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M-22 & M-109 junction route signage in Glen Arbor, Michigan
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M-48 Route Marker On to Next Route:
Western Terminus:    I-75 at Exit 373, 1½ miles east of Rudyard
Eastern Terminus:    M-134, 9.9 miles west of DeTour Village and 6 miles south of Goetzville
Length: Updated 43.723 miles
Maps: New! Route Map of M-48
Notes: Until 1949, M-49 continued westerly from Rudyard through Trout Lake and Rexton, then northwesterly to Newberry. Between 1949 and 1960, M-48 ran southerly from east of Rexton to end at US-2 in Epoufette. Then in 1960, all of M-48 west of US-2 (present-day H-63/Mackinac Trail) at Rudyard was removed from the state highway system.
  When originally constructed, I-75 did not feature an interchange at M-48. Rather, M-48 passes over I-75 and continues westerly to H-63/Mackinac Trail, then northerly via Mackinac Tr to Rudyard before turning back easterly to meet up with I-75 at Exit 373—resulting in a kind of "U-Turn" routing at its western end. Some discussion of building a full or partial interchange at the M-48 overpass over I-75 has occurred in recent years, however.
  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 very profound change to the route of M-48 during that timeframe. SImply put, it felt its existence as a state trunkline highway was not justified and recommended turning the entire route, as it existed in 1960, back to local control. That year, the portion west of US-2 at Rudyard wasjurisdictionally transferred to the counties in which it travelled, while the part to the east has been retained to date. This, this recommendation was only partially implemented.
History: c.1920 – The original M-48 routing begins at M-12 (later US-2) at "Caffey Corner," four miles east of Rexton (present-day intersection of Hiawatha Tr & Trout Lake Rd) and heads easterly toward Trout Lake. The first three-quarters of the distance from Caffey Corner to Trout Lake runs along a road that is today a minor two-track route through the forest—the last quarter of the distance runs along present-day H-40/Trout Lake Rd. From Trout Lake, M-48 heads easterly through Fibre to Rudyard, then southerly and easterly to meet with M-12 (later US-2, then M-121, now M-129) near Pickford. M-48 continues southerly via M-12 for 4 miles, then "stairsteps" to the southeast through Goetzville to end at DeTour Village.
  1927 – M-48 is extended by 35 miles to the northwest when it continues westerly from its former western terminus via the newly-designated US-2 (formerly M-12) for 7 miles to Garnet, then northerly through Hendricks Quarry to meet M-28 eleven miles east of Newberry. M-48 then runs westerly via M-28 into Newberry, then northerly for an additional four miles to a "northwestern terminus" at Four Mile Corner (present-day cnr of M-123 & H-37/Deer Park Rd).
  1930 – A new highway alignment of M-48 opens beginning at US-2 at Caffey Corner and running northerly then easterly toward Trout Lake, replacing the present-day "two-track" route referred to in the 1920s listing above.
  1934 – A new alignment of M-28 opens south of Newberry bypassing the town, and the former route M-28/M-48 becomes, in part, M-48/M-28A through Newberry.
  1940 (Oct) UpdatedUS-2 is rerouted between the Gould City area and Epoufette to run along the Lake Michigan shoreline via Naubinway and the concurrent US-2/M-48 routing becomes solely M-48. (The former US-2 along Hiawatha Trail west of M-48 at Rexton is turned back to local control in November.) Also, M-134 (recently redesignated from M-4) is completed and opened to traffic through to M-48 from Cedarville.
  1949 (Nov 7) New! – As part of the relocation of M-134 along the Lake Huron shoreline in eastern Mackinac and southeast Chippewa Cos, the easternmost 8.5 miles of M-48 are officially cancelled as a state trunkline highway and turned back to local control, consisting of South Caribou Lake Rd from present-day M-48 easterly into Detour (present-day DeTour Village), however because the new connection with the relocated M-134 route is not yet complete, it is likely that M-48 continues to be signed along South Caribou Lake Rd until sometime in 1950.
  1949 (Nov 10) Updated Several state trunkline route changes occur in western Mackinac Co, including a major rerouting for M-48. The route of M-48 from Garnet northerly to M-28, westerly via M-28 to Newberry and northerly to Four Mile Corner north of Newberry is officially relocated to a new proposed alignment from Garnet angling directly to the southwest, meeting US-2 just east of Naubinway. Since this new angling alignment is only a proposed "line on a map," the signed route of M-48 now turns southerly at Caffey Corner and supplants the entire length of M-117 southerly to US-2 at Epoufette. Technically, the route of M-117 (via Hiawatha Tr) here is transferred to Mackinac Co on November 10, 1949, but remains "marked and maintained" by the State Highway Dept as M-48 until the new route is constructed. However, even though a new north-south M-117 route is simultaneously determined running between US-2 and M-28 via Engadine to the Newberry area, the State Highway Dept notes that "in view of the uncertain weather conditions affecting the preparation of the relocated M-117 trunkline," the Department will continue to mark and maintain the existing route of M-48 west from Caffey Corner through Rexton to Garnet, then northerly to M-28 at McLeods Corner southeast of Newberry until May 15, 1950. When completed, the new M-117 will also replace the route of M-48 north of M-28 through Newberry then northerly for four more miles to a terminus at Four Mile Corner (present-day jct M-123 & H-37). The route of present-day H-37 from Four Mile Corner to Muskallonge Lake on the Lake Superior shoreline was officially determined as an extension of M-48 on January 1, 1935, but was never officially signed as such, pending reconstruction to state trunkline standards. No documents have been found indicating the State Highway Dept intended to designate this extension as M-117, but one could assume this to be the case.
  1952 (Nov 10) New! – Related to the M-134 relocation along the Lake Huron shoreline between Cedarville and Detour (present-day DeTour Village), the 2.3-mile segment of the former route of M-134 from the corner of M-48 & South Caribou Lake Rd southwesterly to M-134 is officially cancelled as a trunkline while the new location of M-48 from South Caribou Lake Rd (the former route of M-48 running easterly into Detour) southerly to M-134 relocated is officially assumed into state trunkline system. It is also likely opened to traffic about this same time as well.
  1960 – The route of M-48 is shortened by another 42 miles when all portions west of US-2 at Rudyard are turned back to county control, with the exception of one mile of the former M-48 along Tahquamenon Trail, which becomes a portion of the new M-123.
  1962 (Fall) New! – The 18 miles of M-48 from M-129 near Pickford easterly to Goetzville in southeastern Chippewa Co is the final stretch of gravel-surfaced state trunkline highway in the entire State of Michigan to be hard-surfaced. Since July 1957, when the State Highway Dept pledged to convert the remaining unpaved trunkline mileage to hard-surfaced, over 800 miles of highway mileage have been paved.
  1963 – With the completion of the I-75/US-2 freeway in the eastern U.P. in the Fall of 1963, M-48 is extended for a change. From its 1960-63 western terminus at US-2 three miles south of Rudyard, it is routed north along Old US-2/Mackinac Tr to Rudyard, then east for two miles to end at I-75/US-2 at present-day Exit 373.
Controlled Access: No portion of M-48 is freeway or expressway.
NHS: No portion of M-48 is on the National Highway System (NHS).
Circle Tour: Lake Huron Circle Tour MarkerLake Huron Circle Tour: From the eastern terminus west of De Tour Village to the northern jct of M-48 & M-129 north of Pickford.
Memorial Highway: At present, no portion of M-48 has been designated as part of a Memorial Highway.
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