U.S. 30 traffic light repair nearly complete
By Christin Nance Lazerus email@example.com July 3, 2014 1:37PM
Updated: July 4, 2014 2:06AM
All of U.S. 30 was reopened to traffic Thursday as a projected 12-hour closure between Interstate 65 and U.S. 41 for repair work on took drastically less time than NIPSCO and the Indiana Department of Transportation had estimated.
The repair work was necessary after stong storms Monday night knocked down two power lines near the Taft Street intersection in Merrillville, frying traffic signals with 70,000 volts, and lights for the westbound traffic were knocked down as well.
At 10 p.m. Wednesday, NIPSCO started working on two downed power lines near the Taft Street, but their crews finished up shortly before midnight, which allowed INDOT to open up U.S. 30 to traffic except at the Taft Street intersection. The traffic signal at Taft and U.S. 30 was up and running by 2 p.m., Thursday.
After NIPSCO was finished, INDOT started the work of replacing wiring, bolts and other traffic signal hardware. By 7:30 a.m., the intersection reopened, but it was operating as a four-way stop as the traffic lights were still out.
“The whole signal was so badly fried by the falling power lines that we had to replace everything,” INDOT spokesman Matt Deitchley said.
Deitchley said INDOT understands that the closure was frustrating to drivers and business owners.
“We’d rather warn folks of the possibility of the full extent of the closure, but this ultimately was good news,” Deitchley said.
About 10,000 NIPSCO customers are still without power across Northern Indiana, including 1,060 in Gary, 876 in Hammond, 643 in Merrillville, 625 in Portage, and 587 in Schererville. More than 90 percent of customers have regained power.