Michigan Roads - CR A2/old US 31

former US 31

Starting at Phoenix St., heading west from I-196 Exit 20. There is no I-196 connection to M-43, which ends at Business I-196. CR A2 keeps its designation across county lines because it's part of a statewide system in eight zones (A-H). Only 66 of these "secondary routes" (similar to NJ's 500 series) have been designated. In fact, CR A2 kicked off the system due to the rerouting of US 31 onto I-196 in 1963 and consequent loss of traffic through towns. The owners of a Saugatuck motel complained to the state about needing a designation that people could follow, and the rest is history.

The highway widens from 2 lanes to something more resembling a US highway mainline as it approaches South Haven from the north.

SB from M-89 to 109th Ave. in Casco. Modern shields omit the hyphen, just like modern shields are 3 digits wide for 3-digit routes and are used instead of all-text signs. That motel owner must have really stirred some emotions for this assembly to be so underpowered.

Flipping to NB in Douglas - not Saugatuck, but perhaps a shared school district. The through arrow should also have an "ONLY."

This stretch of US 31 was always known as the Blue Star Highway, and modern signs in central Allegan County intersperse the regular county shield with this. It's good this didn't replace the shields completely, because you try reading this sign at 55 mph. (The second photo gives you an idea of what that's like.)

CR A2 ends shortly after undercrossing West Michigan Regional Airport in Holland. The curved tunnel was built with the runway extension, though it would have made more sense to build a temporary curved alignment and keep the tunnel straight on the path of Washington Ave.

To current US 31

To M-43
To I-196
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