11/08/13 The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) has awarded the last among $722 million in Major Moves highway construction contracts to upgrade or bypass U.S. 31 bottlenecks near South Bend, Kokomo and Indianapolis. Primco Inc. of Fort Wayne will build a new 7th Road interchange just north of the existing U.S. 30 interchange in Plymouth.
“This is an exciting time for Northern Indiana with the recent completion of the Hoosier Heartland between Lafayette and Fort Wayne and plans to open the new U.S. 31 in Kokomo to Thanksgiving travelers,” said Governor Mike Pence. “We are finishing what we started by having the three new U.S. 31 sections fully under contract.”
When the final Hamilton County section opens to traffic in 2015, a total of 32 stoplights will have been removed from U.S. 31 between Indianapolis and South Bend, saving drivers a half hour of travel time. The U.S. 31 Major Moves projects are intended to reduce congestion, improve safety and provide continuity of commerce and regional travel for a U.S. highway that stretches from Michigan to Alabama.
Before the Thanksgiving travel holiday, 13 miles of new U.S. 31 freeway will open with five new interchanges just east of Kokomo. The $155 million project circumvents 15 traffic signals and more than 130 access points along the existing U.S. 31 in Kokomo.
The 20-mile U.S. 31 corridor between U.S. 30 in Plymouth and the U.S. 20 bypass in South Bend includes 15 miles of new highway alignment and four new interchanges. The $225 million section is scheduled to open to traffic by the end of 2014.
The $342 million U.S. 31 Hamilton County project upgrades 13 miles of existing U.S. 31 between I-465 in Carmel and State Road 38 near Westfield, including nine new interchanges.
Following Governor Mike Pence’s infrastructure vision to “take care of what you’ve got, finish what you’ve started and plan for the future,” INDOT earlier this year announced a separate project to build a new U.S. 31 interchange at State Road 28 near the 800,000-square-foot Chrysler Tipton Transmission Plant. Construction of the estimated $17 million interchange is scheduled to begin in 2015.
For more information and updates on INDOT’s major projects, please visit www.in.gov/indot/2371.htm.