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U.S. Route 20 in Indiana

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U.S. Route 20 marker

U.S. Route 20
Route information
Maintained by INDOT
Length155.734 mi[1] (250.630 km)
Existed1926–present
Major junctions
West end US 12 / US 20 / US 41 at Illinois state line
  US 41 at Whiting
US 12 at Gary
I-65 / I-90 / Indiana Toll Road at Gary
US 421 at Michigan City
I-94 near Michigan City
US 35 near Michigan City
US 31 at South Bend
US 33 at Elkhart
I-69 near Angola
East end US 20 at Ohio state line
Location
CountiesLake, Porter, LaPorte, St. Joseph, Elkhart, LaGrange, Steuben
Highway system
SR 19SR 21

U.S. Route 20 (US 20) in Indiana is a main east–west highway that is parallel to the Indiana Toll Road. The western terminus of US 20 is at the Illinois state line and the eastern terminus is at the Ohio state line. US 20 through Whiting, East Chicago, and Gary is concurrent with US 12 twice. The route varies between one-way, two-lane, and four-lane streets, in northwestern Indiana. From the east side of Gary to west of South Bend, US 20 is a four-lane undivided highway. The route then heads around the west and south sides of South Bend and Elkhart as a four-lane limited access divided highway. East of State Road 15 (IN-15), US 20 is two-lane rural highway.

US 20 was part of the Dunes Highway from the Illinois state line to Michigan City, concurrent with US 12. The Dunes Highway started being paved in 1922. The section of the highway that is known as Lincoln Way was part of the 1913 section of the Lincoln Highway. Indiana State Highway Commission, later renamed Indiana Department of Transportation, began signing US 20 in 1926. US 20 went through downtown South Bend and Elkhart before the St. Joseph Valley Parkway was built. Before the parkway was completed, the route that was open to traffic was called Bypass US 20. A small realignment in LaGrange County was done in 2005, in which the roadway was straightened. Other small realignments included the route through Michigan City, which followed US 35 from US 12 to I-94.

Route description[edit]

Only the segment of US 20 that is concurrent with the St. Joseph Valley Parkway is included as a part of the National Highway System (NHS).[2] The NHS is a network of highways that are identified as being most important for the economy, mobility and defense of the nation.[3] The highway is maintained by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) like all other U.S. Routes in the state. The department tracks the traffic volumes along all state highways as a part of its maintenance responsibilities using a metric called average annual daily traffic (AADT). This measurement is a calculation of the traffic level along a segment of roadway for any average day of the year. In 2010, INDOT figured that lowest traffic levels were the 3,390 vehicles and 1,090 commercial vehicles used the highway daily near the Ohio state line. The peak traffic volumes were 36,040 vehicles and 731 commercial vehicles AADT along the section of US 20 concurrent with SR 331.[4]

Illinois to South Bend[edit]

US 20 enters Indiana concurrenct with US 12 and US 41, at which point it passes under the Indiana Toll Road. The road passes by both commercial and industrial areas, between Wolf Lake and Horseshoe Casino. US 12, US 20, and US 41 are concurrent until US 41 turns south on Calumet Avenue. US 12 and US 20 head southeast toward East Chicago; in East Chicago, US 12 turns east and US 20 continues south. US 20 meets State Road 312 (SR 312) and passes under the Indiana Toll Road. US 20 turns left onto Michigan Street and heads east to Gary passing both industrial and residential areas. On the way to Gary, US 20 has an interchange with SR 912; at the interchange, the road name changes to 5th Avenue. Just west of Gary, US 12 and US 20 have a concurrency.[5]

View eastward on Dunes Highway between Interstate 65 and the US 12/20 split, in Gary

US 12 and US 20 are concurrent through most of Gary. From Bridge Street to Vermont Street, the eastbound traffic of US 12/US 20 is on 5th Avenue and westbound traffic is on 4th Avenue. East of downtown Gary, the eastbound and westbound lanes merge to form the Dunes Highway. Before reaching the neighborhoods of northeastern Gary, the Dunes Highway has an interchange with Interstate 65 (I-65) and I-90/Indiana Toll Road.

Shortly thereafter, US 12 leaves to the northeast toward Michigan City and US 20 heads east then northeast, forming a major retail corridor through the neighborhoods of Aetna and Miller Beach.[6] US 20 then meets SR 51 at the state road's northern terminus, near the boundary between Lake Station and Gary. Just west of Portage, the road passes under I-94. In Portage, the route has intersections with both SR 249 and SR 149. The road now enters Burns Harbor and has interchanges with I-94 and SR 49, just south of the Indiana Dunes. The route heads northeast until Town of Pines, where it intersects with SR 520. After Pines, the route heads due east to US 421 in Michigan City.[5]

U.S. 20 approaching Springville from the west.

From US 421, the route heads east and then northeast around Michigan City. On the east side of Michigan City the route has an interchange with both SR 212 and I-94 followed by an intersection with the northern terminus of US 35. After US 35, the route becomes a four-lane undivided highway until Rolling Prairie, passing SR 39 at Springville. East of Rolling Prairie the route meets SR 2. US 20 heads northeast and then east and SR 2 heads due east. The route passes through Hudson Lake and New Carlisle before South Bend.[5]

South Bend to Ohio[edit]

On the west side of South Bend, near the city's airport, US 20 meets and exits onto the St. Joseph Valley Parkway which then runs due south along with US 31. At this cloverleaf interchange the continuing road to the east is Lincolnway West, the original routing of US  20 into the city, which has been modified from its original alignment to skirt the south end of an extended runway at the airport. Now concurrent with US 31, the St. Joseph Valley Parkway has another cloverleaf junction, with SR 2 on Western Avenue, before it curves to the southeast to run along the southwest side of South Bend. The freeway then turns due east before encountering yet another cloverleaf interchange, this one with departing US 31 and Michigan Street, just south of downtown South Bend. Further east, on the south side of Mishawaka, US 20 has a 2.09 miles (3.36 km) concurrency with SR 331. The road has a partial cloverleaf interchange with US 33 near Dunlap. The interchange with Old US 20 is incomplete with no access to westbound Old US 20 from eastbound US 20. Soon after the junction with Old US 20 is an interchange with Elkhart County Road 17. The County Road 17 interchange marks the eastern terminus of the limited-access freeway known as the St. Joseph Valley Parkway.[5]

The roundabout at US 20 and SR 127

US 20 heads east from Elkhart towards Middlebury, as a four-lane roadway with a center turn lane. The road has an intersection with SR 15 south of Bristol. After the intersection with SR 15, US 20 becomes a two-lane highway. The route passes through the southwest side of Middlebury. On the south side of Middlebury the route has a traffic light at SR 13. The route becomes a four-lane divided highway just west of this intersection, and soon after the intersection the road becomes a two-lane highway. From Middlebury, the route heads east towards LaGrange, passing through rural farmland in eastern Elkhart County and western LaGrange County. On the way to LaGrange the route passes through an intersection with SR 5 just south of Shipshewana. The route heads east towards downtown LaGrange, having an intersection with SR 9. The route heads east through rural farmland in eastern LaGrange County and western Steuben County. The route enters Angola and has an interchange with I-69. The road continues east into downtown Angola, passing just to the north of Trine University. At the center of downtown, US 20 has a roundabout with SR 127 (Old US 27). After going through the east side of Angola, the route continues east towards Ohio. In rural eastern Steuben County, the route passes through farmland and has an intersection with the northern terminus of SR 1. Just west of the Ohio state line the route passes under the Indiana Toll Road (I-80/I-90).[5]

History[edit]

Dunes Highway Historic marker at U.S. 12 and Indiana 49

An important road from 1900 to 1910 was the Old Chicago Road, later renamed the Dunes Highway.[7][8] The Dunes Highway Association engineers envisioned the Dunes Highway a "state of the art" 40-foot-wide (12 m) concrete highway with a 100-foot (30 m) right-of-way. In August 1919, Commission director H.L. Wright tentatively designated the Dunes Highway as State Road 43, to be 20 feet (6.1 m) wide. Narrower than anticipated, the new concrete highway was still superior to most Indiana roads, which in the mid-1920s were gravel or dirt with paved sections only between the larger towns. Dunes Highway construction began in 1922 under the guidance of Gary contractor Ingwald Moe and construction engineer Ezra Sensibar.[9]

US 20 was part of the first alignment of the Lincoln Highway in 1913 from the current SR 2 in Rolling Prairie to Elkhart, where the Lincoln Highway turned southeast on to current US 33. In 1926, the Lincoln highway was rerouted to US 30.[10][11]

Between 1917 and 1926 the route from Illinois state Line to Michigan City was SR 43; this route was named Dunes Highway. At this time, US 20 from Michigan City to Ohio state line was SR 25.[12][13] When US 20 was signed in Indiana, in 1926, the section from Illinois state line to Michigan City was concurrent with US 12 and the Dunes Highway.[14][15] In the early 1930s US 20 from the Illinois state line to Michigan City was moved to its current route.[16][17] In the mid-1970s Bypass US 20 (BYP US 20) went from US 31 to US 20, on the southwest side of South Bend. Until 1998, US 20 went through downtown Elkhart and South Bend. When the State of Indiana built the St. Joseph Valley Parkway, the route downtown was decommissioned.[18][19]

In 2005 a series of sharp curves around Rainbow Lake were removed; the curves were located six miles west of Lagrange. A new straight roadway was built, from just east of SR 5 to just east of Lagrange County Road 600 West.[20]

Future[edit]

The Indiana Department of Transportation plans to make US 20 a four-lane highway with a center turn lane from just east of SR 15 to SR 13. The project will be done in a two different phases. Phase one will be from SR 15 to Elkhart County Road 35, and phase two will be from CR 35 to SR 13. The final phase is scheduled for completion around 2020.[20][21][22]

Major intersections[edit]

CountyLocationmi[1]kmDestinationsNotes
LakeHammond0.0000.000 US 12 west / US 20 west / US 41 north (Indianapolis Boulevard) – ChicagoContinuation into Illinois
0.057–
0.364
0.092–
0.586
I-90 / Indiana Toll Road east to I-80 / I-94Exit 0 on I-90/Indiana Toll Rd.; access to I-90 west is in Illinois
1.3142.115 US 41 south – HammondEastern end of US 41 concurrency
East Chicago4.3567.010Riley RoadTo SR 912
5.1078.219 US 12 east (Columbus Drive)Eastern end of US 12 concurrency
5.8099.349 SR 312
East ChicagoHammond line7.13111.476 SR 152 south – Hammond
Hammond8.12713.079Kennedy AvenueInterchange
HammondGary line9.425–
9.771
15.168–
15.725
SR 912 south (Cline Avenue) / US 12 westWestern end of US 12 concurrency; exit 8 on SR 912
Gary14.73723.717 SR 53 south (Broadway) – Merrillville
I-65 south – IndianapolisAt-grade intersection; northern terminus of I-65
16.376–
16.392
26.355–
26.380
I-90 / Indiana Toll Road to I-80 / I-94 eastExit 17 on I-90/Ind. Toll Rd.
17.66828.434 US 12 east – Michigan CityEastern end of US 12 concurrency
Lake Station19.88031.994 SR 51 south – Lake Station, Hobart
PorterPortage23.50437.826 SR 249 north (Crisman Road)Southern terminus of SR 249
Burns Harbor26.06741.951 SR 149 (Max Mochal) – South Haven
Burns HarborPorter line26.960–
27.213
43.388–
43.795
I-94 – Chicago, DetroitExits 22A-B on I-94
Porter30.30648.773 SR 49 – Valparaiso, PorterCloverleaf interchange
Town of Pines36.45258.664 SR 520 north (Maple Street)Southern terminus of SR 520
LaPorteMichigan City39.93464.268 US 421 south – WestvilleNorthern terminus of US 421
43.86170.587 US 35 south / SR 212 north to US 12
Michigan Boulevard – Michigan City
Interchange; US 20 departs via exit ramps, SR 212 continues northerly; southern terminus of SR 212; northern terminus of US 35; western end of US 35 concurrency
Springfield Township44.866–
45.009
72.205–
72.435
I-94 – Chicago, DetroitExits 40A-B on I-94
45.12172.615 US 35 south – LaPorteEastern end of US 35 concurrency
Springville48.68278.346 SR 39 / Indiana Toll Road – LaPorte, New Buffalo
Rolling Prairie56.49290.915 SR 2 – LaPorte, South BendWestern end of Lincoln Highway concurrency; interchange under construction[23][24]
St. JosephSouth Bend70.479113.425 US 31 north (St. Joseph Valley Parkway north) to I-80 / I-90 / Indiana Toll Road – Niles MI.
 – South Bend, South Bend International Airport
Western end of US 31 concurrency; US 20 east joins the St. Joseph Valley Parkway
Portage Township72.835117.217 SR 2 west
Western Avenue – South Bend
Eastern terminus of SR 2
74.524119.935Mayflower RoadNo westbound exit to southbound Mayflower Road or eastbound entrance from northbound Mayflower Road
South Bend76.058122.403 SR 23 – South Bend, North Liberty
78.829126.863 US 31 south / Michigan Street – Plymouth, IndianapolisCloverleaf interchange; eastern end of US 31 concurrency
80.714129.897Ironwood RoadSingle point urban interchange
Penn Township82.746133.167 SR 331 south / Bremen Highway – Mishawaka, BremenWestern end of SR 331 concurrency
84.750136.392 SR 331 north / Elm RoadEastern end of SR 331 concurrency
ElkhartElkhart92.058148.153 SR 19 – Wakarusa, Nappanee, Elkhart
95.578153.818 US 33 south / Main Street – Elkhart, GoshenNorthern terminus of US 33
98.311158.216Old US 20 – ElkhartNo eastbound exit
98.671158.796 CR 17 to I-80 / I-90 / Indiana Toll RoadEastern terminus of the St. Joseph Valley Parkway
Goshen102.096164.308 SR 15 – Goshen, Bristol
Middlebury108.453174.538 SR 13 (Main Street) – Millersburg, Middlebury
LagrangeShipshewana114.945184.986 SR 5 – Ligonier, Shipshewana
Lagrange124.626200.566 SR 9 (Detroit Street) – Rome City, Lagrange
Springfield Township131.58211.76 SR 3 – Kendallville, Mongo
SteubenJackson Township136.242219.260 SR 327 – Garrett, Orland
Angola143.095–
143.208
230.289–
230.471
I-69 – Fort Wayne, LansingExit 348 on I-69
145.669234.432 SR 127 north / Wayne Street – FremontRoundabout; southern terminus of SR 127
Scott Township150.017241.429 SR 1 south – HamiltonNorthern terminus of SR 1
York Township155.734250.630 US 20 east – ToledoContinuation into Ohio
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Indiana Department of Transportation (July 2016). Reference Post Book (PDF). Indianapolis: Indiana Department of Transportation. US 12 and US 20. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  2. ^ National Highway System: Indiana (PDF) (Map). Federal Highway Administration. December 2003. Retrieved May 2, 2011.
  3. ^ "National Highway System". Federal Highway Administration. August 26, 2010. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
  4. ^ "INDOT Traffic Zones". Indiana Department of Transportation. 2010. Archived from the original on May 5, 2011. Retrieved July 9, 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d e Microsoft; Nokia (October 22, 2018). "Overview map of US 20 in Indiana" (Map). Bing Maps. Microsoft. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  6. ^ City of Gary (December 17, 2007). "District 1 Commercial Corridors". Gary, Indiana Comprehensive Plan (PDF). City of Gary. p. 33. Retrieved June 25, 2011.
  7. ^ *Nelson, C.W. (February 1957). "On the Old Chicago Road". Duneland Historical Society Newsletter: 1–7.
    • Fischer, Suzanne Hayes (1994). Facilities For Motorists, 1900–1940, Historic Context & Property Type Analysis (Masters essay). Indianapolis: Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis. p. 12.
    • Jakle, John A. (1985). The Tourist, Travel in Twentieth-Century North America. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press. pp. 130–132.
    • Sanford, Dena; Williams, Brenda (1996). Historic Properties Summary, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Omaha: National Park Service. p. 3.
  8. ^ Staff (August 2005). Development of US 12/US 20: 'The Dunes Highway'. National Park Service.
  9. ^ *The Gary Post-Tribune. November 16, 1923. Missing or empty |title= (help)
    • Rose, Albert C. (1953). Historic American Highways: Significant Incidents in the Development of Highway Transportation in Colonial America and the United States During More Than Four Centuries. Washington: American Association of State Highway Officials. p. 88.
    • Fischer, Suzanne Hayes (1994). Facilities for Motorists, 1900–1940, Historic Context Study & Property Type Analysis (Masters essay). Indianapolis: Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis. p. 12.
  10. ^ Shupert-Arick, Jan (2009). The Lincoln Highway Across Indiana. Charleston: Arcadia Publishing. pp. 155–159, 191–192. ISBN 9781439621219.
  11. ^ Lincoln Highway Across Indiana Map (Map). Lincoln Highway Association. Retrieved December 23, 2011.
  12. ^ Indiana Transportation Map (Map). Indiana State Highway Commission. 1916. § A1–R1.
  13. ^ Indiana Transportation Map (Map). Indiana State Highway Commission. 1917. § A1–R1.
  14. ^ Indiana Transportation Map (Map). Indiana State Highway Commission. 1926. § A1–H1.
  15. ^ Indiana Transportation Map (PDF) (Map). Indiana State Highway Commission. September 30, 1927. § A1–H1.
  16. ^ Indiana Transportation Map (PDF) (Map). Indiana State Highway Commission. September 30, 1930. § B1–H1.
  17. ^ Indiana Transportation Map (PDF) (Map). Indiana State Highway Commission. September 30, 1931. § B1–H1.
  18. ^ Indiana Transportation Map (Map). Indiana Department of Transportation. 1997. § K1–L1.
  19. ^ Indiana Transportation Map (Map). Indiana Department of Transportation. 1998. § K1–L1.
  20. ^ a b "Master List" (PDF). Indiana Department of Transportation. December 21, 2004. p. 8. Retrieved June 24, 2011.
  21. ^ "US 20 Document" (PDF). Indiana Department of Transportation. October 21, 2011. Retrieved December 23, 2011.
  22. ^ staff (March 4, 2010). "U.S . 20 widening will happen by 2013". The Goshen News. OCLC 11408565. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
  23. ^ Indiana Department of Transportation LaPorte District. "US 20 and SR 2 Proposed Interchange Project". Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  24. ^ Robinson, Travis (March 18, 2019). "US 20 & SR 2 Construction Project Aims to Make the Road Safer". WNDU-TV. Retrieved March 20, 2019.

External links[edit]

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata


U.S. Route 20
Previous state:
Illinois
Indiana Next state:
Ohio