The State Road (S.R.) 25 project is part of the Hoosier Heartland Highway Corridor, which extends from Lafayette, Ind., to Toledo, Ohio, a distance of approximately 200 miles. A stretch of this project – from Lafayette to Delphi – opened to traffic on Oct. 24, 2012. The remaining portion of the highway – from Delphi to Logansport – opened to traffic October 18, 2013.
The project begins east of the S.R. 25 and I-65 interchange in Lafayette, and heads northeast to U.S. 24, at Logansport, a distance of about 35.3 miles. The western terminus provides a direct connection to I-65, the major north-south interstate in Indiana. The eastern terminus in Logansport connects to the recently improved U.S. 24 section of the Hoosier Heartland Highway Corridor. This section of S.R. 25 is the major commercial corridor linking Logansport, Delphi, and Lafayette. As a major farming area, farmers depend on this corridor to move farm supplies.
Old S.R. 25 Conditions
The old S.R. 25 roadway was a two-lane facility, constructed circa 1931, with minimal earth shoulders throughout most of the 35-mile-long Lafayette to Logansport corridor. The driving lanes were approximately 12-feet wide and the driving surface was asphalt throughout. The predominant posted speed was 55 mph, with reduced speeds in the areas of the I-65 interchange, small communities, and Delphi. Old S.R. 25 paralleled the Norfolk Southern Railroad between Logansport and Delphi. The Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks formed a barrier to vehicular circulation and system linkage along S.R. 25 and through Delphi.
The two-lane road failed to meet current design standards along most of its length, with substandard shoulders and roadside slopes as the main deficiencies. Sharp curves and hills created substandard sight distances and occurred throughout the project length, but were most prevalent in the western segment from Lafayette to Delphi, where the road paralleled the Wabash River valley. Heavy vehicles, such as large trucks, farm vehicles, and buses, comprised 15 to 20 percent of the old S.R. 25 traffic between Lafayette and Logansport. These larger vehicles were less capable of negotiating through the substandard conditions than automobiles.
Access to the old S.R. 25 roadway was controlled by permit only. The Lafayette-to-Logansport section of old S.R. 25 had 81 at-grade public street intersections, three at-grade railroad crossings, and more than 140 private entrances. According to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), access control is one of the most significant factors affecting the safe, efficient operation of a highway. Traffic accident data indicates that numerous accidents occur at these uncontrolled intersection points.
Purpose & Need
The purpose of the S.R. 25 Hoosier Heartland project is to provide:
- A critical link in the Heartland Industrial Corridor
- A regional facility that will serve traffic
- A safe facility
- A facility that meets current design standards. The need for the project is as follows:
- To reduce congestion, and improve the efficiency and capacity of transportation between Lafayette and Logansport by providing an alternative that will facilitate the movement of traffic.
- To improve safety and meet current design standards.
- To enhance the regional and local transportation network by improving and completing the transportation system between Fort Wayne and Lafayette.
- To implement federal legislation promulgated in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) and the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21); and to respond to the designation of S.R. 25 as a Statewide Mobility Corridor in INDOT’s Long Range Plan.