- Is the New US 31 Plymouth to South Bend under construction?
- What is the timeline for each stretch/phase?
- Are there alternate traffic route plans during construction; if so, what are they?
- Who will coordinate access during construction – the state, county, township or city? Are all the players on the same page?
- How is this project going to affect me during construction and after completion?
- Why is this project needed?
- Why can't you just follow the existing route and upgrade it?
- How will the upgrades be funded?
- Where will interchanges be? Which county roads will have over/underpasses?
- What happens to the existing US 31?
- Are a lot of the existing roads going to become dead-ends when the freeway is built?
- Will emergency responders be able to appropriately and timely respond to all sections of the route?
- How much safer will this project make the route? Will fewer accidents occur?
- What accommodations will be made for bicyclists, pedestrians or mass transit alternatives?
- How will people between Kern and Roosevelt get into the city?
- What will be done to improve local streets affected by this?
- What is the timeline for the Jackson, Johnson and Fellows bridges?
- What happens if someone won’t sell his/her property? Can they stop the project?
- What will the speed limit be?
- How will this affect wetlands?
- How much will noise levels along the new route increase? What will be done to mitigate that?
- Is the New US 31 Plymouth to South Bend a Major Moves project?
- About Major Moves
- What is the timeline for the entire north stretch of US 31 from Indianapolis to South Bend?
- Where can I find more information about the other projects on US 31 between Indianapolis and South Bend?
- What is the predicted economic impact on small towns such as Lakeville and La Paz?
- What will be the emergency routes for police, fire and health equipment?
- Why didn’t we use this money to develop another form of transit, like rail?
- Once complete, will children be on the school bus longer?
- What attention was given to historical landmarks?
- I represent a group/organization and have questions regarding the project. Can the US 31 project team speak to my group?
- Will my property value decrease if there are vacant homes on my street?
Yes, several contracts are underway to construct the New US 31. Visit the Construction/Closure Info page for details about current construction.
- Plymouth-Goshen Trail over US 31
- 6th/Lilac Road over US 31
- Lilac/Tyler Road over New US 31
- Miller Road over New US 31
- Grading contract for New US 31 between US 6 and SR 4
- Kenilworth Road over New US 31
- New Road over New US 31
- Lake Trail over New US 31
- East 1st Road over New US 31
- LaPorte wetland mitigation
- Elkhart wetland mitigation
- New US 31 bridges over Shidler-Hoffman Ditch, Shively Ditch and Magnum Arm Ditch
- Heston Ditch over US 31
- US 31 from SR 4 to just south of Kern Road
- New US 31 over existing US 31
- New US 31 bridge over Roosevelt Road
- New US 31 from Roosevelt to just south of Kern Road
- SR 4 interchange
Under Construction in 2013 and 2014
- New US 31 paving from 1B Road to SR 4
- New US 31 from US 6 to 4A Road (Marshall County)
- US 6 interchange
- Jackson over US 31
- Fellows over US 20
- New US 31 from Kern Road to Dice Street
- Kern Road interchange
- Johnson over US 31
- Existing US 31 from US 30 to New US 31
- Existing US 31 from Dice Street to US 20
- 7th Road interchange
Maintenance of traffic plans are developed during the last stage of the design process. The current plan calls for the new overpasses at Scott, Fellows, Jackson and Johnson to be constructed and open to traffic prior to beginning the construction of US 31 north of Kern Road. When we enter that phase of the project, those will be communicated to motorists and residents in the area, as well as emergency responders.
Who will coordinate access during construction – the state, county, township or city? Are all the players on the same page?
INDOT will coordinate all of the projects identified in the ROD. While outside of INDOT’s scope of work on this project, if there are projects that will be undertaken by local municipalities in the area, the project team will work with the responsible agency to ensure efficient and accurate preparation, as requested.
Traffic patterns will be changed temporarily during construction and, in some cases, after construction is completed. Each contract will have unique impacts during construction. For information regarding
permanent road closures and over/underpasses along the corridor, click here:
The Indiana General Assembly directed the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) to study the transportation corridor between Indianapolis and South Bend. Currently, INDOT is developing three sections of this corridor, including the upgrade of US 31 in Hamilton County, Howard County, and Marshall and St. Joseph counties.
Based on traffic counts from 2000, significant congestion exists along US 31 through La Paz and from Lakeville to the US 20 Bypass. The Level of Service (LOS) – the level at which a roadway allows the flow of vehicles – falls below “C” for rural areas and “D” for urban areas. (LOS is rated by grades, with A representing the least amount of congestion and F representing the most. LOS C and D are the lowest accepted levels for rural and urban environments, respectively.) In addition, three of four signalized intersections and three of six non-signalized intersections operate at an unacceptable LOS. By 2030, without the proposed improvements, nearly all intersections would operate at an unacceptable LOS.
Further, upgrading US 31 to freeway standards will greatly improve the safety of the corridor – reducing the number of crashes and rear-end collisions caused through turning movements and increased traffic – especially between Lakeville and South Bend.
A full range of freeway alternatives, including the No-Build Alternative, was investigated as part of the Environmental Impact Study (EIS). The freeway alternative is the only alternative that met the purpose and need of the project – reduce congestion, improve safety and align with state and local transportation plans.
Projects such as this are funded through federal and state transportation dollars.
We are currently in negotiations with the local governments for a relinquishment agreement. After that agreement is executed and the new US 31 is completed, it will become a local road.
Bridges will be constructed to allow the free flow of traffic over or under the new US 31 alignment for many existing roadways. For all other roadways, they will be reconstructed as cul-de-sacs or relocated.
Throughout the study, design and construction, INDOT will work closely with local emergency responders to ensure a local access plan is in place to accommodate emergency vehicles.
The accident rate for a freeway is lower than that for a non-freeway facility, such as the existing US 31 corridor. By diverting traffic onto the new US 31 freeway, there will be a decline in the number of crashes in the corridor.
Bicyclists and pedestrians are prohibited from traveling on limited access roadways; however, shoulders on both sides of roads intersecting the freeway will be wide enough to accommodate bicycle and pedestrian access.
That depends on the destination and/or preferred route; going to the new Kern Road interchange and heading north is one option that should provide the quickest access to Ireland Road, but it is possible that motorists will choose to use the existing Kern Road connection between US 31 and Miami Road.
INDOT’s scope of construction was outlined in the US 31 ROD; there will be a few new connections across US 20/US 31 to facilitate local connectivity and emergency services access to the neighborhoods located directly south of US 20. Those connections are at Scott, Fellows and Jackson. In other areas, as can be seen in the ROD, there will be minor re-alignment of existing local streets such as Main street north of Kern Road or at the west end of the new Johnson Road overpass at the existing grade.
The project team is keeping local officials informed of all construction plans to better facilitate their local improvement plans’ preparation for this project.
The timeline has not been set, but the construction of these bridges will most likely precede the construction of mainline US 31, in order have them open prior to construction of mainline US 31 between Kern Road and US 20. This will facilitate maximum access for residents in the area while the mainline road is reconstructed.
While we hope this situation will not arise, statutes allow for legal remedies to keep this project moving forward. So, while they may slightly slow the process, they cannot stop the project itself.
The freeway is being designed per federal and INDOT standards. Specific speed limits will be determined closer to construction.
The selected alternative has the lowest environmental impacts to wetlands and forests. Wetland mitigation is estimated to be approximately 110 acres. Wetland mitigation ratios range from 2:1 to 4:1 depending on the type of wetland impacted, and will be determined at the final design and permitting stage.
Noise levels in the general area are predicted to range from the low 60 decibel range to as much as 72 decibels. Preliminary analysis recommends noise barriers along the northern portion of the corridor, which is expected to decrease the impact by 5 to 12 decibels. A detailed assessment about noise barrier walls will be conducted during the final design phase of the project.
Yes, this is one of three major projects scheduled for the US 31 corridor between Indianapolis and South Bend. The three projects — in Hamilton, Howard, and through Marshall and St. Joseph counties — are a $1 billion investment in north central Indiana that will increase economic activity, provide better access and create jobs.
In September 2005, Governor Daniels introduced his draft Major Moves highway plan. The funding comes from a combination of federal and state gas tax monies and revenues from leasing the Indiana Toll Road (ITR) to a private company. A lease was anticipated to bring in the $1.8 billion necessary to fill the construction gap. In November 2005, the Indiana Finance Authority (IFA), which owns the ITR, began soliciting bids to manage and lease the highway. In the third week of the legislative session, IFA opened bids and announced a $3.85 billion offer to maintain and operate the ITR for 75 years. The offer came from Cintra-Maquarie, an Australian-Spanish consortium which operates more than 40 toll facilities worldwide - including the Chicago Skyway which connects at the ITR's western end.
In May 2006, INDOT introduced the final, funded 10-year Major Moves highway plan. Annual new construction will quadruple during the program from $213 million in FY 2006 to $874 million in 2015. In addition to state highway projects, the counties where the ITR is located will receive one-time payments of between $40 million and $120 million for local transportation projects.
INDOT’s Long Range Transportation Plan includes projects 25 years in the future. The US 31 segments through Hamilton County, Howard County (Kokomo), and Marshall and St. Joseph counties will be completed during this time period. Other segments will be determined as the Long Range Plan is updated.
Where can I find more information about the other projects on US 31 between Indianapolis and South Bend?
INDOT has Web sites for its two other projects - the Kokomo Corridor and The New US 31 Hamilton County. For information about Kokomo, visit www.in.gov/indot/div/projects/us31/kokomo/ and for Hamilton County, visit www.us31hamiltoncounty.in.gov.
A business needs survey was sent to local businesses that were potentially affected by the project. According to those surveys, 65 percent would relocate their businesses as close as possible to their exiting site, 15 percent would relocate away from the immediate area, 12 percent would terminate their business and 8 percent were unsure of their course of action. In addition to the 80 percent who would remain open, investing in infrastructure regularly increases the amount of businesses investing in an area.
I represent a group/organization and have questions regarding the project. Can the US 31 project team speak to my group?
Yes. The US 31 project team is happy to meet with or speak to any group/organization at any time. Please feel free to contact Erin Pipkin or LaPorte Communications Director Jim Pinkerton for more information.