Grant sought for 'roller coaster road' improvements

2013-03-12T15:06:00Z 2013-04-09T16:35:04Z Grant sought for 'roller coaster road' improvementsPhil Wieland phil.wieland@nwi.com, (219) 548-4352 nwitimes.com

VALPARAISO | The city is seeking a $319,500 federal grant to make improvements to the section of Ransom Road known as roller coaster road.

Engineering Director Tim Burkman described the project Tuesday to Valparaiso Traffic and Safety Committee and received its support for the project. In a letter from the committee supporting the grant request, Councilman Tim Daly said the hilly stretch of road "is one of the most dangerous streets in the city."

The hills on the short section of the road between Goodrich Road and Froberg Road are steep with steep drop-offs, and visibility is poor. The Highway Safety Improvement Program grant would pay 90 percent of the cost for additional lighting, pavement markings, signs and rumble strips along the side of the road.

Also included in the project is about 1,150 feet of pathway on Goodrich and from Goodrich to Lake Meadow Drive on Ransom to connect to the existing pathway system. Burkman said the deadline for the application is the end of the month. Total cost of the project is estimated at $355,000.

The committee also heard a request from Aco Sikoski, vice chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College, for stop signs on Eastport Centre Drive at Ivy Tech Drive to make it easier for traffic to enter and leave the Ivy Tech campus.

Burkman asked about having a university employee direct traffic at the intersection during the morning, noon and evening rush hours rather than putting in stop signs that would generate driver frustration during the hours when there is little traffic.

Sikoski said he has submitted that idea to the college's headquarters in Indianapolis but has not gotten a response yet.

Calling stop signs "one of the most controversial issues we deal with," Burkman said he didn't like them because they add to the vehicle emissions because of all the stopping and starting. However, he said he wants to get some traffic counts at the intersection before the committee's April meeting to see if the signs are warranted. 

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