Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

March 4, 2014

March 6, 2014: Letters to the editor

Closure of U.S. 31for 7 months ‘insane’

In case it was not noticed, the Tribune published a small article a few days ago from The Associated Press with a dateline of Carmel, Ind. It was a small article, but the content should have caught the attention of hundreds or even thousands of people from our area.

U.S. 31 through Carmel is to be closed to traffic, totally, between April 4 and Nov. 27, Thanksgiving. That is more than seven months! My first thought was this has to be insane.

Look at the map. There is no other easy way to Indianapolis. The choices will be to travel to Ind. 28 in Tipton County, then either west 13 miles to U.S. 421 or east through Tipton to Ind. 19 (5 miles) or Ind. 37 (14 miles); then south to Indianapolis. Or, alternatively, keep going south to Ind. 32 at Westfield; then either east or west several miles.

And, who knows about that? If you have not noticed, the Westfield area around U.S. 31 is a mess, too, with many buildings now gone and piles of materials stored here and there. Ind. 32 may not be accessible. And none of these alternative routes will be easy given they are two lane and most go through already congested areas.

The planning for the “improvement” of U.S. 31 by closing all access from the north and south through Carmel is going to result in the end of many businesses and the loss of who knows how many jobs. Already the mess around Carmel and before that at Ind. 38, the road to Noblesville, has caused huge disruptions.

Now to think that the main highway will be closed for more than seven months is unbelievable. There are hundreds of people who travel to and from the Kokomo area every day for jobs. And who knows how many semitrailers make this trip daily?

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