MERRILLVILLE | A state project to improve an intersection in a heavy-traffic area has town leaders asking if Merrillville needs to pursue road work of its own to complement the enhancements.
Town Councilman Shawn Pettit said the Indiana Department of Transportation will reconfigure the intersection at U.S. 30 and Mississippi Street.
Town Manager Bruce Spires said a portion of the project involves blocking drivers on Mississippi Street from accessing a service road in front of the former Wickes Furniture building.
Taking out the access point would force all drivers to use the traffic signal at the intersection of 79th Avenue and Mississippi Street to enter and exit a commercial area there.
Merrillville plans to hire First Group Engineering to complete a traffic study of 79th Avenue to determine if the town needs to enhance the road in conjunction with the state's project.
Spires said INDOT's enhancements also would involve the removal of a decorative island north of U.S. 30 to make room for designated right-turn lanes on Mississippi Street on both sides of U.S. 30.
The work would help alleviate traffic backups there, Spires said.
INDOT also plans to enhance the Rhode Island Street and U.S. 30 intersection, Pettit said.
Town leaders will learn more about both projects during a Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission meeting scheduled for Nov. 1, Pettit said.