VALPARAISO | The Ind. 49 corridor study kicks off in earnest Monday and Tuesday with public input sessions at the Valparaiso Chamber offices, 162 Lincolnway.
The study is being done by Kendig Keast Collaborative and American Structurepoint, and it looks at potential development along both sides of Ind. 49 from LaPorte Avenue (Ind. 2) to U.S. 6. City Planning Director Tyler Kent said the study is expected to be done by year's end.
Monday's session is from 2 to 5:30 p.m., and Tuesday's is from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Both sessions are in the chamber's second floor meeting room. The consultants will have displays of aerial pictures of the corridor as it exists and what already is approved or is in the pipeline for the corridor.
They also will present possible development ideas for the public to consider, and the public will be asked to offer their own ideas of what the corridor should look like. Kent said the city envisions it as a business park/technology corridor.
"We need the public input," Kent said. "It's important to receive it so we know what they want to see as we plan for the future. The study will give us a plan to help develop the corridor as we've done with other corridors, like U.S. 30.
"There will be an overlay district with standards for how we want the overall corridor to look and feel, and we want to make sure we respect the Valparaiso moraine along the north portion of the corridor," he said. "We look at is as a multimodal corridor with the Dunes-Kankakee Trail, and it will also address the intersection at Burlington Beach Road."
Burlington Beach is scheduled for reconstruction to Calumet Avenue in a couple of years to deal with additional traffic expected as a result of the opening of the St. Mary Medical Center health clinic and the proposed construction of a new hospital by South Bend's Memorial Health System at the southeast corner of the Ind. 49 intersection.
The $113,200 cost of the study is being shared by the Valparaiso Economic Development Corporation ($50,000), the city's Utilities Board ($20,000) and the city's Redevelopment Commission ($43,200).
Porter County also is participating in the study because most of the corridor is outside the city limits, which extends only to Burlington Beach.