HOBART — The Mississippi Street/Marcella Boulevard corridor north of U.S. 30 has long been well-traveled, and it's expected to attract more motorists as more development occurs there.
City Councilman John Brezik said NorthWind Crossings is growing with Wynright Corp. constructing a new 320,400-square-foot building in the business park. Mayor Brian Snedecor said the city hopes to see movement with the Silverstone property along Mississippi Street, and Merrillville also has development opportunities on its side of the road.
All of the projects are expected to add traffic on the already busy Mississippi Street/Marcella Boulevard route.
Bob Fulton, assistant to Snedecor, said Hobart has been developing long-term plans to address congestion on the street.
“There are several ideas that have been floated,” Fulton said.
Adding roundabouts in several areas, such as 61st and 62nd avenues, is among concepts developed to help with traffic there, Fulton said.
Hobart officials also have discussed the possibility of creating alternate routes at the Silverstone site as well as the addition of lanes on 61st Avenue to reduce congestion in that area.
No final decisions have been made regarding which option Hobart would choose to improve the flow of traffic. Fulton said it will all come down to which is the best solution at the price the city can afford.
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He said it isn't certain when a Mississippi Street/Marcella Boulevard road project would begin, and it's likely Hobart would seek federal funding to help cover the cost of future road improvements.
Traffic concerns on the route are among reasons the council has delayed acting on a request that would allow the construction of a new gas station near the Marcella Boulevard and 61st Avenue intersection.
A 1.12-acre piece of property there has a planned unit development zoning classification, and a fueling station/convenience store isn't included in the permitted uses.
Bailiwyck Properties is seeking an amendment that would allow the operation at the site.
The council has tabled the request and is expected to continue discussing the matter in November.
In addition to the traffic concerns, Brezik said there are already three gas stations near the site.
“That area is pretty saturated with gas stations,” Councilman P. Lino Maggio said.