State looking at what U.S. 6 needs now that Porter hospital’s open
By Amy Lavalley Post-Tribune correspondent March 13, 2013 11:18PM
Traffic flows East and West on US 6 near Porter Regional Hospital Thursday Mar. 7, 2013. Porter county officials are seeking an INDOT study for the area to determine if the roa needs to be enlarged due to increased traffic flow. | Andy Lavalley~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 15, 2013 11:13AM
VALPARAISO — When the Porter County Board of Commissioners recently passed a resolution asking the Indiana Department of Transportation to do a traffic study on U.S. 6 near Porter Regional Hospital, the state agency was already ahead of the game.
The commissioners passed the resolution at their meeting last week, noting the volume of traffic by the hospital, which opened in late August at U.S. 6 and Indiana 49, has increased significantly in the ensuing months.
Board of Commissioners President John Evans, R-North, said U.S. 6 is four lanes by the hospital, but is two lanes west of the facility. Commissioners would like to see the road widened west of the hospital to better accommodate ambulance traffic.
The INDOT LaPorte District Traffic Department was already doing a study of U.S. 6 in the area before commissioners passed the resolution, said Matt Deitchely, the district’s media relations director.
The study will likely continue for the next month or so.
“We typically do a study like this a few months after a major development on a state road, like this new hospital,” Deitchely said, adding in the meantime, “we are requiring any future developments along this stretch of U.S. 6 to be able to accommodate any potential future expansions of the road.”
U.S. 6 was widened to four lanes in a 3.2-mile stretch between Union Street in Hobart and Scottsdale Road in Portage four years ago. The $32 million project was paid for through the state’s Major Moves project.