Gov. Mike Pence, U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski and other dignitaries will be on hand for tomorrow’s ribbon cutting and dedication of the new U.S. 31 between Plymouth and South Bend. The ceremony will take place at 2:30 p.m. EDT on State Road 4 at the new U.S. 31 interchange. The road will be closed in that area from 12:30 until 3:30 p.m. tomorrow afternoon. During that time traffic will not be able to enter or exit the new section of highway.
Pence will dedicate the stretch of highway from State Road 4 through Lake Trail in St. Joseph County to late Rep. Dick Mangus. He was instrumental in securing funding for the study and design of a new U.S. 31 route through Marshall and St. Joseph Counties. Mangus’ wife and children will be present to unveil memorial signage.
The new highway is 20 miles of divided, four-lane road between the U.S. 20 bypass in South Bend and U.S. 30 near Plymouth. Traffic can only access the highway by way of entrance and exit ramps, three of which opened last week. They are Kern Road in South Bend, State Road 4 in Lakeville and U.S. 6 in LaPaz. Work should wrap up by the end of the year on the new 7th Road interchange near Plymouth.
Last year INDOT opened 13 miles of new U.S. 31 freeway just east of Kokomo. Work is also continuing on 13 miles of highway north of Indianapolis, which is due to open in 2015. The three projects are eliminating a total of 32 traffic signals. Transportation officials say they will increase safety and save 30 minutes of travel time.