Michigan Highways: Since 1997.

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M-22 & M-109 junction route signage in Glen Arbor, Michigan
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Former M-4
M-5 Route Marker On to Next Route:
Eastern Terminus:   Cnr Grand River Ave, Middle St & Cass Ave in downtown Detroit
Northern Terminus:   At Pontiac Tr & Martin Pkwy (roundabout) in Commerce Twp, Oakland County—the north end of the "Haggerty Connector"
Length: 27.888 miles
Maps: Route Map of M-5
Route Map of Proposed M-275 (South Part, 1974)
Notes: The current iteration of M-5 can, in many ways, be described as "A Tale of Three Highways," in that it is made up three distinct sections.
     The current M-5 routing came into existence as a replacement for the BS I-96 (Business Spur I-96) designation in Detroit when the I-96/Jeffries Frwy was completed in the 1970s. Previously, BS I-96 proceeded from the end of the I-96 freeway at Farmington along Grand River Ave, terminating in downtown Detroit. When the I-96/Jeffries Frwy through Detroit and Livonia was completed in 1977, the BS I-96 designation was retired and M-5 was designated along the route from M-102/Eight Mile Rd southeasterly to the first junction with the I-96/Jeffries Frwy in Detroit. Former BS I-96 northwest of Eight Mile Rd became part of M-102, while the portion of Grand River southeast of the first junction with the I-96/Jeffries Frwy into downtown became an unsigned state trunkline with an internal designation of "Old BS I-96."
     The second chapter in the current M-5 routing begins in 1994 when the designation was extended northwesterly along what had been part of M-102 via Grand River Ave then bypassing downtown Farmington using the freeway originally constructed as part of I-96. The M-102 designation was scaled back to terminate at the intersection of Eight Mile Rd & Grand River Ave. The extension of M-5 to the massive I-96/I-275/I-696 interchange was done in preparation for the "Haggerty Connector" construction.
     The third part of the M-5 story involves the "Haggerty Connector"—a limited-access expressway (access only at select crossroads) leading northerly from the massive I-96/I-275/I-696 interchange into central Oakland Co along the right-of-way of what had originally been proposed as the I-275 and, later, M-275 northerly extension. The Haggerty Connector was built to relieve some of the traffic problems created when local citizens rejected the completion of the I-275 freeway and M-275 parkway. Instead of adding a fifth route designation to the already complicated junction of I-96/I-275/I-696, MDOT simply extended the M-5 routing northerly along the new highway, thus creating a route which runs basically east-west from downtown Detroit to the Novi/Farmington Hills area, then north-south between Novi and Commerce Twp.
     A fourth part of the M-5 story—or possibly just an update to the first part—began in 2016 with its signing all the way into downtown Detroit. (See Note below.)
  In c.2000, MDOT moved to more directly control the regular maintenance on the "surface" state trunklines in the City of Detroit. Regular maintenance on all non-freeway state highways within Detroit had long been contracted to the city, but had begun to decline over the years. When MDOT re-took control of maintenance, a few trunkline designation changes within the city were made as well, some actual and some on paper. Beginning with the 2001 Official Transportation Map, it seemed as if MDOT was indicating that M-5 continued southeasterly along Grand River Ave all the way into downtown Detroit, supplanting the unsigned trunkline designation of "Old BS I-96" that had been in place since 1977. However, the state made no attempt at signing this portion of Grand River Ave as M-5 and it was later learned that while the department has a general rule to not mark unsigned state trunklines on its official transportation map, the "Old BS I-96" extension of M-5 was included as a red line (indicating state trunkline status) into downtown Detroit for unknown (likely political) reasons. Then during April–May 2016, as part of a signing and streetlighting upgrade, MDOT erected M-5 route markers along the "Old BS I-96" portion of Grand River Ave from I-96/Jeffires Frwy (Exit 185) southeasterly into downtown Detroit at the cnr of Grand River Ave & Cass Ave.
  New! 2024-01 While the appearance of M-5 route markers along the segment of Grand River Ave in Detroit between I-96 at Exit 195 and Middle St-Cass Ave intersection downtown would logically lead one to believe the former unsigned trunkline designation on that segment of highway—OLD BS I-96—was now an obsolete/cancelled route designation, MDOT's own online Physical Reference/Control Section (PR/CS) mapping application clearly delineates this segment as "unsigned" and with a designation as "OLD I-96" or "OLD I-96BS." This could simply be a mapping/data error, or it may be that the Metro Region of MDOT had M-5 signs erected along this segment without the express direction or knowledge of MDOT Central Office in Lansing or trunkline signage plans may have been developed and approved by one unit within the Department while approvals for route numbering chanages happen in another unit and the change was not properly communicated between the two. For the purposes of this site, M-5 will be considered the route designation for Grand River between I-96 Exit 185 and downtown Detroit, while the "FORMER" tag in the listing for OLD BS I-96 has been removed for now.
  The "Haggerty Connector" portion of the route of M-5—from the massive I-96/I-275/I-696/M-5 interchange northerly to Pontiac Trail in southcentral Oakland Co—follows the path initially chosen by the Dept of State Highways in 1965 as the proposed route for the northerly continuation of the I-275 freeway. With Federal approval of an Interstate designation not forthcoming, the proposed northern extension of I-275 between I-96/I-696 and I-75 near Davisburg was simply rechristened as the M-275 freeway, with the only change being the route designation from I-275 to M-275. Otherwise, the facility would be identical as originally designed. After the State Highway Commission voted to cancel the entire M-275 freeway in late January, 1977, the renamed Dept of State Highways & Transportation staff recommended still building M-275 all the way to I-75, but this time as an extensively-landscaped controlled-access "parkway" (expressway) instead of a full limited-access freeway—essentially replacing interchanges with intersecting, at-grade crossroads, but still with no private driveway access. Studies on the corridor languished with no decisions into the 1980s and the route designation morphed into M-9 at some point, either running all the way from I-96 to I-75 or only running as far as M-59. After Gov. James Blanchard spurred the development of the present M-5/Haggerty Connector in 1986, the M-9 corridor study shifted farther to the west to continue look into additional north-south trunkline routes in west-central Oakland Co to attempt to relieve traffic congestion in that area. The M-5/Haggerty Connector, while constructed along the original I-275/M-275 footprint, is not only not a freeway, it also terminates at Pontiac Trail and shall never be extended any farther to the north, unlike the I-275, M-275 and M-9 plans before it. The Haggerty Connector—a four- to six-lane controlled-access boulevard with Michigan Lefts, opened to traffic in three phases between 1994 and 2002.
  Connector 5: An unsigned state trunkline connector route, internally designated by MDOT as "Connector 5" exists in the midst of the massive I-96/I-275/I-696/M-5 interchange along the Farmington Hills/Novi boundary. It consists of the portion of freeway opened as part of the US-16/Brighton-Farmington Expwy in late 1957, then later formerly designated as part of I-96 (1959–77) and M-102 (1977–94). When the M-5/Haggerty Connector opened northerly from the interchange to 12 Mile Rd in 1994, this left a short segment of freeway with technically no assigned route designation. Connector 5 is quite lopsided, however. The westbound side is 1.334 miles long, consisting of the portion of former I-96 and former M-102 from the M-5 NORTH ramp to where it merges with I-696, while the eastbound side from the I-696 divergence to where the M-5 SOUTH ramp merges in is only 0.324 mile (1,713 feet) long—over a mile shorter than the westbound side!
  On June 9, 1999, the section of M-5 between M-102/Eight Mile Rd east of Farmington and the I-96/I-275/I-696 interchange was dedicated as the Keith Deacon Memorial Highway. Mr. Deacon, according to Farmington Hills Mayor Aldo Vagnozzi, "was a former member of the Economic Development Corporation who worked diligently" to make the reconstruction of the Grand River Ave & M-5 interchange a reality. Statutorily, it was Act 12 of 1999, effective April 27 of that year, which wrote the memorial designation into law. (More on Michigan's Memorial Highways from MDOT.)
History: 1926 – A six-mile long spur route beginning in Cedarville and continuing northerly (along a portion of the current routing of M-129), ending at US-2 in the hamlet of Rockview along the Chippewa/Mackinac Co line is designated. (US-2 in this area becomes M-121 in the early 1930s.)
  1934 – Several highway changes occur in the extreme eastern U.P.: M-121 from its junction with M-5 at Rockview is redesignated as an extension of M-5, 28 miles north to end at US-2 in Sault Ste Marie. M-5 is now 35 miles long, and completely occupies the routing of today's M-129. Most of M-121 west of Rockview is redesignated as M-4, roughly along the alignment of today's M-134.
  1939 – In the first half of 1939, M-5 is redesignated M-129 in its entirety. Also, M-4 is redesignated as M-134. These redesignations come at a time when the State Highway Department is removing all single-digit highway numbers from the state, reportedly to be reserved for a proposed "superhighway" system. Elsewhere in Michigan, M-3 becomes M-39, M-6 becomes M-111, M-7 becomes M-86, and M-9 becomes M-99.
  1977 (Nov) Updated 2024-01 – With the completion of the I-96/Jeffries Frwy, the portion of BS I-96/Grand River Ave between M-102/Eight Mile Rd and I-96 at Exit 185 is redesignated as M-5. This route had been BS I-96 since the decommissioning of US-16 in 1962. The remainder of the former BS I-96 from I-96 at Exit 185 and US-12/Michigan Ave in downtown Detroit becomes an unsigned trunkline route internally designated by the Dept of State Highways & Transportation as OLD BS I-96, while the portion from M-102/Eight Mile Rd northwesterly to what had formerly been the eastern end of the I-96 freeway southeast of Farmington becomes an extension of M-102.
  1986 (July–Sept)MDOT Director James Pitz is directed on July 28 by Governor Jim Blanchard to "develop a plan to ease congestion along the I-696 corridor between I-96 and US-24, and in particular, in the Haggerty Road area." Blanchard notes the congestion in the Haggerty Rd corridor as being "a danger to the quality of life and safety of the residents" and requests "a plan that could be implemented and completed 'as soon as possible.'" Pitz submits his "I-696 Corridor Improvement Program" plan on September 1 which includes several updates and improvements to the I-696 corridor, including "Construct a connection between Haggerty Road and I-96/I-696/I-275 to provide improved access between those freeways and Haggerty Road and to expand capacity in the Haggerty Road corridor up to the vicinity of 15 Mile Rd."
  1989 (May–June) – A Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) is completed and distributed by MDOT covering the four alternatives for the "Haggerty Connector" corridor study project in May. On May 25, the SEMCOG Policy Committee selects "Alternative 4A" as their preferred alignment for the route. A public meeting on June 7 at Novi High School is attended by 800–1,000 people where the "overwhelming opinion held by local residents is that a traffic congestion problem exists and major construction is needed to correct the situation. The overwhelming majority favor the selection of Alternative 4A," according to MDOT.
  1989 (Nov 20)MDOT selects "Alternative 4A" as the recommended alignment for the Haggerty Connector and prepares a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) as a step toward actually constructing the highway. Although the M-9 designation has been loosely associated with the Haggerty Connector, that designation will not ultimately be applied to the route in the end.
  1994 (Oct 27, 9:30am) – The first segment of the M-5 "Haggerty Connector" is completed and opened to traffic from the massive I-96, I-275 & I-696 interchange on the Farmington Hills/Novi boundary northerly to a temporary terminus at 12 Mile Rd. This segment cost $35 million to complete and consists of a full freeway with 11 miles of pavement, seven bridges and 11 ramps, according to MDOT reports. To join this segment of M-5 with the existing M-5 along Grand River Ave in Detroit, the portion of M-102 from Eight Mile Rd at Clarenceville northwesterly to the I-96, I-275 & I-696 interchange is redesignated as M-5, while M-102 scaled back to end at Grand River Ave. M-5 now continues northwesterly past Eight Mile Rd along Grand River Ave and the "Farmington Bypass" freeway, then turns northerly along the "Haggerty Connector" to 12 Mile Rd.
  1995 (Jan 9) – A total of 1.342 mile of two county roadways temporarily transferred to State control in the Novi area are transferred back to county control. Specifically the 0.936-mile segment of 12 Mile Rd through the new M-5 interchange to just east of Haggerty Rd and the 0.406-mile portion of Haggerty Rd north and south of 12 Mile Rd are transferred back to the county. These segments were reconstructed by the State to accommodate the new M-5 interchange.
  1999 (Aug 2) – Monday, August 2, 1999 saw the opening of an additional 2.2 miles of the "Haggerty Connector," from 12 Mile Rd north to 14 Mile Rd as a four-lane controlled-access "expressway." Originally, MDOT had wanted to just open the highway in the middle of the night with no fanfare, but the Novi City Council wanted to mark the occasion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, which was held at noon that day at 12 Mile Rd. The road was to be opened fully to traffic by 1:00pm. Construction on this phase of the "Haggerty Connector" began in late July 1996, and cost approximately $23 million to build. Originally, this second segment of the connector was to have been completed in late 1995 with the entire route to Pontiac Tr being completed and opened to traffic in 1998.
  2002 (Nov 1) – The final two miles of the M-5 "Haggerty Corridor" between 14 Mile Rd and Pontiac Tr are opened to traffic, completing a project begun more than a decade earlier. No further construction north of Pontiac Tr will occur for the same reasons I-275 and, later, M-275 were never constructed there—homeowner opposition and new, stronger environmental regulations. MDOT Press Release (via archive.org)
  2011 (Nov 5) – A "northern continuation," of sorts, to the M-5 Haggerty Connector is completed and opened to traffic along with a large roundabout at Pontiac Trail in Commerce Twp. In 2004, in order to construct Martin Pkwy from the northern end of M-5 to Oakley Park Rd, the Commerce Twp Downtown Development Authority (DDA) purchased two golf courses and fifty acres of Huron Clinton Metropolitan land to provide relief from traffic congestion at M-5 and Pontiac Trail, while providing the opportunity for a new library, town hall, and town center identity for the community. Work on Martin Pkwy began in 2008 and was finally connected to the northern end of M-5 when the roundabout at Pontiac Tr was completed and opened to traffic on this date.
  2016 (Apr-May) – As part of a signing and streetlighting replacement project, M-5 route markers are installed along Grand River Ave in Detroit from the previous eastern terminus of M-5 at I-96/Jeffries Frwy (at Exit 185) along the unsigned state trunkline route (designated internally by MDOT as "OLD BS I-96") to the terminus of OLD BS I-96 at the cnr of Grand River Ave & Cass Ave in downtown Detroit.
Controlled-Access: Freeway: From just south of 13 Mile Rd in Novi to jct Grand River Ave southeast of downtown Farmington.
  Expressway: From the end of the freeway just south of 13 Mile Rd in Novi northerly to northern terminus at Pontiac Tr & Martin Pkwy in Commerce Twp.
NHS: The entire length of M-5 is part of the National Highway System (NHS).
Memorial Highway:  The following Memorial Highway designations have been officially assigned to parts of M-5 by the Michigan Legislature:
  • Keith Deacon Memorial Highway – "The part of highway M-5 located in the city of Farmington Hills and the city of Farmington extending from the interchange of highways I-96, I-275, and I-696 east to the intersection with M-102..." From MDOT: "The late D. Keith Deacon served the City of Farmington Hills in various capacities, including as a member of the charter commission and the first city council. Deacon also served two terms as mayor pro-tem and was the city's fourth mayor. During his 17 years of service on the city's economic development commission (EDC), Deacon took a particular interest in the economic development of the city and the construction of roads in Farmington Hills. He was especially concerned about the way traffic patterns affected the residents and the business community. Consequently, he was committed to finding solutions to traffic congestion along the M-5/Grand River Avenue interchange in Farmington Hills and the City of Farmington."
  • Staff Sergeant Duane J. Dreasky Memorial Highway – "The portion of highway M-5 between the intersection with 13 Mile Road and the intersection with 14 Mile Road in the city of Novi..." From the Michigan Legislature: "Sergeant Duane J. Dreasky of Novi, Michigan, died on July 10, 2006, in San Antonio, Texas, after succumbing to injuries suffered in Iraq. Sergeant Dreasky was riding in a Humvee near al-Habbaniyah, Iraq, on November 21, 2005, when an improvised explosive device was detonated nearby. He was the last survivor of the five-man Humvee unit and suffered heavy burns across his body."
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