Work on the original Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) began in 1977, calling for a new limited-access freeway from Lansing to Ithaca. In 1998 the first 15 miles of the new freeway opened from Lansing to St. Johns. While the new freeway saved commuters an estimated one hour of travel time weekly, an interchange at M-57 still was needed to eliminate the only remaining traffic signal on US-127 north of Jackson, Mich.
Work on the bridge and ramps to carry M-57 traffic over US-127 began in spring 2000 and concluded in October that year. As part of the project, MDOT installed a signal at a railroad crossing just north of the interchange, eliminating the requirement that trucks and buses stop at the crossing, unless the light turns red from an approaching train.
A re-evaluation of the EIS and a Section 4(f) Evaluation were completed in mid-September 2009. Right-of-way plans are complete and acquisition continues. There has been no commitment made for construction, although MDOT has removed several median crossovers on the current divided highway to further reduce traffic accidents and allow maximum posted speeds to increase from 55 MPH to 65 MPH.