MERRILLVILLE — Roundabouts could be coming to a stretch of Mississippi Street in Merrillville.
Town officials are contemplating pursuing the construction of two roundabouts on the road to help improve traffic flow and safety, Town Manager Bruce Spires said.
One would be located at the intersection with 69th Avenue, Town Councilman Shawn Pettit said. Another proposed roundabout could be created just north of Menards.
It’s anticipated the projects would cost millions of dollars, and they could be funded from the Mississippi Street tax increment financing district, Pettit said.
It isn’t yet certain when the town could begin construction, but town leaders are expected to approve a contract with Butler, Fairman & Seufert to design the road features and for right-of-way services.
The proposed project comes as new development is occurring on Mississippi Street.
Schilli Distribution Services is now leasing a 182,000-square-foot building Becknell Industrial constructed in 2017.
In coming months, Becknell could begin construction for a new 263,000-square-foot industrial structure in the 6500 block of Mississippi Street. There isn’t an immediate tenant for the facility.
The developments will bring more vehicles to Mississippi, and building the roundabouts could alleviate traffic congestion on the road and prevent collisions.
The city of Hobart has several road projects and roundabouts being planned in the vicinity of the initiatives proposed in Merrillville.
Hobart looks to widen and reconstruct a stretch of 69th Avenue east of Mississippi so the road can handle traffic that would come with potential development in the city.
Hobart’s 69th Avenue project could get started next year. If Merrillville decides to start its roundabout work on Mississippi at the same time, it could reduce mobilization costs for the projects.
Design work already has started for another roundabout Hobart will create at the 61st Avenue and Marcella Boulevard intersection.
That project is estimated to cost around $3 million, and Hobart will receive $1.6 million in federal funding for that roundabout. It could be years before construction would start.
Hobart also is planning to add more roundabouts on 61st Avenue.