Business routes of U.S. Route 31 in Michigan
There have been seven business routes of US Highway 31 in the state of Michigan. All of the business routes are former sections of US Highway 31 (US 31). In addition, there is one signed emergency route for US 31. From south to north, they are:
BUS US 31 was a 5.69 miles (9.16 km) business spur running to the Niles, Michigan downtown area along a former routing of US 31 from US 31 Exit 7 (Walton Rd.) northeasterly then southeasterly into downtown, ending at BUS US 12 at the corner of Front St. and Main St. It was commissioned in 1987 as a loop connecting to US 31 on both ends. The route was truncated to a spur route in 1998 when M-51 was extended south. The northernmost remaining portion along Walton Road was turned over to the Berrien County Road Commission October 23, 2007 and the remaining portion was replaced by an extended M-139 in April 2010.
BUS US 31 was a 4.30 mile (6.92 km) business route running through the Holland metropolitan area. The highway was turned back to the City of Holland by the Michigan Department of Transportation so that the city would control and could enhance on-street parking in the downtown area. This jurisdictional change also removed the Lake Michigan Circle Tour from downtown Holland.
BUS US 31 used a former routing of US 31 in Holland from August 3, 1955 until May 2005. The northern terminus of Business US 31 was at US 31 at a junction with BL I-196 and Chicago Dr. The southern terminus was at the interchange of US 31 and A-2/Blue Star Highway south of Holland.
|Location:||Grand Haven, Michigan|
Due to congested traffic conditions in Grand Haven, Michigan, Emergency US Highway 31 runs concurrently with Interstate 96 from Muskegon, Michigan, to Coopersville, Michigan, then exits at 68th Avenue, and runs south to M-45 then runs concurrent with M-45 west to US 31. M-104 is also signed as Emergency US 31, but I-96 is the primary emergency route.
The upcoming route M-231 between M-45 and I-96 near Nunica will shorten the emergency detour route since it will provide a crossing over the Grand River about eight miles (13 km) west of the current 68th Avenue bridge. It will be built to higher standards as well.
This route was established on October 10, 1929 as US-31A. It was established in the early 1940s as the current designation.
Shoreline Drive along Muskegon Lake was scheduled to replace two downtown one-way five-lane streets as the business route in 2005. At that time many signs were placed on the new road designating it as the new Business Route. Because of problems with the hand over from the city to the state this transition has been complicated. Currently signs placed on the new road in some places have been removed or covered. At some points along the route there is no clear indication if the new or old route is the official route to follow.
Many city leaders had long promoted the new business route as an important tool to rebuilding a downtown area that had lost many of its longtime anchor businesses. This included a mall property that was razed in 2004. Construction of new residential and commercial developments on the former mall site are underway.
In 2005 a major section of the new Business Route had to be closed for reconstruction because of early formation of massive potholes and other surface problems.
Because of the confusion related to marking the route, old habits of local drivers and recent construction, the use of the new route has been less than what was hoped for by local officials.
The northern terminus of Business US 31 is at US 31 just south of the Muskegon River in Muskegon County at a three-level bridge. The top level of this bridge connects northbound US 31 to southbound Business US 31. The middle level of this bridge is southbound US 31. The bottom level of this bridge connects northbound Business US 31 to northbound US 31. The southern terminus is at the interchange of US 31 and I-96 in Norton Shores. I-96 begins where Business US 31 ends.
The World's Largest Weathervane is located in downtown Montague, along this route.
The northern terminus is at the US 31 Fruitvale Rd. exit, north of the White River in Montague Township, near the city of Montague. The southern terminus is at the US 31 Colby St. exit, south of the White River in Whitehall Township, near the city of Whitehall.
North of Montague, the business route returns to US 31 at Fruitvale Rd. North of the BUS US 31-Fruitvale intersection, Old US 31 runs from that intersection to Skeels, where it becomes Oceana Drive. Oceana Drive in Oceana County was originally US 31 to Ludington. East of Whitehall, the business route starts at US 31 at Colby. Just west of the interchange is Whitehall Road, which passes Michigan's Adventure and goes to Muskegon. This was also US 31 before the freeway was built. Whitehall Road extends to the Muskegon Causeway and M-120, where it connects to the Muskegon BUS US 31.
It runs through along two streets in Hart, Polk Rd. and State St. It was determined as a trunkline designation in 1978 with the extension of the US 31 freeway in Oceana County earlier in 1976. The western terminus of Business US 31 is at US 31 at the interchange with Polk Rd. The eastern terminus is at the corner of State St and Johnson St.
It runs through along Pere Marquette Highway. It was an unsigned trunkline from 1990 with the extension of the US 31 freeway in Mason County until 2005. It is unknown if this will be signed as a spur, or extended along US 10 back to US 31. The western terminus of Business US 31 is at US 31 at the interchange with Pere Marquette Highway. The eastern terminus is at US 10 near the eastern city limits of Ludington.
- Bessert, Christopher J. (October 22, 2006). "Michigan Highways: Business Connections 2 through 31". Michigan Highways. Retrieved March 26, 2007.
- "Effective October 23, 2007, jurisdiction of the Walton Rd portion of US-31BR Niles was transferred and restored to the Berrien County Road Commission."
- Minutes of the December 18, 2007 meeting of the Technical Advisory Committee (p.3) of the Niles/Buchanan/Cass Area Transportation Study, Southwest Michigan Planning Commission Metropolitan planning organization.