Chesterton Tribune



State to add turn lanes at Waverly and US 20

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The Indiana Department of Transportation will put in eastbound and westbound left-hand turn lanes on U.S. 20 and Waverly Road in Porter during the summer of 2017.

From now until Friday, Feb. 5, the general public has the chance to be heard on the road project. The public input process kicked off Thursday with a public hearing at Porter Town Hall which drew nearly a dozen citizens, mostly residents and business owners in the area.

The audience was told by the presenters that the construction will be done in such a way that it will not cut off access to any business, nor will U.S. 20 be closed to traffic.

Access to local businesses and driveways will be provided throughout construction, said Dan Delgado of Lawson-Fisher Associates, the engineering firm INDOT has hired for the project.

There will be sections of the road closed off as work progresses, Delgado said, but two lanes will be open for east and west travel. There will, however, be short-term closures on Waverly Rd.

And, INDOT will be acquiring land, approximately .7 acres total, for the permanent right-of-way modifications.

It’s a safety project meant to reduce accidents,” Delgado said. Clark said also traffic flow will be improved.

Initial plans for turn lanes and the road widening were presented to the public in August. The public hearing stage is a requirement of the National Environmental Policy Act, said Rickie Clark of INDOT’s Office of Public Involvement, to complete the environmental documentation which is needed before other work can proceed.

That’s the stage we’ve arrived at this evening,” said Clark. The document and project designs will be completed by spring. This summer, property owners in the proposed right-of-way acquisition will be approached to “negotiate” an offer for compensation, he said.

Although the real estate process hasn’t started yet, maps presented by INDOT show which properties the expanded right-of-ways will cross. Those include Pat’s Liquors, Westchester Animal Clinic, Pinkerton Oil and Fox Chase Development.

Some of the acquisition will be permanent and some will be temporary until work is complete, said INDOT project manager Maggie Whitten.

Drawings of the proposed expansion show 5-foot to 6-foot widenings for the new turn lanes. The traffic lanes will be 11-feet wide each and shoulders will be four feet.

Construction will consist of milling and resurfacing existing pavement. Barrels will be used to mark out the edge when the widening takes place.

The traffic signal will be upgraded with new spans and catenaries and one pole will be replaced, Delgado said. Existing horizontal and vertical traffic alignment on Waverly Rd. will be retained.

Clark said projects such as this are selected by INDOT based on data they receive about traffic and accidents. Sometimes they come up if local governments or residents make request for inspections, but the U.S. 20/Waverly Rd. is a project where data suggested a need for improvements, Clark told the Chesterton Tribune.

INDOT ruled out possible alternatives like a roundabout at the intersection as it would cause a greater impact to the environment and require higher costs, Clark said.

A pedestrian trail with signalized crossing will be implemented in the future but is not part of the current project, Clark said.


Only one public comment was given during the hearing before the meeting broke out into a more informal session where audience members could talk with INDOT representatives.

Porter Assistant Police Chief Todd Allen asked that the traffic light not have a flashing yellow signal which before caused “numerous crashes in the past.”

Delgado said there will not be a flashing yellow signal and the lights will instead signal a protected left turn from U.S. 20 onto Waverly Rd.

In the breakout sessions, Nick Tilden, whose family owns Pat’s Liquors, said the INDOT reps were able to answer their concerns. He said he is glad to hear that someone from INDOT will be onsite during the construction should a problem ever arise.

Additional comments may be sent by Feb. 5 to Clark at or mailed at INDOT Office of Public Involvement, Attn: Ricki Clark, 100 North Senate Avenue, IGCN Room N642, Indianapolis, IN 46204



Posted 1/22/2016




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