Residents of the U.S. 30 Corridor met June 10 to learn what the Indiana Department of Transportation has in mind to improve safety and traffic flow at the five intersections. Under the state’s microscope along the heavily traveled route are the Kroemer, Flaugh, O’Day, Stahlhut and Leesburg/Felger intersections.
The public open house, which was held at Sweetwater Sound, was hosted by INDOT’s project manager for the Fort Wayne District, Damien Perry. He said the highway has experienced an increase in vehicle delays and increased crash rates. Kroemer Road’s crashes number nearly 60 per year. Kroemer and Flaugh roads are being studied for grade-separated interchanges, while the other three are being studied for at-grade improvements.
Material shares with the public lists the study objectives. Most important is to reduce congestion at Kroemer Road. Proposed work also is intended to improve safety, minimize the impact on environmentally sensitive areas, support opportunities for economic development and provide flexibility to address future transportation needs and long-term mobility.
Adam Burns, project manager for the Indianapolis consulting firm of Crawford, Murphy & Tilly, narrated a recorded slide presentation to explain the alternatives under study. He, members of the CMT team and Perry were available after the program to answer questions and to record concerns about the project, which is expected to cost between $35.5 million and $40.5 million.
Burns’ program listed four alternatives, with the first being a teardrop-interchange that would elevate U.S. 30 over Kroemer Road, which is by far the busiest of the five intersections because of the industrial complex located there. Also being considered is a right-in/right-out intersection, which would mean no cross traffic on U.S. 30.
Three alternatives involve Flaugh Road. The first would be constructing a diverging diamond interchange. Another is a partial cloverleaf. The last is a standard diamond with roundabout intersections on either side of U.S. 30. O’Day and Stahlhut intersection possibilities include right-in/right-out or intersection closure. The Leesburg/Felger Road proposal is for it to be a right-in/right-out intersection or to leave it as it is.
Audience members who identified themselves as farmers voiced concerns after the program about how to get heavy equipment across U.S. 30 if O’Day and Stalhut roads are closed. Perry indicated they would have to use the Flaugh or Kroemer interchanges or Leesburg/Felger if the final decision is to leave it as it as is.
Timeline for the project is to have identified the preferred alternatives by the summer of 2022 and begin right-of-way acquisition in July of 2022 through 2023. The final designs would be completed by May of 2023 and construction would start in the spring of 2024 and be completed in 2025.
Public comments will be accepted until July 1. Go to https://projectmeetingonline.com/us-30-corridor-study/ to leave comments or see renderings and other information about the project.