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M-121 (Michigan highway): Map

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M-121 is a state trunkline highway in the US state of Michiganmarker. A portion of former M-21 in Ottawa Countymarker was designated in 2007 as M-121, which was formerly designated as state-maintained "Old M-21". The highway follows Chicago Drive running parallel to I-196. Portions of the four lane divided surface access highway will become four lane undivided as the westbound lanes are shifted south away from unstable soil and parallel train tracks.

Route description

Chicago Drive, largely signed as M-121, is a combination Michigan state trunkline highway and municipal street running from 8th Street in Hollandmarker to the intersection of Grandville Avenue and Clyde Park Avenue at the border of Grand Rapidsmarker and Wyomingmarker. It is approximately in length. At present the route in Zeelandmarker is named Main Avenue and Main Place, comprising the only portion of the roadway not designated Chicago Drive. From 1922 to 1926 the route was designated M-51, from 1926 to 1974 the route was part of M-21. In 1974, much of the route became an unsigned state trunkline designated Old M-21, although it is locally referred to by its given name, Chicago Drive. The drive carries three state trunkline designations. From Holland east to Zeeland, it carries Business Loop I-196. Between Zeeland and Grandville, it is M-121. In Wyomingmarker to the border with Grand Rapidsmarker, it is Business Spur I-196. From the intersection of Main Street in Jenisonmarker to East Main Avenue in Zeeland it is largely a four-lane divided highway.

In Ottawa Countymarker, the road is bordered with many farms outside of the city areas themselves. In Holland and east toward Zeeland, it has the typical mix of industry and commercial properties along BL I-196. Entering Zeeland, Chicago Drive change names to Main Avenue; it is lined with commercial properties and traverses downtown Zeeland on M-121 and has residential properties on both sides. Continuing to Hudsonville, it is typically farm use on both sides with few commercial or industry properties. There is a small shopping center in Hudsonville and in Jenison, Chicago Drive has commercial properties. A portion of this stretch is a four-lane divided highway. The M-121 designation ends at the interchange with I-196 just across the Kent Countymarker line. The corridor from I-196 to its end in Grand Rapids is lined with businesses and few houses. The intersection of Chicago Drive and Wilson Avenue is downtown Grandvillemarker. In Wyoming from north of M-11 (28th Street) to Burlingame Avenue it is mostly industrial with few commercial properties. Entering the Godfrey area it has commercial properties along with few houses but is primarily a residential area.

History

There have been three roadways to carry the M-121 designation in Michigan.

Previous routings

M-121 was also used as the designation along two other roadways It was used for a former routing of US 2 in the Upper Peninsula. In 1935, this route was redesignated as a portion of a new M-5 and the M-121 designation was transferred to Bristol Road in Flint.

The M-121 designation on Bristol Road in Flintmarker provided access to Bishop International Airportmarker from both of the I-69 and I-75/US 23 freeways. It was first designated along this routing in 1935 and retired in 2003. At this time, Bristol Road was returned to local control.

Current routing

Until 1974, Chicago Drive from Holland to Grandville was part of M-21. That designation was removed when I-196 was completed between those cities. The Chicago Drive alignment is shorter than I-196 between Holland and Grandville, although lower speed limits, traffic signals and uncontrolled access makes it a longer trip than via the Interstate. The portion of Chicago Drive now signed as M-121 is long, while the portion from Zeeland west to Holland is part of the BL I-196 route. From US 31 southwesterly toward downtown Holland, Chicago Drive is a county road, while the portion through the City of Grandville is a city-maintained street.

Major intersections

References



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