WARSAW, Ind (WPTA21)- Many came out to Lincoln Elementary School Wednesday night, to see the proposed plans for U.S. Highway 30.
The highway cuts through nine intersections in the city of Warsaw. The city’s Mayor, Joseph Thallemer said one intersection has had 220 accidents in the span of about nine years. He said he is proposing the changes to ensure safety in the community.
“It’s a huge safety issue, we’ve been working with the seven county coalition to come up with a freeway plan, we’re meeting with legislatures, we’re meeting with the public back in our respective counties to try to get a long term solution hammered out,” Thallemer said.
He said the plans at Wednesday nights meeting are not set in stone, and will probably be altered. One plan is to keep the original route and create changes to the intersections, add overpasses and close some off. The other two plans involve routing 30 to the north or south of the city.
“It’s gonna be expensive and it’s going to take time to do but the work’s got to be right here,” Thallemer said.
Warsaw resident, Carroll Blair said if the city chooses the northern route, it will create traffic and noise pollution near his home.
“I think they should keep the route that they have the road is already paid for, it’s already built, they need to clean up the stoplights, make overpasses, underpasses whatever it takes. And it’s gonna take a lot less time and a lot less money,” Blair said.
Another resident, Roxanne Coffelt said she thinks the northern route would be cheaper but it would disregard other parts of the city.
“Obviously the northern route is going to be a lot cheaper because its a lot a shorter but then I think the drawback to the northern route is you still have all the growth on the north and east side of town, whereas the west side of town has just been getting neglected,” Coffelt said.
Thallemer said once a route is chosen the city will present the plan to INDOT.
INDOT Media Relations Director Nichole Thomas released the following statement about the project:
“INDOT is committed to improving safety and mobility along US 30. INDOT has no plans to build a freeway or alter the current alignment of US 30. We can achieve the same benefits of a freeway at less than half the cost by implementing improvements that are appropriate for the traffic volume along US 30. INDOT is investing more than $300 million in the next 20 years on a strategic mix of interchanges, grade separations and reduced conflict intersections that will prevent crashes, save lives and decrease congestion and delays across the corridor.”