Improvements to US 30 could change the landscape of Columbia City

From Valparaiso to the Ohio State Line, US 30 is integral for transportation across our state, as well as the economy of the towns it runs through. One them...Columbia City. Mayor Ryan Daniel says he’s advocated for improvements to the highway for years.

Posted: Feb 22, 2021 8:21 PM
Updated: Feb 23, 2021 10:03 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- From Valparaiso to the Ohio State Line, US 30 is integral for transportation across our state, as well as the economy of the towns it runs through.

One them...Columbia City.

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U.S. Highway 30. File Photo

Mayor Ryan Daniel says he’s advocated for improvements to the highway for years.

The Indiana Department of Transportation announced they’re looking to make necessary improvements to US 30. In the coming months, INDOT will begin a Planning and Environment Linkages study aimed at improving safety, traffic flow, freight movement, and economic development.

“This plan gives us the opportunity to really realize what that future planning is going to be,” Daniel said. 

They’ll be looking at two major factors: safety and economic viability.

“It’s important for individuals both residents and visitors to get from point A to point B effectively. Obviously, one of those businesses relies on this traffic that stops through, whether it’s a bite to eat or to stop at our different shops,” he said. 

Popular spot to grab a bite, Wing Etc., is just off of US 30 in Columbia City.

Manager Krista Schimmels commutes from Fort Wayne on the highway every day. She has mixed feelings about the potential of 30 becoming a freeway.

“With the winter we’ve had so far the number of wrecks and people driving off the roads going over 60 is a little bit insane, so it makes me nervous,” Schimmels said. 

On the other hand, she says it may help with traffic and make it safer for drivers on the road.

“I also like the idea of it turning into a freeway. Maybe it would bring a little bit more business here,” she said. 

INDOT Spokesman Hunter Petroviak says if they were to transform US 30 into a freeway today it would cost $1.5 billion dollars. The solution isn’t that cut and dry though.

“People can form opinions, a freeway is obviously something that the PEL could tell us is a good example of what to do with that road, but it also could give us other best practices for that road and best uses for taxpayer dollars which could mean intersection improvements like a J-turn,” Petroviak said. 

INDOT anticipates beginning the study mid-to-late 2021. They say it should take about two years to complete. Most projects on US 30 have been put on the back burner, except for a J-turn in Whitley County, as this study is being conducted.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 661673

Reported Deaths: 12573
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion906391639
Lake48389876
Allen35806635
Hamilton32056396
St. Joseph29947512
Elkhart25376414
Vanderburgh21245378
Tippecanoe20000201
Johnson16336359
Porter15957270
Hendricks15813300
Clark11946181
Madison11741316
Vigo11595229
Monroe10328161
Delaware9836179
LaPorte9761196
Howard9055197
Kosciusko8561109
Bartholomew7448147
Warrick7412150
Hancock7404131
Floyd7200169
Wayne6631191
Grant6424157
Morgan6084125
Boone608288
Dubois5903111
Dearborn547067
Cass544399
Marshall5423104
Henry542093
Noble509078
Jackson464566
Shelby460290
Lawrence4180112
Gibson401281
Harrison399663
Clinton395453
Montgomery386783
DeKalb385178
Knox357285
Miami357263
Whitley349136
Huntington343976
Steuben338155
Wabash331176
Putnam329759
Ripley327061
Adams323149
Jasper315943
White297352
Jefferson294873
Daviess285396
Fayette271556
Decatur270888
Greene261280
Posey260831
Wells258274
Scott250350
Clay241044
LaGrange240870
Randolph225576
Spencer217130
Jennings215044
Washington211027
Sullivan203239
Fountain201442
Starke188051
Owen182153
Fulton178237
Jay177728
Carroll176518
Perry173235
Orange171250
Rush164722
Vermillion160442
Franklin159435
Tipton146341
Parke139216
Pike127632
Blackford120627
Pulaski106444
Newton96531
Brown94939
Benton91913
Crawford90613
Martin80114
Warren75814
Switzerland7537
Union67110
Ohio53311
Unassigned0431

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 967422

Reported Deaths: 17297
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1118511208
Cuyahoga954841746
Hamilton73202970
Montgomery47226889
Summit40110957
Butler35435471
Lucas35217765
Stark29301840
Warren22361276
Lorain21952389
Mahoning19402543
Lake18358305
Clermont18327211
Delaware16415135
Licking14939200
Fairfield14491159
Trumbull14283462
Greene13548213
Medina13347219
Clark12223336
Wood11492193
Portage10982160
Allen10762235
Richland10250206
Miami10006190
Muskingum8153130
Columbiana8103182
Pickaway8033101
Tuscarawas8016236
Marion7979137
Wayne7848219
Erie6858184
Ross6123136
Geauga6051128
Hancock5979112
Ashtabula5937145
Scioto5920104
Lawrence523174
Union511252
Darke5025124
Belmont490989
Huron4781117
Jefferson4781108
Sandusky475996
Seneca4652103
Athens463133
Washington460587
Mercer4581101
Auglaize455099
Shelby440769
Knox401186
Putnam3984101
Madison391447
Ashland378495
Fulton377964
Defiance3711102
Brown369042
Crawford356696
Logan353259
Preble352571
Clinton339964
Highland327356
Ottawa322767
Williams301878
Jackson289256
Champaign285846
Guernsey285834
Fayette267844
Perry267543
Morrow259125
Henry245565
Hardin243957
Holmes2430104
Coshocton234547
Van Wert228849
Gallia221346
Adams215532
Pike214928
Wyandot209153
Hocking193549
Carroll180328
Paulding159723
Meigs134837
Noble128542
Monroe116136
Morgan100534
Harrison100432
Vinton76615
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