A public hearing will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28, in the Wawasee High School Auditorium, 1 Warrior Path, Building 1, Syracuse, to hear a proposed bridge project at CR 29 over U.S. 6, north of Syracuse.
That intersection has been the scene of numerous accidents, fatalities and near misses over the years. (See related story)
All interested persons will be given an opportunity to comment on the environmental document and preliminary design plans for the new bridge. The proposed project is to reduce the accident frequency and severity at the intersection.
While the construction of the project will require approximately 10.9 acres of new permanent right of way, no residents are allegedly going to be displaced because of the project.
Mary Foster, media relations, Indiana Department of Transportation, Fort Wayne District, stated the project will cost approximately $3 million.
The proposal removes all access to either road from either U.S. 6 or CR 29.
Foster noted, “This intersection has had a history of serious accidents, including several fatalities. In fact, INDOT’S Office of Traffic Safety has identified this intersection on the INDOT Five Percent Report of areas with higher-than-average crash rates. Therefore, the purpose of this project is to modify the intersection so that both crash frequency and severity are reduced.”
Foster said several alternatives were considered, including a modified at-grade intersection, however, the addition of a traffic signal could “not be considered because the intersection did not meet signal warrants. When all factors were evaluated, the improved safety and cost benefit ratio of the grade separation option (bridge) made it the preferred alternate.”
Preliminary design plans and environmental documents are at the Syracuse Public Library, 115 E. Main St., Syracuse, to review.
According to the INDOT release, Traffic on U.S. 6 will be maintained during construction, with shoulder restrictions anticipated during construction of the proposed bridge abutments, however, short term closures are anticipated during the bridge beam placement. Local traffic would be detoured using SR 13, CR 33 and CR 36.
The public hearing serves as the opportunity for the public to comment on both the categorical exclusion environmental document and to view and comment on the preliminary plans. All comments collected before, during and two weeks after the hearing will be taken into consideration.
The tentative timetables for right-of-way acquisition and construction will be discussed during the formal presentation. Public statements for the record will be taken after the presentation. Individuals interested in participating in the public statement session may sign the speaker’s schedule prior to the presentation.
The preliminary plans will be available for anyone interested in talking to the engineers about the project before and after the formal presentation. These conversations will not be part of the official record. Any point of concern or suggestion must be submitted in writing during the comment period or as a statement on record at the public hearing.