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US 31 FREEWAY UPGRADE
The project will upgrade US 31 to freeway standards from I-465, at the Marion/Hamilton county line, to 216th St just north of state road 38 in westfield. This project will increase motorist safety along the route, by reducing congestion and lowering the accident rate. The long range goal is to provide seamless a freeway corridor from Indianapolis to South Bend.
This highway passes through Carmel and Westfield. Construction is expected to begin in 2011. This project is part of the larger Major Moves initiative to upgrade the route to freeway standards from Indianapolis to South Bend.
This project is slated to begin construction in february of 2011 with project completion to be determined. Once completed the new improvements include:
The list of interchanges includes:
The I-465 and 106th Street interchange are closely spaced together. As a result, concerns of traffic conflicts have arised due to the traffic weaving concerns of the two closely spaced interchanges. Braided ramps have been considered between these interchanges as a result, and could be imcluded in the final design.
THE 146TH/151ST INTERCHANGE COMPLEX
Due to concerns for the commercial developments, some changes have been recommended for this section. First the construction of the interchange as a split diamond interchange with 146th and 151st Streets. Originally, the design only included an diamond interchange at 146th Street. Second, Collecor and Distributor roads have bee added between 146th and 151st Streets to provide through access for the split interchanges. Third, to further address the access concerns for the commercial developements, an overpass for Greyahond Pass has been added to the design.
Additionally, two onramps considered in the alternatives are being added in to the final design being considered, One to northbound US-31 from 146th St and one to southbound US-31 from 151st St. These ramps will provide more direct access from both roads to the freeway rather than having to traverse the Collector/Distributor roads first to get to the freeway.
A new interchange style known as the roundabout diamond was considered as a potential traffic control measure at various interchanges. And now it has been included in two interchanges in the project, 131st and 136th. These interchanges are designed to allow traffic from all directions to experience minimal delays when traveling through them without traffic signals and long idle times. They should decrease overal travel times and help conserve fuel, while reducing emmisions.
VISION FOR US 31
"I-465 Interchange" - To address the major weaving patterns anticipated at the I-465 to 106th St stretch of the highway, the maximum alternative interchanges should be used. These interchanges rpovide several weaving ramps to reduce driver conflicts caused by the weaving maneuvers of through traffic from I-456 to US-31 mixing with Meridian St Traffic to 106th St. Since 106th St is at the beginning of the heart of Carmel's commercial and business corridor, high traffic volumes can be anticipated, which will lead to increased congestion and higher accident rates, unless properly addressed.
This project is part of a greater project to provide a seamless freeway link to South Bend from Indianapolis. Indot plans on upgrading several sections of US-31 over the next 25 years, ultimately upgrading all sections of US-31 north of indianapolis to freeway standards.
Long range visions for this project could be to designate the corridor as a new interstate route and extend it on into Michigan. This could eventually become Interstate 67.
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