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New U.S. 31 bypass opens to travelers in Kokomo

The $155 million, 13-mile freeway section that allows travelers to avoid 15 traffic lights through the city opened Tuesday afternoon once road crews removed barricades along the new roadway.

The Associated Press

11/27/2013

KOKOMO, Ind. — A new bypass along U.S. 31 that circumvents stoplight-plagued Kokomo has opened to motorists, and just in time for Thanksgiving holiday travelers.

The $155 million, 13-mile freeway section that allows travelers to avoid 15 traffic lights through the city opened Tuesday afternoon once road crews removed barricades along the new roadway.

The opening came a few hours after a ceremonial ribbon cutting attended by Gov. Mike Pence, Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight and other officials. After the ribbon-cutting, a caravan of cars traveled the new highway and crews began removing barricades.

Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman Harry Maginity says the highway officially opened to traffic about 2:45 p.m. Tuesday.

The new bypass replaces a bypass that had opened in 1952 but eventually became lined with stoplights that created traffic backups.

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