Anyone who has driven north from Plymouth to South Bend certainly knows the frustration of the slow going and seemingly endless journey. While Plymouth is only 20 miles from South Bend, the stretch itself typically slows the driver down by the various speed zones posted in the 20-mile trip, which runs through LaPaz and Lakeville. To better serve drivers of this route, a new U.S. 31 is being constructed to alleviate the congestion on old 31.
Fifteen miles of the new 20-mile route will lie east of old 31, thus bypassing the slow going through LaPaz and Lakeville. The Corridor is part of Governor Daniels “Major Moves” although 20 miles of new highway seems to be more like a minor moves project. Perhaps the new philosophy from the Governor’s office will be one small step at a time instead of trying to cram projects like the Indiana Commerce Connector down our throats.
To see the complete site go to http://www.us31plysb.com.
The issue of eminent domain will again raise its less-than-beautiful head; however, since this project is one that falls within the generally accepted definition of a public use, the issue may not create the furor that questionable takings trigger. The website carries a link to the U.S. Department of Transportation where the process of taking – or acquisition as labeled by the government site – is explained.
In a case like this, the property owners will not have much recourse unless they fight the project itself. But given the mood of Hoosiers lately, they might just do that.