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-87
M-88 Route Marker On to Next Route:
Western Terminus:    US-31 in Eastport, 3 miles north of the town of Torch Lake
Eastern Terminus:    Jct US-131/M-66 & C-38 in downtown Mancelona (cnr State St & William St)
Length: 26.215 miles
Maps: Route Map of M-88
Notes: Except for segments within incorporated villages, the entire highway is named "Scenic Hwy," and for good reason. M-88 is a rather scenic drive through the center of Antrim Co.
  For its first seven years as a state trunkline highway route, M-88 served as a spur route connecting M-13 (present-day US-131) at Mancelona with Bellaire, the county seat of Antrim Co. Early planning maps seem to indicate this was the only purpose for M-88, only later being extended to US-31 at Eastport to become a route connecting US-31 and US-131 to each other.
  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 had just one proposed improvement, realignment or modification to the route of M-88 during that timeframe:
  • Extending M-88 easterly from its terminus at US-131/M-66 in downtown Mancelona for approximately ½ mile to an interchange with a proposed US-131/M-66 freeway bypassing Mancelona to the east. (The existingUS-131/M-66 in Mancelona from M-88 northerly would become BUS US-131/BUS M-66, while the business route would head southerly along Maple St/Darragh Rd.)
History: 1919 (Nov 19, 21) – On these two days, a grand total of 12.25 miles of state trunkline mileage is officially assumed into the state trunkline system and designated as M-88. On Wednesday, Nov 19, the 8.0 miles of the new route in Custer Twp of Antrim Co is tranferred to state control, while two days later on Friday, Nov 21, the remainder of the route—the 1.5 miles from M-13 (present-day US-131) in downtown Mancelona westerly to the Mancelona/Custer Twp line and the 2.75 miles from the Custer/Kearny Twp line northerly into downtown Bellaire—is officially assumed into the system. With a few very minor modifications, these segments also reflect the route of modern-day M-88 from Mancelona to Bellaire.
  1927 (Feb 25) – An additional 14.2 miles of state trunkline route are officially established for M-88 from the existing terminus in downtown Bellaire to a new western terminus at US-31 in Eastport. From downtown Bellaire, M-88 now along its present-day route through Central Lake to Eastport.
  1927 (Apr 20) – While there are approximately ten instances where the route of M-88 is improved by the construction of a "cut-off"—a more gently sweeping curve alignment where before there had only been a 90º or similarly-sharp turn—one is major enough to warrant its own trunkline establishment (and cancellation for the former route). On this date, a new 0.4-mile sweeping curve from Alden Hwy heading east toward Mancelona to Bailey Rd heading north toward Bellaire is officially assumed into the system, replacing the former 0.5-mile long route including a 90º turn between those two roads. The former route is turned back to county control.
  1929 – During 1929, M-88 between Bellaire and Eastport is used as a temporary routing of US-31 while the portion of that highway between Elk Rapids and Eastport was being reconstructed.
  1937 (May 12) New! 2024-03 – The Otsego Lake Improvement Association and some residents of Mancelona band together and meet with State Highway Commissioner Murray D. Van Wagoner in Lansing to personally request an extension for M-88 from US-131 at Mancelona almost due easterly (along present-day C-38) to meet up with US-27 (present-day OLD-27) just south of Otsego Lake in south central Otsego Co. The local leaders believe such an extension for M-88 "would prove very a valuable highway for tourists, hunters, fisherman and the public generally." (No action is taken by the State Highway Dept and M-88 remains an Eastport–Mancelona route.)
  1940 – During the 1940 construction season, the last segments of gravel-surfaced M-88 are fully hard-surfaced.
  1952 (Nov 10) – A state trunkline route establishment and cancellation for US-131 and M-66 occurs in downtiown Mancelona. Formerly, both routes entered Mancelona from the south along Mackinaw Trail–Williams St, then turned northerly along Maple St for a block to jct M-88 at State St. The routes turned easterly along State St for ½ block, then northeasterly for another block along the present-day Williams St "service street" before jogging back onto Williams St at Hinman St. The 0.2-mile former route along Maple St and the "service street" is cancelled as a state trunkline route while the 0.2 mile segment of Williams St between Maple St and Hinman St is officially established as the new route for US-131/M-66. Construction on the new route is likely also finished around this time. The 200 feet of Maple St formerly part of US-131/M-66 becomes an easterly extension of M-88.
Controlled Access: No portion of M-88 is freeway or expressway.
NHS: No portion of M-88 is on the National Highway System (NHS).
Memorial Highway: At present, no portion of M-88 has been designated as part of a Memorial Highway.
  • M-88 @ Michigan Highway Ends – photos of the termini of M-88 at Dan Garnell's archived Michigan Highway Ends website.
  • Updated 2024-02 M-88/Intermediate River Bridge – archived from MDOT: "As a well-documented example of Depression-era state bridge construction and as an important component in a locally significant tourist route, the Michigan State Highway 88 Bridge is eligible for the National Register for the significant engineering challenges that were overcome for its construction."
  • Bellaire Bridge – from Nathan Holth's Historic Bridges website: "A classic example of an attractive Michigan steel stringer design."
  • M-88 Stuff – an entity calling themselves "M-88 Stuff" and marketing M-88-related merchandise, much like the M-22 organization in the Glen Arbor area, has cropped up.
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