List by designation
Note: In addition to the maps to which I refer in the entries below, see also this map of the area as of May 31, 2003 (as observed by Chris Bessert).
- Prehistory: US 12 through the Niles area was once US 112. US 112
originally ran west from Detroit along present-day US 12, M-205, and
Indiana 19 to end in Elkhart, Indiana. In 1935,
it was extended west along local roads to Niles, where it joined M-60
through town on Main St. and followed it west to US 12 (now Red Arrow
Highway going north) in New Buffalo. By 1956, the
south bypass of Niles had been built, and US 112 and M-60 were moved to this. The 1968 Michigan State Trunkline System planning map (see this page) shows an eastern extension of the Niles bypass all the way across Michigan, but this was never built.
- 1962-present: In 1962, US 12 comes through the Niles area for the first
time when it supplants US 112. It has not been rerouted since being moved
to the area. On this map, US 12 is the highway
that comes in from the east through Edwardsburg, joins the Niles bypass,
and heads west past Buchanan (labelled on the map correctly).
- US 12 is also known as the Pulaski Memorial Highway and the Iron Brigade Memorial Highway (see this page).
- See this page for much US 12 history.
- 1962-1986: When US 112 is changed to US 12, Business US 112 is changed
to Business US 12. Bus. US 12 was the route labeled as US 12 on the right
map. (Note: There was a realignment of Main St. near the then-US 31/33
and Bus. M-60 intersections, as well as a split of EB and WB Bus. US 12
just west of the St. Joseph River on all two-way roads which still exists.
I'm not sure of the historical details of either of these conditions. More
- 1986-present: When US 33 is truncated at US 12, the
eastern terminus of Bus. US 12 is moved from the US 12/Bus. US 12/M-60
interchange southeast of town to the now (1986) US 12/US 33/Bus. US 12
interchange south of town (under the US 33 label on
this map) following the 1930s-1980 US 31. The
former Bus. US 12 becomes unmarked.
- Pre-history: Before 1926, US 31 was M-58. Before that, M-58 south of
M-40 (later M-51) was M-40. M-58 stayed with US 31 until 1928.
- 1926-1930s: A 1929 map (AAA Chicago) shows US 31 following the route
in the "1930s-1980" description immediately below, except that it followed
Third St. south out of town instead of 11th St. and jogged back to that
alignment along State Line Road (on a small section which at that place is
completely in Michigan). Third St. is the north-south gray road west of
11th St. (see below).
- 1930s-1979: On this map, US 31 uses the
road going southeast out of the MapQuest logo into Berrien Springs
(unlabeled yellow area), turns northeast then curves southeast (the map
adds green to the road here), continues into downtown Niles, goes east on
Main St. (the green road east-west through Niles), then heads south to
South Bend, Indiana on 11th St. (green road going south). Entire route is
multiplexed with US 33. South Bend/Niles bypass now west of these towns
only exists in Indiana at this point. In addition a routing to the east of Niles using in part 17th Street was briefly planned (see the Berrien County entry at the MDOT right-of-way map collection).
- 1979-1987: "US 31 freeway" (present-day St. Joseph Valley Parkway, named 1993 according to this page) is finished to US 12, having been started in 1977; US 31 now enters Michigan on this highway. (Go here for details on the St. Joseph Valley Parkway.) It turns east on US 12, then northeast on
Business US 12 (labeled as US 12 on this map) to
its old route in downtown Niles.
- 1987-1992: US 31 Freeway is completed to Walton Rd. (the road going NE
out of Buchanan). The freeway continues directly now into Walton Rd.
eastbound due to a rebuild. (Walton Rd. westbound is now a crossroad
connection.) 31 continues to its old alignment via Walton Rd., using a new
alignment of Walton Rd. from the original US 31 southwest for about 1/2
mile. The old alignment of Walton Road (renamed as an extension of Winn
Road) went to the old alignment of US 31 on a more southerly routing.
- 1992-2003: US 31 is completed as a divided highway with
intersections to its old alignment north of Berrien Springs. The old
alignment becomes unmarked (but still state-maintained); it is called "Old 31" on street signs and officially, though not in signage, becomes "Business 31" (see this page). Walton Road again becomes continuous; it jogs to cross US 31 at a right angle. The intersections were converted to interchanges and grade separations by 1998. (Walton Road was realigned a third time, back to its original straight alignment, in order to traverse US 31 on an overpass.)
- 2003-present: US 31 freeway opens beyond Old 31/extended M-139 to Napier Avenue near Benton Harbor (see here). This is the only section of the freeway to have been built as planned; further south, it was planned to run east of the original US 31, rather than west, and come close to downtown Niles before curving back southwest to connect with the existing western South Bend bypass (see the 1968 Michigan State Trunkline System planning map here).
- This August 2003 article contains a timeline of the Michigan portion of the St. Joseph Valley Parkway.
- US 31 is also known as the Blue Star Memorial Highway (see this page).
- 1987-1992: In 1987, Business US 31 is created: It runs east from US 31
along US 12 to 11th St., then north along the original alignment of US 31
to the new Walton Road/US 31 intersection.
- 1992-1998: Bus. US 31 is routed west along Walton Road from its old
northern terminus to meet the newly-extended US 31 freeway.
- 1998-present: With the extension of M-51, Bus. US 31 ends at
Main St. (Bus. US 12) and goes no further south.
- This might be superseded by M-139 as part of the US-31 freeway construction project as former US-31 to the northwest of the US 31/Old 31 interchange northwest of Berrien Springs has been renamed as part of an extended M-139 (see the M-139 entry below).
- 1930s-1986: US 33 is created in 1938; its entire run in
Michigan is concurrent with US 31. It goes from the Indiana state line to
downtown St. Joseph.
- 1986-1998: US 33 is truncated at US 12 south of town.
- 1998: US 33 is truncated way back at new US 20 southeast of Elkhart,
Indiana. The Michigan portion is re-signed as an extention of M-51. M-51
becomes Indiana 933 at the state line. (See this page for details on the Indiana portion.)
- 1971-1998: M-51 is a new designation for a section of M-40, which was
re-routed along old M-119. M-51 started in Niles at Main and Fifth Sts.
and followed Fifth St. north then northeast out of town.
- 1998-present: M-51 replaces Bus. US 31 from Main/Fifth intersection to
US 12 and replaces US 33 south of US 12 to the Indiana state line where it
becomes Indiana 933. (See US-33) Here
is a a picture of a new Bus. US-12/M-51 sign assembly being posted (from
South Bend Tribune Online, April 7, 1998).
is a South Bend tribune article on the readjustment of the community to the
new M-51 designation.
- 1925-1932: M-60 runs right through Niles on Oak St. (labeled as
M-60 on this map), Main St. (green east-west
road through Niles), and Grant St. (street on same line as Oak St.).
- 1932-1956: M-60 is rerouted onto today's Bus. US 12 (Chicago Rd.)
and US 12 west of town. Around this time (1935),
US 112 is extended through Niles to New Buffalo along M-60.
- 1956-1966: M-60 is routed on a new 4-lane divided bypass of Niles.
The divided section starts northeast of the current M-60/Bus. M-60
intersection east of town (on left map, east end of green road going due
east out of Niles). (A small portion of road connecting the eastern
end of the new section of highway with Oak St. just west of the
current M-60/Bus. M-60 intersection may have originally been M-60.) M-60
at this time still runs with US 112 (pre-1962)/US 12 (post-1962) west out
of the area.
- 1966-present: M-60 is truncated at US 12.
- 1956-1966: When the south bypass of Niles is built, M-60 through town
becomes Bus. M-60.
- 1966-1986: When M-60 is truncated, so is Bus. M-60, at Bus. US 12.
- 1986-present: When Bus. US 12 is rerouted, Bus. M-60 is extended one
block west to stay connected to it.
In August, 2003, with the opening of the US-31 freeway from northwest of Berrien Springs to Napier Avenue east of Benton Harbor, M-139 was extended southeast along the old routing of US-31 to the interchange with the US-31 freeway northwest of Berrien Springs. There is a proposal to continue M-139 further down former US-31, along Old 31 through Berrien Springs to Walton Road/Bus. US-31, then along Bus. US-31 to Bus. US-12/Main Street in downtown Niles. The remainder of Bus. US-31, along Walton Road, would be decomissioned with the road returned to Berrien County.
- 1934-present: Runs south from South Haven/I-196 to its end at current
Bus. US 31 (under the M-140 marker on this map). For a time, the section south of M-62 was planned to be bypassed to the east, but this plan was dropped (see here).
- 1960s: The 1968 Michigan State Trunkline System planning map (see this page) shows the M-140 designation as being removed due to the nearby planned relocation of US 31. It hasn't been, likely since ultimately the relocation happened far enough away (the 1968 plans showed it to the east of the original US 31 between Niles and Berrien Springs, as opposed to the west where it actually was built by 1992 -- see the US 31 entry above).
- 1990s: Many sources have identified Front St. in Niles as M-140, implying an extention from its former end to Main St. in downtown Niles, replacing that section of Bus. US 31. A late-April/early-May 1998 field
check by Chris Bessert, plus a later one by me, contradicts this, although it might be M-139 which does this (see the M-139 entry above).
The Berrien County section (.pdf) of the MDOT Physical Reference/Control Section atlas shows an I-196 marker (it's actually a BR-196 marker with mainline Interstate shield colors) on the St. Joseph Valley Parkway between the Niles/Buchanan area and Berrien Springs. It's possible that this means that MDOT might be considering extending I-196 down the St. Joseph Valley Parkway, or it could simply be a misplaced shield. Thanks to Chris Bessert for the tip-off
M-174 / M-175: Around 1932, M-60 was routed to go around Buchanan and downtown Galien rather than through them. As a result, M-174 was created as a spur from the new M-60 (today's US 12) along Red Bud Trail to downtown Buchanan at Front Street (former M-60), and M-175 (created July 15, 1931) was a spur through Galien along former M-60 (Cleveland Avenue) from where M-60 now kept going east (intersection of current US 12 and Cleveland) to Galien-Buchanan Road, which old M-60 used to follow. Both routes were removed December 4, 1938.
M-217: While not that close to Niles, M-217, the new northern extension of Elkhart County, Indiana's County Road 17, is nearby to the east. For details on M-217, go here.
This page created Saturday, May 23, 1998 as the main Niles page/Rewritten as nilesrt.html July 27, 2000/Last revised June 24, 2005
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