Environmental impact will be the focus of a plan to develop the U.S. 30 corridor at Kroemer and Flaugh roads, according to state officials who unveiled several options to improve safety and congestion while addressing long-term transportation needs.
The $40 million project presented Thursday at Sweetwater Sound drew about 200 people, who gathered at boards featuring four build alternatives, one at Kroemer and U.S. 30 where Sweetwater sits on the southwest corner, and one at Flaugh where Amazon is building a 634,000-square-foot fulfillment center.
At the meeting, project manager Damien Perry with the Indiana Department of Transportation and Adam Burns, consultant project manager with Crawford, Murphy & Tilly, an Indianapolis engineering firm, presented the project and met with neighbors and others before and after a video presentation.
After the meeting, Burns said there was no preferred site for an enhanced interchange and that officials had been looking to improve the flow of traffic for years.
Five intersections along U.S. 30 were studied. Grade-separated interchanges are proposed at Kroemer, where growing congestion has caused increased crashes, and Flaugh. Intersection improvement including “right in, right out” or closures at the three others are being investigated.
At Kroemer, where environmental and historical concerns were highlighted in the northeast corner, U.S. 30 would be raised, according to the video. Environmental studies will be done on wetlands, streams, threatened and endangered species and noise.
This public meeting was the first step in the process, which officials say will result in construction starting in 2024 and last a year.
The presentation indicated there will be a meeting next spring where the environmental report will be released and a public hearing will be held.
The public is asked to submit comments and questions on the current presentation by email to US30Corridor@cmtengr.com, by mail to CMT at 8790 Purdue Road, Indianapolis, 46268 or by phone at 317-983-3242.
Rebecca and Dick Smith of Columbia City sat in the front row at the presentation and came away thinking the development was for the best, particularly the proposal for Kroemer and U.S. 30.
“It'll help because we won't have a traffic light and there's so many accidents because of all the trucks,” said Rebecca Smith, who works at a firm across U.S. 30 at Kroemer.
Both pointed out that Amazon will use trucks that will add to the congestion. Amazon is expected to open the facility next year and bring 1,000 jobs with the opening.
The meeting can be accessed at projectmeetingonline.com/us-30-corridor-study.