Opinions posted in abundance at U.S. 30 meeting in Warsaw

Jamie Bents, director of environmental planning for WPS USA, Minneapolis, speaks during a public meeting about U.S. 30 at Lincoln Elementary Tuesday. News Now Warsaw photo by Dan Spalding.

A large map displayed on a table inside the Lincoln Elementary gym Tuesday night was heavily congested with an abundance of Post-it notes voicing personalized concerns about reconstructing U.S. 30 through Kosciusko County.

That simple form of communication was one of several offered by consultants on Tuesday at a public meeting about long-term plans for U.S. 30 in Warsaw.

Consultants overseeing the meeting at Lincoln relied on one-on-one conversations, yellow notes, dots on charts and an invitation to comment online.

It’s all part of an effort to gain public input before recommendations are sent to INDOT in two years as part of an environmental study.

About 150 people attended Tuesday’s meeting in the school gym. While there was a brief presentation, much of the meeting was more like an open house. 

Many notes were placed along a handful of intersections with U.S. 30 in Warsaw.

Some notes were critical of the increased truck traffic and others underscored the importance of accommodating businesses along the route.

Kosciusko County, compared to other counties along the route across northern Indiana, has a large number of intersections with the highway that will need to be addressed.

Officials have suggested a reconstructed highway could potentially be routed to the north or south of Warsaw while a third option would follow the existing path.

Local officials have conceded that the middle route seems to be strongly favored by many and the city earlier this year issued a draft proposal highlighting the existing route.

While that map has been taken under advisement, officials at the meeting made it clear no decision has been made yet on the route or how intersecting traffic would be adjusted.

Numerous notes opposed the idea of a “bypass” going to the north or south of the city.

More small group meetings are planned in the future in Warsaw and another large-scale meeting is planned for next spring, officials said.

To learn more about the environmental study, go online at propelus30.com.