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The Ionia County stretch of M-21 is known as Bluewater Highway. The name of the highway likely refers to the original eastern terminus of M-21 which was Port Huron, which is located in a region known as the Bluewater area.
There are three 1930 stringer bridges along M-21 in Ionia County, all three following an attractive state standard plan, and the Maple River Bridge is the largest, both in terms of overall length and each span length, and thus the most noteworthy example. It also retains excellent historic and structural integrity, including only minimal spalling to the attractive railings, which was repaired in 2005. The only major alteration of note is the addition of Armco railings to the bridge. This severely hinders the view of the attractive balustrades for passing motorists, but those who stop to photograph the bridge will still appreciate the quality views which can be had from beside the river.
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