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M-22 & M-109 junction route signage in Glen Arbor, Michigan
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M-36 Route Marker On to Next Route:
Western Terminus:    US-127 at the Cedar St interchange in Mason
Eastern Terminus:    US-23 at Exit 54 near Whitmore Lake
Length: 44.126 miles
Maps: Route Map of M-36
Notes: The western half of M-36 runs in relatively straight lines across the farm fields of Ingham County, while the eastern half weaves in amongst the lakes and hills of southern Livingston County.
  In "State Trunkline Needs, 1960–1980," a set of maps prepared by the State Highway Dept's Office of Planning, Programming Division in 1960 showing possible additions, upgrades and improvements to the state trunkline system over the ensuing twenty years, MSHD staff recommended a pair of changes to the route of M-36 during that timeframe, including:
  • One of the major changes proposed for M-36 involved a westerly extension of the route from its terminus in Mason toward Charlotte. Beginning where M-50 turns southeasterly approximately 3½ miles east of Charlotte, M-36 would have had a new western terminus, proceeding easterly via Bell Hwy for four miles, then easterly along a newly-buit alignment, continuing another three miles easterly along Bunker Hwy to the Ingham Co line. In Ingham Co, M-36 would have then slowly bent a bit to the north of due east eventually interchanging with US-127 near the existing Columbia Rd overpass with a connection to existing M-36 just to the east of there. This proposed extension was never acted upon.
  • Starting in eastern Ingham Co, M-36 was proposed to continue due easterly from its junction with the proposed M-47 (present-day M-52) along Stockbridge Rd for 2½ miles directly into Livingston Co. Once across the county line, M-36 would have then turn northeasterly heading directly for the southernmost end of M-155 at the Howell State Hospital southwest of Howell. From there, the proposed M-36 would have been routed along M-155, supplanting that route designation, to a terminus at US-16 (proposed to be redesignated at BL I-96 in the next few years) in downtown Howell. All of the former route of M-36 from M-92 (present-day M-52) easterly through Gregory, Pickney, Lakeland, and Hamburg to US-23 was to have been turned back to local control. As with the western extension toward Charlotte, this major reroute of M-36 was never implemented.
History: 1910s New! 2023-12 – The route which would eventually become Trunk Line No.36 (T.L. 36) and then M-36 runs from Pontiac northerly through Lake Orion, Oxford, and Metamora to Lapeer.
  1915 (Oct 28) New! 2023-12 – The 15.7 miles of T.L. 36 in Oakland Co outside of incorporated cities and villages is officially established in three segments:
  • From Kennett Rd northeast of downtown Pontiac northeasterly via Perry St then northerly along Lapeer Rd to the Lake Orion south village limit at Heights Rd. (9.5 miles)
  • From the Lake Orion north village limit northerly to the Oxford south village limit (at approximately present-day Lincoln St). (2.3 miles)
  • From the Oxford north village limit (between 1st and Helen Sts) northerly along Lapeer Rd and Metamora Rd to Davidson Lake Rd on the Oakland/Lapeer Co line. (3.9 miles)
  1915 (Nov 27) New! 2023-12 – One day shy of a month after the portion in Oakland Co is established, the 10.0-mile segment of T.L. 36 in southwest Lapeer Co is established as a state trunkline route from Davidson Lake Rd at the Oakland/Lapeer Co line northerly along Metamora Rd to the Metamora south village limit, then from the north village limit of Metamora northerly via Metamora Rd to Hunters Creek, jogging westerly along Hunters Creek Rd, then northerly again along Clark Rd to the Lapeer south city limit.
  1916 (Aug 21) New! 2023-12 – T.L. 36 is extended easterly and northerly from Lapeer for 24¾ miles. From the Lapeer east city limit, T.L. 36 runs easterly along Bowers Rd for 6.3 miles, then turns northerly along Lake Pleasant Rd through Kings Mills to North Branch Rd just east of North Branch. There, T.L. 36 now turns easterly via North Branch Rd to Patrick Rd, southerly along Patrick Rd to Burnside Rd, then Burnside Rd easterly to T.L. 53/Van Dyke Rd in the hamlet of Burnside.
  1919 (Sept 18) New! 2023-12 – The two segments of T.L. 36 through the villages of Lake Orion and Oxford in northern Oakland Co are established as state trunkline highway routes—1.25 miles in Lake Orion via Broadway St from Heights Rd northerly to Elizabeth St, then westerly to Axford St and 0.8 miles through Oxford along Washington St.
  1920 (Jan 20) New! 2023-12 – A 0.7-mile segment of T.L. 36 in the City of Lapeer is officially established as a state trunkline route and transferred to state control: Nepessing St geginning at Saginaw St continuing northeasterly to Oregon St, then easterly a short distance along Oregon St to the east city limit.
  1920 (Apr 15–30) New! 2023-12 – T.L. 36 is signed in the field as M-36 as all state trunkline highways in the Lower Peninsula are scheduled to be signed with route markers during the last half of April. While there are gaps in the officially established state trunkline route within the incorporated communities of Pontiac, Metamora and Lapeer, those gaps, consisting of locally-controlled roadway segments, are still signed as part of the route of M-36.
  1921 (Feb 8, Sept 22) New! 2023-12 – Two more segments of M-36 in incorporated communities in Lapeer Co are officially established and transferred to state control:
  • Saginaw St in the City of Lapeer from the south city limit at Demille Rd northerly to Nepessing St. (1.35 miles)
  • Oak St through the Village of Metamora from the southern village limit to the northern village limit. (1.1 mile)
  1927 (May 15) Updated 2023-12 – With the coming of the US Highway System to Michigan, many miles of formerly state route-signed highways become US Highways, while many additional miles of state route-signed highways are given new designations. While M-24 had formerly been the Ludington-Clare-Midland-Saginaw route, which now becomes US-10, the M-24 designation is moved onto the Bay City-Vassar-Lapeer-Pontiac route (of which the Vassar-to-Lapeer segment is not yet completed or signed). As such, the southern portion of M-36 from Lapeer southerly through Lake Orion to Pontiac is redesignated as part of M-24. At this point, M-36 only exists along the portion from M-21 near Lake Pleasant, thence northerly toward North Branch and on to its northern terminus at Burnside. Interestingly, though, when the State Highway Dept mapped out a new direct Lapeer-Mayville-Caro trunkline, it was earmarked to become part of M-36 (with the Lake Pleasant-North Branch-Burnside route likely cancelled and handed back to local control). However, at some point early on, it was decided to include it in the route of M-24 instead.
  1927 (Feb 8) New! 2023-12 – A new 5.3-mile state trunkline route is officially established from the cnr of North Branch Rd & Lake Pleasant Rd just east of North Branch—where M-36 turns easterly up to this point—and continues northerly along Lake Pleasant Rd to a jct M-38 in Clifford. While M-36 is applied to this route as its highway designation, since Lake Pleasant Rd is not yet up to state trunkline standards, M-36 is temporarily routed along a westerly along North Branch Rd into downtown North Branch, then northerly 5.8 miles via Jefferson Rd to a terminus as M-38/Clifford Rd just west of Clifford. The former M-38 from the cnr of Lake Pleasant Rd & North Branch Rd easterly along North Branch Rd, then southerly along Marsh Rd and easterly via Burnside Rd to M-53 at Burnside becomes the western part of a new routing for M-90, which is being decommissioned along its Upper Peninsula alignment.
  1930 (Dec 2) New! 2023-12 – The entire 17.0-mile officially-established route of M-36 (as well as the slightly longer "temporary" marked-and-maintained route between North Branch and M-38 west of Clifford) is cancelled as a state trunkline route and turned back to local control. The "temporary" route from downtown North Branch to M-38 remains a county road and state maintenance ceases and all route markers are removed. (The 1.0 mile portion of what had been signed M-36 along North Branch Rd and Huron St in the Village of North Branch becomes part of a new westerly extension of M-90.) Thus ends the first iteration of M-36, although the route designation wouldn't be absent from the state highway system for long.
  1931 (Feb 4–8) Updated 2023-12 – The entirety of M-49 from Mason via Dansville, Gregory and Pinckney to US-23 near Whitmore Lake is redesignated as M-36 when the M-49 designation is transferred to a new state highway route in western Hillsdale Co. State Highway Dept work crews spend the first week of February changing out M-49 route markers for M-36 route markers. With the new trunkline in western Hillsdale Co receiving the M-49 designation, a new one was needed for the previous route and M-36 was chosen, marking the debut of that route's second iteration.
  1935 (Oct 22) New! 2023-12 – When M-36 had been designated M-49 (1914–1931), a new, direct diagonal alignment for M-49 had been officially established running directly from the existing route at the hamlet of Bullis Crossing (4½ miles west of downtown Pinckney) northwesterly through Plainfield and White Oak (Millville), tying back into the existing route at the cnr of Dansville Rd & Osborne Rd about 1½ miles east of downtown Dansville. However, as much of that officially-established route was not yet constructed, a "temporary" marked-and-maintained route was signed as M-49. When M-36 was transferred onto the M-49 alignment in early 1931, the officially-established(-but-not-yet-constructed) alignment became part of M-36 instead. However, as is the case for several other similar uncontructed alignments across the state which are also cancelled on this date, the never-built M-36 route is cancelled and the "temporary" marked-and-maintained route (which has been signed as part of M-36 for the past 4½ years) is re-established as the route for M-36.
  1938–39 New! 2023-12 – As part of a 14.86-mile upgrading and paving project along M-36 from Diamond Rd east of Mason easterly through Dansville and White Oak (Millville) to the Ingham/Livingston Co line, a set of two 90° turns in the route in Sec.20 of White Oak Twp are replaced by a gentle, sweeping S-curve. The segment north of the new alignment is obliterated as a public roadway, while the portion to the south (Sheathelm Rd) would assumedly be cancelled as a state trunkline route and turned back to county control, that apparently doesn't happen (or the records are lost). Sheathelm Rd is maintained as if it was a county roadway from this point onward.
  1939 (July 13) New! 2023-12 – A new 1.2-mile long realignment for M-36 is officially established in northeastern Stockbridge Twp in Ingham Co, beginning at Brogan Rd and continuing southeasterly to Kinsey Rd. The 1.5-mile former route along Brogan Rd and Kinsey Rd is cancelled as a trunkline and turned back to county control.
  1940 (Fall) – The remaining unpaved portion of M-36—the segment within Livingston Co with the exception of the previously paved portion through the Village of Pinckney—is fully paved.
  1953 (July 23) Updated 2023-12 – A new western US-127 bypass of Mason is completed and opened to traffic as a two-lane, surface highway. The new bypass departs existing US-127 (present-day Hull Rd) approximately ½ mile north of Tomlinson Rd south of the city and veers northwesterly crossing Kipp Rd at grade before swinging north-northwesterly crossing both Stitts Rd/South St and Columbia St at grade before merging back into existing US-127 just southeast of Howell Rd. The former route of US-127 in Mason via Lansing St from Jefferson Ave to Ash St and along Cedar St from Columbia Rd northwesterly to the new bypass is retained as an unsigned trunkline route for the time being. With the coming of the new bypass, Mason receives a new business connection: BUS US-127 begins at the southern end of the Mason bypass just north of Tomlinson Rd and continues northerly via Hull Rd and Jefferson Ave into downtown, then turns westerly concurrently with a westerly extension of M-36 via Ash St, then northerly via Cedar St, and westerly again via Columbia Rd, where both M-36 and BUS US-127 now terminate at the new bypass.
  1958 (Apr) – In an ongoing effort to have M-36 extended easterly from US-23 in the Whitmore Lake area into southern Oakland Co, reports in the media state four Oakland Co townships—assumedly Lyon, Novi, Farmington and Southfield Townships—petition the State Highway Commissioner to designate 10 Mile Rd across the southern part of the county as a state trunkline highway. Nothing becomes of the petiton, however.
  1964 (Oct 15) Updated 2023-12 – Several trunkline reroutings at Mason. First, the portions of BUS US-127 via Hull Rd and Jefferson Ave from US-127 south of Mason northerly to M-36/Ash St downtown and the portion of M-36/BUS US-127 via Columbia Ave from Cedar St westerly to US-127 are transferred back to local control, signaling an end to BUS US-127 at Mason (the route is decommissioned).The 1926–1954 route of US-127 via Cedar St northwesterly from Columbia Ave is re-established as a state trunkline, designated as M-36 from Columbia out to the new US-127 freeway interchange northwest of the city (present-day Exit 66).
  1967 (Sept 29) – A new alignment for M-36 is officially established as a state trunkline along its present-day route in the Pettysville area of Livingston Co, between Pinckney and Hamburg. The former alignment along Hooker Rd is cancelled as a state trunkline and turned back to county control while the portion following Henry Rd between Hooker and relocated M-36 is obliterated as a public roadway.
  1969 (Nov 7) M-52 is extended northerly along M-36/Stockbridge Rd north of the White Oak (Millville) area in southeastern Ingham Co toward Webberville, adding a three-mile concurrency with M-36.
  1980 (Jan 10) New! 2023-12 – When M-36 was realigned east of Dansville in 1938–39, a segment of the former route of M-36 was bypassed and became Sheathelm Rd. While it had been assumed to have been cancelled and turned back to county control, either that never actually happened or the records were lost. As such, MDOT issues a "record change" to make it clear Sheathelm Rd is, indeed, a county roadway and not a state trunkline highway.
Controlled Access: No portion of M-36 is freeway or expressway.
NHS: No portion of M-36 is on the National Highway System (NHS).
Memorial Highway: At present, no portion of M-36 has been designated as part of a Memorial Highway.
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