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More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend

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ITB:

There was a major crash today, with at least one fatality, at the intersection of US 31 and 226th Street in Hamilton County.

Late this year in December, the contract for an overpass at this location is expected to be let. Can't happen soon enough.

Great Lakes Roads:

--- Quote from: ITB on June 29, 2022, 06:20:57 PM ---
There was a major crash today, with at least one fatality, at the intersection of US 31 and 226th Street in Hamilton County.

Late this year in December, the contract for an overpass at this location is expected to be let. Can't happen soon enough.

--- End quote ---

I drove by this crash on my way back from Indy, and it was pretty bad... This section of US 31 needed an upgrade right after they were done with improving the Hamilton County stretch from I-465 to SR 38, especially within Tipton County!

cjw2001:

--- Quote from: ITB on June 29, 2022, 06:20:57 PM ---
There was a major crash today, with at least one fatality, at the intersection of US 31 and 226th Street in Hamilton County.

Late this year in December, the contract for an overpass at this location is expected to be let. Can't happen soon enough.

--- End quote ---
I often have the Hamilton County EMS dispatch radio playing in the background while I work, and these accidents are very very frequent in this area.  Today's was a truck vs motorcycle with fatal results.  The loss of life in this corridor is terrible and all too frequent.

ITB:

I paged through the discussion again and then took a hard look at Google maps and GSV. As many of you are aware, there's several thorny areas along the corridor that will be difficult and expensive to upgrade. Most of these have been identified previously in the thread, and, in a few instances, possible solutions were put forward.

From my vantage point, it's difficult to see the corridor becoming "free flowing" by 2026 if the proposed J-turns north of Kokomo are ultimately not agreed to. Considering the vehement reaction to them good chance they won't be proposed again. That means the lights will remain until replaced with either overpasses, interchanges, or sealed off. The J-turns were, of course, half measures designed to buy time until additional funding could be found. It's not an intolerable situation, by any means. All INDOT needs to do is reframe the discourse by saying it is "moving toward" a free flowing US 31, toss the 2026 deadline, and continue to build as funding becomes available. Eventually, in time, US 31 will become "free flowing," and more likely sooner rather than later.

Perhaps the segment that presents the most challenge to upgrade will be at Grissom Air Reserve Base and the Miami Correctional Center. According to INDOT's US 31 Corridor Map, only intersection upgrades are scheduled in this vicinity. No overpasses, no interchange. That was the plan, but is no longer, I believe, because the area is once again under study. At some point, an interchange will have to be constructed in this area, particularly if AADT bumps up, which it will eventually. Unfortunately, there's no obvious location for an interchange. Moreover, the base is federal property, and the air museum is smack tight adjacent to 31, so the implementation of any proposed changes to US 31 may be tricky and time consuming. One solution an expensive one is to construct a segment of new terrain US 31 between the town of Bunker Hill and present US 31, with partial interchanges both south and north of the base. Present US 31 alongside the base could then be repurposed as a local road.

To hazard a guess, it looks like another $100-200 million may be necessary to make US 31 "free flowing" if J-turns aren't utilized to eliminate the lights. There may some funds freed up due to the additional funding provided by the 2021 Infrastructure Bill. But maybe not. Upgrading US 31 is a priority for the state, then again, there's a lot of projects, both big and small, that need funding.

Finally, as I meandered through this thread earlier, I was impressed time and again by the in-depth knowledge, insights and expertise of many contributors. Sparker, I noticed, who was quite active earlier, hasn't logged on since mid-September. Does anyone know if anything has happened? Is he OK?

NWI_Irish96:

--- Quote from: ITB on July 01, 2022, 11:37:13 PM ---
Perhaps the segment that presents the most challenge to upgrade will be at Grissom Air Reserve Base and the Miami Correctional Center. According to INDOT's US 31 Corridor Map, only intersection upgrades are scheduled in this vicinity. No overpasses, no interchange. That was the plan, but is no longer, I believe, because the area is once again under study. At some point, an interchange will have to be constructed in this area, particularly if AADT bumps up, which it will eventually. Unfortunately, there's no obvious location for an interchange. Moreover, the base is federal property, and the air museum is smack tight adjacent to 31, so the implementation of any proposed changes to US 31 may be tricky and time consuming. One solution an expensive one is to construct a segment of new terrain US 31 between the town of Bunker Hill and present US 31, with partial interchanges both south and north of the base. Present US 31 alongside the base could then be repurposed as a local road.


--- End quote ---

Yeah, there are two real problems with the Grissom/Bunker Hill area.

One is that there are three points within 2.5 miles that need access: 218 west, 218 east/Bunker Hill, and the correctional facility.

The second problem is that Pipe Creek directly to the east of 31 makes the terrain challenging to build either new roadway or interchanges.

Looks like you can do an interchange between the correctional facility and 218 east that can serve both, but 218 west is right at Pipe Creek, so that one may have to be a J-turn or no access at all. If they go with no access at all, perhaps 218 can get routed around the south end of Grissom.

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