Michigan Highways: Since 1997.

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M-22 & M-109 junction route signage in Glen Arbor, Michigan
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M-36
M-37 Route Marker On to Next Route:
M-38
Southern Terminus:    Jct I-94 & BL I-94 at Exit 92 on the Kalamazoo/Calhoun Co line at the southwestern corner of Battle Creek
Northern Terminus:    Old Mission Lighthouse (Peninsula Twp Park) at the tip of the Old Mission Peninsula north of the community of Old Mission
Length: 222.256 miles
Maps: Route Map of M-37
Notes: Among several other route changes in Battle Creek and across Calhoun Co as a part of the Rationalization process (1998), the route of M-37 within the City of Battle Creek was altered. On October 31, 1998, the Michigan Department of Transportation took control of dozens of miles of formerly county roads and municipal streets. Among those miles were all of Bedford Rd from the jct of M-37 & M-89 southerly to Helmer Rd, all of Helmer Rd from Bedford Rd southerly to Columbia Ave and all of Columbia Ave from Helmer westerly to BL I-94/Skyline Dr-Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. These roads became part of the realigned M-37 route from M-89 to I-94. M-37 then continued southwesterly via BL I-94 to its new terminus at I-94. Much of the former route of M-37 into downtown Battle Creek became part of an extended M-89. Prior to the change, which resulted in a net gain of approximately 2¾ miles, M-37 was 218.97 miles long.
  In a reversal of one of the 1998 "Rationalization" transfers, the portion of M-37 along Columbia Ave from Helmer Rd (jct M-96) westerly to BL I-94/Skyline Dr-Martin Luther King Jr Blvd was turned back to the City of Battle Creek on in early May 2005. This created a discontinuity in the route of M-37, but MDOT then chose to relocate M-37 concurrently with BL I-94 via Dickman Rd from Helmer westerly to Skyline Dr-Martin Luther King Jr Blvd and via Skyline-MLKing southwesterly back to its previous route at Columbia Ave, thereby shortening the route of M-37 by 0.29 mile. Route signage in the field was updated to reflect this transfer and rerouting at a later date.
  A major rerouting for M-37 (and its concurrent partner designation, BL I-94) on the west side of Battle Creek occurred in 2015 when a segment of BL I-94/M-37 was removed as part of a project to accommodate expanding munitions storage at the adjacent Battle Creek Air National Guard Base. According to the Battle Creek Enquirer,"Battle Creek officials support the closure, saying it will create a joint base for the U.S. Army, Air National Guard and Navy that could boost Fort Custer Training Center's chances of being selected as a ballistic missile defense site." The portion of Skyline Dr/M L King Jr Dr from Columbia Ave northerly to Hill Brady Rd was transferred to the City of Battle Creek, while the portion between Hill Brady Rd and M-96/Dickman Rd was closed and obliterated. MDOT, meanwhile, took jurisdiction of Columbia Ave from Skyline/MLKing easterly to Helmer Rd (for a third time, the second time in 17 years!). The BL I-94/M-37 route now continues northeasterly and easterly from the intersection of Columbia Ave & Skyline/MLKing via Columbia Ave to Helmer Rd, then joins with M-96 along Helmer Rd between Columbia and Dickman Rd where both routes continue on their former paths—BL I-94 easterly via Dickman toward downtown Battle Creek and M-37 northerly toward Urbandale along Helmer Rd. The portion of Dickman Rd from Skyline Dr/MLKing Dr to Helmer Rd which had been designated BL I-94/M-37/M-96 is now just part of M-96. Now measuring 221.935 miles in length, prior to the 2015 rerouting, M-37 was 221.621 miles long—a net gain of 0.314 miles.
  A major rerouting for M-37 (and its concurrent partner designation, BL I-94) on the west side of Battle Creek occurred in 2015 when a segment of BL I-94/M-37 was removed as part of a project to accommodate expanding munitions storage at the adjacent Battle Creek Air National Guard Base. According to the Battle Creek Enquirer,"Battle Creek officials support the closure, saying it will create a joint base for the U.S. Army, Air National Guard and Navy that could boost Fort Custer Training Center's chances of being selected as a ballistic missile defense site." The portion of Skyline Dr/M L King Jr Dr from Columbia Ave northerly to Hill Brady Rd was transferred to the City of Battle Creek, while the portion between Hill Brady Rd and M-96/Dickman Rd was closed and obliterated. MDOT, meanwhile, took jurisdiction of Columbia Ave from Skyline/MLKing easterly to Helmer Rd (for a third time, the second time in 17 years!). The BL I-94/M-37 route now continues northeasterly and easterly from the intersection of Columbia Ave & Skyline/MLKing via Columbia Ave to Helmer Rd, then joins with M-96 along Helmer Rd between Columbia and Dickman Rd where both routes continue on their former paths—BL I-94 easterly via Dickman toward downtown Battle Creek and M-37 northerly toward Urbandale along Helmer Rd. The portion of Dickman Rd from Skyline Dr/MLKing Dr to Helmer Rd which had been designated BL I-94/M-37/M-96 is now just part of M-96. Now measuring 221.935 miles in length, prior to the 2015 rerouting, M-37 was 221.621 miles long—a net gain of 0.314 miles.
  Site contributor Brian Reynolds provided a gem of a map and information about a proposed expressway-freeway plan which never came to fruition. Much of the M-37 corridor from Hastings through Grand Rapids to Casnovia was upgraded to modern highway design and geometrics in the 1940s and 50s. South of Hastings, however, M-37 and parallel route M-43 remained on their original alignments from early in the century. In the 1960s, the State Highway Department proposed replacing these two substandard highways with a new expressway-freeway alignment, detailed by Brian on the M-37: Hastings-Battle Creek page.
  Plans for a major upgrade to the route of M-37 north of Grand Rapids were never realized, although some of the plans were put into place for a portion of the route. Presently, M-37 heads north from the Grand Rapids area on a five lane highway which becomes a divided highway at 6 Mile Rd and remains so to beyond 10 Mile Rd, where it narrows down to two lanes. North of where M-37 splits off from Alpine Ave, the road becomes a controlled-access "expressway" to its intersection with Apple Ave at the west limits of the Village of Casnovia. The original upgrade plans for M-37 called for a controlled-access freeway or expressway to branch off US-131 in the neighborhood of the Pine Island Dr overpass near Belmont, heading northwesterly to Alpine Ave, then northerly as a western bypass of Sparta, Kent City and Casnovia, continuing as a freeway or divided expressway well into Newaygo Co. The only portion of this plan ultimately completed was the portion from the Alpine Ave split-off (between 9 & 10 Mile Rds) to Apple Ave at Casnovia. Most of this route is a two-lane undivided expressway, with access only at select intersections. Sufficient right-of-way still exists next to the current highway for construction of a second roadway. This will likely never happen. It is unclear how far north the improved M-37 routing was proposed, although the City of Newaygo is a likely candidate. In addition, the proposed freeway or expressway connector between Alpine Ave and US-131 also seems highly unlikely, as numerous new subdivisions have been allowed to pop up in its path.
  Before M-37 was completed north of Wolf Lake, M-42 ran along the present-day route of M-37 from Mesick through Traverse City to Old Mission.
  In "State Trunkline Needs, 1960–1980," a set of maps prepared by the State Highway Dept's Office of Planning, Programming Division in 1960 showing possible additions, upgrades and improvements to the state trunkline system over the ensuing twenty years, MSHD staff recommended several changes to the route of M-37 during that timeframe, including:
  • Extending M-37 from M-96/W Michigan Ave (now M-89) southerly along Bedford and Helmer Rds to a terminus at BL I-94/Dickman Rd. This proposal was finally implemented as part of the 1998 Rationalization process.
  • Conversion of M-37 from P Dr North north of Battle Creek to 37½ Mile Rd (Hutchinson Rd) in Bedford to a divided highway. This proposal was never implemented.
  • Conversion of M-37 from the western city limit of Hastings northerly to US-16/28th St (now M-11) in Kentwood to a divided highway, with the exception of the portion through the Village of Middleville. While the vast majority of this proposal was never implemented, the portion of M-37 along Broadmoor Ave from 76th St north of Caledonia to south of 29th St in Kentwood was converted to a divided highway in the 1990s. Additionally, M-37 along the East Beltline Ave from 28th St in Kentwood northerly to I-96 was not proposed to be upgraded to a divided highway, although that did happen in the 1970s.
  • Conversion of Alpine Ave from I-96 at Exit 30 in Walker northerly to Alpine Church Rd 2-1/4 miles to the north to a divided highway. This proposal was never implemented.
  • Conversion of M-37 to a freeway from Alpine Church Rd 2¼ miles north of I-96 in Walker northerly to jct M-37 & M-46 west of Casnovia, featuring interchanges at 7 Mile Rd, 10 Mile Rd, Sparta Ave, 13 Mile Rd, 15 Mile Rd, Peach Ridge Ave, M-57/17 Mile Rd (now M-46), Kenowa Ave, and at the jct of M-37 & M-46 west of Casnovia at the terminus of the freeway. This proposal was partially implemented—from Alpine Church Rd tothe Alpine Ave split, M-37 was converted to a divided highway and from there north to Sparta Ave it was converted to a limited-access divided highway. From Sparta Ave north to Apple Ave west of Casnovia, a two-lane limited-access expressway was constructed with no interchanges.
  • Conversion of M-37 to a divided highway from the jct of M-37 & M-46 west of Casnovia northerly to the southern limit of the VIllage of White Cloud, not including the portion through the Village of Grant but, interestingly, including the portion through the center of the City of Newaygo. (As the portion through downtown Newaygo would involve levelling a good portion of the downtown district, it's hard to imagine that was the actual proposal!) None of this proposal was ever implemented.
  • Realignment of M-37 onto a completely new alignment from the northern limits of White Cloud almost directly to the point where M-37 crosses from Newaygo Co into Lake Co. This proposal was never implemented.
  • Realignment of M-37 onto a new alignment from 26 Rd near Yuma in Wexford Co to M-115 on the west side of Mesick. This proposal was implemented as shown on the maps.
  • Turnback to local control of all of the route of M-37 from US-31 in Traverse City northerly to its terminus at the Old Mission Lighthouse. This proposal was not implemented.
History: c.1920 – The original routing of M-37 in the early 1920s runs roughly (and someone convolutedly) along its present-day route from Battle Creek to Grand Rapids via Hastings.
  1928 – By 1928, M-37 is extended by more than 85 miles to replace the routing of M-54 in its entirety from Grand Rapids northerly through Newaygo and Baldwin to end at M-63 near Peacock in central Lake Co.
  1930 – M-37 is relocated onto newer, straighter alignment at Kent City and Casnovia. The former route is turned back to local control.
  1934 – Two new short realignments open just north of Dutton in Kent Co and just north of Newaygo in Newaygo Co. The former route segments are both turned back to local control.
  c.1936–37 – Several route changes come to M-37 in this timeframe:
  • M-37/M-96 is routed off Van Buren St and on to Michigan Ave in Battle Creek. Van Buren St is given back to municipal control.
  • M-37 also is scaled back for approximately one mile to end at Capitol Ave (jct. US-12A/M-78/M-37/M-96).
  • A short, new 4-mile long graded-earth surfaced segment of future M-37 opens from M-55 twenty-one miles west of Cadillac southerly to the Wexford-Lake County line. It is unclear whether this short stub of a highway is signed as M-37 at this time.
  • A new alignment of M-37 opens between Brohman and Lilley in northern Newaygo Co, bypassing Bitely and shaving two miles from the route, the former route being turned back to local control.
  1938 (Dec 6) – A new 9.285-mile route for M-37 is officially determined between M-43 about 2½ miles west of Hastings then northwesterly to Middleville on the south/west side of the Thornapple River, the opposite side of the existing route of M-37 between the communities. However, the new roadway has not yet been completed and will not be until the next year. The existing route of M-37 from M-43/N Broadway on the north side of Hastings then northwesterly along State Rd into Middleville and then westerly along Main St, across the Thornapple River to the cnr of W Main St & S Broadway St–Arlington St (the northern end of the new M-37 route) is cancelled as a trunkline route and turned back to local control, although it will remain the "marked-and-maintained" highway route until the new highway is completed and opened to traffic.
  1939 (June 10) – The new M-37 route between M-43 west of Hastings and Middleville is completed and opened to traffic, while the M-37 route markers along the former route (State Rd and Main St in Middleville) are removed. With the relocation, three railroad crossings, several curves and grades have been removed from this segment of the route.
  1940 Updated 2024-01 – Several developments related to the northern portions of M-37 and M-42 occur this year:
  • In late-April, State Highway Commissioner Murray D. Van Wagoner agrees with local civic leaders and tourism boosters that M-42 from Mesick—where the M-115 Frankfort-Clare Diagonal highway (currently under construction) will intersect when completed—and its northern end on the Old Mission Peninsula will be redesignated as M-37 in anticipation of the highway dept filling the gap in M-37 between Peacock in central Lake Co and Mesick in northwest Wexford Co. When completed, M-37 will form a complete highway route from Battle Creek through Grand Rapids, Newaygo and White Cloud to Traverse City.
  • The remaining unpaved portion of M-42 on the Old Mission Peninsula in Grand Traverse Co is paved with an oil aggregate surface from Bluff Rd to the end of the completed highway at the south boundary of the state park at the tip of the peninsula.
  • In the Fall of 1940, the route designation promised by Van Wagoner earlier in the year takes place when all of M-42 from Mesick northerly through Buckley and Traverse City to the end of the Old Mission Peninsula is redesignated as M-37, creating the two-segment discontiguous route noted above. This redesignation adds approximately 47 miles onto the route of M-37, not counting the 28-mile gap from M-63 near Peacock to M-42 near Mesick separating the two segments of completed highway.
  • M-37 is also reduced in length on its southern end slightly in Battle Creek to terminate at M-96, removing the M-37/M-96 concurrency.
  1941 New! 2024-01 – When the M-37 route designation was applied to all of M-42 from Mesick northerly to the Old Mission Peninsula, the final 0.827-mile segment of the highway had not yet been constructed within the Old Mission Point State Park. This portion is now completed and opened to traffic with a gravel surface (the rest of M-42-turned-M-37 on the Old Mission Peninsula was paved in 1940) from the southern boundary of the state park to the Old Mission Point Lighthouse, where a large turnaround is constructed just south of the lighthouse.
  1944 (July 19) – State Highway Commissioner Charles Ziegler announces plans for a 15.2-mile long "straightaway of 22-foot concrete pavement" as part of a relocation of M-37 between Middleville and Grand Rapids, to be constructed immediately after the end of World War II. The new roadway, projected to cost $1.25 million and require a labor force of 450 men per year, will shorten the route beween those two cities by four miles. It will also eliminate eight 90º turns and one railroad crossing as compared with the existing aligment. The new alignment's northern end will be at the junction of the Grand Rapids South and East Beltlines southeast of the city.
  1945 – The final few miles of gravel-surfaced M-37 (which are open to traffic as of 1945) are paved, north of Middleville.
  1947 – For ten years, a short 4-mile long segment of graded-earth surface highway has been shown between M-55 and the Wexford/Lake Co line, but this segment is not included on the 1947 Official Michigan Highway map. The "Mileage Log of State Trunkline Routes" published in January 1948 indicates a gap in M-37 from M-63 in Lake Co to M-115 in Mesick.
  1948 – A new, paved segment of M-37 opens from M-63 in north-central Lake Co to M-55 in southwestern Wexford Co.
  1949 (Aug 23) New! 2023-10 – 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, then a roadway (since obliterated) from present-day US-31/M-37 northeasterly to South Airport Rd, then South Airport easterly and 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. With the completion and opening of the new route to traffic, US-31/M-37 from the south now follows a new route down McCrae Hill to South Airport Rd, then northerly into Traverse City, then northerly along an improved Division St to the existing route of M-22/M-72 at Front St. There, US-31 and M-37 replace the M-22 designation (M-72 is retained) easterly along Front St into downtown Traverse City to the former route of US-31/M-37 at Union St. The former route remains an unsigned state trunkline for a few months.
  1949 (Nov 10) Updated 2023-11 – The new 3.915-mile US-31/M-37 alignment into Traverse City from the south which was opened to traffic in August is officially established as a state trunkline route from the south intersection with McCrae Hill Rd northerly to Fourteenth St. (For whatever reason, the ten-block segment of Division St which became part of US-31/M-37 in August is not included in the establishment and, for now, remains a "marked-and-maintained" route as a city street maintained by the State Highway Dept.) At the same time, most of the former route of US-31/M-37 into Traverse City from the south is cancelled as a state trunkline route and turned back to county and city control, including the 0.7-mile segment of McCrae Hill Rd from the US-31/M-37 relocation northerly to Silver Pines Rd, the 2.3 mile segment from the new relocation northeasterly to South Airport Rd (which is obliterated as a public road) and South Airport easterly and northerly to Veterans Dr (formerly Rennie St), and Veterans (Rennie) northerly to the Traverse City city limit, as well as the 2.3 miles of city streets along Rennie St, Fourteenth St and S Union St to Front St downtown. Interestingly, the 0.8-mile segment of McCrae Hill Rd from Silver Pines Rd northasterly to the new alignment of US-31/M-37 is retained as an unsigned state trunkline spur for the time being.
  1949 (Nov 10) – A new 6.059-mile long segment of state trunkline along new alignment is officially assumed into the state trunkline highway system as part of the relocated route of M-37 between Caledonia and Grand Rapids in southern Kent Co. This segment begins at the jct of BYP US-16, BYP M-21 & BYP US-131 at the cnr of 28th St & East Beltline Ave southeast of Grand Rapids and continues southeasterly along the new alignment Broadmoor Ave to Kraft Ave north of Caledonia. From there, M-37 continues southerly via Kraft Ave along its pre-1922 routing to 92nd St where it picks up its existing routing, continuing on Kraft Ave south to Johnson St, easterly via Johnson to Kinsey St, then southeasterly on Kinsey to Cherry Valley Ave southeast of Caledonia. Interestingly, however, the entire former route of M-37 from Caledonia northwesterly toward Grand Rapids is cancelled at this point, even though there is a gap in the officially determined route of M-37 between Cherry Valley Ave & Kinsey St at Caledonia and Broadmoor Ave & 92nd St northwest of Caledonia. For the time being, the Kinsey–Johnson–Kraft route remains as a "marked & maintained" alignment of M-37. The remainder of the former route along 92nd St between Kraft and Hanna Lake, then northerly via Hanna Lake Ave from 92nd to Wing, northwesterly along Wing Ave from Hanna Lake to 60th, westerly via 60th St from Wing to Kalamazoo, then northerly on Kalamazoo Ave from 60th to BYP US-16/BYP US-131/BYP M-21/28th St (present-day M-11) at Grand Rapids is turned back to county control.
  1951 (Nov 10) – The 4.075-mile remaining gap in the officially-determined route of M-37 from Caledonia northerly is finally assumed into the state trunkline highway system, beginning at Kinsey St southeast of Caledonia and continuing northerly along Cherry Valley Ave to just south of 84th St where it turns northwesterly via the new-alignment segment of Broadmoor Ave, meeting up with the previously completed segment of Broadmoor at Kraft Ave north of Caledonia. This new gravel-surfaced segment of M-37 completes the Caledonia–Grand Rapids relocation of the route and the former route along Kinsey–Johnson–Kraft that was a "marked & maintained" state highway route since late 1949 returns to county maintenance. The new segment, which cost $146,400 to build, will be asphalt surfaced the following spring.
  1952 – M-37 is rerouted in the Grand Rapids area: From the 28th St & East Beltline-Broadmoor Ave intersection, M-37 now heads northerly (concurrently with US-131 and M-21) to Cascade Rd, northwesterly via Cascade (concurrently with BUS M-50) to E Fulton St, then westerly via E Fulton into downtown (concurrently with BUS US-16/BUS M-21/BUS M-50) to the former alignment. Also, the final 15-mile gap in the discontinuous route between M-55 and Mesick is bridged, forming one continuous route between Battle Creek and Old Mission.
  1952 (Nov 11) New! 2023-11 – In a project designed to remove through traffic and trucks from the heart of Traverse City's downtown core, a new shoreline boulevard named Grandview Parkway is constructed along the shoreline of the West Arm of Grand Traverse Bay and opened to traffic. The new thoroughfare begins at the M-22 & M-72 jct on the northwest side of Traverse City, then continues southeasterly along the bayshore as M-22/M-72 to Division St. There, M-22 terminates and US-31/M-37/M-72 continues easterly along the new parkway byassing downtown, merging back into the existing route at Front St near Railroad Ave. Division St from Front St northerly to Grandview Parkway becomes the new signed route for US-31/M-37 from the south. The former route of US-31/M-37/M-72 along Front St from Division St easterly through downtown to the new Grandview Parkway (near Railroad St) is temporarily retained as an unsigned state trunkline route.
  1953 (Nov 6) New! 2023-11 – Almost exactly a year after it opened to traffic, Traverse City's Grandview Parkway—part of M-22/M-72 west of Division St and US-31/M-37/M-72 east of Division—is officially established as a state trunkline highway route. The 1.2-mile segment of Division St from Fourteenth St northerly to Grandview Parkway is also officially established as a trunkline route, although the 10-block segment between Fourteenth and Front Sts has been signed as part of US-31/M-37 and maintained as a trunkline since late 1949. At the same time, the former route of US-31/M-37/M-72 through downtown via Front St from Division St easterly is officially cancelled as a state trunkline highway route and transferred to city control.
  1957 – A short rerouting onto a new alignment just south of Sparta opens with the former route being turned back to local control.
  1961 – Just over twenty years after removing the concurrent M-37 designation, the route of M-96 from M-37 northwest of downtown Battle Creek into downtown is once again co-signed with M-37, much as it was 1927–1940.
  1962 (Jan 9) – As initially implemented in 1957, made permanent in 1958 and officially established in 1960, eastbound M-96 (and, now, also sbd M-37) traffic entering Battle Creek from the northwest via Michigan Ave has turned southerly via the short, narrow, one-block Thorne St to Jackson St, where it then continues southeasterly into the downtown area. On this date, the 0.148 miles of W Michigan Ave (Angell St to Thorne St) and Thorne St (W Michigan Ave to Jackson St) is transferred to municipal control, while the 0.173 miles of Angell St (W Michigan Ave to Jackson St) and Jackson St (Angell St to Thorne St) are transferred to state control and become the new ebd M-96/sbd M-37 routing.
  1962 – A new M-37 highway alignment opens west of the old route bypassing Sparta, Kent City and Casnovia. This new two-lane, controlled-access highway is constructed along a route scheduled to become an M-37 freeway running northerly from Grand Rapids toward Newaygo, possibly as a northern extension of the US-131 freeway. Also, M-37 is again rerouted thorugh Grand Rapids: From the 28th St & East Beltline-Broadmoor Aves intersection southeast of the city, M-37 now runs westerly via M-11/M-21/28th St to the new US-131 freeway, then northerly via US-131 through downtown to I-96 north of the city and westerly for a short distance on I-96 back to M-37/Alpine Ave.
  1966 (Jan 1) – Existing dual state highway route designations in the Battle Creek area are "simplified" by the State Highway Dept so that several segments of highway formerly bearing two or three routes now only bear one. The result is that the route of M-96 is scaled back to end at a new eastern terminus at M-89 west of Battle Creek just east of the Calhoun/Kalamazoo Co line. What had been formerly designated as M-89/M-96 along W Michigan Ave from M-37/Bedford Rd westerly becomes just M-89, while the concurrent M-37/M-96 along W Michigan Ave east of M-37/Bedford Rd and Angell St–Jackson St (ebd) and Van Buren St (wbd) now becomes just M-37.
  1969 (Oct 29) – Once again, M-37 is rerouted at Grand Rapids: From the intersection of M-11/28th St and M-44/East Beltline Ave in Kentwood, M-37 now runs concurrently with M-44 via East Beltline Ave to I-96 (at Exit 38), then northwest along I-96 to Alpine Ave (at Exit 30).
  1972 (Dec 29) – In conjunction with the proposed M-37 Hastings-Battle Creek Expressway, the route of M-37/M-43 from downtown Hastings westerly to the western jct of M-37 & M-43 is moved to its present-day alignment. The former route of M-37/M-43 via Green St will be turned back to local control the next year.
  1973 (Mar 30, Jun 27) – The former route of M-37/M-43 from downtown Hastings westerly superceded by the present-day alignment (see above) is turned back to local control. Green St from downtown Hastings (at Broadway St) westerly to the west city limit is turned back to city control on March 30, while the portion in Rutland Twp from the west limit of Hastings westerly to the new alignment is turned back to the county on June 27.
  1977 – The concurrent designation of M-37/M-44 is removed when M-44 is scaled back to end at I-96 Exit 38 east of Grand Rapids.
  1984 (June 21) Updated 2023-12 – The City of Battle Creek, desirous of reinvigorating their ailing downtown, counts on un-doing the several one-way streets in the central business district—put in place in 1957 to help speed traffic through the center of the city—as one aspect of the overall plan. MDOT accommodates the plan by agreeing to transfer jursidiction of several downtown streets back to city control, while rerouting both BL I-94 and M-37 in the process. The eastbound one-way trunkline route had diverged from W Michigan Ave at Angell St south one block to Jackson St and followed Jackson through downtown returning back to E Michigan Ave at Jay St and proceeding easterly from there. The westbound one-way trunkline route diverged from E Michigan Ave at Elm St, continued northerly along Elm to Van Buren St, then westerly across the north side of downtown along Van Buren before merging back into W Michigan Ave west of Limit St. The portion of these two routes west of M-66/Division St is part of M-37, while the portion to the east is part of the BL I-94 routing. Jackson St and the Elm-Van Buren route east of Washington St are cancelled as state trunklines and turned back to local control and Washington St from Van Buren St southerly to BL I-94/Dickman Rd is transferred to state control on June 21. As such, M-37 is now routed along Washington St between the Jackson–Van Buren one-way pair and BL I-94/Dickman Rd, then easterly concurrently with BL I-94 via Dickman Rd to a new southern terminus at I-194/M-66 at Exit 3.
  1985 (Late Fall) New! 2024-02 – Until now, M-37 and M-82 at Newaygo have left town heading north by crossing the Muskegon River via long, wide bridge and immediately arriving at a ⊤-intersection where the highway turns 90° to the left (Croton Rd proceeds to the east), passes over Penoyer Creek and the C&O Railway on an overpass, then almost immediately M-37 makes another 90° turn back to the north, with M-82 continuing ahead to the west toward Fremont. Now, M-37 proceeds straight ahead when it comes off the Muskegon River bridge on a new, 1.1-mile highway which cost $1.77 million to construct. The new highway continues north-northeasterly before merging back into the existing M-37 north of Newaygo. The former east-west segment from M-37 over Penoyer Creek and the C&O Railway is now just designated as part of M-82, while the former segment of M-37 from M-82 northeasterly to where it meets the newly-constructed highway becomes an unsigned state trunkline, for now, designated as OLD M-37 and named Evergreen Dr.
  1987 (Sept 1) New! 2023-10 – A short, 0.265-mile long segment of unsigned OLD M-37 serving essentially as a frontage road for cottages and homes along Clear Lake in southern Barry Co, approximately ½ mile south of Dowling, is cancelled as a state trunkline route and turned back to county control. This short segment of roadway, known as either Old State Highway 37 or Clear Lake Dr, is left over from a highway modernization project in c.1930 which eliminated several sharp corners and smaller turns in the route. MDOT right-of-way maps, however, state this segment of roadway was "vacated 8-1-86," over a year earlier. The September 1, 1987 date comes from official MDOT correspondence.
  1995 (May 1) New! 2024-02 – Both the 0.837-mile long segment of OLD M-37 along Evergreen Dr north of Newaygo in central Newaygo Co as well as a newly-built 0.060-mile realignment and "turned-in approach" on Evergreen Dr at Centerline Rd are cancelled as unsigned state trunkline routes and turned back to county control. For a decade since the M-37 relocation north of Newaygo was completed and opened to traffic the former route of M-37 along Evergreen Dr from M-82 northeasterly back to M-37 has been an unsigned trunkline. As part of the turnback, MDOT reconstructs the northern Evergreen Dr & Centerline Rd intersection to make the intersection free-flowing for Evergreen Dr South into Centerline Rd North, with the newly-constructed 0.060-mile approach also transferred to county control.
  1998 (May 5) Updated 2023-10 – A jurisdictional "swap" with the City of Battle Creek helps further the goals of a project to completely reconstruct W Michigan Ave west of downtown. M-37 is being relocated off the one-way pair—southbound M-37 turns south off W Michigan Ave via Angell St, then continues easterly along Jackson St to Washington Ave while northbound M-37 runs northerly along Washington Ave, then westerly via Van Buren St before merging back into W Michigan Ave near the west city limit—while the M-37 designation is being reapplied to W Michigan Ave from Washington Ave westerly. This re-establishes W Michigan Ave as a trunkline—it was the route of M-96 into Battle Creek from the west prior to 1960. A total of 1.922 miles of trunkline route are transferred to city control, while 0.692 mile of new trunkline route are established along W Michigan Ave for a net "loss" of 1.23 mile in trunkline mileage. The City of Battle Creek plans to re-establish two-way traffic on Jackson and Van Buren Sts once they are back in their possession.
  1998 (Oct 31) – As a part of the Rationalization process (1998), the route of M-37 within the City of Battle Creek is altered. On this day, MDOT takes control of dozens of miles of formerly county roads and municipal streets. Among those miles is all of Bedford Rd from the jct of M-37 & M-89 southerly to Helmer Rd, all of Helmer Rd from Bedford Rd southerly to Columbia Ave and all of Columbia Ave from Helmer westerly to BL I-94/Skyline Dr-MLKing Jr Mem Hwy. These roads become part of the realigned M-37 route from M-89 to I-94. M-37 then continues southwesterly via BL I-94/Columbia Ave to its new terminus at I-94. Much of the former route of M-37 into downtown Battle Creek becomes part of an extended M-89.
  1999 (Fall) – A project to construct a new overpass spanning the CSX railroad line (originally Pere Marquette Railroad, present-day Marquette Rail line) one mile south of Bailey in eastern Muskegon Co to replace the one built in the mid-1920s (when the route was designated M-54) is completed and opened to traffic. The project not only involves demolishing and constructing a new overpass, but also easing the sharpness of the two curves either side of the overpass, increasing the safety of the highway in the area. The original 1920s overpass spanned the railroad at a 65° angle while the new structure is only skewed at a 43° angle. The former, sharper alignment of M-37 either side of the bridge is obliterated with the new alignment approximately 200 feet (0.039 mile) shorter than the former alignment.
  2000 – The Battle Creek area route changes which officially ocurred in 1998 (see October 31, 1998 above) are finally signed in the field. New route markers denoting the various changes are physically posted along the various routes in the Battle Creek area.
  2003 (Aug) – In late-August, as a part of a complete sign rehabilitation along East Beltline Ave in Grand Rapids, the route of M-44 is "re-extended" south from its terminus at I-96 (Exit 38), concurrently with M-37 to end at M-11/28th St, where M-37 continues southerly toward Hastings and Battle Creek. MDOT had seemingly removed this redundant concurrency in 1977, but inexplicably re-adds it in 2003.
  2005 (May 4) Updated 2023-10 – The 2.3 miles of M-37 along Columbia Ave between Helmer Rd & BL I-94/Skyline Dr-Martin Luther King Jr Blvd in southwestern Battle Creek is cancelled as a state trunkline route and transferred back to local control. The route of M-37 is then transferred onto BL I-94 to continue westernly and southwesterly (via Dickman Rd and Skyline Dr-Martin Luther King Jr Blvd) to its terminus at I-94 Exit 92, shortening the entire route of M-37 overall by 0.29 mile.
  2007 (June) – The 17¼ miles of M-37 on Grand Traverse County's Old Mission Peninsula are designated as a Scenic Heritage Route.
  2013 (Apr 15–June 22) – A short realignment along M-37 just north of the Manistee River and the community of Sherman in northwestern Wexford Co eliminates a treacherous 12% grade and a winding S-curve at the location known as "Sherman Hill." The new highway alignment continues due northerly along the section line on a less-steep 7% grade, while the old route, which diverted to the east before curving back to the section line, is obliterated. A total of 275,000 yards of soil and other materials were removed from the site as part of the project.
  2015 (June 24) – As noted in the "Notes" section above, a portion of BL I-94/M-37 along Skyline Dr/Martin Luther King Jr Blvd on the west side of Battle Creek is permanently closed to traffic between Hill Brady Rd and M-96/Dickman Rd to accommodate expanding munitions storage at the adjacent Battle Creek Air National Guard Base. The remainder of Skyline Dr/M L King Jr Blvd is to be transferred to city control. To remedy the discontinuity in the routes of BL I-94 and M-37, the city transfers control of Columbia Ave between Skyline/MLKing and Helmer Rd (this segment having been a state trunkline route from 1932–1959 and from 1998–2005). BL I-94/M-37 now continues easterly from Skyline/MLKing via Columbia Ave to Helmer Rd, then joins M-96 following Helmer Rd back to the former routes of M-37 and BL I-94 at Dickman Rd. The portion of Dickman Rd from Skyline Dr/MLKing Dr to Helmer Rd which had been designated BL I-94/M-37/M-96 is now just part of M-96. Now measuring 221.935 miles in length, prior to the 2015 rerouting, M-37 was 221.621 miles long—a net gain of 0.314 miles.
  2016 (May–June) – In a reversal of the August 2003 "re-extension" of M-44 from I-96 at Exit 38 on the eastern edge of Grand Rapids southerly to M-11/28th St as well as being a "re-truncation" re-implementing MDOT's original removal of the M-44 designation from that portion of East Beltline Ave, the M-44 route markers are again removed from all of M-37/East Beltline Ave south of I-96. M-44's western terminus is, once again, I-96 at Exit 38 and M-37 agains traverses that segment of East Beltline Ave by itself. Much like the 2003 "re-extension" of M-44, this "re-truncation" comes as part of a road sign rehabilitation job along the East Beltline corridor.
Controlled Access: Freeway: The concurrent segment with I-96 in the Grand Rapids area between Exit 30 and Exit 38.
  Expressway: Two segments of M-37 exist as expressway:
  1. West of Hastings, M-37/M-43 is (mostly) limited access from Cook Rd westerly to Heath Rd-Green St, although MDOT has been selling "access rights" to several businesses over the past few decades at various locations. (0.6 miles)
  2. From the intersection of Alpine Ave (North) & M-37 between Grand Rapids and Sparta to the intersection of Apple Ave west of Casnovia. (12.1 miles)
Circle Tour: Lake Michigan Circle Tour MarkerLake Michigan Circle Tour: In Traverse City: From the western jct of US-31/M-37 & M-22/M-72 (cnr of Division St & Grandview Pkwy) to the eastern jct of US-31/M-72 & M-37 (cnr of Front St & Garfield Ave).
Pure Michigan
Byway:
Scenic Heritage Route markerOld Mission Peninsula Scenic Heritage Route: From Traverse City north city limit (just northeast of Peninsula Dr & Center Rd intersection) to the northern terminus of M-37 at the Old Mission Lighthouse.
NHS: Four segments of M-37 are on the National Highway System (NHS):
  1. In the Battle Creek area, from the southern terminus of M-37 at I-94 Exit 92 northerly to jct M-89 at cnr of Bedford Rd & W Michigan Ave. (7.26 miles) (The segment of M-37 from the eastern jct of M-37 & BL I-94 at Dickman Rd & Helmer Rd northerly to M-89/W Michigan Ave was added to the NHS in 2012 with the passage of the MAP-21 funding and authorization bill.)
  2. In the Grand Rapids area, from M-6/Paul Henry South Beltline Frwy northerly to 10 Mile Rd south of Sparta, including the concurrent segment with I-96. (24.0 miles) (The segment of M-37 from the western jct of M-37 & I-96 at Exit 30 in Walker northerly to 10 Mile Rd south of Sparta was added to the NHS in 2012 with the passage of the MAP-21 funding and authorization bill.)
  3. The concurrent segment with US-10 from Baldwin from south jct US-10 & M-37 at cnr Michigan Ave & Washington Ave to north jct US-10 & M-37 north of Baldwin. (3.0 miles)
  4. From eastern jct of M-37 & M-115 east of Mesick to the eastern jct of US-31/M-72 & M-37 at cnr of Front St & Garfield Ave in Traverse City. (29.2 miles)
Memorial Highways:  The following Memorial Highway designations have been officially assigned to parts of M-37 by the Michigan Legislature:
  • Brian Derks Memorial Highway – "The portion of highway M-37 in Newaygo County beginning at the southern city limit of the city of White Cloud and continuing north to the intersection of highway M-37 and 3 Mile Road..." From MDOT: "Brian K. Derks was a United States Marine who died in an explosion on August 13, 2005, in Iraq, where he served as a specialist 4th Class in the Fox Group Second Squadron of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. Mr. Derks was a White Cloud native who graduated high school in 2003 and enlisted in the military shortly thereafter. He was an Eagle Scout, football player, baseball player, and avid Quiz Bowl participant who helped propel the team to nationals."
  • World War II Veterans Memorial Highway – "The portion of highway M-37 beginning at the intersection with US-10 in Lake County and extending north to the county line of Lake County and Wexford County..." From MDOT: "There were 16,112,566 members of the United States Armed Forces during World War II. There were 291,557 battle deaths, 113,842 other deaths in service (non-theater), and 670,846 non-mortal woundings. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, around 558,000 American veterans from the war were estimated to still be alive in September 2017."
Photographs:  
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