- St. Joseph Valley Parkway
highway_name=St. Joseph Valley Parkway
maint=INDOT & MDOT
counties=Elkhart, IN, St. Joseph, IN, Berrien, MIThe St. Joseph Valley Parkway is a limited-access divided
highwayin the U.S. states of Michigancite web |author= |title=Michigan Department of Transportation: All Memorial Highways |date= |work= Michigan Department of Transportation|url= http://mdotwas1.mdot.state.mi.us/public/oga/listall.cfm | accessdate=2008-03-08 ] and Indianacite web |author= |title=Memorial Highways and Bridges |date= |work= Indiana Department of Transportation|url=http://www.in.gov/indot/2446.htm | accessdate=2008-04-16 ] [cite news |first= |last= |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Bypass Is Now Parkway |url= |work= South Bend Tribune|publisher= |date=1995-07-26 ] , serving as a bypass routearound Niles in Michigan and South Bend, Mishawaka, and Elkhart in Indiana. It lies to the west of Niles, to the west and south of South Bend, and to the south of Elkhart and consists of segments of US 31 and US 20; those two highway designations overlap at the southwestern rim of the South Bend metropolitan area.
The Parkway begins where US 20 expands to a
divided highwaysoutheast of Elkhart. To the east in Indiana the freeway feeds into an undivided segment of US 20 at Elkhart County Road 17. From there it runs westward along the south sides of Elkhart and Mishawaka. South of South Bend, US 31 joins the Parkway, and then the Parkway turns northward along the west side of South Bend. Along this segment, US 20 turns back west and leaves the Parkway. The Parkway meets the Indiana Toll Roadwhich carries I-80/I-90 before crossing the state line into Michigan. West of Niles, the Parkway meets US 12 and continues northwesterly running west of Berrien Springs. From there it runs northward to end at Napier Avenue west of St. Joseph. The St. Joseph Valley Parkway ends at Napier Avenue, but US 31 continues as a five-lane highway west along Napier to connect with I-94 and the rest of the US 31 routing north of there on I-196.
It has no tolls. No part of it is part of the
Interstate Highway System, although some segments are up to Interstate Highway standardsand may become part of the Interstate System if and when US 31 between South Bend and Indianapolisis upgraded to or replaced by an Interstate Highway. A few notable exceptions to Interstate-quality elements that exist on this freeway include a nonstandard median barrier with short height. There is a direct driveway to one of Indiana's State Highway Maintenance facilities from the Eastbound lanes near Elkhart. Other than at the St. Joseph County Line, there are no breaks in the median barrier within Elkhart County.
The section of the St. Joseph Valley Parkway was completed between US 20 and SR 2. The freeway was extended to SR 23 and construction was started to extend it further to US 31. The freeway was given the BYPASS US 20 designation at this time as well. This extension to US 31 was completed in the mid 1970s. The exit with the Indiana East-West Toll Road/I-80/I-90 was finished in 1979. The BYP US 20 designation was replaced by the US 31 designation in 1982. Construction in the early 1990s extended the freeway in sections from US 31/BUS US 31 to its current end with US 20 at CR 17, with the portion from US 31/BUS US 31 to SR 331/Bremen Highway paved first, by 1991. Ramps from Nimtz Parkway were completed in 1998, and the portion in Elkhart was also named the "Dean R. Mock Expressway" in March 2002. [cite news |first=Martin |last=DeAgostino |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Retiring lawmaker rides road to fame ; Plan to rename parkway, killed in state Senate, is resurrected |url=http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/southbendtribune/access/112930912.html?FMT=ABS |work=
South Bend Tribune|publisher= |date=2002-03-21 |accessdate=2008-04-27 ]
A plan to relocate US 31 in Berrien County, Michigan, existed as early as 1952.cite news |first=Scott |last=Aiken |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=U.S. 31 construction: End of the road in sight |url=http://www.heraldpalladium.com/index.php?pSetup=heraldpalladium&curDate=20080509&nav=archive&pageToLoad=e_archiveShow.php&aDate=09/01/2002&aCateg=news&aFile=i:/data/newsmem/text_archives/heraldpalladium/2002/09/01/news/export38138.txt |work=
The Herald-Palladium|publisher= |date=2002-09-01 |accessdate=2008-05-09 ] Planning to extend the South Bend Bypass northward into Michigan as a bypass of Niles began in 1967. A report issued in 1970 detailed four routing corridors, spawning a lawsuit over how Berrien Springs would be bypassed. Construction was to begin in 1975, but the Michigan State Highways Department delayed construction plans in 1972, pushing the start to 1977. The first section was completed in 1979 and ran from the state line north to US 12. From there, US 31 was routed east along US 12 to BUS US 12 and north along BUS US 12 to the former routing of US 31/US 33. Final plans for the routing north to I-94 were approved in 1981. Construction of the Niles Bypass was finished in 1987, bringing the freeway north to Walton Road northwest of Niles. BUS US 31 was created along the former routing in Niles and Walton Road was rebuilt as a state trunkline connection between the northern end of the freeway and the former two-lane routing of US 31. The Berrien Springs Bypass was opened in November 1992 as a four-lane divided expressway. Access from driveways was limited, but crossroads were left as at-grade intersections instead of full interchanges. These intersections were converted to interchanges in 1996-97. Environmental concerns with the original 1981 approved routing of the northern end have delayed completion of the freeway as proposed. The original plan would have routed US 31 to connect directly into the I-196/US 31 interchange on I-94. The concerns over the habitat of the Mitchell's satyr butterfly meant that this routing would need to be redesigned with a set of bridges to cross the habitat in the Blue Creek Fen. MDOT started studying a new design alternative in 2001 to route the US 31 freeway to connect with I-94 at the BL I-94 interchange just south of the I-196/US 31 interchange. In the interim, MDOT built a convert|9.1|mi|km|adj=on freeway segment north to Napier Avenue that was opened on 2003-08-27at a cost of $97 million.cite news |first=Scott |last=Aiken |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Better late than never: U.S. 31 freeway finally reaches Twin Cities |url=http://www.heraldpalladium.com/index.php?pSetup=heraldpalladium&curDate=20080428&nav=archive&pageToLoad=e_archiveShow.php&aDate=08/23/2003&aCateg=news&aFile=i:/data/newsmem/text_archives/heraldpalladium//2003/08/23/news/export39775.txt |work= The Herald-Palladium|publisher= |date=2003-08-23 |accessdate=2008-04-28 ] cite web |author=Bessert, Christopher J. |title=Michigan Highways: US-31 Freeway in Berrien County | date= 2008-01-01|work=Michigan Highways |url= http://www.michiganhighways.org/indepth/US-31Freeway_Berrien.html |accessdate=2008-02-12 ]
Benton Harbor, Michigan, the highway is under study due to environmental, economical and historical site issues. A few alternative extensions to this roadway involve connecting directly to I-196 at I-94, and another involves connecting it directly to BL I-94 at I-94 near Benton Harbor with auxiliary lanes to I-196. As per the study, it is scheduled for completion in 2015, when it will connect to I-196.cite web |author= |title=US-31 Connection to I-94 Study |date= 2004-06-15|work= Michigan Department of Transportation|url= http://www.michigan.gov/mdot/0,1607,7-151-9621_11058_22860---,00.html |accessdate=2007-09-29 ] Until the freeway is complete, US 31 follows a stretch of Napier Avenue, which was upgraded in conjunction with the St. Joseph Valley Parkway opening to that point, westward to I-94.
notes=SR 331 leaves to northJctint
notes=SR 331 leaves to southJctint
notes=US 31 joins US 20Jctint
notes=US 20 leaves US 31Jctint
notes=Northern terminus of St. Joseph Valley Parkway; US 31 continues on Napier Avenue
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