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-23
Southern Entrance:    From Ohio southeast of Ottawa Lake and southwest of Lambertville (17 miles south of Dundee)
Northern Terminus:    I-75 at Exit 338 in Mackinaw City
Length: 362.835 miles
Map: Route Map of US-23
Notes: In the early days, US-23 between Toledo and Flint was considered somewhat of a "secondary" route. Today, however, it is one of Michigan's busier freeways through that stretch, carrying traffic around Metro Detroit as well as high levels of Ann Arbor commuter traffic.
  According to site contributor Ron Wilbanks, the original alignment for a US-23 bypass of Ann Arbor was along the present-day routing of Huron Parkway in the eastern portion of the city. This early bypass, proposed in the early 1950s according to Mr. Wilbanks, would not have been a controlled-access freeway, and if it had been constructed, might have drastically altered the freeway development in the Ann Arbor area. In anticipation of the new "bypass," the University of Michigan purchased a great deal of land in the northeastern portion of Ann Arbor so as to be able to expand their campus toward the new highway. After re-evaluating their plans for freeways around the state in the mid-1950s, Mr. Willbanks states the State Highway Dept. decided instead to build the current limited-access freeway bypass futher away from town in order to have enough room for interchanges and right-of-way. Later, the present-day Huron Parkway was constructed on the proposed US-23 bypass alignment as a four-lane boulevard. This information has also been supported by various MDOT maps and sources from the 1930s and 1940s. —Thanks Ron!
  In the decades before the completion of the Mackinac Bridge, the northern terminus of US-23 (and US-27 & US-31, for that matter) was at the State Ferry Docks in Mackinaw City. In the village of Mackinaw City, all three highways combined together and ran to the docks. In the years leading up to the construction of the Bridge, massive traffic delays were all too common, at times backing up as far as Cheboygan more than 15 miles distant! When the Mackinac Bridge was opened on November 1, 1956, the US Highway designations were similarly grouped together and extended to the southernmost end of the Bridge where they ended. (US-27 did continue across the bridge for a short time before I-75 replaced it.) US-23 and US-31 shared a common northern terminus at the southern end of the Bridge until the early 1990s.
  According to Scott "Kurumi" Oglesby, the remainder of the "non-freeway" portion of US-23 from Standish to Mackinaw City via Tawas and Alpena was proposed for inclusion in the Interstate Highway System as a part of the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1968. While no route designation is indicated, this route, had it been approved, may have been designated I-73, as that route number had not yet been used back in the late-1960s. For more information, see Scott's Interstate System Add Requests: March 1970.
  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 major changes to the route of US-23 during that timeframe, including:
  • Completion of the US-23 freeway from the Ohio state line northerly to the Standish area. This process was currently underway in 1960 with some segments of this freeway completed, others under construction, and still others in the planning stages. The Ohio-to-Standish portion of the US-23 freeway was completely almost exactly as envisioned on the 1960s planning maps by 1967.
  • Construction of a US-23 freeway splitting off I-75 approximately 3–4 miles southwest of Standish and running almost due northeasterly skirting Standish and Omer to the south and continuing directly toward Tawas City. There, the proposed freeway would have turned slightly northerly before curving back to the east to bypass the cities of Tawas City and East Tawas to the west and north with a proposed BUS US-23 routing through both cities. From the east side of East Tawas, the US-23 freeway was to have stuck close to the railroad corridor from there past Au Sable and Oscoda (Wurtsmuth Air Force Base was a major obstacle needing to be avoided at the time) and into Alcona Co. Near Greenbush, the proposed US-23 freeway would have veered slightly away from the railroad corridor, but remaining within a mile to the west of the existing highway as it bypassed Harrisville to the west. Approximately a mile south of the hamlet of Alcona, the freeway would have crossed existing US-23 to run on an alignment that roughly split the distance between the existing highway and the Lake Huron shoreline. As it entered Alpena Co, the proposed freeway curved to the northeast to cross back to the west side of the existing highway immediately south of Ossineke then turned north to run along the western shore of Devils Lake to Werth Rd where it would have interchanged with the southern end of a proposed BUS US-23 routing for Alpena. The freeway would have bent slightly to the east interchanging with M-32 approximately ¾ mile west of Bagley St, having another interchange at Long Rapids Rd & Bagley St itself, before merging back with the existing highway north of Alpena between Golf Course Rd and the D&M Railway crossing. With the exception of the proposed BUS US-23 routings at Tawas City-East Tawas and Alpena, nearly all of the remainder of the existing route of US-23 was to have been turned back to local control under this recommendation. Unlike the freeway recommendation in the first bullet point, none of the proposals from this second point were ever constructed, although plans for such a project were strongly considered in the early 1970s and again in the 1990s before being shelved in 2002.
  For details on the proposed US-23 freeway project from the 1990s, please see the "The Tug-of-War That Was the US-23 Freeway" article in the In-Depth section. A summary of the Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed freeway is available for your perusal, as it originally appeared on the MDOT website.
History: 1926 – When the US Highway System debuts in 1926, US-23 is routed the length of the Lower Peninsula, entering Michigan from Ohio at Toledo and ending at the Straits of Mackinac. The new US-23 is routed along existing state trunkline highways in its entirety. From the Ohio line northerly through Ida to Ypsilanti, US-23 replaces M-65, then turns westerly—still replacing the M-65 designation—running concurrently with M-17 into downtown Ann Arbor where US-23 again turns northerly supplanting M-65 through Brighton and Fenton, meeting with the new US-10 at Flint. From Flint to Saginaw, US-10 and US-23 run concurrently along what had been M-10. From Saginaw, US-23 continues northerly replacing M-10 into Bay City and further via Pinconning to Standish and northeasterly to Omer. The new US-23 then bends northerly again via Twining and Whittemore before turning east running into Tawas City. From there, US-23—still supplanting M-10—continues northerly and easterly into Oscoda, then northerly again via Lincoln and Spruce to Alpena. US-23 then turns westerly to Lachine and northerly again via Posen and into Rogers City. US-23, following the former M-10, then runs westerly via Onaway and Tower before curving northerly again via Aloha to Cheboyan, bending northwesterly to Mackinaw City and its northern terminus. In all, US-23 replaces all of M-65 and a major portion of M-10 within Michigan.
  1927 (May 15) – The new US Highway designations across the state of Michigan officially become effective today, with US-23 superceeding the entire route of M-65 and a portion of M-10, as noted above.
  1928 – A short realignment moves US-23 off a portion of the present-day Old Mackinaw Tr near the hamlet of Freedom in northwestern Cheboygan Co and onto its present alignment. The former route is turned back to local control.
  1929 – US-23 is transferred from the western to the eastern shore of the Saginaw River between Saginaw and Bay City, along the route of present-day M-13 between those cities. The former route of US-23 west of the river, according to trusted sources, is intially redesignated as US-23A. That designation, however, disappears from all official maps by late 1930 or early 1931, and is replaced by M-47 (now M-84). It can be assumed AASHO (today's AASHTO) denied Michigan's request for the US-23A designation, forcing the state to substitute a state trunkline designation for the route instead. Also in 1929, US-23 is realigned onto the rest of its present alignment from Cheboygan northwesterly toward Freedom, with the former route along Old Mackinaw Tr being turned back to local control.
  1930 – A relatively major realignment occurs in Monroe and Washtenaw Cos. From its junction with M-50 north of Ida, US-23 is rerouted westerly along M-50 into Dundee where US-23 now turns northerly to run through Azalia and Milan and due northerly back to the former alignment at M-17/Washtenaw Ave between Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor. The portion of the former route from M-50 northerly to M-130 is redesignated as part of M-130, with the remainder from there through Maybee, Oakville and Whittaker into downtown Ypsilanti being turned back to local control. The interesting point is that this rerouting is only meant as a temporary measure until a proposed route of US-23 on brand-new alignment can be built linking the existing highway at Ida with the east side of Milan on a roadway running generally along the east side of the Saline River. Throughout the 1930s, the Dundee-Milan routing of US-23 is only considered temporary by the Dept of State Highways.
  1931 – Changes to US-23 this year include:
  • A short realignment is completed in southeastern Livingston Co when US-23 is routed onto present-day Whitmore Lake Rd from 8 Mile Rd northerly to US-16/Grand River Ave southeast of Brighton. From there, US-23 runs northwesterly with US-16 back to its former alignment in Brighton. Much of the former route along Lemen, 9 Mile, Spicer, Musch, Winans Lake and Rickett Rds is turned back to local control, with the exception of the 9 Mile Rd segment, which becomes part of M-36.
  • US-23 is rerouted from Bay City to Kawkawlin westerly from downtown Bay City along M-20/Midland Ave, then onto the present-day route of M-13 along Euclid Ave and Huron Rd northerly to Kawkawlin and the former alignment. The old route of US-23 along Henry St and Old Kawkawlin Rd in Bay City is redesignated as an extension of M-29 (predecessor to present-day M-25).
  • Additionally during 1931, a 6-mile stretch of state trunkline is completed from the 90-degree turn in US-23 east of Omer (present-day jct US-23 & M-65) into the village of Au Gres. This highway, which would become part of a rerouted US-23 within a year, does not carry a route designation during 1931.
  1932 – The realignment in Arenac & Iosco Cos is completed when a segment of new highway is completed from Au Gres via Alabaster to Tawas City, and assigned the US-23 designation. The former segment of US-23 from just east of Omer northerly via Twining and Whittemore to M-55 is designated as M-65, while the east-west portion from there easterly into Tawas City is redesignated as an extension of M-55.
  1933 – US-23 is realigned in Alcona & Alpena Cos along two miles of present F-41 and onto its present-day alignment from the northern jct of F-41 to Werth Rd southwest of Alpena. The former route of US-23 along Roe, Gillard and E Spruce Rds in Alcona Co, and along Spruce and Werth Rds in Alpena Co is redesignated as M-171.
  1933–34 – In 1933, approximately 8 miles of new highway are completed along the Lake Huron shoreline from Au Sable southerly to present-day Scott Rd. This segment is likely not signed until the next year, when five more miles of new highway are completed into East Tawas, connecting with the former alignment of US-23 there. The US-23 designation is transferred to the new lakeshore routing, while the fomer inland route along Monument, Wilber, Galion, Sherman, Curtis, Brooks, Esmond, Wells and Au Sable Rds is turned back to local control.
  1935 – A 14-mile stretch of future US-23 east of Cheboygan is completed as a "graded earth" road to the Presque Isle Co line, but is not yet designated as part of US-23. The remainder of the route between the county line and the northern terminus of M-91 between P.H. Hoeft State Park and Hammond is under construction. Also begun is construction on a new easterly alignment between Harrisville and the Alcona/Alpena Co line. In both instances, US-23 maintains its inland routing.
  1935, 1936 (Aug 20) – Another "shoreline rerouting" project moves US-23 closer to Lake Huron in Alcona Co. A three-mile segment of new highway is completed in 1935 from M-72 in Harrisville northerly, while an eight-mile segment of new highway is completed from the existing US-23 (at present-day northern jct of US-23 & F-41) southeasterly to near the community of Alcona in early 1936. Then on Aug 20, the last four-mile stretch in between the completed segments is completed and opened to through traffic. This new highway running north from Harrisville is designated as US-23. Simultaneously, the route signed as M-72 from Harrisville southerly to Oscoda is redesignated as part of US-23 as well. The former inland route of US-23 from Oscoda through Lincoln to the Spruce area is redesignated as a new routing of M-171. (The former M-171 in Alpena Co to the north, itself a former alignment of US-23, had been transferred to county control on Oct 29, 1932 with state maintenance ceasing on Dec 31, 1934.)
  1936 – US-23 is routed to the east of Brighton, bypassing the city on the current route of Old US-23 north of Grand River Ave to Hilton Rd. The former concurrent US-16/US-23 designation on Grand River Ave from Whitmore Lake Rd into downtown Brighton reverts to just US-16, while the former US-23 along Flint & Hilton Rds is transferred to local control.
  1936 (July 13) – The State Highway Dept announces the complete right-of-way for a shoreline realignment of US-23 in northern Presque Isle Co from the Ocqueoc River to the Cheboygan Co line has been secured from "Franklin Clark Brown and others of Chicago" for the 11-mile segment of the overall scenic route. The agreement comes after two years of negotation with the various parties. At the same time, the route for the new highway through P. H. Hoeft State Park northwest of Rogers City is also nearing completion with the state Conservation Dept. State Highway Commission Murrary D. Van Wagoner stated the agreements are "doing away with the final legal obstacle toward completing this important shore line highway." At this point, 22½ miles of the overall 38½-mile route between Rogers City and Cheboygan have been graded and 5½ miles have already received a gravel surface.
  1938 – The final 17 miles of US-23 from Cheboygan to Mackinaw City are concurrently designated with a northerly extension of US-27. Formerly, US-27 had ended in Cheboygan at US-23.
  1939 – Another 11 miles of new highway are completed from Alpena northerly to the Alpena/Presque Isle Co line in early 1939, but this segment is not yet assigned a highway designation, pending completion of the portion of the highway still under construction from the county line northwesterly to Rogers City. In late 1939, however, the remaining 13 miles of new highway from the Alpena/Presque Isle Co line to the existing US-23 southeast of Rogers City is completed and opened to traffic, signed as US-23. The former US-23/M-32 concurrency from Alpena westerly to Lachine reverts to just M-32, while the portion from Lachine northerly via Posen to just southeast of Rogers City is designated as an extension of M-65.
  1940 – The first segment of the relocated US-23 between Hartland and Fenton opens from just south of Hartland to present-day Faussett Rd along today's Old US-23, but is not designated as US-23 pending completion of the remainder of the relocation.
  1940 (Dec 6) – A delegation of Saginaw city and county officials were not successful in their bid to obtain a guarantee by Michigan State Hwy Dept leadership for a bypass along US-23 around Saginaw.
  1941 – Three realignments of US-23 take place. They are:
  • The remainder of the Hartland-Fenton realignment is completed from Faussett Rd northerly to Shiawassee Rd southwest of downtown Fenton along present-day Old US-23. The former alignment of US-23 along Hartland Rd is turned back to local control.
  • Lafayette Ave and Salzburg Ave in southern Bay City are transferred to state control and designated as US-23, with that designation continuing northerly with M-47 on Euclid Ave back to the existing US-23 (at Midland St) in western Bay City. The former US-23 through downtown Bay City on Garfield Ave, Washington Ave and Midland St is redesignated as BUS US-23, one of a new crop of BUSINESS US routes designated in Michigan this year.
  • The final major relocation of US-23 north of Standish is completed between Rogers City and Cheboygan, running along the Lake Huron shoreline for the entire route. From Rogers City northwesterly to the Hammond Bay area, US-23 supplants the M-91 designation in its entirety. From Hammond Bay northwesterly to Cheboygan, US-23 runs along new highway constructed over the previous six years. The former US-23 from Rogers City westerly to Onaway is redesignated as M-68, with the east-west stretch west of Onaway becoming a concurrent M-33/M-68, and from M-68 northerly to US-27 south of Cheboygan, the former US-23 is redesignated as part of M-33. In all, this new alignment saves about 12 miles on the trip from Rogers City to Cheboygan over the old route.
  1942M-65 from US-23 south of Rogers City into downtown and a portion of what had been designated M-91 previously from downtown northwesterly back to the new US-23 northwest of downtown Rogers City is designated as BUS US-23.
  1947 – US-23 is realigned onto new highway (present-day Ann Arbor Rd) from M-50 west of Dundee northerly to Cone Rd just north of Azalia. The former route along Dundee-Azalia Rd is turned back to local control, with a portion of this route now consumed by the Dundee Cement Co plant north of Dundee. Also in 1947, the last remaining gravel-surfaced segment of US-23, in northwestern Presque Isle Co, is paved.
  1949 (Nov 10) New! 2023-07 – Nine years after civic leaders from Saginaw are unable to get a committment for an eastern bypass for their city, the southernmost 4.62 miles of the so-called "Saginaw–Bay City East Belt" is officially established as a state trunkline route and is also likely completed and opened to traffic at this point as well. However, since this new segment of two-lane highway only runs from US-10/US-23 at Bridgeport northerly to M-46/Holland Ave east of Saginaw, the US-23 designation is not yet transferred to the new route and will not be until further northerly progress on the bypass is made.
  1951 (Oct 6) – A new highway alignment is constructed starting at Cone Rd near Azalia (in Monroe Co) east of the old alignment and bypassing Milan to the east. This new highway is to be later incorporated into the US-23 freeway, explaining the two very narrow, single span railroad overpasses at Milan and Cone Rd, originally not constructed for a four-lane freeway.
  1953 (July 24, 4:00pm), 1954 (Jan 4) Updated 2023-07 – Another 2.48 miles of the "Saginaw–Bay City East Belt" bypass route is completed and opened to traffic in M-81 from the end of the completed bypass route at M-46/Holland Ave northerly to M-81/E Washington Ave. US-23 is rerouted to follow the new two-lane controlled-access bypass route from Bridgeport northerly to M-81, then runs concurrently west along M-81 back to its existing route at Veterans Memorial Pkwy where it heads northerly toward Bay City. The former route of US-23 through Saginaw via E Genesee Ave and N Washington Ave becomes BUS US-23. The M-46-to-M-81 segment of the new bypass is officially established as a trunkline route on January 4, 1954. Originally scheduled for completion in the fall of 1951, cement and steel shortages pushed the completion date back by two years, according to State Highway Commissioner Charles Ziegler. Further northerly process on the "Saginaw–Bay City East Belt" stalls at this point, however, likely due, in part, to the next segment needing to cross the Saginaw River on a moveable strcuture to accommodate Great Lakes-going vessels on the river.
  1957 (July 30) – A 7.2-mile long segment of the US-23 expressway is completed and opened to traffic from the Huron River bridge north of downtown Ann Arbor northerly to a temporary connection back to the existing US-23 route along Main St at Whitmore Lake, approximately ½ mile north of 6 Mile Rd. A 3½-mile long segment of new expressway from that point, northerly past Whitmore Lake and to a point on the existing route of US-23 near the jct with M-36 is nearing completion. The entire stretch is costing $5.25 million to build.
  1957 (Nov 1) – In Mackinaw City, the US-23/US-27 routing is transferred to a new roadway leading to the Mackinac Bridge approach, joining US-31. US-23 and US-31 both end at the southernmost point of the Mackinac Bridge, while US-27 continues across into the Upper Peninsula.
  1957 (Dec 21) New! 2023-11 – The southernmost 15 miles of the "Fenton–Clio Expressway" is completed and opened to traffic from the exisitng route at Fenton on the Livingston/Genesee Co line northerly to M-78/Miller Rd on the west side of Flint. US-23 is likely signed along the new freeway segment and uses M-78/Miller Rd and M-21/Court St between the end of the new freeway into downtown Flint to reconnect with the existing route of US-23. Work on the northern half of the Fenton–Clio Expwy from Flint to Birch Run contines.
  1958 (Jan 9–24) – The remaining 3½ miles of the US-23 expressway between Ann Arbor and Whitmore Lake is completed and opened to traffic on January 9 from north of 6 Mile Rd southwest of Whitmore Lake to a point on the existing route of US-23 near the jct with M-36 in southeastern Livington Co. Two weeks later on January 24, the entire 10.77 mile new US-23 expressway is officially added to the state trunkline system and, simultaneously, the 10.5-mile long former route of US-23 (along present-day Whitmore Lake Rd and Main St) is turned back to local control.
  1958 (June 30–July 3) Updated 2023-11 – The northern 18½ miles of the "Fenton–Clio Expressway" is completed and opened to traffic on June 30 from the northern end of the completed freeway at M-78/Miller Rd on the west side of Flint northerly past Clio to Birch Run Rd east of Birch Run. The US-23 designation is routed northerly from Flint along the new freeway to Birch Run, then jogs easterly for approximately ¼ mile back to the existing US-23 route (along with US-10) at Dixie Hwy. The former route of US-23, which had been temporarily routed along M-78/Miller Rd and M-21/Court St to downtown Flint, retains those designations, while the segment with BUS US-10 along Saginaw St from downtown Flint northerly through Mount Morris to US-10/Dort Hwy becomes just BUS US-10 and the segment of US-10/US-23 along Saginaw Rd–Dixie Hwy between Dort Hwy and Birch Run Rd becomes just US-10. While the northernmost 21 miles of the Fenton–Clio Expwy are to be included in the future route of I-75 from the Flint area northerly, but the freeway itself is signed only as US-23. Official dedication ceremonies take place a few days later on July 3 at Fenton and Flint featuring Gov G Mennen Williams and at Birch Run with Lieutenant Governor Philip Hart speaking, with a luncheon following in Frankenmuth.
  1958 (Aug 18–Sept 16) New! 2023-11 – The 2.020-mile segment of the US-23/Fenton–Clio Expwy in Saginaw Co from the Genesee Co line to Birch Run Rd is officially established as a state trunkline route on August 18, while the 31.550 miles in Genesee Co from the Livingston Co line at Fenton northerly to the Saginaw Co line south of Birch Run is established nearly a month later on September 16. The entire Fenton–Clio Expwy has been open to traffic since June, while the portion south of M-78/Miller Rd opened to traffic the previous December..
  1959 (May) – Due to an abundance of southbound US-23 traffic turning left at US-16/Grand River Ave southwest of Brighton in Livingston Co in order to access the newly constructed US-16/Brighton-Farmington Expwy (which opened a year-and-a-half earlier), the State Highway Dept creates a temporary connection between US-23 and the western end of the new US-16 freeway. The $28,030 project consists of 0.4 mile of a 22-foot-wide asphalt surfacing on Culver Rd for eastbound traffic only between US-23 (southbound traffic turning left onto Culver Rd) and heading to a temporary connection onto the US-16 freeway just east of the freeway's western terminus. This connection will be obliterated when the US-16 freeway is extended west around the City of Brighton int he next two years and will eventually be buried under the massive US-16 & US-23 interchange to be built at this location.
  1959 (July 8) – The 0.3-mile segment of Birch Run Rd between the northern end of the US-23/Fenton–Clio Expwy easterly to US-10/Dixie Hwy at Birch Run is officially established as a state trunkline a year after the segment of roadway became the linkage for US-23 to get between the new freeway and the existing route along Dixie Hwy.
  1959 (early, Dec 10) – Early in 1958, the initial 8 miles of freeway connecting US-223 at Sylvania, Ohio with M-50 & US-23 at Dundee are completed between M-50 and Summerfield Rd. On December 10, the entire 18-mile freeway from Sylvania northerly to Dundee opens to traffic and is signed as part of US-23. The former route of US-23 along Lewis Ave from the Ohio state line to M-50 is turned back to local control, while the concurrent stretch along M-50 westerly into Dundee retains the M-50 designation.
  1959 (Dec 14) – The southbound lanes of the US-23 freeway segment from the southern end of the Fenton-Clio Expressway at the Genesee/Livingston Co line near Fenton southerly to M-59 near Hartland are completed and opened to traffic. The northbound lanes, however, are still under construction, with northbound traffic remaining on the existing—soon-to-be-former—route of US-23 immdiately to the west of the new southbound lanes. This results in the somewhat bizarre arrangement of northbound US-23 traffic exsting to the left of southbound traffic for the time being.
  1960 – Changes coming to US-23 in 1960:
  • The I-75 designation is added to US-23 on the "Fenton-Clio Expressway" from Maple Rd southwest of Flint northerly to the terminus of the freeway at Birch Run Rd east of downtown Birch Run. The US-23 designation is, of course, retained.
  • (Nov 17) The five-mile section of US-23 freeway from 9 Mile Rd at Whitmore Lake on the Washtenaw/Livingston Co line northerly to the C&O Railway overpass south of US-16/Grand River Ave southeast of Brighton is officially opened to traffic with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Brighton end of the new highway by state highway commissioner John C. Mackie. The $1.5 million project connects Ann Arbor and Brighton with a four-lane divided highway. The former route of US-23 along present-day Whitmore Lake Rd is turned back to local control.
  1960 (Dec 5)—1961 (Jan 3) Updated 2023-07 – A 14.93-mile long segment of freeway is opened to traffic on December 5 beginning at the north end of the existing US-23 bypass of Saginaw at M-81 northwesterly over the Saginaw River via a new four-lane bascule Zilwaukee Bridge, then curving northerly past Bay City, terminating at existing US-23 at Kawkawlin. The new freeway is designated as I-75/US-10/US-23 from Saginaw to an interchange with the M-20 freeway west of Bay City (where US-10 now turns westerly supplanting M-20 into Midland) and then as I-75/US-23 from M-20 to Kawkawlin. (US-10 also joins with US-23 from Bridgeport northerly to the beginning of the new segment of I-75/US-10/US-23 at M-81 east of Saginaw.) The former route of US-23 from the former end of the "Saginaw East Belt" at the northern terminus of M-13 (present-day Exit 153) is redesignated as a northerly extension of M-13 from there into Bay City, following the former route of US-23 through the city, and now terminating at the northern end of the I-75/US-23 freeway at Kawkawlin. (The former BUS US-23 through downtown Bay City becomes part of a longer BL I-75 routing through the city.) Road crews begin changing out the various route markers on all the affected routes on December 8, with the work being completed by the end of the month. The entire 14.93-mile long freeway segment is officially established as a trunkline route a month later on January 3. This segment of freeway becomes the second section of I-75 in Michigan to be opened with I-75 route markers posted as its time of opening.
  1961 – More US-23 freeway segments open to traffic:
  • From M-50 at Dundee to the fomer alignment (Carpenter Rd) north of Milan, using much of the two-lane route completed in 1951.
  • The four-lane divided expressway between Ann Arbor and 8 Mile Rd at Whitmore Lake is converted to full-freeway standards. Overpasses and interchanges are constructed making the route fully-controlled access.
  • (July 11) The 5.7-mile segment of the fomer route of US-23 in southeastern Livingston Co fom M-36/9 Mile Rd northerly to US-16/Grand River Ave is turned back to county contol. This portion of fomer US-23 was bypassed by the adjacent US-23 freeway opened to traffic the previous November.
  1961 (Oct 27) New! 2023-08 – A project to convert the existing 7½-mile long US-23/US-10 "Saginaw East Belt" to a full freeway—it was opened in stages in 1949 and 1953 as a two-lane controlled-access highway with intersections instead of grade-separations—is completed and opened to traffic five days before its target completion date. New northbound lanes are constructed on the existing right-of-way and interchanges are built at US-10/Dixie Hwy, M-46/Holland Rd and M-81/East Washington Rd, while intersecting roads are either dead-ended or grade separations are constructed. This newly "freeway-ized" segment connects with new segments of I-75/US-10/US-23 freeway on either end, which will now make I-75 an uninterrupted full freeway from southwest of Flint in Genesee Co northerly to jct M-13 at Kawkawlin, concurrent with US-23 for that entire distance and with US-10 from Birch Run to jct M-15/M-25 at Bay City.
  1962 (Sept 29) – The 9½ miles of new US-23 freeway from just south of Grand River Ave southeast of Brighton northerly to just north of M-59/Highland Rd at Hartland is completed and opened to traffic. This includes traversing the $2-million, 171-acre interchange with I-96/US-16, proclaimed as the "world's largest interchange" (in terms of acres covered) by the State Highway Dept. I-96/US-16 was opened through the interchange the previous December. A ribbon-cutting ceremony on the northbound lanes at the I-96 eastbound overpass is presided over by State Highway Dept Chief Engineer John E Meyer. The former route of US-23 along present-day Old US-23 between Brighton and Hartland is retained as an unsigned state tunkline for another few weeks.
  1962 (Oct 15) – The 18.361 miles of the former route of US-23 in Livingston Co from Grand River Ave (former US-16) near Brighton northerly to the Genesee Co line at Fenton are turned back to county control, now named "Old US-23." This segment of the former US-23 was replaced by segments of US-23 freeway on Dec 18, 1961 (north of M-59) and Sept 29, 1962 (south of M-59).
  1962 (Nov 2, 3:00 pm) – The 19.832-mile long segment of the US-23 freeway from Milan in southern Washtenaw Co northerly past Ann Arbor (the so-called "Ann Arbor East Belt") to the existing segment of the US-23 expressway north of Ann Arbor (at present-day Exit 45) is completed and opened to traffic. This completes a 150-mile long US-23 freeway from the Ohio state line northerly to Kawkawlin north of Bay City. The 11.973-mile segment of the former route of US-23 between Milan and M-17/Washtenaw Ave along Carpenter Rd is cancelled as a state trunkline and turned over to local control. The portion of former US-23 along Washtenaw Ave, Huron St & Main St through downtown Ann Arbor is designated as BUS US-23.
  1962 (Dec 18) – The northbound lanes for the 9-mile US-23 freeway segment between M-59 near Hartland in Livingston Co and the southern end of the "Fenton-Clio Expressway" at the Livingston/Genesee Co line near Fenton are completed and opened to traffic, thereby completing the freeway in that portion. For the previous two years, southbound traffic had been using the new freway lanes while northbound traffic still utilized the existing (Old) US-23 immediately adjacent to the new highway to the west—with northbound traffic to the left of the southbound traffic! The former route of US-23, which had hosted only the northbound traffic since 1959, is renamed "Old US-23" and becomes an unsigned state trunkline highway for a short time pending its turnback to local control. With the completion of this segment of freeway, the US-23 freeway is now complete for 75 miles from Hartland in Livingston Co to Kawkawlin in central Bay Co.
  1965 (Nov 2) – While the connector freeway leading east away from US-23 at the "east triple-decker" interchange northeast of Ann Arbor (present-day Exit 42) to existing M-14/Plymouth Rd has been complete and open to traffic since November 1964, the remainder of the M-14 "Ann Arbor Northbelt" freeway between Main St north of downtown southwesterly to I-94 (at present-day Exit 171) is completed and opened to traffic on November 2. As such, M-14 is rerouted to run westerly via the "Dixboro bypass" to US-23 (at present-day Exit 42), then concurrently with the US-23 freeway to the "west triple-decker" interchange, where it turns southwesterly with BUS US-23 to the Main St interchange where M-14 now follows the new "Ann Arbor Northbelt" freeway to a new termius at I-94.
  1967 (Oct 6–26, Nov 1) – Three developments on the segment of US-23 freeway between Bay City and Standish:
  • (Oct 6) – A 23.86-mile segment of US-23 freeway (part of future I-75) is officially established as a state trunkline highway beginning at the existing US-23 (present-day CONN M-13) northwest of Bay City northerly through Bay Co and into Arenac Co, ending at the US-23 "connector" freeway leading easterly away from the future I-75 route to connect back to the previous route of US-23 south of Standish.
  • (Oct 26) – At its regular meeting in Salt Lake City, the U.S. Route Numbering Subcommittee of the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) approves a request from the Michigan Dept of State Highways to relocate the route of US-23 between Bay City and Standish from its existing route via Kawkawlin, Linwood and Pinconning and placing it onto a new 30-mile long freeway facility from existing US-23 south of Kawkawlin northerly back to the existing US-23 south of Standish. This new facility is six days from being completed and opened to traffic.
  • (Nov 1) – A 30-mile segment of freeway is completed and opened to traffic as US-23 from 3 miles south of Kawkawlin northerly to end at existing US-23 three miles south of Standish. The former route of US-23 from Kawkawlin to the north end of the freeway south of Standish is initially designated ALT US-23.
  1967 (Oct 5) – The I-75/US-10/US-23 Zilwaukee Bridge spanning the Saginaw River is rammed by the 550-foot freighter J.F. Schoellkopf Jr while the bascule (draw) bridge is in the down (closed) position and open to vehicular traffic. The southbound lanes ofI-75/US-10/US-23 are closed and traffic is detoured via M-25 into Bay City, then southerly via M-13 back to the freeway to avoid the closed bridge. The freighter is initially left in place and not removed from under the span for fear that the bridge might collapse. Damaged to the bridge is termed to be "subtantial" in nature. Within days, southbound traffic is rerouted to share the northbound lanes on the bridge while repairs are made to the bridge.
  1968 (Mar 11) – Repairs to the I-75/US-10/US-23 Zilwaukee Bridge spanning the Saginaw River which was rammed by freighter J.F. Schoellkopf Jr while the bascule (draw) bridge is in the down (closed) position the previous October 5 are completed and the bridge is fully reopened to vehicular traffic, relieving a major traffic issue in the region.
  1968 (June 18, Dec 1) – With the "ALT US-23" route sign assemblies reported already in place between Kawkawlin and Standish, the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO), the group charged with directing the layout and numbering of the US Highway system, refuses to allow the ALT US-23 designation at its June 18 U.S. Route Numbering Subcommittee meeting in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This forces the State Highway Department to remove that designation and replace it with another. The Department announces that as of December 1, ALT US-23 will be known as M-13 from Kawkawlin to Standish. The short segment of ALT US-23 freeway from US-23 to M-13 at Kawkawlin is designated CONNECTOR M-13.
  1968 (Nov 13) – In response to the passage of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1968 which, among other things, authorizes an additional 1,500 miles of Interstate highway nationally, the State Highway Commission announces a request containing 600 miles of additional Interstate mileage within the state. Since the entire nationwide allotment for additional Interstate mileage is 1,500 miles, MSHD officials are aware, however, their request is unlikely to be granted in its entirety. One of the requests is to extend the US-23 freeway nearly 200 miles from Standish northeasterly past Tawas City–East Tawas to Oscoda–Au Sable, then northerly past Harrisonville, Alpena, Rogers City and Cheboygan to a terminus at Mackinaw City. (No potential Interstate route designation for the US-23 shoreline route is suggested in the request.) This request is ultimately not granted by the federal government.
  1973 – With the completion of the last I-75 freeway segment between Standish and Grayling, the I-75 designation is routed northerly over the US-23 freeway from Bay City to Standish and beyond.
  1977US-223 is rerouted to follow the former routing fo M-151 east to US-23 at Exit 5, then southerly along with US-23 into Ohio.
  1987US-10 in Michigan is shortened by approximately 110 miles from its former terminus in downtown Detroit to a new terminus at I-75/US-23 Exit 162 at Bay City. I-75/US-10/US-23 from Mile 115 at Flint to Mile 162 becomes just I-75/US-23. It took MDOT seven years to finally remove all the US-10 shields from this portion of the route.
  1993–94 – The bulk of the US-10 route markers posted along I-75/US-23 between Flint and Bay City are finally removed. The US-10 designation was removed from this route in 1987.
  1994 – A new US-23 freeway is announced to run from the north end of the current freeway at M-13 south of Standish to M-55 west of Tawas City at first, then later northeasterly to the Oscoda area. As with such projects many groups and individuals came out for and against the new freeway. Complete information on the proposal can be found in "The Tug-of-War That Was the US-23 Freeway" in the In-Depth section of this website.
  1999 – As detailed in "The Tug-of-War That Was the US-23 Freeway," the proposed US-23 freeway is dealt a setback by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
  2002 (June) – After being rebuffed by the FHWA more than two years prior with regard to its plans to build a US-23 freeway between Standish and Iosco Co, MDOT, continued to plan for the eventuality of an upgraded facility of some type. As of June 2002, however the department and the FHWA agreed on the "no-build" option for the route and officially withdrew plans for the freeway.
  2004 (May 6) – US-23 from Standish to Mackinaw City is officialy designated as a Recreational Heritage Route and given the moniker Sunrise Side Coastal Highway. (That moniker, however, has now evolved into the current name Huron Shores Recreational Heritage Route.) According to MDOT: "Initiated by Rep. Sheltrown and Tom Ferguson of Michigan's Sunrise Side Travel Association in the summer of 2001, the process began with the collection of resolutions of support from local units of government along the route. Northeast Michigan Council of Governments and East Michigan Planning & Development were contracted to develop a management plan for the route with the guidance and advice of local volunteers." More from the MDOT Press Release.
Controlled-Access: Freeway: From the Ohio state line to M-13 south of Standish. (190.3 miles)
Expressway: None.
NHS: The entire length of US-23 is part of the National Highway System (NHS). (The segment of US-23 from M-32 in downtown Alpena to the route's northern terminus in Mackinaw City was added in 2012 with the passage of the MAP-21 funding and authorization bill.)
Business Connections:
  • BUS US-23 – Ann Arbor. From US-23 at Exit 37 east of Ann Arbor to jct US-23 & M-14 (at Exit 45) north of Ann Arbor.
  • FORMER BUS US-23 – Fenton. A somewhat unique pair of former spur routes from US-23 at Exit 78 into downtown (formerly mostly unsigned) and from US-23 at Exit 79 into downtown (formerly signed). Decommissioned December 7, 2006.
  • BUS US-23 – Rogers City. From US-23 south of Rogers City, through downtown, back to US-23 in the northwestern portion of the city.
Circle Tour: Lake Huron Circle Tour MarkerLake Huron Circle Tour: From M-13 south of Standish to the northern terminus of US-23 in Mackinaw City.
Pure Michigan
Recreational Heritage Route MarkerHuron Shores Recreational Heritage Route: From Standish northerly to the northern terminus of US-23 in Mackinaw City.
Memorial Highways:  The following Memorial Highway designations have been officially assigned to parts of US-23 by the Michigan Legislature:
  • United Spanish War Veterans' Memorial Highway – "The portion of highway US-23 beginning at the border between Michigan and Ohio in Monroe County and extending north to the City{sic] of Mackinaw City..." From MDOT: "The United Spanish War Veterans was an American Veterans organization which consisted of veterans of the Spanish–American War, Philippine–American War and China Relief Expedition."
  • Sergeant Joe Johnson Memorial Highway – "The portion of highway US-23 in Genesee County beginning at the intersection of highway US-23 and Thompson Road and extending north to the intersection of highway US-23 and Bristol Road..." From MDOT: "United States Army Specialist Joseph Johnson was killed at the age of 24 in Afghanistan on June 16, 2010. His family was presented with the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and Combat Action Medal for his service. Sergeant Johnson was a Flint area native and enlisted in the Army in 2006 after graduating from CarmanAinsworth High School in 2004."
  • Roberts–Linton Highway and Veterans of World War I Memorial Highway – "The portion of highway I-75 and US-23 beginning in the city of Saginaw and extending north to the city of Bay City..." From MDOT: "Rolla W. Roberts was a civil engineer for the City of Saginaw. He died tragically in an automobile accident at the age of 72 in Durand Hospital. William S. Linton was a member of the Michigan House of Representatives from 1887–88. He was appointed in 1919 as a member of the Michigan State Board of Tax Commissioners and was named secretary a few weeks before his death in Lansing. Mr. Lincoln was interred in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Saginaw. The Senate Resolution No 35 of 1931–32 noted Roberts and Linton as pioneers who visualized the construction of US-23 between Saginaw and Bay City."
  • Peter C. Lemon Highway – "The portion of highway US-23 in Iosco County beginning at the intersection with M-55 in Tawas City and extending south to the Tawas River Bridge..." From the Michigan Legislature: "On April 1, 1970, Sergeant Peter C. Lemon distinguished himself during combat while serving as an assistant machine gunner during the defense of the Fire Support Base Illingworth in Vietnam. He fought a numerically superior enemy with his machine gun and rifle until those weapons malfunctioned, proceeded to fight with hand grenades, and then fought in hand-to-hand combat with the single combatant that remained. Despite injury from an exploded grenade, Sergeant Lemon delivered a wounded squadron member to an aid station. He then returned to hand-to-hand combat until he lost consciousness and was delivered to an aid station with multiple wounds. He refused his own evacuation until more seriously wounded squadron members were first evacuated. For this service, Sergeant Lemon received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Medal of Honor, Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Gallantry Cross, Vietnam Civil Actions Medal, Meritorious Unit Citation, and Presidential Unit Citation."
  • Trooper Larry Forreider Memorial Highway – "The portion of highway US-23 in Alpena County beginning at the intersection with Hamilton Road and extending north to the border between Alpena and Presque Isle Counties..." From MDOT: "Trooper Larry Forreider was killed on December 5, 1974, after being shot near Alpena, Michigan. According to the Michigan State Police, Trooper Forreider and his partner had stopped a vehicle for defective tail lights. When his partner noticed a weapon in the vehicle, the passengers were ordered to step outside. At this point, the driver fired at Trooper Forreider. In 1975, the State Police Medal of Valor was bestowed posthumously in tribute to Trooper Forreider. He was the 30th Michigan State Police officer to die in the line of duty."
  • Peter A. Pettalia Memorial Highway – "The portion of highway US-23 in Presque Isle County between Maple Drive and Misiak Highway..." From MDOT: "Representative Peter A. Pettalia, elected in 2010, was serving his third and final term in the House of Representatives when he was killed on the evening of September 12, 2016 on M-33, just south of Atlanta, Michigan, en route to Lansing on his motorcycle. During his final term as legislator, Representative Pettalia, chaired the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and served as vice chair of the Financial Services Committee. He served as Presque Isle Township supervisor for 16 years and as a volunteer firefighter for 15 years. He also helped run an auto repair business for more than 30 years, according to his official biography."
  • Major Andrew Becker USAF Memorial Hwy – "The portion of highway US-23 in Presque Isle County beginning at the easternmost intersection of highway US-23 and Evergreen Highway and extending west to the westernmost intersection of highway US-23 and Evergreen Highway..." From MDOT: "On March 14, 2017, Major Andrew Becker, along with two others, died after his military aircraft crashed while landing during a 318 Special Operations training sortie in New Mexico. He was 33 years old and had served in the United States Air Force for 10 years, according to the Detroit News. He was deployed nine times, flew 459 combat missions, and was awarded 22 Air Force service medals. Major Becker attended Novi High School and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach. He also was pursuing a Master of Science degree in Space Studies at American Military University."
Continue on: US-23 into Ohio – via the AA Roads site.
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