According to INDOT, there are approximately 21 stoplights on U.S. 30 from Warsaw to Fort Wayne with the bulk of those lights being in Warsaw and Columbia City.
Now, much like state officials began a project in 2008 to construct a U.S. 31 bypass at South Bend, Kokomo and Indianapolis to alleviate congestion problems, INDOT is looking to study the possibility of a similar project for U.S. 30.
INDOT spokeswoman Toni Mayo tells StaceyPageOnline.com, “INDOT is committed to doing the study, but we don’t know when, what department will do the study, or about the funding for it. This has happened at lightning speed so I can only talk in generalities.”
Word of the study was revealed through a memorandum of understanding that deals with a road construction project in Allen County. That $30 million project calls for the widening of and improvements to Lafayette Center Road from U.S. 24 in Roanoke to I-469, but Mayo assured that not a dime of that money will be used for a study involving U.S. 30.
Included in the documents for that project was one sentence noting two options may be looked at to improve traffic along U.S. 30 from Fort Wayne to Warsaw. The first could include overpasses at problematic intersections. The second option, much like U.S. 31, could be a new limited access expressway.
Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer said the proposed project has been among a list of potential projects since shortly after the U.S. 31 project broke ground, but said he has not received any information that the study is moving forward. Thallemer did note an infrastructure committee has looked at the U.S. 30 corridor and discussions have turned to the possibility that economic development could be dissuaded without the construction of a bypass.
Ultimately, Thallemer said it is just too early to tell what kind of impact a new expressway would have on local economics.
Mayo also reiterated that a memorandum of understanding is only the first step in what is expected to be a very extensive process. “This is all brand new to me but … when it’s in a document, it’s pretty serious.”