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M-59 History

Roads are more than rocks, asphalt, and concrete painted with a steadfast yellow line. They are a graphic representation of our quality of life, providing essential connections between families and loved ones, work and play, helping to move people, products and services efficiently between where we are and where we want to be.


M-59 is one of Michigan’s most heavily travelled roads in the state. This east–west state trunkline highway crosses the northern part of Metropolitan Detroit, running between Howell at I-96 and I-94 on the Chesterfield–Harrison Township line near Selfridge Air National Guard Base. It is a full freeway from the eastside of downtown Pontiac near Opdyke Road to east of the Mound Road/Merrill Road exit in Utica. The various surface highway segments are named either Highland Road, Huron Street or Hall Road, with the latter known as an area for shopping and dining.


The history of M-59 shows its growth and value to the region from 1919 to today.

July 1,1919 M-59 was first designated a road between M-10 (now Bus. US 24 in Pontiac and M-19, later called US 25, now M-3) in Mt Clemens.
1932 M-59 was moved to follow Hall Road exclusively on the east end.
1936 The west end was extended to the Livingston–Oakland county line.
1938 The extension to US 23 in Hartland was finished.
1939 The east end was extended again along US 25 and over to M-29 in New Baltimore.
1947-48 The east end was rerouted again between Mt. Clemens and New Baltimore over another former alignment of M-29.
1960 A west extension moved M-59, ending at US 16 in Howell.
1961 The eastern terminus was truncated to M-29 east of US 25/Gratiot Avenue.
1963 The west end was extended with the new BL I-96 in Howell, stopping at the newly opened I-96 freeway.
1964 The east end was rerouted to end at I-94.
1966 M-59 was converted into a freeway, building the first segment between Pontiac and Rochester.
1972 A second segment opened east to Utica.
1984-86 More roads were converted to a divided highway in Oakland County.
1995-97 The east end was reconstructed and converted to a six- to eight-lane divided highway.
1998 The freeway was extended east to Van Dyke Avenue in Utica.
2010 MDOT started the process to expand M-59 from two lanes to three in each direction between Crooks Road and Ryan Road, using funding from the Federal stimulus bill of 2009. With this improvement, M-59 is now at least three lanes each way from I-75 to I-94.
2017 MDOT begins reconstruction of 3.7 miles of M-59 in the cities of Sterling Heights, Utica, Shelby, and Macomb and Clinton Townships. The project will be completed in two phases. Phase I construction runs from Delco Blvd to Dalcoma Drive and includes replacing the concrete roadway with asphalt, improving drainage and ramps and sidewalks to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, installing new modern signals, replacing signs, filling sidewalk gaps and adding plants and shrubs. Phase II-adding a fourth lane and additional improvements-is scheduled to start in February 2018.
2018 Construction starts on Phase II to add a fourth lane on both sides of M-59 between Garfield and Romeo Plank Roads. Additional improvements, like Phase I, are included the project.

Construction Completed

Moving Macomb