M'ville looking at possible road widening projects

2013-10-16T20:15:00Z 2013-10-17T00:03:10Z M'ville looking at possible road widening projectsChas Reilly chas.reilly@nwi.com, (219) 662-5324 nwitimes.com
October 16, 2013 8:15 pm  • 

MERRILLVILLE | Two well traveled roads in Merrillville could receive upgrades.

During a Wednesday night workshop, the Redevelopment Commission discussed proposed projects enhancing 73rd Avenue and Madison/Harrison Street.

Councilman Shawn Pettit, who is president of the Redevelopment Commission, said he would like to see both of the roads widened to incorporate a center turn lane.

He said both streets receive heavy use, and widening them could relieve traffic issues.

Pettit said the 73rd Avenue project could include other enhancements that would tie into the town's proposed historic district.

Taghi Arshami, of The Arsh Group, provided several streetscape concepts that could be incorporated in the designs. Among them are corner plazas, new signage and enhanced sidewalks.

Arshami also proposed using decorative lighting on 73rd. He said he has a picture of the first building in Merrillville that had a streetlight, and that light could be used as a reference for lighting that would be installed on the road.

Pettit said he envisions the plans for 73rd Avenue would be similar to the design of Joliet Street in Schererville.

For the Madison/Harrison project, Pettit said it's possible to create sidewalks where they don't exist along the road in addition to widening it.

The Redevelopment Commission is expected to have a meeting next week to hire First Group Engineering to provide the design work for the projects and develop cost estimates.

Town Manager Bruce Spires said Merrillville might already have right of way on 73rd Avenue. First Group would research the issue to determine Merrillville's right of way needs, he said.

Spires said there are multiple options to fund the road projects, including using dollars from tax increment financing districts.

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