Chesterton Tribune



NIRPC extends comment period on proposed change to Indiana 49 project

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The period for public comment on two proposed changes to the 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan (CRP)--one of them pertaining to Ind. 49 in Duneland--has been extended to March 21, the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission said.

The public-comment period opened on Feb. 3.

The first proposed change would eliminate from the 2040 CRP a scheduled lane closure on northbound Ind. 49 between the U.S. Highway 20 overpass and the U.S. Highway 12 overpass.

Chesterton Town Council Member Jim Ton, R-1st--and NIRPC Treasurer--has told the Chesterton Tribune that the Town of Porter had originally prevailed on NIRPC to replace the right northbound lane of Ind. 49 with the Dunes-Kankakee Trail, from Indiana Dunes State Park as far south as the Dorothy Buell Memorial Visitor Center.

The Indiana Department of Transportation objected to that closure, however, and informed the Town of Porter that should it be put into effect, the town would have to assume responsibility for the maintenance of that stretch of Ind. 49. The Town of Porter subsequently withdrew its support of that lane closure and NIRPC has proposed changing the 2040 CRP accordingly.

Meanwhile, the second proposed change to the 2040 CRP is the addition of the expansion of I-65 from U.S. Highway 231 to Ind. 2 and the new Cline Ave. bridge.

All comments received will be responded to and included in a public comment report. Following the end of the comment period, the report will be distributed to NIRPC’s Transportation Policy Committee (TPC) and the full commission. Action is anticipated on these items at the TPC’s meeting on April 8 and the full commission’s meeting on April 17.

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Posted 2/20/2014