ST. JOHN — Changes are coming to the legendary intersection known as "Shoe Corner."
A traffic signal is going up at 109th and Calumet avenues in Hanover Township, a site that for decades has been a dumping ground for shoes that seem to appear without witnesses.
The signal is a joint project between the town of St. John, Lake County and the new Illiana Christian High School currently being built just south of the intersection. Lake County Highway Department engineer Duane Alverson said the new school is one of the reasons for the signal, but the volume of traffic also warrants it.
Improvements include a right turn lane on 109th for traffic turning north on Calumet and a left turn lane on Calumet for traffic turning east on 109th.
The intersection is becoming a major artery for residents of St. John, Cedar Lake and Crown Point who travel to Illinois or Chicago for work.
"It's a great thing for our residents and all the neighboring towns," St. John Town Councilman Christian Jorgensen said.
Jorgensen said major arteries in that corridor include 101st and Calumet avenues and 101st and Sheffield avenues.
The town is planning to install a traffic signal at 101st and Calumet, where the improvements have already been made as a result of the new Providence Bank located there. That traffic signal is tied into the town's reconstruction of 101st.
"Anyone who has been on 101st knows it's a mine field," Jorgensen said.
As for 101st and Sheffield, the county is currently reviewing to see if it warrants a signal.
Jorgensen said improvements at those arteries are important to manage traffic flow.
"It's important to make sure everyone is safe and moves through our area as efficiently as possible," he said.
Jorgensen said he has been pushing for these corridor improvements since he was elected in 2015.
"Nobody denied that needed to be improved, and we're almost there," he said. "It's really exciting."
Further east, the town is looking to do a significant intersection improvement at 101st and Parrish avenues. That work could include a roundabout.
As for the traffic signal at "Shoe Corner," work is expected to begin next year, and the signal should be installed prior to Illiana Christian opening in the fall of 2018.