WARSAW — Traffic concerns along US 30 and related issues to nearby roads dominated talk at the city’s traffic commission Wednesday, April 11.
City officials said Indiana Department of Transportation will make significant improvements to intersections along US 30 at Anchorage Road and Parker Street this summer that will help move traffic across the highway more effectively.
The projects will be paid for with state money and construction of both will not happen at the same time, said Plan Director Jeremy Skinner.
Both projects will involve adding more lanes to allow traffic to cross the highway more quickly.
Traffic on and around US 30 has become a major concern for the city in recent years. According to year-end statistics from the city police department, the city handled 166 accidents along US 30 in 2018 and saw a nearly identical number the year before. The highway accounts for the second most accidents in the city other than Detroit Street, which had 183 accidents last year.
INDOT plans to add an additional lane of traffic on both sides of the Parker Street intersection. At Anchorage Road, the south side of the intersection will be modified.
Most of the discussion focused on the Parker Street intersection.
“That will drastically improve that intersection, I think, in terms of pushing cars through the intersection,” Skinner said.
Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer said they have been adamant with the representatives of INDOT about the need for short-term improvements at both intersections.
“By allowing those intersections to clear a little bit quicker it will minimize conflict in those areas,” Thallemer said. “These are INDOT projects and INDOT solutions. We’re just happy that they’re finally doing something at least short term, but we know they’re not long-term solutions.”
The long-term answer, he said, is the development of a limited access highway that would replace the existing highway. Thallemer is chairman of a multi-county group that is looking at the best way to map out a new highway. Development of a new highway is probably 15 to 20 years away.
Two other emerging sore spots near US 30 are also being addressed by the city.
Business at the recently-opened Freedom Express gas station at the corner of US 30 and CR 150W is causing some occasional backups as southbound motorists on CR 150W attempt to enter into the gas station at the nearest entrance, which is not intended. The entrance was created to accommodate motorists leaving the gas station and turning north toward 30 and for northbound vehicles pulling into the gas station.
Travelers headed south from US 30 are expected to enter the gas station by using Executive Drive just to the south of the gas station, but they often attempt to turn into the first entrance, which has been causing a backup of vehicles.
Members of the traffic commission discussed the idea of “Do Not Enter” signs at the first entrance and the idea of adding a passing lane for the southbound traffic near Executive Drive to improve the situation.
No final decision was made concerning ways to improve traffic flow into the gas station.
Skinner said he wants to look at ways to improve the south side of that intersection during the next year.
Thallemer said they are also looking at ways to alleviate traffic along Husky Trail between the new roundabout and US 30. A traffic study will commence within weeks so that officials can consider changes.
Plans for the development of Husky Trail first began in 2011, but by the time it was constructed in 2017, the area saw the construction of the YMCA, Parkview Hospital and more residential to the west of the roundabout.
“The growth got ahead of us,” Thallemer said.