Four Winds Casino prepares for influx of traffic

Four Winds Casino prepares for influx of traffic. // WSBT 22

It's been years in the making, but the end is finally in sight.

South Bend's Four Winds Casino will open in less than two weeks on January 16.

The 166 acres of Pokagon Trust land isn't the only thing that has been transformed.

The roads around the casino have seen some changes. Those are State Road 23 and the U.S. 31 Bypass.

In the last couple of weeks, you may have noticed some changes. It's in anticipation of the thousands of people expected to come to the casino.

Through the sleet and snow, the construction on South Bend's Four Winds Casino continues as the opening date nears.

When it does, the roads will see many more vehicles,and that's why Four Winds thought some changes needed to be made.

INDOT gave them the green light.

"There’s a new traffic signal at the actual casino entrance and there are two new traffic signals, one at each ramp coming down the Bypass," said Matt Deitchley, from INDOT's Northwest District.

Through a permit process with INDOT, Four Winds built the new lights.

They also added turn lanes near the entrance and on the westbound Bypass ramp.

Deitchley said it's all in an effort to keep us safe.

"To make sure we are ready for when the opening day happens, obviously, we are expecting an influx of traffic and obviously any big events coming up," said Deitchley.

The light near the entrance is already on, and Deitchley said everything will be in place in time for the opening day on January 16th.

"We usually put things in and turn them on a little early, so for instance, we're going to turn these traffic signals on, the ones at the end of the Bypass ramps, about a week early before the casino opens," said Deitchley. "It helps traffic get used to that and recognize it's coming through that way."

Four Winds Casino says it has coordinated with INDOT, the city of South Bend and St. Joseph County Police, the South Bend Fire Department and Four Winds security to develop a traffic control plan for the opening day.

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