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New stretch of US 31 set to open Thursday

– State highway officials are telling motorists to expect delays as they open a new stretch of U.S. 31 between South Bend and Plymouth.

The Indiana Department of Transportation says crews will begin shifting traffic to the new the 20-mile section of divided, four-lane highway starting after 9 a.m. Thursday. They say to avoid delays, drivers should avoid the area until after 1 p.m. Thursday, when the traffic shift is expected to be completed.

The highway is part of a $221 million reconstruction project for U.S. 31 linking Indianapolis and South Bend. Other major parts include the new bypass around Kokomo and highway upgrades north of Indianapolis.

Highway officials say some lane restrictions will remain near South Bend and the Plymouth through the end of the year as work continues.