Michigan Highways: Since 1997.

Michigan Highways website header graphic
M-22 & M-109 junction route signage in Glen Arbor, Michigan
Back to Previous Route:
Former M-41
M-42 Route Marker On to Next Route:
Western Terminus:    Cnr Michigan Ave (BUS US-131 northerly and OLD US-131 southerly) & 7th St (BUS US-131/M-42 easterly) on the south side of Manton.
Eastern Terminus:    M-66 at cnr Morey Rd & Hillbrand Rd, two miles north of Lake City
Length: Updated 10.340 miles
Maps: New! Route Map of M-42
Notes: Before M-37 was completed north of Wolf Lake, M-42 ran along the present-day alignment of M-37 between Mesick and Old Mission.
  All of M-42 from Manton westerly to its former western terminus at M-37 was transferred to county control in June 2007. After more than 85 years as a state trunkline highway, the 14.39 miles of 16 Rd from the west city limit of Manton westerly to M-37 was be turned back to the Wexford Co Road Commission. The 0.497-mile portion of W Main St from BUS US-131/Michigan Ave to the west city limit has not been transferred, however, and will become an unsigned state trunkline highway as OLD M-42. While it would seem logical for the western terminus of M-42 to be situated at the US-131 freeway interchange with the 1.32 mile long remainder of what is now M-42/BUS US-131 signed solely as BUS US-131 in Manton, MDOT has chosen to end M-42 at the Michigan Ave & 7th St intersection (what had been the southern M-42 & US-131 junction for many years). As currently signed, M-42 and BUS US-131 run concurrently for the short stretch between US-131 and Old US-131/Michigan Ave, where M-42 terminates and BUS US-131 continues northerly through Manton. Prior to the transfer, M-42 was 25.72 miles in length.
  One source notes the reason for the recent transfer of M-42 from Manton westerly lied mostly with seasonal weight and load restrictions. The 15 miles of M-42 along 16 Rd between M-37 and Manton were classified as "flexible pavements" on the 2006 MDOT "Truck Operator's Map" and, therefore, subject to restrictions on the weight and types of trucks that can use the highway during the springtime (all other state trunklines in Wexford Co—and all surrounding counties—are of the "all-weather" type). Reportedly, the Wexford Co Road Commission, after finding that upgrading M-42 west of Manton to all-weather standards was too cost prohibitive, proposed that MDOT transfer the segment to the county so the county could set less-restrictive load levels, to which MDOT agreed.
  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 one major change to the route of M-42 during that timeframe—a change that, unlike most of what was proposed in the set of maps, actually came to pass for the most part! The planners suggested truncating M-42 to the then-proposed US-131 freeway southeast of Manton, turning back all of M-42 west of US-131 all the way to Mesick. Just 47 years later, this recommendation was actually implemented when MDOT turned back all of M-42 from Manton westerly to M-37 near Mesick to county control. The primary difference between the 1960 planning maps and what occured in 2007 was that the portion of M-42 from the US-131 freeway (which was completed in 2003) westerly to Michigan Ave (Old US-131) was retained in the system and concurrently designated with BUS US-131.
History: c.1920 In the early 1920s, M-42 is an "L-shaped" highway: it begins at M-13 (later US-131) in Manton and heads due westerly to Mesick, then turns 90° and heads northerly through Buckley to Chums Corners where it meets M-11 (just east of Grawn). From that point, M-11 and M-42 travel together into downtown Traverse City, where M-42 ends and M-11 continues toward Petoskey.
  1921 (Apr 15) New!The Grand Traverse Co Board of Commissioners adopts a resolution naming the segment of M-42 (present-day M-37) from the southern Grand Traverse Co line near Buckley northerly to its northern terminus at Chums Corners, then the portion of M-13 (present-day US-31) from Chums Corners south of Traverse City northerly through Traverse City to the Grand Traverse/Antrim Co line south of Elk Rapids as the "Hamilton Way" in honor of Traverse City's Frank Hamilton, the so-called "father of the good roads movement in Northern Michigan." The suggestion for the naming originated with the Traverse City Rotary Club. "Four or more suitable markers" are planned to be erected at first with eventual plans to place signs along the highway each mile bearing the name "Hamilton Way" and the distance to Traverse City.
  c.1930 By 1931, M-42 is extended easterly from Manton, roughly along its present routing, to end at M-66 north of Lake City.
  1934 M-42 is extended northerly from downtown Traverse City up the Old Mission Peninsula to end in the community of Old Mission near the northern tip of the peninsula.
  c.1936–37 The route of M-42 is scaled back by about 1½ miles to end at the present-day intersection of Center Rd & Old Mission Rd, about 1½ miles west of the community of Old Mission.
  1939 M-42 is extended on the Old Mission Peninsula north of Traverse City from its former terminus at Old Mission Rd to end at present-day Peninsula (Lighthouse) Park at the very tip of the peninsula.
  1940 In anticipation of eventually bridging the gap in M-37 between north-central Lake County and Mesick in Wexford County, all of M-42 north of the M-42/M-115 intersection at Mesick is redesignated as M-37 northerly through Traverse City to the Old Mission area. This creates a two-segment, discontinuous M-37 routing between M-63 in Lake County and M-115 at Mesick. This new western terminus near Mesick was M-42's western end until 2007.
  1951 The last 11 miles of gravel-surfaced M-42 are paved, from Manton to M-66.
  2007 (June 6) As noted in the "Notes" section above, the 14.39 miles of M-42 from M-37 at Mesick easterly to the western Manton city limit are transferred to county control. The 0.497 miles of M-42 along W Main St from the west Manton city limit easterly to BUS US-131/Michigan Ave becomes unsigned as OLD M-42, while the 0.494 miles of what had been concurrently designated M-42 and BUS US-131 along Michigan Ave retaining just the latter designation. The western terminus for M-42 is now at the Michigan Ave (BUS US-131 northerly) & 7th St (BUS US-131/M-42 easterly) intersection on the south side of Manton.
  2018 (Fall) New! The almost ½ mile-long, unsigned OLD M-42 trunkline route in Manton along W Main St west of BUS US-131/Michigan Ave to the west city limit is transferred to city control and is no longer a state trunkline highway.
Controlled Access: No portion of M-42 is freeway or expressway.
NHS: No portion of M-42 is on the National Highway System (NHS).
Memorial Highway: At present, no portion of M-42 has been designated as part of a Memorial Highway.
Back to Former M-41 Route Listings Home On to M-43