of future US-31 freeway in Berrien Co from existing US-31 west of Berrien Springs northerly to Napier Ave east of Benton Harbor is officially established as a state trunkline highway route by the State Administrative Board. It would be a decade before this segment of freeway would be completed and opened to traffic.
  1997 (Mar 4) – The 0.793-mile route of OLD US-31 at Scottville in Mason Co is transferred to local control, approximately five years after the westerly US-31 bypass of Scottville was completed and opened to traffic. The southernmost 0.294 mile of the segment, corresponding to N Main St from US-10/State St in downtown Scottville to the northern city limit, is turned back to city jurisdiction, while the 0.499 mile long northern portion of N Main St from the city limit northerly to US-31 is transferred to County control.
  1996–97 Conversion of the US-31 expressway in Berrien County to full freeway is all but completed (with the exception of the Matthew Rd intersection) with four new overpasses and two new interchanges constructed. Also, the concurrently designated portions of BUS US-31 (with US-12 and BUS US-12) between Exit 3 and downtown Niles is removed, making BUS US-31 at Niles a "spur-route" into downtown from the north.
  1997 Construction begins on the third of three pairs of St Joseph River bridges at Berrien Springs as work commences on the fourth of five "phases" of US-31 Freeway construction in Berrien Co. This "phase" will eventually include the extension of the freeway northerly from the existing US-31 routing at Berrien Springs to Napier Ave east of Benton Harbor.
  1998 The conversion of the third "phase" of the US-31 freeway to full freeway standards is complete as the seemingly-unnecessary Matthew Rd overpasses northwest of Niles are completed. Until this time, the speed limit on this portion of US-31 had to be artificially lowered from 65 mph (then the upper limit of freeway speed limits in Michigan) to 55 mph because of this one remaining intersection. With the overpassing of Matthew Rd, a narrow, gravel-surfaced, sparsely-inhabited country lane, the last intersection on the US-31 freeway north of Walton Rd has been removed and the speed limit is raised to 70 mph, the recently-increased maximum rural freeway limit.
  1999 (June 21) MDOT announces its selection of the 120th Ave Corridor in Ottawa Co as it's choice in the completion of the US-31 freeway in the area. Their choice is the so-called "F/J1" alternative, which includes a new Grand River crossing almost eight miles upstream from the current Grand Haven US-31 drawbridge. Construction is projected to begin in 2010 running through 2024. More info: US-31 Freeway in Ottawa County.
  2000 (Nov 9) All 1.08 miles of OLD US-31/First St (Oceana Dr) within the Village of New Era and the 1.83 miles of OLD US-31/State St in the City of Shelby, both in Oceana Co, are turned back to local control.
  2001 (Oct 9) The two miles of OLD US-31/Oceana Dr from the Muskegon/Oceana Co line northerly to the south limits of Rothbury in southern Oceana Co are turned back to local control.
  2002 (Sept 24) MDOT announces it will not proceed with plans for the proposed Petoskey Bypass at this time and the project is declared dead. More info: US-31 Bypass at Petoskey.
  2002 Several jurisdictional transfers along OLD US-31 in Muskegon and Oceana Counties:
  • The 1.96-mile long stretch of OLD US-31/Whitehall Rd in northern Muskegon Co from jct BUS US-31 & B-15 north of Montague northerly to the Muskegon/Oceana Co line is turned back to local control.
  • (Mar 20) Two additional segments of OLD US-31/Oceana Dr are transferred to local control on this date: 2½ miles from the north limits of Rothbury to the south limits of New Era and 0.37 miles from the north limits of New Era to M-20.
  2003 (Aug 27) A 9.1-mile extension of the US-31 freeway in Berrien Co is opened to traffic, connecting the northern end of the existing freeway at Berrien Springs with Napier Ave east of Benton Harbor. This is the fourth of five informal "phases" of the freeway in Berrien Co and it removes through traffic off the rather dangerous former route of US-31 between Berrien Springs and I-94. This portion of the freeway features the third (and final) pair of St Joseph River crossings as well as interchanges at Tabor Rd, Pipestone Rd/Sodus Pkwy and Napier Ave. The former route of US-31 between the freeway at Berrien Springs (at Exit 15) and I-94 south of Benton Harbor/St Joseph is redesignated as an extension of M-139, instead of an extension of M-63 as had been originally proposed and confirmed by several MDOT documents. Additionally, the 1.91 miles of Napier Rd from I-94 at Exit 30 easterly to the northern end of the new freeway segment is "temporarily" transferred from County to MDOT control. According to MDOT documents, "The county road, Napier Road, will provide a temporary link between the temporary northern terminus of new US-31 freeway and I-94. It is unknown how long the "temporary" situation will exist, so MDOT and the public are best served by having a trunkline-to-trunkline connection in this area for the duration." More info: US-31 Freeway in Berrien County.
  2003 The 6.71 miles of OLD US-31 along Pere Marquette Hwy in southwestern Mason Co is transferred to local control from BUS US-31 on the Oceana/Mason Co line northerly to the US-31 interchange with Pere Marquette southeast of Ludington.
  2005 (Spring) A brand-new BUS US-31 designation is signed for the first time along Pere Marquette Hwy, the former route of US-31, on the east side of Ludington, from the Pere Marquette Hwy interchange along the US-31 freeway northerly to US-10. As of early May 2005, BUS US-31 route marker assemblies are posted along the new route, but not along the intersecting highways. It is also unclear if MDOT will sign this new route as a spur, terminating on the north at US-10, or as a full loop, by co-signing it along US-10 between Pere Marquette Hwy and the US-31 freeway interchange.
  2005 (Aug 3) An additional 8.4 miles of OLD US-31/Oceana Dr in Oceana Co is turned back to local control: beginning at the north end of the South Branch Pentwater River bridge north of Hart and continuing northerly to the north jct of BUS US-31 & US-31 on the Oceana/Mason Co line. Also transferred on this date is the 1.11-mile long segment of OLD BUS US-31 along Monroe Rd between US-31 and OLD US-31/Oceana Dr, also in northern Oceana Co.
  2006 (Nov 8) MDOT announces the route designation for the northernmost seven miles for the proposed US-31 Freeway in Ottawa County will be M-231.
  2016 (July 25) New! The West Michigan Pike Historic Byway is officially unveiled at a ceremony in Muskegon's Heritage Park. Running from the Indiana state line south of New Buffalo up Michigan's west coast to Ludington, the Byway runs along five segments of US-31 between M-63 near Hagar Shores and US-10 at Ludington, deviating from the US-31 route to follow Business Connections through South Haven, Muskegon, Whitehall-Montague, and Pentwater.
Controlled Access: Freeway: Three segments of US-31 exist as freeway:
  1. From southern entrance at the Indiana state line northerly to Napier Ave east of Benton Harbor. (24.1 miles)
  2. From jct I-94 (at Exit 28) & I-196 northeast of Benton Harbor to Central Ave on the south side of Holland. (47.4 miles)
  3. From the Grand River bascule bridge on the municipal limits between Grand Haven and Ferrysburg to US-10 east of Ludington. (66 miles)
  Expressway: Four segments of US-31 exist as expressway:
  1. In the Holland area, from the northern end of the freeway segment on the south side of Holland (at Central Ave) to Stanton St north of West Olive. (13.7 miles)
  2. In northwestern Ottawa Co, from Ferris St to Robbins Rd on the south side of Grand Haven. (2.6 miles)
  3. A very short segment—actually the lead-in to the third freeway segment (see above)—from the Grand River (South Channel) bridge to the Grand River bascule bridge over the main channel at the beginning of freeway segment No.3. (0.4 mile)
  4. A two-lane, limited-access expressway segment from Paradise Trl on the southern edge of Carp Lake in notheastern Emmet Co to the northern terminus of US-31 at I-75. (5.0 miles)
NHS: The entire length of US-31 in Michigan is on the National Highway System (NHS).
Business Connections:
  • FORMER BUS US-31 – Niles. A former spur route from US-31 at Exit 7 to BUS US-12 in downtown. Decommissioned in the field, 2010.
  • FORMER BUS US-31 – Holland. Formerly ran from US-31 (at Exit 47) on the south side of the city to jct US-31 & BL I-196 east of downtown. Decommissioned in August 2004.
  • BUS US-31 – Muskegon. From jct US-31 & I-96 in Norton Shores to US-31 northeast of downtown Muskegon.
  • BUS US-31 – Whitehall/Montague. From US-31 east of Whitehall to US-31 north of Montague.
  • BUS US-31 – Hart. Spur route from US-31 west of Hart into downtown.
  • BUS US-31 – Pentwater. Loop through Pentwater from the Monroe Rd interchange southeast of town to the Oceana Dr interchange northeast of town.
  • BUS US-31 – Ludington. From US-31 at the Pere Marquette Hwy interchange southeast of Ludington to US-10 east of the city.
Circle Tour: Lake Michigan Circle Tour MarkerLake Michigan Circle Tour in six segments:
  1. From M-63 at Exit 7 near Hagar Shores to the southern jct of BL I-196 at Exit 18 south of South Haven.
  2. From the northern jct of BL I-196 at Exit 20 in South Haven to the southern jct of BUS US-31 at Exit 110 in Norton Shores. NOTE: With the removal of BUS US-31 at Holland in August 2004, the LMCT no longer runs through downtown Holland. Signage to this effect was finally corrected in 2010.
  3. From M-120 at Exit 118 near North Muskegon to the southern jct of BUS US-31 at Exit 128 at Whitehall and Montague
  4. From the northern jct of BUS US-31 at Exit 131 northeast of Montague to the southern jct of BUS US-31 at Exit 154 southeast of Pentwater. NOTE: With route marker signage changes in 2011, it is unclear whether the official LMCT route still uses BUS US-31 through Pentwater. If attempting to follow the LMCT route, understand there may no longer be LMCT signs through Pentwater.
  5. From the northern jct of BUS US-31 at Exit 158 northeast of Pentwater to M-22 northeast of Manistee.
  6. From the jct of M-22/M-72 & US-31/M-37 in Traverse City to northern terminus of US-31 south of Mackinaw City.
Pure Michigan Byway: Historic Heritage Route MarkerWest Michigan Pike Historic Byway New!: Five segments of the Byway run along US-31 between Hagar Shores and Ludington:
  1. From M-63 at Exit 7 near Hagar Shores to the southern jct of BL I-196 at Exit 18 south of South Haven.
  2. From the northern jct of BL I-196 at Exit 20 in South Haven to the southern jct of BUS US-31 at Exit 110 in Norton Shores.
  3. From M-120 at Exit 118 near North Muskegon to the southern jct of BUS US-31 at Exit 128 at Whitehall and Montague
  4. From the northern jct of BUS US-31 at Exit 131 northeast of Montague to the southern jct of BUS US-31 at Exit 154 southeast of Pentwater.
  5. From the northern jct of BUS US-31 at Exit 158 northeast of Pentwater to US-10 at Exit 170 east of Ludington.
Memorial Highways:  New! The following Memorial Highway designations have been officially assigned to parts of US-31 by the Michigan Legislature:
  • Blue Star Memorial Highway – "The portion of highway US-31 beginning at the border between Michigan and Indiana in Berrien County and extending to the Straits of Mackinac at the county line of Emmet and Cheboygan Counties, excluding the portion of highway US-31 beginning at the intersection with Robbins Road in the city of Grand Haven and continuing north to the intersection with Jackson Street, and excluding the portion of highway US-31 in Oceana County beginning at the W. Shelby Road exit 144 and continuing north to the Hart Polk Road exit 149..." From MDOT: "Blue Star Memorial Highways are marked to pay tribute to the United States Armed Forces. The National Council of State Garden Clubs started the program in 1945 after World War II. The Blue Star was used on service flags to denote a service member fighting in the war."
  • St. Joseph Valley Parkway –  "The portion of highway US-31 beginning at the Michigan-Indiana state line and extending north to the intersection with I-94 in Berrien County..." From MDOT: "The St. Joseph Valley Parkway is a freeway in the U.S. states of Indiana and Michigan which runs along the St. Joseph River valley."
  • Medal of Honor Recipients Highway – "Highway US-31 beginning at the intersection of highway US-31 and highway I-196 in Allegan County and continuing north to the intersection of highway US-31 and highway M-45 in Ottawa County..." From MDOT: "The Highway recognizes Medal of Honor Recipients Lieutenant Colonel Matt Urban, Corporal John Essebagger, Jr., Sergeant Paul Ronald Lambers, and Sergeant Gorgon Yntema."
  • Officer Scott Flahive Memorial Highway – "The portion of highway US-31, also known as Beacon Boulevard, beginning at the intersection with Robbins Road in the city of Grand Haven and continuing north to the intersection with Jackson Street..." From the Michigan Legislature: "On the evening of December 13, 1994, while on duty, Grand Haven Public Safety Officer Scott Flahive intercepted the getaway car of a county jail escapee by conducting a traffic stop on Beacon Boulevard near Park Street. As Officer Flahive approached the vehicle, the escapee, who was lying in the back seat, shot through the door with a hunting rifle, striking him in the hip. Officer Flahive died of his injuries. He was 28 years old."
  • Veterans Memorial Bridge – "The bridge on US-31 in Ottawa County located in the City of Grand Haven between Jackson Street and the M-104 exit, locally known as the 'South Channel Bridge'..." From MDOT: "Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations defines a veteran as “a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.” This definition explains that any individual that completed a service for any branch of armed forces classifies as a veteran as long as they were not dishonorably discharged."
  • Pere Marquette Memorial Highway – "The part of highway US-31 beginning at the county line of Muskegon and Oceana Counties and extending north to the county line of Mason and Manistee Counties, excluding the portion of highway US-31 in Oceana County beginning at the W. Shelby Road exit 144 and continuing north to the Hart Polk Road exit 149..." From MDOT: "Father Jacques Marquette, also known as Pere Marquette, was a French Jesuit missionary who founded Michigan’s first European settlement, Sault Ste. Marie, and later founded St. Ignace, Michigan."
  • PFC Brett Witteveen Memorial Highway – "The portion of highway US-31 in Oceana County beginning at the W. Shelby Road exit 144 and continuing north to the Hart Polk Road exit 149..." From the Michigan Legislature: "PFC Brett A. Witteveen joined the Marine Corps and was assigned to Marine Forces Reserve’s 1st Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Grand Rapids, Michigan. PFC Witteveen died on February 19, 2007, while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was 20 years old."
  • Green Arrow Route–Mackinac Trail – "[...] the portion of highway US-31 beginning at the intersection with highway US-131 and extending north to the straits of Mackinac..." From MDOT: "To capitalize on the opening of the Mackinac Bridge in 1957, local leaders in Battle Creek wanted to promote M-66 as a route north from Indiana to the bridge. They named the highway the Green Arrow Route as part of this marketing strategy. The color was to evoke the forests in the area, and arrow was meant to play on several historical connections. M-66 was given the Green Arrow Route name in Public Act 170 of 1959 between the Indiana state line and Kalkaska."
Photographs:  
Continue on: US-31 into Indiana - via the Indiana Highway Ends website
Weblinks:
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