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New U.S. 31 bypass around Kokomo opening Tuesday

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Indiana highway officials have set next Tuesday as opening day for the new U.S. 31 bypass around stoplight-plagued Kokomo.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony with Gov. Mike Pence and other dignitaries is scheduled for Tuesday near the southern end of the new 13-mile stretch around Kokomo's east side.

Highway department spokesman Harry Maginity said the event will be followed by a ceremonial drive to the northern end of the bypass and a reception at the Kokomo Automotive Museum.

Maginity said highway crews will remove barricades and open the bypass to motorists that afternoon.

The bypass will allow drivers to avoid 15 traffic signals on the highway's current route through the city. Work continues of new sections of U.S. 31 near South Bend and Indianapolis to ease congestion in those areas.

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  • We always
    We are from Dowagaic Michigan and when going south on 31 we always stop for food or coffe in Kokomo
  • stop if you want too
    I think the businesses along the old 31 south route will be just fine and need to avoid moving closer to the new one people stopped or didn't stop I like the option to go around or straight thru. If they move closer then we are potentially back to stop lights again.
  • Hurt Business
    I travel U.S. 31 through kokomo frequently and usually stop for a sandwich or coffee. It is easier to stop in Kokomo and get back on, than anywhere else. I think the bypass will definitely hurt businesses in Kokomo on U.S. 31. I hope I am wrong.
  • Betru'u
    That could be true BUT, the state has thought of that. They are keeping the existing bypass as a State Highway (State Rd. 931). Had they not done that, it might facilitate movement to the new Bypass. AND if they did move, where would they go? The new bypass is limited access with no frontage roads, meaning there is only room right at the interchanges themselves (and they arent many). City leaders could further the viability of the old bypass with signage.
  • What's the plan, Stan?
    Unless someone is watching the ball, traffic on the old bypass will improve markedly as all the gas stations,fast food outlets and hotels move toward the new road.
  • Financial impact
    As someone who has traveled the state for many years, I welcome the demise of the US 31 Kokomo bottleneck. However, because of the congestion, I have stopped many times for a quick gas or fast food break so I know there will be some economic impact.
  • Not Likely to Hurt
    I thought I had seen something that mentioned that the Kokomo businesses won't be hurt too much from the bypass. Most of the patrons at those businesses are Kokomo residents anyway and they are still going to be stopping there. This bypass is primarly for those passing through who have no interest in anything in Kokomo.
    • Question
      Won't this hurt the businesses on 31 through town? I always thought that if they would have just eliminated every other stop light, that would have made that drive better through Kokomo and a cheaper solution.

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