Valpo hires consultant to design U.S. 30 improvements

2012-12-27T18:15:00Z 2012-12-27T18:42:34Z Valpo hires consultant to design U.S. 30 improvementsBy Phil Wieland phil.wieland@nwi.com, (219) 548-4352 nwitimes.com

VALPARAISO | People driving on U.S. 30 through Valparaiso three years from now might not recognize the road.

The city's Board of Public Works and Safety approved a contract Thursday with Beam, Longest and Neff, of Indianapolis, to design improvements within the right of way starting in 2014. The cost of the contract is $2,190,800 and will be paid for from the money the city will receive for taking over care of Lincolnway from the state.

The city will receive $22.5 million in state and federal funds as part of the deal to maintain Ind. 130 within the city limits and eventually to Ind. 149. Most of that money will be used for improvements to the U.S. 30 corridor in order to make it traffic and pedestrian friendly and aesthetically appealing in order to encourage private investment.

The BLN contract calls for the consultant to do a traffic study to determine ways to improve traffic flow, concentrating on the intersections at Washington Street/Ind. 2, Sturdy Road, Silhavy Road/Strongbow Center Drive and Horse Prairie Road.

City Engineering Director Tim Burkman said intersection improvements will include drainage work, curbs, gutters, decorative lighting, landscaping, pedestrian crossings and decorative signal arms. Burkman said BLN will look at signal timing, additional turn lanes and other improvements.

Washington also will get streetscaping improvements north of U.S. 30, and the railroad overpasses between Washington and Silhavy will be given a facelift. A pedestrian crossing near Sturdy will be designed either as an overpass or an underpass and will be a critical connection along the Dunes-Kankakee Trail.

Gateway projects will be designed for the Ind. 49 interchange and at Hayes Leonard Road. The former will be similar to the new interchange at Vale Park Road with the back lit name of the city, landscaping and other aesthetic touches, while the latter will resemble the Eastgate corridor roundabout with a sign, lighting and landscaping, Burkman said.

Burkman said the project probably will be broken up into several construction packages. He said the study and design work will take about a year, and it will be another year to get permits from state and federal agencies. Some projects could be done in 2014.

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