TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - The opening of the new U.S. 231 comes just in time for the big home Purdue football game against Notre Dame. The opening is forcing police to change traffic patterns for game day.
Before the new 231 bypass opened Friday afternoon -- there was nothing but silence.
But police are expecting a whole different story for Purdue's night game Saturday against Notre Dame, where large crowds are expected.
"We expect game day traffic to kind of filter in all day, as the lots open at noon for tailgating. But we expect a pretty big crush at the time the end of the game for outbound," said John Cox, Purdue Police Chief.
Cox said because of the estimated crowds, officers will be utilizing the new U.S. 231 as much as possible. He said officers will push traffic, especially traffic from the paid lots, towards the intersections of State Street and U.S. 231 and Martin Jischke Drive and U.S. 231. Indiana State Police troopers will assist.
"They'll be working game day operations for us and their goal will be to monitor the traffic flow and manage any of the back-ups that begin to develop at those intersections," said Cox.
In fact, Cox said 80 to 90 officers from several different agencies, including Purdue, West Lafayette, and the Sheriff's Office, will be working the game. He said even with all these officers patrolling traffic, parking lots, and other game day events, drivers should know the new U.S. 231 won't eliminate the traffic jam.
"People are going to have to be patient, take their time, it's going to be dark. We've got several lights that are going to be up," said Cox.
Cox said Monday morning, officials will sit down and look at how well the new traffic patterns worked. Based on how things go this weekend, things may change before the next home game which is in two weeks against Northern Illinois, which is also homecoming weekend.
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