U.S. Route 131


U.S. Route 131

at Grand Rapids, MI
Jct|state=MI|US|10 near Reed City, MI
Jct|state=MI|MI|55 at Cadillac, MI
Jct|state=MI|MI|72 at Kalkaska, MI
direction_b=North
terminus_b=Jct|state=MI|US|31 at Petoskey, MI
browse=

U.S. Route 131 (US 131) is a north-south United States highway. All but convert|0.60|mi|km|2|lk=on of its length is within Michigan. The total length of the highway is around convert|269|mi|km|0 with approximately convert|169|mi|km|0 of that freeway. US 131 also features six business routes. When the U.S. Highway System debuted, US 131 was designated along the path of what had been M-13 in Michigan. The southern terminus of US 131 is approximately five miles (8 km) north of Middlebury, Indiana at an intersection with the Indiana Toll Road, just south of the Michigan-Indiana border, where it continues as State Road 13.The northern terminus is in Petoskey, Michigan, at an intersection with US 31.

While logic and some maps indicate otherwise, US 131 has never extended any farther south than the Indiana Toll Road since its inception in 1926. Indeed, prior to 1959, US 131 terminated at the Michigan-Indiana state line and, as such, existed in only one state.

Route description

Indiana

US 131 extends convert|3168|ft|m|0 into Indiana before terminating at the entrance to the Indiana Toll Road, the entrance being a few hundred feet to the north of the Toll Road. SR 13 has its northern terminus at the same point.

US 131 markers exist at the intersection of SR 13 and SR 120 roughly one mile south of the Toll Road, but these as a rule are qualified with the word "TO".

Michigan

US 131 runs for a distance of approximately 268 miles (431 km) in Michigan, from the Indiana state line northerly to Petoskey. It is a major highway in West Michigan, serving the cities of Three Rivers, Portage, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Big Rapids, Reed City, Cadillac, Kalkaska, and Petoskey. The highway is an important link between Grand Rapids and the tourist areas of northwest Michigan.

It has full interchanges with four freeways: I-94 southwest of Kalamazoo, M-6 on the south side of Grand Rapids, I-196 near downtown Grand Rapids, and I-96 on the north side of Grand Rapids. The portion between I-196 and I-96 also bears the unposted designation of I-296.

US 131 is a freeway from south of Portage to north of Manton, Michigan; it is a divided surface highway from just south of Portage to Three Rivers, a portion of which is constructed to "expressway" standards on controlled-access right-of-way (except that in Schoolcraft it is an undivided city street). While further northerly extension of the US 131 freeway from Manton toward Kalkaska and beyond has been shelved by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), a southerly extension of the freeway to or near the Indiana state line is still under study. Improvements to the US 131 corridor from Portage to the Indiana Toll Road have been underway for several years and while a late-2005 decision by MDOT to not pursue a new alignment, controlled-access route through Saint Joseph County seemed to put an end to that discussion, public outcry and backlash from local legislators caused the department to re-evaluate this decision.

Lane configurations

*From Indiana Toll Road to Three Rivers — two lanes, undivided, except through Constantine.
*Three Rivers — five lanes undivided.
*From Three Rivers to Moore Park — four lane divided expressway.
*From Moore Park to freeway terminus south of Portage — four lanes, divided except in Schoolcraft.
*From beginning of freeway to metropolitan Grand Rapids — four lane freeway.
*In metropolitan Grand Rapids (76th St to I-96) — six lane freeway, except in "S-Curve" where it is eight lanes. The lanes are reversed at the I-196 interchange.
*From metropolitan Grand Rapids to north of Manton — four lane freeway.
*From north of freeway to Petoskey — two lanes, undivided, except through Kalkaska and Mancelona and where passing lanes have been constructed.
*Within the Petoskey area — five lanes, undivided.

Interstate 296

Infobox road
state=MI
route=296
type=I



maint=
length_mi=3.43
length_round=2
length_ref= [ [http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/reports/routefinder/table2.htm Route Log - Auxiliary Routes of the Eisenhower National System Of Interstate and Defense Highways - Table 2] ]
year_established=1962
direction_a=South
terminus_a=Jct|state=MI|I|196|US|131 in Grand Rapids, MI
junction=
direction_b=North
terminus_b=Jct|state=MI|I|96|US|131|M|37 in Walker, MI
previous_type=MI
previous_route=294
next_type=MI
next_route=311

Interstate 296 (abbreviated I-296) is an unsigned convert|3.4|mi|km|1 segment of US 131 entirely within Grand Rapids, Michigan. Its termini are I-96 on the north side of Grand Rapids and I-196 near downtown Grand Rapids. As the entire length coincides with US 131—which continues as a freeway built to interstate standards north and south of the short segment— the Michigan Department of Transportation simplified matters by eliminating all signage for I-296 and removing the designation from their officially published state map. [cite web| title=MDOT State Map—Grand Rapids| url=http://www.michigan.gov/documents/MDOT-State-Map-Grand-Rapids_64225_7.pdf| format=pdf| date=2007| accessdate=2008-02-28]

Route description

The freeway begins at the I-196 interchange where the three north bound lanes are on the left and the three south bound lanes are on the right. This gets flip-flopped after ramps for the I-196 are passed as the south bound lanes go over the northbound lanes. The freeway is three lanes in each direction the entire length. It has a grassy median north of Ann St. Approaching I-96 from the south, unsigned I-296 follows the left two lanes to I-96 westbound toward Muskegon, terminating at I-96 near the Alpine Ave overpass. Southbound unsigned I-296 begins where the ramps to US 131 southbound split from eastbound I-96 at the Alpine Ave overpass, merging with southbound US 131 north of Ann St.

History

US 131 debuted, along with the rest of the U.S. Highway System, in late 1926, although at the time it only ran from the Michigan-Indiana state line northerly to the small northern Michigan community of Fife Lake in Grand Traverse County. The Michigan State Highway Department had originally planned to construct a new-alignment highway connecting Fife Lake with the Traverse City area, which would have allowed US 131 to connect with its "parent" route, US 31. After a dozen years and no progress on the Fife Lake-Traverse City connection, the US 131 designation was instead routed along what had been designated as M-131 since 1926 through Kalkaska to US 31 at Petoskey, where it finally met US 31 for the first time. Until 1959, US 131 turned westerly and was concurrently designated with US 112 (now US 12) to what is now M-103, then southerly to the Indiana state line.

The first portion of the US 131 corridor to be converted to freeway standards was completed in 1957 between Wayland in Allegan County and M-11 (28th Street) in Wyoming in Kent County. Further extensions in the 1960s took the US 131 freeway both south (to Plainwell, then past Kalamazoo to north of Schoolcraft) and north (through Grand Rapids to I-96) of that original freeway segment. The 1960s also saw a short segment of US 131 freeway constructed south of Cadillac.

The 1970s saw the US 131 freeway expand to the north of Grand Rapids, first to Cedar Springs then to north of Howard City. In the 1980s, major construction in the corridor extended the freeway northerly past Big Rapids and Reed City to a connection with the freeway heading southerly from Cadillac. As of 1986, the US 131 freeway ran from north of Schoolcraft to Cadillac.

By the late 1990s a major section of the US 131 freeway in Grand Rapids was found to be sinking as a result of gypsum mining which left voids in subsurface material. After a major study was completed to analyze the various options for the so-called "Grand Rapids S-Curve," the entire one mile segment of freeway was shut down in January 2000 for complete reconstruction. The new "S-Curve" structure, which includes the bridge spanning the Grand River, was built with an additional through lane in each direction and completed in 209 and 283 days for the north- and southbound lanes, respectively. Early completion of the project allowed the primary contractor, Kiewit, to earn approximately 90% of a possible bonus. In 2001, a freeway bypass of Cadillac was completed and Manton, the next community to the north, was bypassed with an extension of the US 131 freeway in 2003.

Future

The 2007 Michigan Department of Transportation five-year construction plan features details on future plans for the US 131 corridor in St. Joseph County. According to the plan, early preliminary engineering will be complete in 2007 with primary engineering then lasting through 2009. Right-of-way acquisition is then projected to run from 2009 through 2011 with construction commencing in 2010. Total length of these improvements in convert|16.4|mi|km|1. While the final Environmental Impact Statement had not been published as of February 2007, previous statements have indicated a western bypass of the village of Constantine is included within the project. MDOT has also stated that a full freeway on new alignment from the Indiana Toll Road northerly to north of Three Rivers would cost over $200 million to build and that present traffic demands do not warrant the cost of a full freeway facility. As such, any realignment of US 131 south of Three Rivers is expected to be built as two-lane, limited access highway.cite web| title=Five-Year Transporation Plan 2008-2012 |publisher= Michigan Department of Transportation |url=http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdot/MDOT_5_Year_Program_216970_7.pdf |date=2007 |accessdate=2008-05-01| format=PDF]

Major intersections

Following is a list of the major highways US 131 intersects:Jctint
state=IN
county=Elkhart
location=Middlebury
mile=
road=
notes=Roadway continues south as SR 13
MIint
county=St. Joseph
cspan=4
location=White Pigeon
mile=
road=
notes=
MIint
location=Three Rivers
lspan=2
mile=
road=
notes=
MIint
mile=
road=
notes=
MIint
location=Moorepark
mile=
road=
notes=

MIint
county=Grand Traverse
cspan=2
location=Walton
mile=
road=
notes=
MIint
location=Fife Lake
mile=
road=
notes=
MIint
county=Kalkaska
cspan=2
location=Kalkaska
lspan=2
type=concur
mile=
road=
notes=Southern end of US 131/M-66/M-72 concurrency
MIint
type=concur
mile=
road=
notes=Northern end of M-72 concurrency
MIint
county=Antrim
cspan=4
location=Mancelona
lspan=2
mile=
road=
street=Mancelona Road
notes=
MIint
mile=
type=concur
road=
notes=North end of M-66 concurrency
MIint
location=Alba
mile=
road=
street=Alba Road
notes=
MIint
location=Warner Township
mile=
type=concur
road=
notes=Short concurrency
MIint
county=Charlevoix
cspan=2
location=Boyne Falls
mile=
road=
notes=
MIint
location=Walloon Lake
mile=
road=
notes=
MIint
county=Emmet
location=Petoskey
mile=
road=
notes=

ee also

Bannered routes

* U.S. Route 131 Business in Big Rapids, Michigan
* U.S. Route 131 Business in Cadillac, Michigan
* U.S. Route 131 Business in Grand Rapids, Michigan
* U.S. Route 131 Business in Kalamazoo, Michigan
* U.S. Route 131 Business in Manton, Michigan
* U.S. Route 131 Business in Three Rivers, Michigan

Related routes

* U.S. Route 31
* Indiana State Road 13

References

External links

* [http://www.michiganhighways.org/listings/MichHwys120-139.html#US-131 US 131 Listing] at Michiganhighways.org
* [http://www.state-ends.com/michigan/us131/ US 131 Endpoint Photos]
* [http://www.state-ends.com/michigan/m103/ Former US 131 Southern Terminus (now M-103)]
* [http://www.state-ends.com/michigan/m186/ Former US 131 Northern Terminus (@ M-113/M-186 Jct)]
* [http://www.geocities.com/usend3039/End131/end131.htm Endpoints of US highways]
* [http://www.michiganhighways.org/listings/MichHwys250-696.html#I-296 I-296 @ Michigan Highways]
* [http://www.interstate-guide.com/i-296_mi.html I-296 @ Interstate-Guide.com] -- Photos of termini and scan of 1970s Michigan map before the freeway designation was "hidden".


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