Marshall County leaders want to turn US Highway 30 into a freeway
There have been nearly 400 crashes along US 30 in Marshall County in just the past three years.
That's why county leaders are trying to come up with a safer plan. Especially as more trucks take that route.
People who live there are now a part of the process.
Many who attended Tuesday night's meeting agree that US 30 is a dangerous road to travel.
But not everyone is excited to see the highway to become a freeway.
Oak Drive and US 30 is one the most congested intersections in Marshall County.
And with 30,000 vehicles traveling the highway every day experts believe it's only going to get worse.
That's why Marshall County leaders want to be a part of the planning instead of waiting for INDOT to come up with ideas.
“Much like Argos that happened this past summer when J-turns were highly considered as an alternative, that community did not have a solid plan they could lean. So we scrambled at the last moment to try and help INDOT to understand the impact of that J-turn,” said Jerry Chavez.
The coalition says a freeway could be the best option for the county.
They say a freeway could increase traffic to 81,000 vehicles a day and decrease the number of crashes by more than 300 a year.
Cori Humes says she still has questions about the plans.
But is glad to be a part of the conversation.
“I'm really glad that the leaders in this community is asking for public input so that we are able to do what we can to say what we would like to see what's best for Marshall County as a whole,” said Humes.
According to study by INDOT, improving US 30 would create more than 10,000 jobs and bring additional businesses to the area.
Chavez says change is hard but it's part of the county's future.
“There's a lot of good things occurring in this county. And in particular this community so it's a right time to have these conversations. It's the right time to start thinking about while things are going to change how do we guide that change in 5 to 10 years?” said Chavez.
Right now there is no money to make these kinds of changes to US 30.
But the project has been considered by INDOT for quite some time.
A spokesperson says INDOT is open to hearing ideas to improve safety and mobility.
Marshall County leaders say they're planning to create a committee to help put together a plan.