CROWN POINT | A traffic study of 109th Avenue has uncovered a problem - the intersection of Broadway and 109th.
Crown Point Engineer Tris Miles said the intersection has a large number of wrecks resulting from traffic pulling into and out of the businesses in a shopping plaza at the location.
The city's Board of Public Works and Safety approved a $28,900 contract with Butler Fairman and Seufert last week to come up with a design to change the traffic patterns on both roads and reduce the crashes.
BFS originally was hired to look at the extension of Delaware Parkway from 109th to 107th Avenue and the improvements that would be needed on 109th to accommodate development between the Interstate 65 interchange and Broadway, especially the proposed $100 million Galleria shopping center.
Miles said the study branched out into the improvements needed at the Broadway intersection, especially to the entrances and exits to the Walgreens drug store by reconfiguring how drivers get in and out of the parking lot from both roads.
He said the city would like to have the intersection study done as quickly as possible, and it would likely be one of the first projects undertaken as part of the 109th improvements. Those improvements are awaiting word on funding applications with the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission that would pay more than 80 percent of the cost.
Police Chief Pete Land said 27 wrecks have occurred at the intersection so far this year -- the most crashes for any intersection in the city. For the same period a year ago, there were 22 wrecks at the intersection.
"Unfortunately, this area and intersection are so heavily traveled that during peak times the police department is very limited on what it can do to prevent the accidents," Land said. "As the business development in this area increases, it will only bring more vehicles, so the city's efforts in trying to redesign the layout is a very worthwhile project."