US 31 in Michigan

US 31 in Michigan


US 31
Get started Niles
End Mackinaw City
Length 356 mi
Length 573 km

Buchanan / Niles


South Berrien Springs

Berrien Springs

Eau Claire


Benton Harbor

Benton Harbor – Holland:


Grand Haven

Spring Lake


Van Wagoner Street

fruit port

Sternberg Road

Muskegon Heights


Downtown Muskegon

North Muskegon

North Muskegon





New Era




Bass Lake

South Ludington




Traverse City



Mackinaw City

According to foodezine, US 31 is a US Highway in the US state of Michigan. The road forms a north-south route along the entire west coast of Lake Michigan and is a highway on some stretches. The total route is 573 kilometers long and runs from the Indiana border to Interstate 75 in Mackinaw City.

Travel directions

US 31 at Pentwater.

Just north of South Bend, Indiana, US 31 crosses the border between the two states and is immediately a freeway here. The highway heads north here and crosses US 12 at Niles. East of Benton Harbor, US 31 terminates at a junction with Interstate 94 and then continues over Interstate 196 to Holland. In Holland the road branches off from I-196 and then runs through the city to the north, as a 2×2 divided highway to the town of Muskegon. From Grand Haven, the road becomes a freeway again and one crosses Interstate 96, which begins here and heads toward Grand Rapids and Detroit.

One then passes along the east side of the 40,000 inhabitants town of Muskegon. US 31 here is a highway for 110 kilometers that runs parallel to the shoreline of Lake Michigan to the north. To the north, the area becomes increasingly forested. The highway section lasts until Ludington, after which it crosses US 10. US 31 continues north and passes through the town of Manistee. Along the route are several smaller lakes that are a stone’s throw from Lake Michigan. US 31 then jumps a little east and passes through Traverse City, which sits on Grand Traverse Bay, an estuary of Lake Michigan. One passes over several isthmuses along lakes. One passes through Petoskey, where US 131ends. US 31 then continues a little further north, to Interstate 75 at Mackinaw City. This is the northern end of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.


US 31 at Muskegon.

According to bittranslators, US 31 was created in 1926 and originally ended just a little further north at St. Ignace. Since 1940, the route has ended in Mackinaw City and was shortened to I-75 in 1960 just south of Mackinaw City.

St Joseph Valley Parkway

The St. Joseph Valley Parkway is the highway stretch from the Indiana border to Benton Harbor in southwestern Michigan.

Already in the early 1950s there were plans for a highway in southwest Michigan, especially to relieve the town of Niles. Progress on the plan was slow, and it wasn’t until 1967 that studies began to extend the bypass from South Bend, Indiana, into Michigan. It was not until 1977 that construction began on this section, the first section of which was opened in 1979 from the Indiana border to US 12 south of Niles. The Niles bypass opened in 1987 and was extended north of Berrien Springs in November 1992 as a divided highway with at-grade intersections. In 1996-1997 this part was made grade-separated. It was originally planned to direct US 31 into Interstate 196to flow at Benton Harbor, but environmental problems caused US 31 to terminate just a few miles south. The last section from Berrien Springs to Benton Harbor opened on August 27, 2003.

Near Benton Harbor, the US 31 freeway had been interrupted for four kilometers for decades. The interstate from South Bend ended 2.5 miles south of the interchange between I-94 and I-196, requiring traffic to exit and enter I-94 via a five – lane center turn lane. Traffic between South Bend and Holland/Grand Rapids had to make three turns to follow the route.

Construction of the interstate highway between Niles and I-94/I-196 at Benton Harbor stems from the adoption of an environmental impact statementin 1981. This provided for the phased construction of the 30 kilometer long freeway. The highway was then opened in phases up to Benton Harbor, but with a missing link of 4 kilometers to I-94/I-196. In 2003, the penultimate section opened to Napier Avenue east of Benton Harbor. In more recent years, several alternatives have been studied, including a deflection from the freeway to an interchange with I-94 at Main Street. Only one alternative followed the original plan directly north to the interchange between I-94 and I-196. Ultimately, it was decided to turn to the west where US 31 connects to Exit 33 (Main Street) of I-94 as an interchange.

Construction of the missing link began in September 2020 and opened 2 years later on September 26, 2022.

Opening history
From Unpleasant Length Date
Indiana state line Niles (US 12) 5 km 00-00-1979
Niles (US 12) Niles (Walton Road) 6 km 00-00-1987
Niles (Walton Road) Berrien Springs 14 km 00-11-1992
Berrien Springs Benton Harbor 14 km 27-08-2003
Benton Harbor I-94 4 km 26-09-2022

Grand Haven – Ludington Freeway

Construction of the freeway from Grand Haven to Ludington started quite early. The first section to open was a six-lane bridge between Grand Haven and Ferrysburg in 1959 and later that year to downtown Muskegon. In 1964 another fairly long section opened up to Montague, further north. Construction then slowed, and the remainder of the route to Ludington was opened from south to north in phases between 1975 and 1990.

Opening history
From Unpleasant Length Date
Grand Haven Ferrysburg 2 km 12-06-1959
Ferrysburg Muskegon Southeast 10 km 24-07-1959
Muskegon Southeast Downtown Muskegon 6 km 22-10-1959
Downtown Muskegon Montague 27 km 30-06-1964
Montague New Era 14 km 00-00-1975
New Era Heart 14 km 00-00-1976
Heart pentwater 8 km 00-00-1978
pentwater Bass Lake 6 km 16-10-1980
Bass Lake South Ludington 13 km 00-00-1989
South Ludington Ludington 5 km 00-00-1990

Traffic intensities

The highway section between Niles and Benton Harbor is not very busy with 12,000 vehicles per day. At Muskegon, it peaks at 47,000 vehicles, before declining to 7,000 vehicles at the north end of the highway at Ludington. After that, the US 31 forms a quiet tourist road with about 5,000 to 10,000 vehicles per day.

US 31 in Michigan

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