Michiana’s newest highway now has a new name.
At least a portion of the new U.S. 31 between South Bend and Plymouth will now be known as the Richard Mangus Memorial Highway.
Mangus was a longtime member of the Indiana House of Representatives. He was not only an ardent supporter of the 31 reconstruction but he lived along the highway.
Unfortunately, he didn’t live long enough to see the project completed.
“You know, this was the right thing to do to name this after Dick,” said U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski, (R) Indiana’s Second District. “You know, I succeeded Dick in his seat and the thing that Dick always told me was don’t let them stop this road, don’t let them stop U.S. 31 Jackie.”
Mangus’ son spoke at ribbon cutting ceremonies for the highway today, proclaiming that the family home had to be relocated back in the 1950’s to accommodate the U.S. 31 improvement project being done at that time.
The new road stretches 20 miles between South Bend and Plymouth and carries a price tag of $221 million. While ceremonies today marked its completion, those who lobbied for the new highway vowed to keep fighting.
“We still got 70 miles of this road that needs to be fixed,” said John Letherman of the U.S. 31 Coalition. “There’s over 200 curb cuts, there’s still six traffic signals, there’s a couple of railroad crossings. We need to build this road so that you can hit your cruise control in South Bend and not have to touch a thing until you get to 465 in Indianapolis. That’s the goal.”