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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
Length: 155.734 mi[1] (250.630 km)
Existed: 1926 – 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
Counties: Lake, Porter, LaPorte, St. Joseph, Elkhart, La Grange, Steuben
Highway system
SR 19 SR 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 Elkhart County Road 17 (CR 17), 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. 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] The route meets SR 51 at the northern terminus of SR 51, 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.[7]

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.[8]

South Bend to Ohio[edit]

On the west side of South Bend, US 20 heads onto the St. Joseph Valley Parkway continuing due south. The St. Joseph Valley Parkway runs along the west side of South Bend. The route turns due east having a cloverleaf interchange with US 31, just south of downtown South Bend. 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 interchange with Old US 20 is an interchange with CR 17. This exit is also the end of the St. Joseph Valley Parkway.[9]

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 Lagrang 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 enters downtown Angola and passes just north of Trine University. The road heads towards downtown and a roundabout with SR 127 (Old US 27). After going through the east side of Angola, the route leaves Angola heading 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).[10]

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.[11][12] 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.[13]

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.[14][15]

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.[16][17] 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.[18][19] In the early 1930s US 20 from the Illinois state line to Michigan City was moved to its current route.[20][21] 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.[22][23]

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.[24]

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.[24][25][26]

Major intersections[edit]

County Location mi[1] km Destinations Notes
Lake Hammond 0.000 0.000 US 12 west / US 20 west / US 41 north (Indianapolis Boulevard) – Chicago Continuation into Illinois
0.057–
0.364
0.092–
0.586
I-90 / Indiana Toll Road east to I-80 / I-94 Exit 0 on I-90/Indiana Toll Rd.; access to I-90 west is in Illinois
1.314 2.115 US 41 south – Hammond Eastern end of US 41 concurrency
East Chicago 4.356 7.010 Riley Road To SR 912
5.107 8.219 US 12 east (Columbus Drive) Eastern end of US 12 concurrency
5.809 9.349 SR 312
East ChicagoHammond line 7.131 11.476 SR 152 south – Hammond
Hammond 8.127 13.079 Kennedy Avenue Interchange
HammondGary line 9.425–
9.771
15.168–
15.725
SR 912 south (Cline Avenue) / US 12 west Western end of US 12 concurrency; exit 8 on SR 912
Gary 14.737 23.717 SR 53 south (Broadway) – Merrillville
I-65 south – Indianapolis At-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 east Exit 17 on I-90/Ind. Toll Rd.
17.668 28.434 US 12 east – Michigan City Eastern end of US 12 concurrency
Lake Station 19.880 31.994 SR 51 south – Lake Station, Hobart
Porter Portage 23.504 37.826 SR 249 north (Crisman Road) Southern terminus of SR 249
Burns Harbor 26.067 41.951 SR 149 (Max Mochal) – South Haven
Burns HarborPorter line 26.960–
27.213
43.388–
43.795
I-94 – Chicago, Detroit Exits 22A-B on I-94
Porter 30.306 48.773 SR 49 – Valparaiso, Porter Cloverleaf interchange
Town of Pines 36.452 58.664 SR 520 north (Maple Street) Southern terminus of SR 520
LaPorte Michigan City 39.934 64.268 US 421 south – Westville Northern terminus of US 421
43.861 70.587 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 Township 44.866–
45.009
72.205–
72.435
I-94 – Chicago, Detroit Exits 40A-B on I-94
45.121 72.615 US 35 south – LaPorte Eastern end of US 35 concurrency
Springville 48.682 78.346 SR 39 / Indiana Toll Road – LaPorte, New Buffalo
Rolling Prairie 56.492 90.915 SR 2 – LaPorte, South Bend Western end of Lincoln Highway concurrency
St. Joseph South Bend 70.479 113.425 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 Township 72.835 117.217 SR 2 west
Western Avenue – South Bend
Eastern terminus of SR 2
74.524 119.935 Mayflower Road No westbound exit to southbound Mayflower Road or eastbound entrance from northbound Mayflower Road
South Bend 76.058 122.403 SR 23 – South Bend, North Liberty
78.829 126.863 US 31 south / Michigan Street – Plymouth, Indianapolis Cloverleaf interchange; eastern end of US 31 concurrency
80.714 129.897 Ironwood Road Single point urban interchange
Penn Township 82.746 133.167 SR 331 south / Bremen Highway – Mishawaka, Bremen Western end of SR 331 concurrency
84.750 136.392 SR 331 north / Elm Road Eastern end of SR 331 concurrency
Elkhart Elkhart 92.058 148.153 SR 19 – Wakarusa, Nappanee, Elkhart
95.578 153.818 US 33 south / Main Street – Elkhart, Goshen Northern terminus of US 33
98.311 158.216 Old US 20 – Elkhart No eastbound exit
98.671 158.796 CR 17 to I-80 / I-90 / Indiana Toll Road Eastern terminus of the St. Joseph Valley Parkway
Goshen 102.096 164.308 SR 15 – Goshen, Bristol
Middlebury 108.453 174.538 SR 13 (Main Street) – Millersburg, Middlebury
Lagrange Shipshewana 114.945 184.986 SR 5 – Ligonier, Shipshewana
Lagrange 124.626 200.566 SR 9 (Detroit Street) – Rome City, Lagrange
Springfield Township 131.58 211.76 SR 3 – Kendallville, Mongo
Steuben Jackson Township 136.242 219.260 SR 327 – Garrett, Orland
Angola 143.095–
143.208
230.289–
230.471
I-69 – Fort Wayne, Lansing Exit 348 on I-69
145.669 234.432 SR 127 north / Wayne Street – Fremont Roundabout; southern terminus of SR 127
Scott Township 150.017 241.429 SR 1 south – Hamilton Northern terminus of SR 1
York Township 155.734 250.630 US 20 east – Toledo Continuation 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. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  5. ^  Template:Yahoo maps is deprecated.›Yahoo!; Navteq (January 22, 2011). "Overview map of US 20 from Illinois to Gary" (Map). Yahoo! Maps. Yahoo!. Retrieved January 22, 2011. [dead link]
  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. ^ Google (January 22, 2011). "Overview map of US 20 from Gary to Michigan City" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved January 22, 2011. 
  8. ^  Template:Yahoo maps is deprecated.›Yahoo!; Navteq (January 27, 2011). "Overview map of US 20 from Michigan City to South Bend" (Map). Yahoo! Maps. Yahoo!. Retrieved January 27, 2011. [dead link]
  9. ^  Template:Yahoo maps is deprecated.›Yahoo!; Navteq (January 27, 2011). "Overview map of US 20 from South Bend to Elkhart" (Map). Yahoo! Maps. Yahoo!. Retrieved January 27, 2011. [dead link]
  10. ^  Template:Yahoo maps is deprecated.›Yahoo!; Navteq (January 27, 2011). "Overview map of US 20 from Elkhart to Ohio" (Map). Yahoo! Maps. Yahoo!. Retrieved January 27, 2011. [dead link]
  11. ^ *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. 
  12. ^ Staff (August 2005). Development of US 12/US 20: 'The Dunes Highway'. National Park Service. 
  13. ^ *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. 
  14. ^ Shupert-Arick, Jan (2009). The Lincoln Highway Across Indiana. Charleston: Arcadia Publishing. pp. 155–159, 191–192. ISBN 9781439621219. 
  15. ^ Lincoln Highway Across Indiana Map (Map). Lincoln Highway Association. Retrieved December 23, 2011. 
  16. ^ Indiana Transportation Map (Map). Indiana State Highway Commission. 1916. § A1–R1. 
  17. ^ Indiana Transportation Map (Map). Indiana State Highway Commission. 1917. § A1–R1. 
  18. ^ Indiana Transportation Map (Map). Indiana State Highway Commission. 1926. § A1–H1. 
  19. ^ Indiana Transportation Map (PDF) (Map). Indiana State Highway Commission. September 30, 1927. § A1–H1. 
  20. ^ Indiana Transportation Map (PDF) (Map). Indiana State Highway Commission. September 30, 1930. § B1–H1. 
  21. ^ Indiana Transportation Map (PDF) (Map). Indiana State Highway Commission. September 30, 1931. § B1–H1. 
  22. ^ Indiana Transportation Map (Map). Indiana Department of Transportation. 1997. § K1–L1. 
  23. ^ Indiana Transportation Map (Map). Indiana Department of Transportation. 1998. § K1–L1. 
  24. ^ a b "Master List" (PDF). Indiana Department of Transportation. December 21, 2004. p. 8. Retrieved June 24, 2011. 
  25. ^ "US 20 Document" (PDF). Indiana Department of Transportation. October 21, 2011. Retrieved December 23, 2011. 
  26. ^ staff (March 4, 2010). "U.S . 20 widening will happen by 2013". The Goshen News. OCLC 11408565. Retrieved August 15, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Google

KML is from Wikidata


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