The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) has awarded the last of its $722m for Major Moves highway construction project contracts to Primco Inc.
These contracts are intended to upgrade or bypass US 31 bottlenecks near South Bend, Kokomo and Indianapolis.
Under the new contract, Primco will construct a new seventh road interchange north of the current US 30 interchange in Plymouth.
The latest $342m US 31 Hamilton County project upgrades 13 miles of existing US 31 between I-465 in Carmel and State Road 38 near Westfield, including nine new interchanges.
Once the Hamilton County stretch opens to traffic in 2015, a total of 32 stoplights will have been removed from US 31 between Indianapolis and South Bend, saving nearly 30 minutes of commute time.
One of the first projects is the $155m programme to remove 15 traffic signals and over 130 access points along the existing US 31 in Kokomo.
This 13-mile stretch of new US 31 freeway will have five new interchanges to the east of Kokomo, and will be opened before the Thanksgiving holiday.
Indiana Governor Mike Pence said: “This is an exciting time for Northern Indiana with the recent completion of the Hoosier Heartland between Lafayette and Fort Wayne and plans to open the new US 31 in Kokomo to Thanksgiving travellers.
“We are finishing what we started by having the three new US 31 sections fully under contract.”
The $225m 20-mile US 31 section between US 30 in Plymouth and the US 20 bypass in South Bend comprises 15 miles of new highway alignment and four new interchanges, and is scheduled to open to traffic by the end of 2014.
The US 31 Major Moves projects aim to reduce congestion, improve safety and offer continuity of commerce and regional travel for the highway, which runs from Michigan to Alabama.