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The State Road (S.R.) 25 project is part of the Hoosier Heartland Highway Corridor, which extends from Toledo, Ohio to Lafayette, Indiana, a distance of approximately 200 miles. The Indiana sections of the corridor are in various stages of improvement. The section from Fort Wayne to Lafayette is about 99 miles long. Once completed, the Hoosier Heartland Highway Corridor will connect Interstate 69 in Fort Wayne to I-65 in Lafayette.
Former Governor Mitch Daniels joined federal, state and local officials and members of the Hoosier Heartland Industry Corridor, Inc., on Oct. 24, 2012 to officially open to traffic a 12-mile stretch of this project to traffic. The ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the opening of the first completed stretch of the Hoosier Heartland, between I-65 in Lafayette and US 421 in Delphi. The last three segments of the project, spanning from Delphi to Logansport, should be open to traffic at the end of 2013.
The corridor segment containing the proposed project is located in Tippecanoe, Carroll, and Cass Counties, Indiana. The project begins east of the S.R. 25 and I-65 interchange in Lafayette, and heads northeast to U.S. 24, at Logansport, a distance of about 35.3 miles. The western terminus provides a direct connection to I-65, the major north-south interstate in Indiana. The eastern terminus in Logansport will connect to the recently improved US 24 section of the Hoosier Heartland Highway Corridor. This section of S.R. 25 is being advanced as an independent project because it is the major commercial corridor linking Logansport, Delphi, and Lafayette. As a major farming area, farmers depend on this corridor to move farm supplies and products to their markets in Logansport and Lafayette.
The old S.R. 25 roadway is a two-lane facility, constructed circa 1931, with minimal earth shoulders throughout most of the 33-mile-long Lafayette to Logansport corridor. The driving lanes are approximately 12-feet wide and the driving surface is asphalt throughout. The predominant posted speed is 55 miles per hour (mph), with reduced speeds in the areas of the I-65 interchange, small communities, and Delphi. S.R. 25 parallels the Norfolk Southern Railroad between Logansport and Delphi. The Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks form a barrier to vehicular circulation and system linkage along .S.R. 25 and through Delphi.
The existing two-lane road fails to meet current design standards along most of its length, with substandard shoulders and roadside slopes as the main deficiencies. Sharp curves and hills create substandard sight distances and occur throughout the project length, but are most prevalent in the western segment from Lafayette to Delphi, where the road parallels the Wabash River valley. Heavy vehicles (i.e., large trucks, farm vehicles, and buses) comprise 15 to 20 percent of the current S.R. 25 traffic between Lafayette and Logansport. These larger vehicles are less capable of negotiating through the substandard conditions than automobiles.
Access to the existing S.R. 25 roadway is controlled by permit only. This 33-mile section of S.R. 25 has 81 at-grade public street intersections, 3 at-grade railroad crossings, and over 140 private entrances. According to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), access control is one of the most significant factors affecting the safe, efficient operation of a highway. Traffic accident data indicates that numerous accidents occur at these uncontrolled intersection points.
The purpose of the project is to provide: