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Author Topic: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend  (Read 4958 times)

SEWIGuy

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #50 on: October 03, 2019, 03:49:28 PM »

How many stoplights are left on US 31 between Indianapolis and South Bend? I don't think any stoplights should be on a four-lane express highway like US 31 (I know here in Wisconsin, there are at least two stoplights on US 12 between Sauk City and Middleton).


How many are left on US-41/WI-63 after Chicagoland to Terre Haute?  How many on US-41 from Terre Haute south to Evansville?
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silverback1065

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #51 on: October 03, 2019, 04:01:45 PM »

this has a schedule of upcoming 31 projects https://www.in.gov/indot/3973.htm

there will be an exit at division rd
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cabiness42

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #52 on: October 03, 2019, 04:56:38 PM »

this has a schedule of upcoming 31 projects https://www.in.gov/indot/3973.htm

there will be an exit at division rd

My takeaways from this:

1) No later than 2026, there will be no stoplights and no at-grade railroad crossings between South Bend and Indy
2) Six spots are labelled as "Intersection Reconstruction" rather than "New Interchange" which tells me that there are no plans to convert those sections to full freeway.

The one thing I'd have a real question on is what they are going to do at CR 100 N in Miami County.  It says the signal will be removed but that it is getting an "Intersection Reconstruction" instead of a "New Interchange".  How is that going to work with the huge truck stop and McDonald's at that intersection?  They can't just leave it with no traffic control, can they?
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silverback1065

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #53 on: October 03, 2019, 05:03:39 PM »

this has a schedule of upcoming 31 projects https://www.in.gov/indot/3973.htm

there will be an exit at division rd

My takeaways from this:

1) No later than 2026, there will be no stoplights and no at-grade railroad crossings between South Bend and Indy
2) Six spots are labelled as "Intersection Reconstruction" rather than "New Interchange" which tells me that there are no plans to convert those sections to full freeway.

The one thing I'd have a real question on is what they are going to do at CR 100 N in Miami County.  It says the signal will be removed but that it is getting an "Intersection Reconstruction" instead of a "New Interchange".  How is that going to work with the huge truck stop and McDonald's at that intersection?  They can't just leave it with no traffic control, can they?
I think "intersection improvement" means J-Turn. INDOT loves those things and motorists in the area hate them. I bet they'll all be interchanges or overpasses in the far future.
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sprjus4

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #54 on: October 03, 2019, 05:19:12 PM »

This bit was interesting -

Quote
INDOT can make U.S. 31 safer and remove all traffic signals and rail crossings at a fraction of the cost of upgrading the highway to freeway specifications:

* To convert U.S. 31 to a freeway would cost as much as four to five times more than INDOT’s plan, with little added benefit.
* A freeway project would require years of federally mandated environmental review that would delay
the project and needed safety improvements.
* A freeway would require more private property, forcing more people from their homes, require more businesses to close or relocate, and reduce the amount of property available for future development.

Improving U.S. 31 to a free-flow highway can be achieved at lower cost, in much less time, and with far less impact on existing homes and businesses while achieving the same benefits as a freeway.

Seems they have an opposite approach to SR-37 south of Indianapolis.

They ought to study raising the speed limit to at least 65 mph on this road, possibly 70 mph, among others, especially expressway (free-flowing non-limited-access highway) corridors like this will be.

70 mph would make it the exact same as a freeway driving wise, though visually you'll still see driveways and intersections.

Either way, I'm willing to bet in 2050 this will be a full freeway corridor. First, it'll be the interchange projects, then frontage roads here and there, and overtime it will be built out as a freeway.
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sparker

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #55 on: October 03, 2019, 07:20:13 PM »

^^^^^^^^^^
It's probably not just the expense of interchange construction that has prompted this "free-flow" approach; it's addressing the dozens if not hundreds of private access points on US 31.  This approach, if and when implemented with median barriers, maintains that access but essentially turns everything into a virtual RIRO, with the same method of getting to the alternate direction (just head up one's side of the road to the next J-turn).  Spares the expenses endemic to extensive frontage-road construction, which would be required for properties not purchased outright by INDOT. 

Nevertheless, the whole thing looks like a fiscally-mandated "band-aid"; with the likely long-term result being a large number of inconvenienced local drivers -- either those traversing crossing roads or those living/working along US 31 itself -- and the equal likelihood that some of these will become vocal about their concerns/objections.  Maybe not now -- financial recovery from the expenses of the I-69 extension and other visible statewide projects will have to be in the rear view mirror, so to speak -- but it's likely that INDOT will eventually have to break down and deploy a full freeway along US 31, even if that horizon is 20-30 years down the line.
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tdindy88

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #56 on: October 03, 2019, 10:02:01 PM »

I wonder how many of the proposed interchanges will feature roundabouts. It would probably work well with just about all of them.

As for the intersection just north of US 24, would a J-turn intersection concept even work. There's a jersey barrier just south of that intersection as you approach the US 24 interchange. I think an overpass located to the north and a right in/right out interchange setup could be better there. Or move the truck stop to US 24 in Peru just east of the US 31 interchange.

Finally, I notice they say "access control" for the stretch from SR 38 to 236th Street. I wonder if that means they may actually remove all access points and effectively make that stretch a freeway.

I'll be driving up US 31 on Saturday to South Bend so it will give me a chance to experience this corridor again but I'm okay with this concept at the moment. At the very least US 31 from SR 38/236th Streets up to the Kokomo Bypass should be a freeway when they get the chance. I'll live with the part north of US 24 being this setup for now, there is a lot of nothing up there until you reach Rochester.

And I would make all of US 31 65 MPH from Westfield to just south of South Bend. With these improvements coming I would bet pretty well that they may actually do that.
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sprjus4

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #57 on: October 04, 2019, 06:45:31 AM »

And I would make all of US 31 65 MPH from Westfield to just south of South Bend. With these improvements coming I would bet pretty well that they may actually do that.
Debatable. In the southern part of the state, 20 miles of US-231 between I-64 and Kentucky was upgraded & relocated into a limited-access 4-lane highway with a mix of intersections & interchanges and no private driveways, and it's still only posted at 60 mph. I'm willing to bet though that 99% of the traffic does not obey that.

There's likely something in state law that prevents anything with at-grade connections being posted above 60 mph. But I agree, 65 mph or even 70 mph is appropriate for both US-31, the US-231 stretch I mentioned, and other roads in the state.
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cabiness42

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #58 on: October 04, 2019, 07:37:47 AM »

As for the intersection just north of US 24, would a J-turn intersection concept even work. There's a jersey barrier just south of that intersection as you approach the US 24 interchange. I think an overpass located to the north and a right in/right out interchange setup could be better there. Or move the truck stop to US 24 in Peru just east of the US 31 interchange.

Finally, I notice they say "access control" for the stretch from SR 38 to 236th Street. I wonder if that means they may actually remove all access points and effectively make that stretch a freeway.

I'll be driving up US 31 on Saturday to South Bend so it will give me a chance to experience this corridor again but I'm okay with this concept at the moment. At the very least US 31 from SR 38/236th Streets up to the Kokomo Bypass should be a freeway when they get the chance. I'll live with the part north of US 24 being this setup for now, there is a lot of nothing up there until you reach Rochester.

And I would make all of US 31 65 MPH from Westfield to just south of South Bend. With these improvements coming I would bet pretty well that they may actually do that.

I can't think of anything other than an interchange at CR 100 N that is safe without taking out the light.  Even if it is a J turn, that's a lot of trucks moving slowly on the road at that point.

I had hear previously that the section between IN 38 and 236th was going to become full freeway so that's what I take "access control" to mean.

Finally, this is a longshot, but since you're going to South Bend Saturday, know anybody who needs tickets to the game?  Have a pair I need to unload.
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tdindy88

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #59 on: October 04, 2019, 09:17:10 AM »

The game is actually my destination in South Bend tomorrow. It will be my first Irish game ever.
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cabiness42

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #60 on: October 04, 2019, 10:00:31 AM »

How many stoplights are left on US 31 between Indianapolis and South Bend? I don't think any stoplights should be on a four-lane express highway like US 31 (I know here in Wisconsin, there are at least two stoplights on US 12 between Sauk City and Middleton).


How many are left on US-41/WI-63 after Chicagoland to Terre Haute?  How many on US-41 from Terre Haute south to Evansville?

If you define the southern end of Chicagoland as the southern border of Lake County, there are lights at IN 10, US 24/52, IN 163 before getting to Terre Haute on US 41/IN 63.  There's a huge difference in traffic volumes between 41/63 and 31 though, so I don't know how useful that comparison is.
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roadman65

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #61 on: October 04, 2019, 10:49:16 AM »

I drove US 31 in 2008 and back then it was okay.  It had many at grades, but it was pretty much free flowing minus the parts in Westfield and Kokomo and from La Paz to US 20 junction.   60 mph and pretty much expressway with only signals at major crossroads.

A simple upgrade of the intersections will do just fine.  No major freeway upgrades are really needed.  US 31 could become like US 301 in the eastern shore of MD where its free flowing despite crossovers and such.

If they just eliminate the signalized intersections it will become also like US 71 from Joplin to KC before I-49 which made that upgrade practically simple. So if in 2030 INDOT wants I-67 (if PA don't steal the number for US 219) it would be made easier when (or if) that time comes.
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silverback1065

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #62 on: October 04, 2019, 10:53:06 AM »

This sounds like us 24 in Ohio from the state line east to Toledo. Think the speed is 70 with at grade crossings and some interchanges.
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hbelkins

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #63 on: October 04, 2019, 01:20:25 PM »

I still don't think any major changes need to be made to the existing US 31 route. Kokomo has been bypassed, and the remaining signals are not really an inconvenience to anyone.

Not everything needs to be a full freeway.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #64 on: October 04, 2019, 04:56:54 PM »

Even if US 31 doesn't become completely freeway between Indianapolis and South Bend, I still think getting rid of all remaining traffic signals will be more of a benefit than a hindrance. I disagree that the remaining signals aren't an inconvenience. Signaled intersections on roads like US 31 are contrary to what drivers would expect.
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sprjus4

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #65 on: October 04, 2019, 05:12:44 PM »

This sounds like us 24 in Ohio from the state line east to Toledo. Think the speed is 70 with at grade crossings and some interchanges.
US 31 could become like US 301 in the eastern shore of MD where its free flowing despite crossovers and such.
Big difference. US-301 and US-24 are limited-access roadways, meaning crossovers only exist at minor intersections, and interchanges at major roadways. There are no private driveway connections permitted. US-31 has plenty of private driveway connections and crossovers for such.

A better example would be comparing US-31 to US-77 / US-59 in Texas, between Refugio and Houston. It's a non-limited-access highway with town bypasses, plenty of private driveway connections and minor road intersections, but interchanges at major junctions. No traffic signals along the entire route, and a constant 75 mph speed limit. Also, US-58 in Virginia between Courtland and Emporia. Non-limited-access highway, though no interchanges and only intersections + private driveway connections. No traffic signals, constant 60 mph speed limit.
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Ryctor2018

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #66 on: October 05, 2019, 12:42:34 PM »

U.S. 36 across Missouri is also a good example.
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westerninterloper

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #67 on: October 05, 2019, 03:47:33 PM »

This sounds like us 24 in Ohio from the state line east to Toledo. Think the speed is 70 with at grade crossings and some interchanges.


The speed limit is 65 where there are at-grade crossings, 70 where there aren't.
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sprjus4

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #68 on: October 05, 2019, 03:55:35 PM »

This sounds like us 24 in Ohio from the state line east to Toledo. Think the speed is 70 with at grade crossings and some interchanges.


The speed limit is 65 where there are at-grade crossings, 70 where there aren't.
Not true. There's sections with at-grade intersections and posted at 70 mph.

For example - https://www.google.com/maps/@40.8266586,-83.4909351,3a,75y,101.6h,81.49t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sBHj2YX4URlb2srbZWvoDKQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!5m1!1e1

Google considers this segment a "freeway" but it's not. It's limited-access, but has at-grade intersections. Just no private driveway connections.
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westerninterloper

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #69 on: October 05, 2019, 04:02:36 PM »

This sounds like us 24 in Ohio from the state line east to Toledo. Think the speed is 70 with at grade crossings and some interchanges.


The speed limit is 65 where there are at-grade crossings, 70 where there aren't.
Not true. There's sections with at-grade intersections and posted at 70 mph.

For example - https://www.google.com/maps/@40.8266586,-83.4909351,3a,75y,101.6h,81.49t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sBHj2YX4URlb2srbZWvoDKQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!5m1!1e1

Google considers this segment a "freeway" but it's not. It's limited-access, but has at-grade intersections. Just no private driveway connections.

I was writing specifically about US 24 between Toledo and Ft. Wayne; I don't know about US 30. Thanks for the info.
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sprjus4

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #70 on: October 05, 2019, 04:30:39 PM »

This sounds like us 24 in Ohio from the state line east to Toledo. Think the speed is 70 with at grade crossings and some interchanges.


The speed limit is 65 where there are at-grade crossings, 70 where there aren't.
Not true. There's sections with at-grade intersections and posted at 70 mph.

For example - https://www.google.com/maps/@40.8266586,-83.4909351,3a,75y,101.6h,81.49t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sBHj2YX4URlb2srbZWvoDKQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!5m1!1e1

Google considers this segment a "freeway" but it's not. It's limited-access, but has at-grade intersections. Just no private driveway connections.

I was writing specifically about US 24 between Toledo and Ft. Wayne; I don't know about US 30. Thanks for the info.
Interestingly enough, even parts of US-30 that are non-limited-access and have private driveway connections -still- maintain 70 mph.

https://www.google.com/maps/@40.9542514,-84.7279017,3a,37.5y,317.96h,81.53t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sNTL0AgdY1MhkXXiKvjKCpg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!5m1!1e1

Just another reason that US-31 could easily be 70 mph once the signals are removed, and even lots of stretches of it now, along with the remainder of US-30 between Ohio / Indiana line and Fort Wayne. Currently, the speed limit drops from 70 mph to 60 mph crossing the state line, yet the condition & design characteristics of the road do not change at all.
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royo6022

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #71 on: October 05, 2019, 11:17:21 PM »

How many stoplights are left on US 31 between Indianapolis and South Bend? I don't think any stoplights should be on a four-lane express highway like US 31 (I know here in Wisconsin, there are at least two stoplights on US 12 between Sauk City and Middleton).


How many are left on US-41/WI-63 after Chicagoland to Terre Haute?  How many on US-41 from Terre Haute south to Evansville?

I can't speak for US 41 in Illinois, but I know I've never had any problems with traffic being backed up on it from Evansville all the way into the Chicago area. I even drive into Evansville on US 41 almost every day and if it is even that busy, it usually flows pretty well at least. Evansville to Vincennes and Terre Haute to Chicago area are both very smooth sailing.
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Terry Shea

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #72 on: October 06, 2019, 01:19:43 PM »

I drove US 31 in 2008 and back then it was okay.  It had many at grades, but it was pretty much free flowing minus the parts in Westfield and Kokomo and from La Paz to US 20 junction.   60 mph and pretty much expressway with only signals at major crossroads.

A simple upgrade of the intersections will do just fine.  No major freeway upgrades are really needed.  US 31 could become like US 301 in the eastern shore of MD where its free flowing despite crossovers and such.

If they just eliminate the signalized intersections it will become also like US 71 from Joplin to KC before I-49 which made that upgrade practically simple. So if in 2030 INDOT wants I-67 (if PA don't steal the number for US 219) it would be made easier when (or if) that time comes.
You drove it once over 10 years ago and that makes you an area expert?
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tdindy88

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #73 on: October 06, 2019, 01:35:26 PM »

I was just coming back from South Bend over this weekend and I think US 31 from US 24 to US 30 can be at least 65 MPH today. There didn't seem to be too many driveways and all the local county roads are lightly traveled. I could do 70 to 75 on that stretch and still get passed by traffic. Southern Miami County is a little debatable but 65 might be okay there too, a few more businesses and driveways though. The freeway parts between South Bend and Plymouth and around Kokomo should be 70 MPH. South of Kokomo it could stay 60 or go up to 65, in any case traffic was going 10 over nearly the entire way going north and south along US 31.

I drove US 30 across northern Ohio a few years ago. Something about that highway seemed different, very desolate (even if it likely isn't) and a 70 MPH speed limit would seem very doable on that stretch. I agree that the speed limit should be extended westward to near the I-469 interchange. It probably takes a change in state law to get any of these speed limits updated.

Something I noticed also. There was a billboard (for Arby's) approaching the SR 25 interchange in Rochester that directs traffic to Exit 212.  Despite the fact that there are no signs indicating an Exit 212. Other businesses with billboards just mentioned SR 25 exit or "Exit 25." But then I noticed Google Maps does indeed have the SR 25 exit referred to as Exit 212. And furthermore they have the US 24 interchange listed as Exits 191 A-B. Again there are no real signs out in the field with this reference. This seems a little awkward.

I kind of hope now that when the other interchanges get built at several of the signals along US 31 they will all get exit numbers, prompting INDOT to finally add numbers to the two preexisting interchanges at US 24 and SR 25.
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Revive 755

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Re: More US 31 upgrades between Indy and South Bend
« Reply #74 on: October 06, 2019, 02:06:35 PM »

There's likely something in state law that prevents anything with at-grade connections being posted above 60 mph. But I agree, 65 mph or even 70 mph is appropriate for both US-31, the US-231 stretch I mentioned, and other roads in the state.

Yes, see IC 9-21-5-2 on http://iga.in.gov/legislative/laws/2017/ic/titles/009#9-21-5.

I cannot speak for the stretch of US 231, but the rural 60 mph portions of US 41 certainly have widespread disobedience of the 60 mph limit.  I would estimate at least 75% is doing 70 or greater.
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