The purpose of this project was to improve capacity and safety at the intersection of US 6 and Meridian Road near Chesterton, Indiana. The existing left turn lanes on US 6 had inadequate length which caused traffic to queue into the through lanes. Congestion and safety at the intersection was improved by extending the left turn lanes. To further increase the capacity at the intersection, a right turn lane was added to northbound Meridian Road.
A park is located at the southeast corner of the intersection and adjacent to the project boundary. Shrewsberry designed the project to avoid the need for any new right-of-way acquisition from this parcel to avoid affecting a Section 4(f) resource. After title work was performed, it was determined that the existing right-of-way would need to be re-acquired. The Parks Department and Federal Highway Administration found the project to have a de minimis impact upon the Sunset Hill Farm County Park thus allowing the project to continue without any costly delays.
Shrewsberry identified an opportunity to reduce construction and land acquisition costs from what was proposed in the engineering assessment. Our preliminary analysis showed that the left-turn lanes on US 6 would perform adequately at a shorter length than proposed. Reducing the storage length for the left-turn lanes reduced the need for roadway widening, minimized right-of-way acquisition and reduced costs and mitigated any potential schedule delays due to utility relocates and coordination.