By Jackie Gorski
WINONA LAKE — Members of the Warsaw and Winona Lake community celebrated the completion of the roundabout at the intersection of Park Avenue, Kings Highway, Winona Avenue and Argonne Road with a ribbon-cutting Friday, July 21.
Members of the community included Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce staff and ambassadors, Winona Lake Town Council members, Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer and employees of A & Z Engineering LLC and Phend & Brown Inc.
Winona Lake Town Manager Craig Allebach thanked everyone for being there and said the construction of the roundabout “has been a long process, obviously.” In 2016, the roundabout was one of the projects that was part of Winona Lake’s Stellar project to get a Stellar designation. At that time, Allebach said the town was not successful at getting grant money. However, later that year, the town was awarded a different grant through the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) for about $1.5 million.
The cost of the project increased to $3 million “due a lot to things that happened in the last couple years,” Allebach said.
In April 2022, the Winona Lake Town Council approved a bid from Phend & Brown for $2,989,989 for the roundabout. INDOT footed 80% of the bill, with the town providing 20%.
Work on the project started July 25, 2022. Preliminary construction went on in the area for months prior to the start of construction due to NIPSCO doing utility work and the city of Warsaw completing a separate storm drain project.
Friday, Allebach said the roundabout is a big piece connecting Warsaw and Winona Lake. Winona Lake collaborated closely with the city of Warsaw on the project.
Allebach also recognized Jason Pace, from A & Z Engineering LLC, as the “onsite guy” for the last few months of construction. Pace worked with community leaders and Phend & Brown to bring the project together, Allebach said. Allebach said the work Phend & Brown did also was appreciated.
Dan Brown, of Phend & Brown, said the roundabout was a great solution to traffic flow. He said it was great to work with a forward-looking community.
Jamal Anabtawi, A & Z Engineering president, thanked INDOT for making the project happen in regards to the grant money.
Thallemer said the new roundabout is the sixth in the area and is very well designed. He said he’s glad the roundabout is finally there and having the roundabout there makes sense. He said, hopefully, there will be more roundabouts in the area.
Winona Lake Council President Rick Swaim thanked Allebach for his work on the roundabout.
Allebach thanked the town council for their support. He said he gets a lot of credit for the roundabout, but he took the project to the council and they were all in.
Anabtawi presented plaques to the town of Winona Lake, Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce and Phend & Brown commemorating the ribbon-cutting.