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Author Topic: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend  (Read 36135 times)

monty

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More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« on: July 12, 2019, 04:23:31 PM »

Released 07.12.19...  Gov. Holcomb has decided to use the $300 million state excess to pay directly for several one-time capital projects...

(One is)…   $78 million to eliminate all stoplights and rail crossings on U.S. 31 between South Bend and Indianapolis.

source: https://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/indiana-ends-budget-year-with-m-surplus-extra-money-will/article_b7df2a07-7cf9-56aa-8dc9-0333ac068a6f.html

Excellent upgrades to the corridor and also staying true to his pledge to enabling this US 31 segment to be driven "without any stops."
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monty

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2019, 05:09:12 PM »

I don't want to see any more posts that US 31 should become Interstate 67, because outside of Fictional Highways, IT WILL NOT HAPPEN! At least not anytime soon.
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froggie

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2019, 06:18:51 PM »

^ He didn't say anything about "Interstate 67".

Back on topic, I'm presuming Indiana law and the state constitution give the Governor the authority to direct spending like this?  I don't disagree that spending surplus money on capital projects is beneficial...I'm just not familiar with states where this doesn't require legislation.
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3467

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2019, 08:15:58 PM »

There was an EIS in the federal register last week for a North South. Corridor South of 69 in the area between 231 and 37. I did not as a it in their long term plan it the 31 improvements were.
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Terry Shea

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2019, 09:21:54 PM »

I don't want to see any more posts that US 31 should become Interstate 67, because outside of Fictional Highways, IT WILL NOT HAPPEN! At least not anytime soon.
Lighten up Francis.
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monty

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2019, 02:09:14 PM »


Back on topic, I'm presuming Indiana law and the state constitution give the Governor the authority to direct spending like this?  I don't disagree that spending surplus money on capital projects is beneficial...I'm just not familiar with states where this doesn't require legislation.
[/quote]

Most all of these projects have already been in some sort of planning stage - but not all have been funded.  The governor must receive support from the legislative bodies to expend the funds.  Since the house and senate and governor belong to the same political party, it's pretty much a slam dunk.  Certainly this speeds up these improvements in the corridor.

Side notes: Several terrible accidents at the two RR crossings recently (due to vehicles that must stop at the crossing getting rear-ended).  The four remaining stoplights also have frequent and often fatal accidents.  The traffic counts and speed on US 31 just make for a bad combination when drivers try to stop on or cross over the highway. 

It is not a local or state (government, INDOT) or regional goal for this corridor to become a designated interstate highway.  It is a goal to make it a safer ad efficient conduit of traffic.  There will be a continued "drive" to push for congested and dangerous areas to be improved over time.  The US 31 Coalition's ultimate goal is for an interstate quality highway from Indy to South Bend.  They have been very successful in working with multiple governors and legislators over many years.

My personal opinion is that the segment from Westfield to Kokomo will be the next to be improved to an "interstate type standard" of highway because of the traffic counts, economic and population growth in the area and safety needs.  This will probably not happen anytime soon.  More likely, troubled areas will get individual attention from INDOT as needed and the corridor will be improved piecemeal - much as these announced projects are being proposed.
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monty

cabiness42

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2019, 08:07:02 AM »

Most interested to see what they will do with the light at 100N in Miami County.  It seems to be too close to the the US 24 interchange to build another interchange, but I can't imagine it just getting overpassed or cul-de-sacced (is that a word) with the huge truck stop there.  Perhaps they put the interchange at 425W by the state police post and then provide access to the truck stop from that point.
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thefarmerchris

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2019, 10:01:25 AM »

Most interested to see what they will do with the light at 100N in Miami County.  It seems to be too close to the the US 24 interchange to build another interchange, but I can't imagine it just getting overpassed or cul-de-sacced (is that a word) with the huge truck stop there.  Perhaps they put the interchange at 425W by the state police post and then provide access to the truck stop from that point.

That would be the most logical way to go......
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jnewkirk77

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2019, 11:10:19 AM »

There was an EIS in the federal register last week for a North South. Corridor South of 69 in the area between 231 and 37. I did not as a it in their long term plan it the 31 improvements were.

That's for the proposed Mid-States Corridor, which would connect I-165 in Kentucky with either I-69 near Washington or SR 37 near Bedford. The main features are that it would use US 231 through Spencer County and bypass Huntingburg and Jasper. The study is to determine which would be the better route. It's worthy of its own thread, but here's some info:

http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/story/40772909/proposed-southwest-indiana-highway-project-gains-speed
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roadman65

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2019, 11:29:37 AM »

I don't want to see any more posts that US 31 should become Interstate 67, because outside of Fictional Highways, IT WILL NOT HAPPEN! At least not anytime soon.
  US 31 does not even have to be interstate as US 15 and 301 in Maryland are even expressway grades without stop lights.  East of the US 50 split US 301 is all at grade with a few grade separations and NO STOPLIGHTS!  US 15 from the PA line to I-70 is the same way so going from the Capital Beltway near DC to Gettysburg, PA using I-270 and US 15 has no stop traffic (unless heavy volume or crash) on the whole entire route.

No for right now, US 31 is concentrated on getting rid of the lights.   Even with the Westfield, Kokomo, and Plymouth to South Bend Freeways are the beginning of just an upgrade for US 31, which is a major truck haul and through route from the Indy area to Michigan.  The overall plan is just upgrades for now.  I-67 is far from the state's minds, but that does not mean it won't happen either as things change on a day to day basis these days.   We have all been surprised before at sudden interstates appearing.  Look at NC for one, how many out of the blue projects have arisen and a month late an application to the feds to have it approved as future interstate xx.

Right now upgrading US 31 is not that difficult as most is four lanes already and the key areas of problems were addressed in the Kokomo bypass as well as the Westfield, Plymouth, and South Bend freeway realignments, but after driving it 11 years ago I can say its prime candidate for upgrades.  Interstate would be nice, but even expressway not part of the system I am not going to hope either INDOT do what NCDOT does and propose every existing route to become an interstate.
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cabiness42

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2019, 11:51:05 AM »

I don't want to see any more posts that US 31 should become Interstate 67, because outside of Fictional Highways, IT WILL NOT HAPPEN! At least not anytime soon.

If the entirety of US 31 from Indy to St. Joseph is eventually upgraded to freeway, then I have no problem with Indiana and Michigan asking for an interstate designation.

I do have a problem with making all of the upgrades just to get the interstate designation.
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I-39

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2019, 07:36:04 PM »

It will be a long time before US 31 is full freeway between South Bend and Indianapolis, there just isn't a need for full access control along the entire corridor yet. Removing the stoplights and rail crossings will go a long way.

That said, it's pretty obvious the long range plan is to make the corridor a freeway and designate it an Interstate, it's just super low on the priority list (as it should be).
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3467

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2019, 07:44:23 PM »

The Mid State should have it's own thread. It's the only new road I seen in Indian plans.
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ilpt4u

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2019, 08:05:16 PM »

The Mid State should have it's own thread. It's the only new road I seen in Indian plans.
Umm...It does. Since its more Southern IN, it is on the Ohio River Valley board

https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=25352.0
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3467

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2019, 08:14:34 PM »

Whoops!
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Life in Paradise

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2019, 12:41:51 PM »

The far majority of the people that travel from South Bend to Indianapolis on US 31 will jump for joy when the last light is removed.  They won't care about whether or not there is a red and blue interstate sign on it.  You might have business leaders from Kokomo, Peru, Rochester, Plymouth, and South Bend talk about an interstate designation, but those who drive it will just be glad to set their cruise on and travel non-stop from one city to the other.
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bmeiser

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2019, 01:07:06 PM »

I suppose a benefit for casual drivers would be the higher speed limit that comes with an interstate in Indiana, or even full grade separation for that matter.  It seems the max for full grade separation of a non-interstate in a non-urban area (Kokomo bypass, Peru to South Bend segment) is 65 and 60 for non-grade separated highways (current, non-upgraded 31).  Not that anybody really follows the speed limit on 31, but legally being able to go 5-10 miles an hour faster would be nice.

But I agree with what's been posted.  Baby steps are the answer and a stop free drive will help wonders!
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cabiness42

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2019, 03:03:33 PM »

I suppose a benefit for casual drivers would be the higher speed limit that comes with an interstate in Indiana, or even full grade separation for that matter.  It seems the max for full grade separation of a non-interstate in a non-urban area (Kokomo bypass, Peru to South Bend segment) is 65 and 60 for non-grade separated highways (current, non-upgraded 31).  Not that anybody really follows the speed limit on 31, but legally being able to go 5-10 miles an hour faster would be nice.

But I agree with what's been posted.  Baby steps are the answer and a stop free drive will help wonders!

Yes, max speed limit is 70 for interstates, 65 for non-interstate freeways, and 60 for 4+ lane non-freeways.
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nwi_navigator_1181

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2019, 10:27:09 PM »

Even though it doesn’t directly affect me, I think having US 31 as a freeway from Indy to South Bend is a must. As of now, the only major freeways north of Indianapolis serve specific sectors, be it Chicago and Northwest Indiana (I-65) or Fort Wayne, Anderson, Muncie, and Lansing (I-69). Interstate designation or not, having free flow to Kokomo, Plymouth, South Bend, and (eventually) Grand Rapids, will be a boon for those living along the corridor.

As a long-range, positive side effect, this could be a blueprint for how to do the same thing to US 30 from Valparaiso to Fort Wayne if and when that project is explored.
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cabiness42

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2019, 07:33:03 AM »

The section between Plymouth and Peru would be fine without being upgraded to freeway.  Less traffic than the rest of the highway, at least it always seems that way, and very few high volume intersections.  I would hate to see money going to converting the Plymouth-Peru stretch before money in committed to six-laning the rest of I-65 and I-70.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2019, 04:14:09 PM »

It appears I overreacted when I made my post on July 12. I apologize. My intention was to nip the "US 31 should be Interstate 67" complaint in the bud, but it appears such was unnecessary. At any rate, I think US 31 should be completely-freeway from Indianapolis to South Bend. It likely will be eventually.
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tdindy88

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #21 on: July 17, 2019, 07:56:35 PM »

Personally, I'd make the rest of US 31 from SR 38 north to the Kokomo bypass a full freeway next with several exits along the way. At the same time they could eliminate the Miami County intersections and turn them into interchanges but leave the rest of the highway an expressway. Once the Westfield-to-Kokomo stretch is finished then work on the Kokomo-to-Peru stretch in conversion to a full freeway. Then see where you are if you want to make the rest of it an interstate.
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dvferyance

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #22 on: July 18, 2019, 09:20:21 PM »

I don't want to see any more posts that US 31 should become Interstate 67, because outside of Fictional Highways, IT WILL NOT HAPPEN! At least not anytime soon.
I am just wondering why that idea bothers you. Makes more sense that many of the other wacky interstate proposals I have heard.
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Henry

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2019, 09:41:35 AM »

As the old saying goes, "que sera sera." I'd be cool with the freeway remaining US 31. And everyone (well, except for FritzOwl) knows, not everything needs an Interstate shield slapped on it.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #24 on: July 19, 2019, 06:29:14 PM »

Well, dvferance, I don't think the corridor needs an Interstate designation, even though the 67 designation would fit the grid. I do think the US 31 corridor between Indianapolis and South Bend should be completely freeway, just keep it US 31. After the Interstate binges North Carolina and Texas have gone on, I don't think other states should follow their lead. Besides, if the Indianapolis-to-South Bend corridor were to get an Interstate designation, such a designation should continue into Michigan (perhaps to Grand Rapids). I don't think that would be illogical.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2019, 02:40:35 PM by The Ghostbuster »
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