Indiana highway officials are expecting to open the new U.S. 31 bypass around Kokomo before Thanksgiving Day.
The opening of the new 13-mile stretch around Kokomo's east side will be a key step in the state's project to upgrade the most-congested sections of U.S. 31 between Indianapolis and South Bend.
A date hasn't yet been set for the bypass opening, which the Kokomo Tribune reports will allow drivers to avoid 15 traffic signals on the highway's current route through the city. Construction of the bypass began in 2008.
A new 20-mile stretch of U.S. 31 south of South Bend is expected to open late next year. Work also is ongoing on building interchanges and other upgrades to the highway through the northern Indianapolis suburbs of Carmel and Westfield.