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US 31 Kokomo Freeway

INDOT’s U.S. 31 Kokomo Freeway project involved the construction of a new four-lane, limited-access divided highway around the east side of Kokomo in Howard County.

The 13-mile project, which included six new interchanges, began just south of the Tipton/Howard county line and ended about one mile north of the U.S. 35 intersection. The freeway bypassed old U.S. 31, which was subsequently renamed State Road 931. The $155 million project opened to traffic after a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Nov. 26, 2013 .

Click to see a video of the U.S. 31 Kokomo Freeway ribbon cutting.

The new U.S. 31 Kokomo Freeway meets interstate access standards by providing access only at interchanges rather than at driveways or business entrances. Studies show that the freeway will reduce average corridor travel time by more than 10 minutes by 2030. Other benefits include reducing crashes and ensuring consistency with state and local long-range transportation plans.

The U.S. 31 Kokomo Freeway satisfied several goals:

  • Improve the level of safety for motorists along the U.S. 31 corridor
  • Reduce traffic congestion and travel time within the corridor
  • Provide for reliable and efficient movement of commerce and regional travel

Project History

The old U.S. 31 facility was built in the 1950s to bypass the original U.S. 31 route through downtown Kokomo. The old route was a four-lane divided roadway that included 15 signalized intersections, three bridges, and three at-grade railroad crossings. It had approximately 140 minor cross-street and private property access points, which often led to traffic delays and vehicle crashes.

The need for transportation improvements in the U.S 31 corridor had been recognized for more than 20 years. Studies completed in 1992 and 1995 examined alternative projects and strategies to improve north-south traffic flow along the U.S. 31 corridor through the greater Kokomo area. In 1991, the Kokomo-Howard County Governmental Coordinating Council (GCC) adopted the upgrade of U.S. 31 into its Transportation Policy Plan. In February 2000, the Kokomo-Howard County GCC adopted a long-range transportation plan update that included a recommendation for a U.S. 31 east bypass.

The project was divided into 10 segments for construction. Work on the first segment, the County Road 200 S Bridge over the freeway, began in 2008.

Project Map

Contact Information

Harry Maginity
Media Relations Director
Indiana Department of Transportation-East Central District
32 S. Broadway
Greenfield, IN, 46140

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