Chesterton Tribune



TIF board eyes reconfigured Gateway Blvd

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The Chesterton Redevelopment Commission has taken receipt of a proposed plan for the reconfiguration of Gateway Blvd. west of Village Point.

At their meeting Monday night, members voted unanimously to approve the concept and enter into a contract with Lawson Fisher Associates--at a cost not to exceed $50,000--to develop a formal design.

The commission did not commit itself yet to proceeding with actual construction, as members first wish to enter into discussions with the various stakeholders in the area: the Speedway gas station, Bob Evans, the Hilton Garden Inn, Culver’s, and AJ’s Pizza.

The point of a reconfiguration would be to ease the stacking problem in the westbound lanes of Gateway Blvd., created by the median traffic islands, which pinch the four lanes at the mouth of Gateway Blvd.--at its intersection with Ind. 49--to two lanes just east of the Speedway road cut on Gateway Blvd. During peak-traffic periods, motorists are often stacked as far east as Village Point, forced to wait for several cycles of the traffic signal before emerging out of the two-lane bottleneck.

The key features of the proposed plan:

* The traffic islands would be lopped roughly in half to create four full westbound lanes west of Matson Street.

* Motorists eastbound on Gateway Blvd. would no longer be able to enter the Speedway by turning left and crossing westbound Gateway Blvd. by means of the current pass-through between the two islands. Instead, they would be directed to Speedway’s road cut on Matson Street.

* Speedway’s road cut on westbound Gateway Blvd. would be right-in/right-out only.

* The Bob Evans and Hilton Garden Inn road cut on eastbound Gateway Blvd. would be right-in/right-out only. Customers leaving both businesses would be directed to the intersection of Matson Street, where they could make U-turns onto westbound Gateway Blvd.

* Motorists westbound on Gateway Blvd. would have a left-turn only lane allowing them to access Bob Evans and the Hilton Garden Inn.

* Directional signage would be erected to facilitate the reconfiguration.

Town Engineer Mark O’Dell and Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg both indicated that they like the reconfiguration in principle. Schnadenberg, for his part, said that, if the commission ultimately approves a formal design, he hopes the project can be completed this year.

The plan is for now still very much in the concept stage, however. Member Emerson DeLaney wondered, for instance, whether the right-in/right-out only road cuts for the Speedway, the Bob Evans, and the Hilton Garden Inn would be enforced by actual concrete pork chops or simply striped. That decision, a Lawson-Fisher rep replied, hasn’t been made yet.



Posted 2/28/2017




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