VALPARAISO — Drivers who have been negotiating the roundabout under construction at Silhavy Road and LaPorte Avenue will have several months yet to deal with the barricades.
Donald McGinley, director of Project and Facility Management, said the next phase of the roundabout construction project will be coming in the next two weeks and congestion will be eased once more paving is complete. The city plans on maintaining traffic flow on the roads during the rest of the phases.
The roundabout will have two lanes and four legs flowing into it, which the city says will flow the daily traffic of 35,000 cars more efficiently. The $5.7-million project is being funded through federal and state dollars, with the local 20% match coming from the commission's bond fund.
Traffic patterns will continue to change during the roundabout project, but McGinley said drivers can avoid accidents by following cones and lane markings.
"We're trying not to confuse the public any more than we have to, because each time you do a phase, the barrels move, the lane markings move. In the course of construction, we try to realize and recognize that," he said.
In a community alert posted to its Facebook page last week, the Valparaiso Police Department shared updates and traffic pattern changes because of safety concerns about the construction project along U.S. 30. Between Marsh Street and Strongbow Center Drive, the four-lane highway is down to one lane in each direction. Crews are working in the median and on the shoulders of the road.
Construction on this project started earlier this summer and McGinley said it will continue until Nov. 17. Landscaping in the median will continue past that date. McGinley said this project is "enhancing Washington Street's entryway to the city" by reconstructing the street and improving drainage.
The traffic pattern was permanently changed at the intersection of U.S. 30 and Linwood Avenue and is now a “T” style intersection. Traffic is no longer permitted to make an eastbound (left) turn from Linwood and eastbound traffic on U.S. 30 can not turn north (left) onto Linwood Avenue.
"The speed limit has also been reduced to 35 mph within the construction zone, and we have noted it is not being followed," the department's statement reads. "This speed will be strictly enforced by our officers, as there is a great concern for the crew of this project, who are working diligently toward completion, as well as all other motorist traveling along U.S. Highway 30."
VPD also warns motorists to not use the shoulder as a right-of-way, which has already caused several crashes.