Hamlet officials hope a U.S. 30 construction project will wrap up soon. Following a spike in accidents, Town Council President Dave Kesvormas urged INDOT to address safety concerns in the work zone.
During Wednesday’s council meeting, Kesvormas said he never got a direct response, but steps were apparently taken to fix some of the issues. “They didn’t respond to me, but they also did post speed limit signs up there, which weren’t there before,” he explained. “I’m not happy with it being 50, but it’s something. I think it should be 35. I mean, if they’re picking up garbage on the Tollway or 80/94, they slow everything down to 35 miles an hour.” Construction workers also reportedly removed some sections of barrier that were causing visibility problems and stopped parking trucks in the intersection, among other changes.
Town officials felt the work zone was particularly dangerous, since it had lanes closed at an intersection along a curved section of highway without many streetlights. Kesvormas said there have been 11 accidents that he’s aware of.
Again, he complained that no one discussed the project ahead of time with town officials. “It just was never like any other project INDOT has ever done,” he said. “I think that INDOT always did a great job prior to this, and I don’t know if it’s their fault, the contractor’s fault, they’ve got a different contractor. They’ve always at least stopped in and said something to [Clerk-Treasurer Kristina Pitts] or said something to [Street Superintendent] Fred [Rowe], and this time, just to say, ‘Hey, we want to buy some water from you,’ and we’re clueless as to what they’re doing and how long they’re going to be, I think that was just bad on their part.”
At this point, it appears the worst part of the construction project is over, according to Kesvormas. He said he’s heard that work should wrap up by the end of the month, but he hasn’t gotten that information officially. In the meantime, he says Hamlet, Starke County, and state police have all stepped up patrols.