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M-151 Route Marker On to Next Route:
M-151 is a former state trunkline route existing 1.) from 1931 until January 7, 1935,
and 2.) from January 7, 1935 until November 17, 1977.
Western Terminus*:    US-223, 2 miles north of Ottawa Lake in northwestern Whitford Twp, Monroe Co
Eastern Terminus*:    US-23 at Exit 5 in northeastern Whitford Twp, Monroe Co.
Final Length*: Updated 3.81 miles
Maps: Route Map of Former M-151
Notes: * The termini and final length for M-151 reflect the beginning and ending of the route and its length as of the time of its most recent decommissioning in 1977.
  New! M-151 existed in two separate iterations, although in both of its lives, it was one of the southernmost east-west state trunkline routes in the state. The first M-151 was commissioned along the present-day route of US-12 between Five Points in southern Cass Co and Niles in southeastern Berrien Co, running through Adamsville and Edwardsburg en route. It existed only as a "Marked & Maintained" route—where the highway itself was not officially transferred to state jurisdiction, but instead was only signed as a state trunkline route and maintained by the State Highway Dept pending the assumption of a permanent or official route—for its first four years. Then, just as the signed route of M-151 was officially assumed into the state highway system, it was redesignated as a westerly extension of US-112 (present-day US-12). The M-151 designation, however, would be immediately reassigned to a brand-new state trunkline route across southern Monroe Co, from US-223 north of Ottawa Lake easterly through Samaria to US-25/Dixie Hwy north of Erie.
  New! The second iteration of M-151 lasted a bit longer than the first one, initially connecting US-223 in southwest Monroe Co with US-24 and US-25 in southeast Monroe Co, with a junction with US-23 approximately half way along the route. This version of M-151 would, however, become known as "Michigan's narrowest state highway," being constructed only to a 16-foot pavement width—the width it had originally been constructed to during its time as a county road prior to 1935. The State Highway Dept ceased building 16-foot wide roads prior to 1920, so M-151 quickly became a relic of the past during much of its existence. By the mid-1960s, it became clear the portion of M-151 between the US-23 freeway and US-24/Telegraph Rd was no longer functioning as a state trunkline highway and the state transferred control of that segment to county control in 1965. The short portion of M-151 remaining served as a connector between US-223 north of Ottawa Lake and US-23 for another decade before the Dept of State Highways & Transportation rerouted US-223 along the entirety of M-151, thereby bringing that route's second iteration to a close in 1977.
  New! Two segments of the 1935–1977 iteration of M-151 are still part of the state trunkline highway system: From Creque Rd easterly to US-23 in Whiteford Twp as part of US-223, and Luna Pier Rd between US-24/Telegraph Rd and US-25/Dixie Hwy as part of CONN US-24.
  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-151 during that timeframe: complete removal. M-151 was shown in its entirety as a "Turnback Route" to be transferred to county control, including the two segments which are still on the state highway system west of US-23 and between US-24/Telegraph Rd and US-25/Dixie Hwy. From US-23 easterly, M-151 was simply to be transferred with no new route replacing it. From US-23 westerly, a US-223 freeway was proposed to run westerly and northwesterly past Adrian to connect with a US-127 freeway leading into Jackson from the south, thereby removing the need for a state highway along the exisiting route west of US-23. While the portion between US-23 and US-24/Telegraph Rd was turned back five years later, the other two segments (as noted above) remain on the highway system and the US-223 freeway was never constructed.
History: 1931 New! – Beginning in 1931, a new state trunkline route is shown on official State Highway Dept maps as running from US-112 at Allenton in south-central Cass Co westerly through Adamsville and Edwardsburg and into Niles largely along the present-day route of US-12. This new trunkline is shown on maps as M-151, although it is only a "Marked & Maintained" route, as no state trunkline determinations or jurisdictional transfers have occured along that route at this point.
  1933 (May 24–26) New! – A new 14.3-mile long state trunkline route is officially determined in Cass Co on May 24 beginning at US-112 in Allenton in southwestern Mason Twp ½ mile north of the Indiana state line and running generally westerly toward Niles. Parts of the new trunkline route run along existing county roads, while other parts are unconstructed. From Allenton (at the cnr of Old M-205, Redfield St & Cassopolis Rd), the new trunkline route heads northwesterly to a point south of Adamsville, then continues westerly along May Rd bypassing Edwardsville to the south to the intersection of M-151 (present-day US-12) & Fir Rd, then turns northwesterly to Worrell & Sturges Rds before continuing westerly along Worrell Rd to present-day US-12, then northwesterly along M-151 (present-day US-12) to the Berrien/Cass Co line. Two days layer on May 26, the 1.3 miles of Main St at Niles (currently "Marked & Maintained" as M-151 since 1931) from the Berrien/Cass Co line northwesterly to jct US-31/Eleventh St & M-60/Oak St in Niles is officially assumed into the trunkline system as part of the same route. Presumably, this determination is meant to be the permanent route for M-151 with the existing "Marked & Maintained" route to be retained until the permanent one is constructed and opened to traffic.
  US-112S route marker1933 New! – In an intriguing move, the portion of US-112 from Five Points or Allenton in southern Cass Co southerly into Indiana is redesignated as US-112S, as in "US-112 SOUTH"—a south "branch" of US-112—presumably as a differentiation from a potential US-112N routing. Coming about the same time as the new state trunkline routing between Allenton/Five Points and Niles is officially determined, it would seem to indicate the State Highway Dept intends to extend the route of US-112 in Michigan westerly along the existing route of M-151 to Niles and then on to its "parent" route, US-12, near New Buffalo.
  1934 (June) New! – The American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) approves the rerouting of US-112 on its western end. From the southerly turn at Five Points in southern Cass Co, US-112 is approved to continue westerly along M-151 to Niles, then concurrently with M-60 to a new western terminus at US-12 near New Buffalo. Existing US-112 from Five Points southerly into Indiana is to redesignated with state route numbers.
  1935 (Jan 7) New! – Just 19 months after being determined as a new state trunkline routing across southwestern Cass Co, the 14.3-mile route between Allenton and the Berrien/Cass Co line assumed into the system on May 24, 1933 is cancelled as a trunkline routing. Simultaneously, however, the existing 15.8-mile long route of M-151 is officially assumed into the system, running along the present-day path of US-12 between US-112 at Five Points (1¼ mile east of Allenton at the present-day cnr of US-12, Old M-205 & Five Points Rd) through Adamsville and Edwardsburg to the Berrien/Cass Co line southeast of Niles. Only the portion of the route between Worrell Rd and the Berrien Co line is shared with the cancelled "permanent" route from 1933.
  1935 (Jan 7) New! – As noted above, on the same day the route of the first iteration of M-151 is (finally) officially determined as a state trunkline highway route, a new 14.6.-mile long state trunkline highway is assumed into the system across southern Monroe Co. It is earmarked to become a new routing of M-151 as soon as the existing M-151 route markers in Cass and Berrien Counties are replaced by US-112 markers—a change approved by AASHO the previous June. Beginning at US-223 in Whiteford Twp north of the community of Ottawa Lake, the future M-151 runs northerly via present-day Creque Rd for ½ mile, then easterly along St Anthony Rd for 6¼ miles, northerly again for ½ via Secor Rd, then easterly on Samaria/Lakeside/Luna Pier Rd for 7¼ to a terminus at US-25/Dixie Hwy just north of Erie.
  US-112S route markerM-151 route markerUS-112 route marker1935 (Sept) New! – Eight months after the existing "Marked & Maintained" alignment of M-151 between Five Points and Niles was officially assumed into the state trunkline highway system, it is redesignated as a westerly extension of US-112 in Michigan. At Niles, US-112 is added as a concurrent designation to the existing M-60 routing from Niles westerly to US-12 just north of New Buffalo. The former route of US-112/US-112S from Five Points to Allenton then southerly to the Indiana state line is redesignated as M-205. The M-151 designation is removed from the Five Points–to–Niles route and transferred to the brand new state trunkline routing in southern Monroe Co which was officially determined in early January. For the next three decades, very little change would come to the route of M-151.
  c.1945 New! – At some point soon after fully opening to traffic, US-25A running from US-25/Dixie Hwy at Erie southerly into Toledo, Ohio is redesignated as US-24A, a route which Ohio extends southerly into downtown Toledo to meet back up with US-24 there. (Prior to this, the highway on the Ohio side of the state line was simply designated SR-577.) In addition, since the route is now signed as an alternate to US-24, US-24A is extended northerly via US-25/Dixie Hwy to M-151, then westerly concurrently with M-151 on Luna Pier Rd to a new northern terminus at US-24/Telegraph Rd.
  1949 (Nov 10) New! – A reconfiguration of the western end of M-151 where it meets US-223 is officially determined with two 0.2-mile long segments of state trunkline transferred back to county control and one 0.2-mile long segment of roadway assumed by the state as the new trunkline route. Records are unclear as to precisely which segments of roadway these apply to, but likely involved are Creque Rd, Lakeview Rd and Head-O-Lake Rd.
  1965 (Aug 6) New! – Both the State Highway Dept's Chief Planning Engineer and the State Highway Commission's Director for Engineering & Chief Engineer sign off on a reccomendation for a reconfiguing of the western end of M-151 where it meets US-223. The reconfiguration would change the through movement of the junction so that it favors the US-223 sbd (ebd)–to–M-151 ebd and M-151 wbd–to–US-223 nbd (wbd) movements. Traffic on US-223 nbd from Ottawa Lake would need to stop before turning left at M-151 to continue northerly (westerly) along US-223. While the recommendation has been made, it will be another decade before the necessary trunkline abandonments and establishments are made and 12 years until actual construction takes place!
  1965 (Nov 15) New! – The Michigan State Highway Dept abandons the portion of M-151 from US-23 at Exit 5 easterly to US-24/Telegraph Rd and turns control of the route back to county control, a reduction in the length of M-151 of 10.057 miles. The route has become known as "Michigan's narrowest state highway," being constructed only to a 16-foot width. (The department notes it ceased building 16-foot wide roads prior to 1920!) A $1 million widening and resurfacing project in the fall completely upgrades all of M-151 east of US-23 to the more standard 22-foot wide cross-section prior to being transferred from state to county control. State Highway Commissioner John C Mackie notes, "a survey indicated the highway does not carry the type or volume of traffic to warrant designation as a state highway." The transfer is anticipated to save the state $50,000 each year in maintenance costs. The 0.57-mile portion of Luna Pier Rd between US-24/Telegraph Rd and US-25/Dixie Hwy, co-signed with US-24A, remains on the state trunkline system designated as part of CONN US-24.
  1975 (Nov–Dec) New! – As a continuation of the efforts begun in August 1965, a decade later on November 3, the Monroe Co Road Commission approves the state trunkline abandonments and establishments required to reconfigure the junction of US-223 and M-151 in northwestern Whiteford Twp north of the community of Ottawa Lake. The State Transportation Commission follows suit with the same approvals on December 10, with State Administrative Board approval coming six days layer on December 16. Now with all the necessary approvals, all that remains to realign US-223 and M-151 is to actually begin construction, which happens the next February.
  1977 (July 6) New! – At its regular meeting in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, the U.S. Route Numbering Subcommittee of the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO) approves a request from the Michigan Dept of State Highways & Transportation and the Ohio Dept of Transportation to relocate the route of US-223 from northwest of Toledo, Ohio to northwest of Ottawa Lake, Michigan and placing it onto the existing route of US-23 northerly from Ohio into Michigan, then continuing westerly via M-151 back to the existing route of US-223.
  1977 (Nov 17) Updated – After nearly two years of construction—work began in Febuary 1976—the remaining portion of M-151 which has not been turned back to local control in southwestern Monroe Co is upgraded, converting what had been one of the narrowest state highways in Michigan—just 16 feet wide—into a modern highway with a 24-foot-wide paved surface on a much improved and re-engineered alignment. Also removed is the previous connection between US-223 and M-151 northwest of Ottawa Lake, replaced by a sweeping curve to seemlessly join US-223 heading northwesterly with the former M-151 running easterly toward US-23. US-223 is now routed over what had been designated M-151, thereby "retiring" the M-151 designation in Michigan, and now meets US-23 at Exit 5. From there, US-223 now continues southerly with US-23 into Ohio near Sylvania. The former route of US-223 is retained as an unsigned state trunkline designated OLD US-223. The second iteration of M-151 lasts just a little over 42 years.
  1981 (Sept 21) New! – Nearly six years after the abandonments and establishments to allow for US-223 to feed directly into M-151 north of Ottawa Lake in southwestern Monroe Co are given and nearly four years after the actual work was completed (and the M-151 route makers were removed!), the final establishments for both routes are finally effected. There is no indication why the final establishments took until now to be implemented.
Controlled Access: New! No portion of former M-151 upon decommissioning existed as freeway or expressway.
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