Lydia Sheaks
Lydia Sheaks
Lydia Sheaks, education reporter, writes about finding adventure in the everyday, her opinions of current events and trends and occasionally her two cats.

Other Stories by Lydia Sheaks
Reporter Lydia Sheaks writes about education and family issues for the Elkhart Truth.

New U.S. 31 between South Bend and Plymouth is easy to navigate

Reporter Lydia Sheaks gives the new stretch of highway between South Bend and Plymouth high marks.

Posted on Aug. 21, 2014 at 3:42 p.m.

I test-drove the new U.S. 31 between Plymouth and South Bend on Thursday, Aug. 21, the day it opened.

Since I’m from Plymouth and I go to South Bend often, I couldn't be more excited that this new express route is finally open.

Now, instead of slowing down to 35 mph twice when passing through La Paz and Lakeville and dealing with stoplights and languid drivers, I can just bypass it all.

Here are a few observations I made from my first trip on the new road:

Speedy, but less picturesque

The new U.S. 31 is a quicker route, for sure. I’ll probably shave about 10 minutes off my drive.

However, there’s not much to see. Visually, taking it feels similar to the U.S. 20 Bypass. It’s a highway. Plenty of concrete, not much else. 

My usual routine of staring blankly at houses I pass or grumbling at gas prices is pretty much over. 


Apparently many drivers haven’t yet heard the glorious news that the road is open, because on Thursday morning there were few vehicles on the road. I’m hoping that will change. 

Easy on the vehicle 

My car survived last winter, even though most roads in Michiana became One Big Pothole. I am now rewarding my little car’s loyalty by taking this sparkling new road, which is flawless and pothole-free.

Clearly marked

Even for people who are directionally challenged like myself, the new road is easy to navigate. Exits and other road signs are clearly marked and I didn't get lost once. 

If you’ve taken the new road and have something to say, leave a comment. Read more about the new U.S. 31 project by visiting this website

Follow reporter Lydia Sheaks on Twitter at @LydiaSheaks

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