SCHERERVILLE | A safety improvement project that looks to include creating a roundabout and constructing a center median on Cline Avenue is on pace to get started next year.
Three representatives from the Butler, Fairman & Seufert engineering firm explained the status of the project during Monday's Plan Commission study session.
A roundabout is proposed at the Cline Avenue, Rohrman Road and 77th Avenue intersection.
A center median also is planned for Cline Avenue at U.S. 30. It would continue south about 105 feet.
According to Butler, Fairman & Seufert, the improvements are necessary to prevent accidents from occurring in that area and to improve traffic flow there.
Carly Sheets, a representative from the engineering firm, said property acquisition continues for the project. Sheets said construction is expected to begin in the spring next year. It could be finished at the end of 2014.
Jake Dammerall, another representative from the company, said a total of $1.4 million in federal funding has been secured for the project.
The engineering firm has been involved in creating roundabouts in other communities, such as Carmel, Ind. Chris Wheatley, of Butler, Fairman & Seufert, said there has been "widespread acceptance" of those roundabouts.
Plan Commission member Bill Jarvis said traveling through roundabouts for the first time can be "pretty scary" for motorists, but they are effective in improving traffic and safety once motorists become accustomed to them.
Representatives from several businesses in the project area said they welcome the roundabout, but they have concerns about the center median.
Among them was a concern about accessing Von Tobel Lumber and Hardware from its entrance on Cline Avenue.
Town Manager Bob Volkmann was receptive to a suggestion of moving the entrance south, so the median wouldn't impact access to the business.
Volkmann said he will schedule a meeting with Von Tobel to continue discussing the situation.