The Indiana Department of Transportation announces the new U.S. 31 between South Bend and Plymouth opens to traffic this Thursday, Aug. 21. Some restrictions will remain on the north end of the project near South Bend and the south end near Plymouth through the end of the year as construction continues.
The new U.S. 31 is 20 miles of divided, four-lane highway between the U.S. 20 Bypass in South Bend and U.S. 30 near Plymouth. In between, traffic will only be able to access the new alignment by way of entrance and exit ramps. Three interchanges will open this Thursday: Kern Road (South Bend), State Road 4 (Lakeville) and U.S. 6 (LaPaz). A fourth interchange at 7th Road near Plymouth is under construction and will open to traffic by the end of 2014.
INDOT urges drivers to watch for other motorists as they adjust to the new traffic patterns. Below are a map of the project and a north-to-south explanation of access to the new highway.
New U.S. 31, South Bend
- The new U.S. 31 alignment diverts from the existing U.S. 31 just south of the Jackson Road Bridge, near the U.S. 20 Bypass. Traffic will not be able to enter or exit Old U.S. 31 at this location.
- The Kern Road interchange is the first exit on the new U.S. 31. Traffic should use this exit to access Old U.S. 31 and surrounding neighborhoods. Kern Road and U.S. 31 ramp traffic will meet at one intersection beneath the interchange bridge, similar to the nearby U.S. 20 Bypass entrance/exit at Ironwood Road. Stop signs will control traffic when the highway opens on Thursday, and a signal will be installed to control traffic beneath the bridge by the end of September.
- One lane of traffic in each direction, between the U.S. 20 Bypass and Kern Road through the end of 2014.
- Old U.S. 31 will be closed between Main Street and Hildebrand Street through the end of 2014.
- Old U.S. 31 will dead end at Hildebrand Street permanently by the end of 2014.
New U.S. 31, Lakeville
– The State Road 4 interchange is the second exit on the new U.S. 31. Traffic should use this exit to access State Road 4/Pierce Road, Old U.S. 31, and Lakeville.
New U.S. 31, LaPaz
– The U.S. 6 interchange is the third exit on the new U.S. 31. Traffic should use this exit to access U.S. 6, Old U.S. 31, and LaPaz.
New U.S. 31, Plymouth area
– The 7th Road interchange is the fourth exit on the new U.S. 31, but will not be completed and accessible until the end of 2014. Once complete, traffic will use this exit to access 7th Road and Plymouth.
– The new U.S. 31 alignment returns to existing U.S. 31 alignment just north of U.S. 30. Traffic will not be able to enter or exit Old U.S. 31 at this location.
- One lane of traffic in each direction between the 7th Road interchange (under construction) and U.S. 30 through the end of 2014.
Indiana is finishing what we’ve started to open up congested areas of U.S. 31 between Indianapolis and South Bend. In November 2013, 13 miles of new U.S. 31 freeway opened just east of Kokomo. When the final 13 miles north of Indianapolis open to traffic the end of 2015, a total of 32 traffic signals will have been removed from the drive, increasing safety and saving a half hour of travel time
Source: Indiana Department of Transportation