Business routes of U.S. Route 131

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US Highway 131 marker

US Highway 131
Highway system

There are six business routes of US Highway 131 in the state of Michigan. All of the business routes are former sections of US Highway 131 (US 131). From south to north, they are:

Constantine, Michigan[edit]


Business US Highway 131
Location: Constantine
Existed: October 30, 2013–present

Business US Highway 131 (BUS US 131) is a business route running through downtown Constantine. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has been studying a freeway upgrade for US 131 through St. Joseph County for several years. In late 2005, MDOT decided not to pursue an upgrade of the highway, but rescinded that decision in April 2006[1] under political pressure in the state.[2] The department began building a two-lane bypass west of Constantine.[3] The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, which is in charge of US Highway numbering assignments and routings, approved the relocation of the US 131 designation out of Constantine on November 16, 2012. The group's Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering also approved the creation of a business route for the old highway through town.[4] The bypass opened on October 30, 2013,[5] and the business route designation was put into service that day.

Three Rivers, Michigan[edit]


Business US Highway 131
Location: Three Rivers

Business US Highway 131 (BUS US 131) is a 2.96-mile (4.76 km)[6] business route running through downtown Three Rivers. Currently, BUS US 131 follows M-60/Michigan Avenue and the former route of US 131 along Main Street. At the corner of Michigan and Main, BUS US 131 turns northward, M-60 continues eastward and M-86 intersects from the south. This intersection marks the western terminus of M-86. This route was formed on January 4, 1954.[6]

The southern terminus of BUS US 131 is at the northerly US 131/M-60 junction south of downtown Three Rivers. M-60 separates from US 131 and runs long BUS US 131. The northern terminus of BUS US 131 is at US 131 north of Three Rivers.

Kalamazoo, Michigan[edit]


Business US Highway 131
Location: Kalamazoo

Business US Highway 131 (BUS US 131) is a 10.00-mile (16.09 km)[6] business route running through downtown Kalamzoo. Currently, BUS US 131 follows BL I-94/Stadium Drive and the one-way pairings of Kalamazoo/Michigan and Park/Westnedge to a freeway section on the north end.

The southern terminus of BUS US 131 is at US 131 Exit 36 at an interchange with US 131/BL I-94 and BL I-94/BUS US 131 near downtown Kalamazoo in Oshtemo Township. BL I-94 follows US 131 south from BUS US 131's southern terminus to I-94. The northern terminus is at US 131 Exit 41 at the end of the BUS US 131 freeway north of downtown in Oshtemo Township.

On December 16, 1963, the US 131 freeway was opened on the west side of Kalamazoo.[6] This marks the beginning of BUS US 131 in the Kalamazoo area, even though the highway was not signed until 1964. It won't be until the final section of the highway, built as a freeway connector from Exit 41 on US 131 to the northern end of Westnedge Avenue and Park Street was completed that the whole route was signed. The highway was routed to follow BL I-94 along Stadium Drive to a junction with M-43/Michigan Avenue BUS US 131 then followed Michigan Avenue to the one-way pairings of Park Street and Westnedge Avenue. Northbound traffic follows Park Street and southbound follows Westnedge Avenue.

October 4, 1965 marked the transfer of Kalamazoo and Michikal avenues to state jurisdiction. To smooth out traffic patterns downtown, Michikal Avenue was built as a connector between Kalamazoo and Michigan avenues. Kalamazoo and Michikal are then signed as southbound BUS US 131 from Westnedge Ave. to Stadium Drive while Main Street and Michigan Avenue continue to serve northbound traffic only between Stadium Drive and Park Street.

Grand Rapids, Michigan[edit]


Business US Highway 131
Location: Grand Rapids

Business US Highway 131 (BUS US 131) is a 2.81-mile (4.52 km)[6] business route running through downtown Grand Rapids. Currently, BUS US 131 follows Leonard, Division, and Oakes streets.

The northern terminus of BUS US 131 is at US 131 Exit 87 for Leonard Avenue. The southern terminus of BUS US 131 is at US 131 Exit 83B just north of Wealthy Street.

The designation was created when US 131 was rerouted on the Grand Rapids "beltline system" in 1953.[6] At the time, a Bypass US 131 (BYP US 131) designation was used on the beltline system. South Beltline Road (M-11/28th Street) and East Beltline Avenue were used to route BYP US 131. The mainline US 131 was rerouted over the path of BYP US 131 in 1953. The BUS US 131 moniker was used for the first time to designate the former routing of US 131 through the downtown area on Division and Plainfield avenues to East Beltline Avenue.

In early 1962, a freeway alignment was completed north from US 131 at 28th Street to Pearl Street. As a result, BUS US 131 was rerouted on its southern end to use the new freeway alignment. The remainder of Division Avenue south of Oakes Street to 28th Street was removed from the BUS US 131 routing.

Later that year, US 131 was moved onto the new freeway as another section opened connecting north from Pearl Street to the current I-196 (then I-96/M-21). The M-11 designation was left on 28th Street, and East Beltine became M-44. This freeway connection allowed US 131 to continue north along the southern portion of BUS US 131 to connect to I-296. Running concurrently with I-296, US 131 connected to the current I-96 (then I-196). US 131 then turned east along I-96 to reconnect with East Beltline Avenue. BUS US 131 was shortened on the northern end to use Leonard Street to connect back to I-296/US 131. It was also shortened along the southern end to the Oakes Street with the loss of the freeway routing supplanted by US 131.

November 1986 marked a transfer to smooth out the routing of the northern end of BUS US 131, eliminating some extra turns between Plainfield Avenue and Leonard Street. The construction of the Van Andel Arena in 1995 and 1996 severed the connection for southbound BUS US 131 to US 131. This gap was rejoined with the reconstruction of the "S-Curve" in 1999.

Big Rapids, Michigan[edit]


Business US Highway 131
Location: Big Rapids

Business US Highway 131 (BUS US 131) is a 7.87-mile (12.67 km)[6] business route running through downtown Big Rapids. Currently, BUS US 131 follows Perry and State streets, and 19 Mile Road.

The southern terminus of BUS US 131 is at US 131 Exit 139 at an interchange where M-20 merges onto US 131 southbound west of downtown Big Rapids. The northern terminus of BUS US 131 is at US 131 Exit 142 at an interchange with 19 Mile Road and B-96 north of Big Rapids.

Previous to the construction of the US 131 freeway in Mecosta County, US 131 was routed north from the Grand Rapids area on Northland Drive and State Street in the Big Rapids area. |M-20 intersected US 131 in downtown Big Rapids. In 1983 with the completion of the US 131 freeway north to 19 Mile Road, US 131 then proceeded up the freeway alignment, turning east on 19 Mile Road to Northland Drive and returning to its previous alignment north to Reed City.[6] BUS US 131 was created to run from exit 139 off US 131 along M-20 over Perry and State streets to the corner with Michigan Street in downtown Big Rapids. From there, BUS US 131 continued northward to 19 Mile Road and US 131.

The US 131 freeway was completed north of 19 Mile Road in 1986. As this time, BUS US 131 was extended over the 19 Mile Road portion of US 131 to connect with its parent route at exit 142 northwest of Big Rapids.

Cadillac, Michigan[edit]


Business US Highway 131
Location: Cadillac

Business US Highway 131 (BUS US 131) is a 5.60-mile (9.01 km)[6] business route running through downtown Cadillac. Currently, BUS US 131 follows Mitchell Street and Boon Road.

The southern terminus of BUS US 131 is at US 131 Exit 177 at an interchange south of downtown Cadillac. The northern terminus of BUS US 131 is at US 131 Exit 180 at an interchange with Boon Road north of Cadillac.

Previous to the construction of the US 131 Cadillac bypass in Wexford County, US 131 was routed north from the Grand Rapids area on a freeway that ended south of town. US 131 continued northward on Mitchell Street through town. M-55 intersected US 131 downtown Cadillac, and ran along US 131 to the south of town. With the completion of the southern half of the bypass in 2000, M-55 was rerouted out of town along the new freeway. Once the northern half of the bypass was completed on October 30, 2001, US 131 was rerouted out of town along the new highway to the end of the freeway where it joined the old alignment north of town.[6] Mitchell Street through downtown Cadillac was redesignated as BUS US 131.

Manton, Michigan[edit]


Business US Highway 131
Location: Manton, Michigan

Business US Highway 131 (BUS US 131) is a 5.58-mile (8.98 km)[6] business route running through downtown Manton. Currently, BUS US 131 follows M-42/7th Street and the former route of US 131 along Michigan Avenue to the north end of the freeway.

The southern terminus of BUS US 131 is at US 131 Exit 191 at an interchange with BUS US 131/M-42 near downtown Manton. The northern terminus of BUS US 131 is at US 131 at the end of the freeway north of Manton.

Previous to the construction of the US 131 Manton bypass in Wexford County, US 131 was routed north from the Grand Rapids area on a freeway that ended north of Cadillac. US 131 continued northward on Michigan Avenue through town. M-42 intersected US 131 downtown Manton, and ran along US 131 for a few blocks. With the completion of the bypass on September 19, 2003,[6] US 131 was now freeway from Schoolcraft south of Kalamazoo to Wexford County. While the former routing of US 131 from the end of the freeway south into Manton was designated BUS US 131, it would take until 2005 for the Michigan Department of Transportation to resign the routing as BUS US 131 and erect signage along M-42 to continue the loop back to US 131.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jessup, Kathy (April 20, 2006). "Deal Will Open Door to US 131 Expansion, Funding". Kalamazoo Gazette. OCLC 9940379. Archived from the original on February 5, 2011. Retrieved February 5, 2011. 
  2. ^ Heinlein, Gary (November 18, 2005). "State Road Repairs Put on Fast Track". The Detroit News. p. A1. ISSN 1055-2715. 
  3. ^ Riestma, Jeff (May 21, 2008). "Michigan Department of Transportation Updates US 131 Plans". Kalamazoo Gazette. OCLC 9940379. Archived from the original on February 5, 2011. Retrieved February 5, 2011. 
  4. ^ Vitale, Marty (November 16, 2012) (PDF). SCOH Report from Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering Annual Meeting (Report). Pittsburgh, PA: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. p. 3. http://route.transportation.org/Documents/SCOH%20Report%2011-16-2012.pdf. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  5. ^ Westaby, Robb (October 30, 2013). "New US 131 Bypass Opens". Grand Rapids, MI: WXMI-TV. Retrieved October 30, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Bessert, Christopher J. (October 22, 2006). "Michigan Highways: Business Connections 96 through 496". Michigan Highways. 

External links[edit]