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State decides not to open Kokomo bypass early

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State highway officials had considered opening a four-mile stretch of a U.S. 31 bypass around Kokomo this fall, but now they say motorists won't be able to drive on the road until next year.

Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman Harry Maginity told the Kokomo Tribune that scheduling issues with contractors made it impractical to open the stretch between Markland Avenue and State Road 26 earlier than originally planned.

The entire $155 million project is set to open in fall 2013. The 13-mile road with interchanges will avoid the highway's current stoplight-congested stretch through the city.

The decision to keep the bypass closed isn't expected to affect plans for a run-walk along the new road.

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