U.S. 31 receives national recognition at Mid America Association of State Transportation Officials annual meeting

The U.S. 31 project spans 13 miles between I-465 in Carmel and Ind. 38 in Westfield. (File photo)

According to a press release from the Indiana Dept. of Transportation, recently completed U.S. 31 thoroughfare was one of two INDOT projects to receive national recognition July 26 at the Mid America Association of State Transportation Officials annual meeting in Cleveland, Ohio.

The U.S. 31 Hamilton County project received an award for winning the large division of the Operations Excellence category. The project was completed last year, and it cost $350 million. It upgraded 13 miles of existing road between Interstate 465 in Carmel and Ind. 38 in northern Westfield which included 11 new interchanges which removed 13 traffic lights.

“INDOT works every day to improve Indiana’s economic competitiveness and the quality of life for all Hoosiers,” INDOT Commissioner Joe McGuinness stated in a press release. “The East End Crossing and the new U.S. 31 in Hamilton County are prime examples of our commitment to those goals. Both projects are making travel safer and more convenient for motorists and promoting development and job growth by enhancing the transportation networks in two of Indiana’s fastest growing regions.”

“The U.S. 31 project has had a direct impact on our residents, commercial businesses and our visitors of Grand Park,” Mayor Andy Cook sent in an email to Current. “The upgrade of U.S. 31 to a freeway has created connectivity to neighboring communities, Indianapolis and the Indianapolis International Airport. Prior to the project, Westfield was just a sleepy bedroom community to the north and now Westfield has more visitors than there are people living in the community because of Grand Park and its proximity to 31. Our commercial base is growing and residents want to move to Westfield because of Grand Park, our sense of community and the accessibility to the rest of Indiana.”

Since the U.S. 31 project and INDOT’s Ohio River Bridges East End Crossing Project both won awards, they will now move on to compete for the America’s Transportation Awards Grand Prize and People’s Choice awards.  An independent panel of judges selects the Grand Prize winner, but the general public can vote for the People’s Choice Award online beginning Aug. 21. The winners will be announced in September.

For more, visit americastransportationawards.org.