Commission hires consultants for U.S. 20 plan

2012-07-29T19:30:00Z 2012-07-30T06:57:03Z Commission hires consultants for U.S. 20 planJoyce Russell joyce.russell@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2222 nwitimes.com

PORTAGE | A group of consultants, led by the Chicago firm Houseal Lavigne Associates, will lead the city's efforts in creating a vision for the U.S. 20 corridor.

The Redevelopment Commission last week approved hiring Houseal Lavigne Associates; Landstory, an Indianapolis landscape architectural firm; and Abonmarche, a Portage engineering firm, to develop the U.S. 20 plan.

Commission member and City Council President Sue Lynch served on the selection committee with economic development consultant John Shepherd and Plan Commission President Robin Wilkening to make a recommendation to the commission.

Lynch said she was impressed with Houseal Lavigne Associates, which is "very heavy" into public participation in the plan.

"They were very detailed in how they are going about to create this plan," Lynch said, adding Houseal Lavigne was one of four finalists for the position.

"We need to clean up the corridor and define it," Lynch said. She said the area from Interstate 94 into the city is a primary entry but is not defined.

"This is a huge process," Lynch said, adding the consultants and city will work with property owners. The Indiana Department of Transportation also will be involved.

Lynch said it likely would take nine to 10 months to develop a plan, which will include public participation.

"This is a long-term plan. It is not something that can happen overnight," she said.

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