U.S. Route 31

U.S. Route 31

Infobox U.S. Route

length_ref=Droz, Robert V. [http://www.us-highways.com/usbt.htm U.S. Highways : From US 1 to (US 830)] . URL accessed 02:55, 4 July 2006 (UTC).]
junction=Jct|state=AL|I|20|I|59 at Birmingham, AL
Jct|state=TN|I|24 in Nashville, TN
Jct|state=IN|I|74 at Indianapolis, IN
Jct|state=IN|I|80|I|90|Toll at South Bend, IN
Jct|state=MI|I|94 near Benton Harbor, MI
Jct|state=MI|I|96 near Muskegon, MI
to=Jct|state=MI|I|75 near Mackinaw City, MI

U.S. Route 31 is a long north-south highway connecting northern Michigan to southern Alabama, with termini at Interstate 75 near Mackinaw City, Michigan, and U.S. Route 90 and U.S. Route 98 at Spanish Fort, Alabama. It formerly reached Mackinaw City along the southern approaches of the Mackinac Bridge (Interstate 75) in the north and downtown Mobile, Alabama, in the south.

Route description


Within the state of Alabama from Birmingham north to Decatur, the highway is known as "Decatur Highway." From Birmingham south to Montgomery, US 31 is known as "Montgomery Highway." North of Decatur and south of Montgomery, the highway is referred to as Bee-Line Highway or simply "Highway 31".

In downtown Birmingham, the junction with I-20/I-59 serves also as the western terminus of U.S. Route 280. US 31 and US 280 overlap on the Elton B. Stephens (Red Mountain) Expressway, leading to the city's southern suburbs.

US 31 is concurrent with Interstate 65 between Blount Springs (exit 289) and Hayden (exit 287) due to I-65 using US 31's right of way to traverse mountainous North Central Alabama. The routes also overlap for 14 miles from Alabama mile marker 354 in Athens to Tennessee mile marker 1 in Ardmore. There are no confirmation signs pairing the two routes in either state on the 14 mile concurrency, aside from the directional signs at the entrance ramps in Athens and Ardmore. The concurrency, however, is shown on official maps of both states. The original routing of US 31 between the two locations still exists as Alabama State Route 251 and Tennessee State Route 7 between Athens and Ardmore.

US 31 is paired with unsigned State Route 3 throughout the state.


The first mile of US 31 in Tennessee is concurrent to I-65. The route splits into U.S. Route 31E and U.S. Route 31W in Nashville.


U.S. Route 31E and U.S. Route 31W rejoin in Downtown Louisville at Second Street, and immediately cross the Ohio River on the Clark Memorial Bridge.


US 31 overlaps I-65 in Jeffersonville, after crossing the bridge from Kentucky. It then diverges as the access frontage lanes before splitting off north of Jeffersonville at Clarksville and proceeding to Indianapolis. At I-465 on the south side of Indianapolis, US 31 is routed onto I-465 East. This is the closest approach the highway makes to downtown Indianapolis. (Previously the route of the highway through Indianapolis was on East Street, Madison Avenue, North Street, and then Meridian Street. This route was right through downtown Indianapolis.) Upon entering I-465 East, motorists are advised "For US 31 North Follow I-465 East to Exit 31." The highway follows the eastern half of I-465. US 31 exits I-465 (coincidentally at Exit 31) in extreme southern Hamilton County, and continues northward. US 31 then passes through or near Kokomo, Rochester, Plymouth, and Lakeville. As US 31 hits southern South Bend it converges with US 20 and proceeds west then north, bypassing South Bend and proceeding into Michigan.



In the 1930s, US 31 continued at Saint Ignace across the Straits of Mackinac, and junctioned with U.S. Route 2 (Mackinac Trail and what later became M-123).

Before the Interstate era, US 31 was a major north-south highway. Interstate 65 supplants US 31 and either 31W or 31E as a through route between Indianapolis and Mobile. South of Indianapolis, all segments of US 31 not coinciding with Interstate 65 have been reduced to roads largely of local use. Interstate 196 now carries the route of US 31 between Holland, Michigan, and St. Joseph, Michigan. All of US 31 between Ludington, Michigan, and Indianapolis, Indiana, is divided highway -- some of it is freeway, including a bypass route of South Bend, Indiana. The segment between South Bend and Indianapolis is scheduled for upgrade or replacement with Interstate-standard freeway (see Interstate 67). Environmental impact studies have shown that the fifth phase of the then-to-be-constructed freeway segment between Napier Avenue near Benton Harbor, Michigan, and I-94 may not be complete until 2015.

The portion of I-75 north of US 31's northern terminus toward the Mackinac Bridge was designated US 31 prior to the 1990s and was US 31's most northern portion to be built to freeway status. Since its truncation at the I-75 junction, however, the most northern segment of US 31 freeway ends near Ludington.

At its southern end, US 31 originally went further west than it currently does, passing through Spanish Fort, Alabama. It crossed Mobile Bay via several narrow bridges, including the Admiral Raphael Semmes Bridge, a drawbridge spanning the Tensaw River. It turned north along the east bank of the Mobile River, crossing the river into Plateau, Alabama, over the Cochrane Bridge (removed), another old drawbridge where the current Cochrane-Africatown USA Bridge is now located. It then turned south to end at U.S. Route 90. It now officially ends at U.S. Route 98 in Spanish Fort, Alabama.


US 31 has three planned relocation sections in Northern Indiana. All are part of the Indiana Department of Transportation [http://www.in.gov/indot/7039.htm Major Moves Project] designed to convert US 31 to Interstate-grade freeway from South Bend to Indianapolis (see Interstate 67).

outh Bend to Plymouth

[http://www.us31plysb.com/ The New US 31 Plymouth to South Bend] project will relocate US 31 on primarily new alignment from US 30 near Plymouth to US 20/St. Joseph Valley Parkway south of South Bend. Groundbreaking for the project occurred on September 17, 2008cite news |first=Adam |last=Jackson |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Ground breaks on U.S. 31 work |url=http://www.southbendtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080918/News01/809180324 |work=South Bend Tribune |publisher= |date=2008-09-18 |accessdate=2008-09-18 ] [cite news |first=Dustin |last=Grove |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=New U.S. 31 project underway |url=http://www.wsbt.com/news/local/28529284.html |work= |publisher=WSBT-TV |date=2008-09-17 |accessdate=2008-09-18 Includes video.] cite news |first=Sarah |last=Platt |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Governor Daniels breaks ground on new U.S. 31 in Lakeville |url=http://www.wndu.com/localnews/headlines/28565199.html |work= |publisher=WNDU-TV |date=2008-09-17 |accessdate=2008-09-18 Includes video.] , and the first portions to be completed will be overpasses at two locations, Lilac Road and Plymouth-Goshen Trail in northern Marshall County.cite news |first=Nancy J |last=Sulok |title=Bridges to signal start of new U.S. 31 freeway |url=http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/southbendtribune/access/1428541861.html?FMT=ABS |publisher=South Bend Tribune |date=2008-01-27 |accessdate=2008-01-30 ]


The [http://www.in.gov/indot/div/projects/us31/kokomo/ Kokomo Corridor Project] will cover 14 miles of new highway primarily in Howard County. The new limited-access highway will be east of Kokomo and will have four interchanges at SR 26, Boulevard Street, US 35/SR 22 (Markland Avenue), Touby Pike and US 35 north of Kokomo. Groundbreaking for the project occurred in the afternoon of September 17, 2008, only hours after the groundbreaking for the South Bend-to-Plymouth stretch. [cite news |first=Scott |last=Smith |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Ceremony for new U.S. 31 corridor draws crowd |url=http://www.kokomotribune.com/local/local_story_261235616.html |work=Kokomo Tribune |publisher= |date=2008-09-17 |accessdate=2008-09-19 ]

Hamilton County

[http://www.in.gov/indot/div/projects/us31/hamiltoncounty/ The New US 31 Hamilton County] project will upgrade US 31 to freeway standards from near SR 38 north of Westfield to Interstate 465 near the Marion County line and Indianapolis. Construction is to begin in 2010.x]

Bannered routes

Alternate routes

* U.S. Route 31 Alternate exists between Nashville and Lewisburg, Tennessee, and formerly through Columbus, Indiana, and Seymour, Indiana.
* Old US 31A in Indiana is part of State Road 11. Both sections of US 31A are or were loops connecting to US 31.

ee also

* St. Joseph Valley Parkway

Related routes

* U.S. Route 131
* U.S. Route 231
* U.S. Route 331
* U.S. Route 431

uffixed routes

*U.S. Route 31E
*U.S. Route 31W


External links

* [http://illi-indi.com/EndsPage.php?id=2031&section=1 Indiana Highway Ends: US 31]
* [http://www.state-ends.com/michigan/us31/ US-31 Endpoint Photos]
* [http://www.state-ends.com/michigan/m123/ Former US-31 U.P. Terminus (now Mackinaw Trail)]


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