The Indiana Toll Road is a four-lane super highway, which extends 157 miles across northern Indiana and runs parallel to the Indiana/Michigan border. Locally, this convergence of major highways is referred to as the I-80/Lake Michigan effect. Virtually all cross-country east/west traffic generated north of I-80 and east of Lake Michigan passes through St. Joseph County, Indiana. As a result, the interstate, state and local transportation systems serving the St. Joseph County area have developed as one of the nation’s strongest, from both a facility and a services perspective.
National distribution operations have selected the county because it allows the ability to provide superior service to a significant portion of the country’s population. UPS’ one-day service can reach 40.2 million. FedEx’s one-day service can provide service to 41.4 million people. DHL’s growing one-day service currently serves 30.7 million. All three carriers have facilities at the South Bend Regional Airport, which is the 6th largest feeder airport in the country. The South Bend Regional Airport is the only multimodal transportation facility in the country offering interstate electric rail service (the South Shore Railroad linking our community directly to Chicago), in addition to travel by air and by bus.
Blackthorn Corporate Park is serviced by municipal utilities, but its link to fiber optic communications is what sets it apart from many other sites. The park has access to the St. Joe Valley Metronet, a state-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructure consisting of a 40-mile network of fiber-optic cable creating a high-speed data network with virtually unlimited bandwidth. Its high-speed connectivity and access to transcontinental fiber linking it to the rest of the country makes the region an ideal location for such high-tech business entities as data backup and disaster recovery operations, data and call centers, conference centers and research facilities.
The Metronet is vendor neutral, meaning it provides infrastructure only—not telecommunications services—and it is open to all telecommunications service vendors and users who want to subscribe. It was developed by a number of leading South Bend companies and institutions. When connected to it, businesses, schools, health care facilities and other entities can transmit data faster and easier than ever before while enjoying greater operational flexibility, cost savings and security.