M-126 (Michigan Highway)
US Highway 16 (US 16), also called Grand River Avenue for much of its length, was one of the principal pre-Interstate roads in the state of Michigan. Before the creation of the United States Numbered Highway System in 1926, the highway had been designated M-16. The modern road cuts across the Lower Peninsula in a northwest–southeast fashion from Grand Rapids to Detroit. Before the late 1950s and early 1960s, US 16 followed other roads between Muskegon and Grand Rapids, and then Grand River Avenue through Lansing to Detroit. With the coming of the Interstate Highway System, US 16 was shifted from the older roads to the new freeways. When the gap in the freeway was filled in around Lansing, the US 16 designation was decommissioned in the state. The freeway was then designated only Interstate 96 (I-96) or I-196.
The original pathway along the Grand River Avenue corridor was an Indian trail. This trail was used by the first European settlers to the area now known as Michigan in 1701. Later this trail was expanded into a plank road that formed the basis for one of the first state trunkline highways as M-16. Later, the highway was rerouted to replace M-126 and create M-104. Current segments of the roadway are still part of the state highway system as sections of M-43 or business loops off I-96. The portion of Grand River Avenue in Detroit between I-96 and the intersection with Cass Avenue and Middle Street in downtown Detroit is an unsigned state trunkline, sometimes referred to as Old Business Spur I-96 (OLD BS I-96). In Detroit, Grand River is one of five major avenues (along with Woodward, Michigan, Gratiot, and Jefferson) planned by Judge Augustus Woodward in 1805 that extend from downtown Detroit in differing directions. Grand River Avenue extends northwesterly from the city's downtown.
Read more about M-126 (Michigan Highway): Route Description, History, Major Intersections