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U.S. Route 131 shield
U.S. Route 131
Length: 268.80 mi (432.59 km)
South end: I-80 / I-90 / Ind. Toll Rd. / SR 13 near Middlebury, IN
Major
junctions:
I-94 near Kalamazoo, MI

I-96 / I-196 at Grand Rapids, MI
US 10 near Reed City, MI
M-55 at Cadillac, MI
M-72 at Kalkaska, MI

North end: US 31 at Petoskey, MI
United States Numbered Highways
< SR 130 IN SR 134 >
< M-130 MI M-131 >
ListBanneredDividedReplaced

U.S. Route 131 (US 131) is a north–south United States highway. All but 0.60 miles (0.97 km) of its length is within Michigan. The total length of the highway is around 269 miles (433 km) with approximately 169 miles (272 km) 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. 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.

Contents

Route description

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Indiana

US 131 extends 3,168 feet (966 m) into Indiana before terminating at the entrance to the Indiana Toll Road few hundred feet north of the Toll Road overpass.[1] SR 13 runs with US 131 in this section but is not signposted.[1][2]

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 (see "Future" section) and while a late-2005 decision by MDOT to not pursue a new alignment, controlled-access route through St. 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.

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 (1.6 km) 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 Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has begun a project to upgrade a section of US 131 the length of 16.4 miles (26.4 km) in St. Joseph County.[3] The Final Environmental Impact Statement for the project was published April 11, 2008,[4] and the Preferred Alternative consists of a two-lane road bypassing the village of Constantine.[5] MDOT has 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.[6]

Exit list

Following is a list of the major highways US 131 intersects:

County Location Mile # Destinations Notes
Elkhart County, Indiana Middlebury I-80 / I-90 / Ind. Toll Rd. / SR 13 Roadway continues south as SR 13
St. Joseph White Pigeon     US 12  
Three Rivers     No image.svg Business plate.svg

BUS US 131 / M-60
 
   
BUS US 131
 
Moorepark     M-216  
Kalamazoo Portage   31 Centre Avenue - Portage  
  34 I-94Detroit, Chicago South end of I-94 BL overlap; signed as exits 34A (east) and 34B (west) northbound
Oshtemo Township   36 No image wide.svg Business plate.svg

BL I-94 east / BUS US 131 north (Stadium Drive) – Kalamazoo, Oshtemo
North end of I-94 BL overlap; signed as exits 36A (east/north) and 36B (west)
  38 M-43Kalamazoo, South Haven Signed as exits 38A (east) and 38B (west)
  41
BUS US 131 south – Downtown Kalamazoo
Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Alamo Township   44 D Avenue  
Allegan Plainwell   49 M-89Plainwell, Otsego, Allegan Signed as exits 49A (east) and 49B (west)
  50 106th Avenue Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Martin   55 M-222Martin, Allegan  
Shelbyville   59 Shelbyville  
Bradley   61 M-179 / A-42Bradley, Hopkins  
Wayland   64 135th Avenue - Wayland, Hilliards  
Dorr   68 142nd Avenue - Dorr, Moline  
Kent Byron Center   72 100th Street  
  74 84th Street - Byron Center  
  75 76th Street  
  76 68th Street - Cutlerville  
  77 M-6Holland, Lansing  
Wyoming   78 54th Street  
  79 44th Street Under construction until November 2009[7]
  80 36th Street  
  81 M-11 (28th Street) – Wyoming  
Grand Rapids   82A Burton Street Signed as exits 82A (east) and 82B (west) southbound
  82B Hynes Avenue Northbound exit only
  83A Hall Street  
  83B BS I-196 (Franklin Street)  
  84A Wealthy Street Left exit northbound
  84B
BUS US 131 north – Downtown Grand Rapids
Northbound exit and southbound entrance
  85A Market Avenue Southbound exit and northbound entrance
  85B Pearl Street - Downtown Grand Rapids  
  86 I-196 (G.R. Ford Freeway) / I-296Lansing, Holland Signed as exits 86A (east) and 86B (west)
South end of unsigned I-296 concurrency
  87
BUS US 131 south (Leonard Street)
 
  88 Ann Street  
Walker   89 I-96 / M-37 / I-296Lansing, Muskegon Signed as exits 89A (east) and 89B (west) southbound
North end of unsigned I-296 concurency
Plainfield Township   91 West River Drive - Comstock Park  
  95 Post Drive - Belmont  
Rockford   97 10 Mile Road - Rockford  
Algoma Township   101 M-57 / B-72Sparta, Greenville  
Cedar Springs   104 M-46 west – Muskegon, Cedar Springs South end of M-46 concurrency
Sand Lake   110 Sand Lake  
Montcalm Pierson Township   114 Pierson  
Howard City   118 M-82Howard City, Newaygo  
Reynolds Township   120 M-46 east – Saginaw North end of M-46 concurrency
Mecosta Morley   125 Jefferson Road - Morley  
Stanwood   131 M-20 west – White Cloud South end of M-20 concurrency
Big Rapids   139 No image wide.svg Business plate.svg
M-20 east / BUS US 131 north – Big Rapids
North end of M-20 concurrency;BUS US 131 only signed northbound
  142 No image wide.svg Business plate.svg
B-96 / BUS US 131 south (19 Mile Road) – Big Rapids
BUS US 131 only signed southbound
Osceola Reed City   153 US 10Ludington, Clare  
Ashton   159 11 Mile Road  
Le Roy   162 14 Mile Road  
Tustin   168 20 Mile Road  
Wexford Cadillac   176 M-115 (M-55 west) – Frankfort, Clare South end of M-55 concurrency
  177
BUS US 131 north – Cadillac
 
  180 M-55 east – Lake City North end of M-55 concurrency
  183
BUS US 131 south (Boon Road) – Cadillac
 
Manton   191 No image wide.svg Business plate.svg
M-42 / BUS US 131Lake City, Manton
BUS US 131 not signed
   
BUS US 131
Freeway ends southeast of intersection
Grand Traverse Walton     M-113 west – Kingsley  
Fife Lake     M-186  
Kalkaska Kalkaska     M-66 south / M-72 east – Lake City, Grayling Southern end of US 131/M-66/M-72 concurrency
    M-72 west – Traverse City Northern end of M-72 concurrency
Antrim Mancelona     M-88 (Mancelona Road) / C-38Gaylord  
    M-66Charlevoix North end of M-66 concurrency
Alba     C-42 (Alba Road) – Gaylord  
Warner Township     M-32East Jordan, Gaylord Short concurrency
Charlevoix Boyne Falls     M-75 / C-48  
Walloon Lake     M-75 / C-81  
Emmet Petoskey     US 31Mackinaw City  
Legend
Concurrency terminus Unconstructed

See also

Special routes

Related routes

References

  1. ^ a b Indiana Department of Transportation. "Fort Wayne District Area Reference Posts". 2004-07-28.
  2. ^ Google Street View North end South end
  3. ^ Michigan Department of Transportation. "US-131 Improvement Study in St. Joseph County".
  4. ^ Michigan Department of Transportation. "US-131 Improvement Study Final Environmental Impact Statement" (FHWA-MI-EIS-02-03-F). Front cover. 2008-04-11.
  5. ^ Michigan Department of Transportation. "US-131 Improvement Study Final Environmental Impact Statement" (FHWA-MI-EIS-02-03-F). Page 2-8. 2008-04-11.
  6. ^ "Five-Year Transporation Plan 2008-2012" (PDF). Michigan Department of Transportation. 2007. http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdot/MDOT_5_Year_Program_216970_7.pdf. Retrieved 2008-05-01.  
  7. ^ Michigan Department of Transportation (March 30, 2009). "MDOT to start construction of 44th Street bridge over US-131 in Grand Rapids". Press release. http://www.michigan.gov/mdot/0,1607,7-151--211705--,00.html. Retrieved April 19, 2009.  

External links


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