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Road Sage for August 18

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Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Road crews paint new yellow lines on Lake Avenue on Thursday, a move that should help alleviate recent confusion.

Lake Avenue ‘diet’ lane markings down

Sometimes diets are put on hold, even for roads.

Q. The other night my wife reported that most of the barrels are down in the Lake Avenue “diet” construction zone, and traffic was flowing nicely – two lanes in each direction! – Brian

A. I’ve enjoyed this “eye of the storm,” as well, Brian, but it ended before I truly got to really enjoy it.

New pavement markings on Lake Avenue between Anthony Boulevard and just past Hobson Road were made on Thursday reducing the four lanes of travel to three, with one lane in each direction and a middle turn lane. Some of the turn arrows, however, still had to be painted as of Friday.

But you are correct, Brian, that there was some confusion on this section of Lake after the contractor completed most of the concrete repairs and before the new lines were painted. Some drivers were using it as a four-lane road; some were not.

Shan Gunawardena, city traffic engineer, said some pavement markings wore off the street while some were still visible. A solid yellow line was painted down the center of the road to separate east and west traffic.

Crews are still improving signals along Lake – at Anthony, Randallia Drive and Hobson – and the process has made the commute a bit of a headache. More than once I’ve been stopped at a red light for too long with no traffic approaching the green light. Hopefully this will be corrected by the time the project is completed.

In my final verdict on a project I’ve not been overly kind to in the past, the wider lanes are noticeable and nice. Just those few extra feet do make it feel much safer to be driving on the road. Having said that, I am going to miss being able to pass aggravatingly slow drivers.

Q. Any chance there could be an “official” right-turn lane from Airport Expressway to Lower Huntington Road? Drivers are making their own right-turn lane there. – Lois Marquart

A. Unfortunately, Lois, what appears to be available road really isn’t.

The city’s Gunawardena said the existing concrete pavement for northbound Airport Expressway extends only to the edge of the far-right through lane. The pavement to the right of the through lane is built only as a shoulder and is not strong enough to consistently handle moving traffic.

That means crews can’t simply place new lines on the pavement to create a turn lane. The city would have to reconstruct the road completely. Based on existing traffic volume and the performance levels of the intersection, Gunawardena said the cost of the work cannot be justified at this time.

Road Work

•There will be temporary lane closures at Coliseum Boulevard and Goshen Road to allow state crews to repair pavement. The left-turn lane from eastbound Coliseum will be closed during the entire project, while other lanes will have intermittent restrictions from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. The work will begin Monday and should end Thursday. Eastbound vehicles on Coliseum wanting to access Interstate 69 will be diverted to Lima Road.

•The state began closing lanes on Interstate 469 between Indianapolis Road and Indiana 1 to allow crews to paint the Coverdale Road bridge over the interstate. The closures will be intermittent and are expected to last through the end of the month. Icarus is doing the work for $483,000.

•Work will begin Monday to repave Interstate 69 between U.S. 6 and Indiana 4 in DeKalb County. The maintenance work will require intermittent lane restrictions for motorists through Sept. 7.

Radio Sage

This week’s audio column comes from Chris Pflieger of Fort Wayne regarding the interchange between Interstate 69 and Coldwater Road. The segment originally aired on Friday and can be heard online at www.journalgazette.net/roadsage.

Road Sage provides transportation knowledge, solves driving dilemmas and answers construction conundrums. It appears every Saturday. Email your questions to roadsage@jg.net.

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