VALPARAISO | The city's Redevelopment Commission voted this past week on additional steps to help maintain the viability of Lincolnway following the departure of Porter hospital Valparaiso Campus.
The hospital plans to move to its new facility at Ind. 49 and U.S. 6 on Aug. 25.
Valparaiso Redevelopment Commission's Executive Director Stuart Summers said the Lincolnway corridor could be at risk of decline as a result of that move. The commission has taken steps to improve the appearance of Lincolnway between Morgan Boulevard and Roosevelt Road.
These steps include:
- Removed the old sidewalk on the south side and created a pathway to Garfield Road.
- Installed decorative, energy efficient street lights with the help of a federal grant.
- Established a $100,000 facade grant program for commercial properties in the area.
- Provided $130,000 to replace the sidewalks on the north side. That work is expected to begin this month.
The commission also budgeted money to replace the traffic signals at Garfield with decorative ones. That was originally planned for this year but has been pushed back to 2013, and -- depending on the results of planning and design work to be done the rest of this year -- might be eliminated.
The commission agreed this week to pay $3,000 to stripe additional parking along the north side of the road between Garfield and Roosevelt, signs and to eliminate some curb cuts, including some for driveways that no longer exist past the sidewalk. The commission also will pay $9,000 for 30 trees to be planted along that section of the road.
By next spring, the city's Engineering Department will design other improvements to the segment of Lincolnway such as curbs and bump outs at intersections and business entrances and completion of the pathway on the south side.
Summers said the improvements could be similar to what's being done on North Calumet Avenue between the Canadian National tracks and Evans Avenue, where the road is being narrowed to create additional parkway space.