News release by Indiana Department of Transportation:
The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) is encouraging community feedback on its planning studies along the U.S. 30 and U.S. 31 corridors in northern Indiana. The study teams have identified 55 potential solutions to address issues, needs and desired outcomes along the corridors. The list of potential concepts, known as the “Universe of Alternatives”, is tailored to each study area.
“The ProPEL U.S. 30 and 31 study area encompasses 180 miles across 12 counties, so we must carefully examine how the corridors fit and function in each area,” said INDOT Project Manager, Sandra Flum. “The safety, traffic flow, connectivity, access and other considerations will naturally look different among communities. Similarly, we are listening to how residents in each study area envision the corridors to reflect the character of the area.”
Potential improvements include a variety of enhancements to address identified transportation needs, including location-specific improvements – such as roadway lighting, adding or extending turn lanes and acceleration lanes—as well as corridor improvements, such as added travel lanes and freeway conversion.
Because safety is an INDOT priority, potential improvement concepts also include proven approaches to enhance safety, like advanced warning systems and innovative intersections such as Reduced Conflict Intersections (RCIs), Continuous Green T (CGT) Intersections and quadrant roadway intersections.
INDOT has relied upon public feedback during each phase of the study, and will continue to do so through its conclusion, which is expected next fall.
In addition to submitting comments online by visiting each of the study websites, study teams are visiting communities along the corridors on a regular basis. Dates, times and locations for Community Office Hours can be found on the ProPEL U.S. 30 and ProPEL U.S. 31 websites and social media accounts.
“Our approach with this study is different than what people are used to with other INDOT projects,” said INDOT Project Manager, Jonathan Wallace. “We will continue to involve the public earlier in the planning process to guide the next 20 years of transportation investments. As a result, the public may see options at this stage they support and others they do not like. It’s important to include both to ensure a thorough review of all options and public feedback is vital to that effort.”
Fifty-five potential solutions were identified based on data collected, and evaluated based on the identified issues, needs, desired outcomes and practicality. A full list of the Universe of Alternatives is available online on the ProPEL US 30 and US 31 websites, and at locations throughout the study areas. INDOT is inviting public feedback to the potential solutions by December 22, 2023. After public feedback is evaluated, INDOT will publish a final Universe of Alternatives screening report on the ProPEL U.S. 30 and U.S. 31 websites.
What is the “Universe of Alternatives”?
The Universe of Alternatives represents the initial step of a three-step screening process. At the next phase, the study teams will evaluate the improvement concepts for specific locations within each study area. The result will be a smaller number of potential solutions, but with increased detail at each step that will assist the study teams in evaluating benefits, impacts and costs.
How can I get involved?
The public will be invited to provide feedback at each step. A final report of recommendations will be available at the conclusion of the study. INDOT intends to use the information, analysis and recommendations from the study process to inform decisions regarding future transportation improvements that will require federal environmental reviews in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act.
Which areas are included in the studies?
The studies include U.S. 30 from Valparaiso to the Indiana/Ohio state line, excluding I-69 and I-469 around Fort Wayne, as well as U.S. 31 between Hamilton County and Plymouth, excluding the Kokomo bypass. Counties within the study area include Allen, Fulton, Hamilton, Howard, Kosciusko, LaPorte, Marshall, Miami, Porter, Starke, Tipton and Whitley Counties.