Portage Leaders Work To Define US 20 Corridor


“The town is somewhat split on the idea that U.S. 20 can change,” Burns Harbor Town Councilman Jeff Freeze told The Times.

His community completed a comprehensive plan in 2009.

“Some believe it is a heavy haul highway, and it will stay that way,” he said, adding others, including himself, believe it can remain a heavy haul highway, but work can be done to change the character of at least a portion of the highway.

Burns Harbor’s downtown has been designated the northwest intersection of U.S. 20 and Ind. 149. That area, said Freeze, is envisioned to have different building standards to attract retail, possibly an anchor grocery store with complementary retail development.

“We’d like to have a developer come in and look at it as a whole,” said Freeze, adding the town of about 1,100 doesn’t have the roof tops to attract retailers nor does it have the staff to accomplish plans on its own.

“Communities are beginning to recognize the economic, social and environmental benefits of green designs and incorporating them into their broader planning and redevelopment strategies.

The city of Gary is no different. Currently, a brownfield development team is meeting to explore expansion opportunities to build green infrastructures in the Emerson area along Fifth Avenue as well areas in the Miller section adjacent to U.S. 20. More details will be shared this spring, said Chelsea Whittington, Gary’s director of communications.

Property owner Brian Gurgon said he’d like to see Gary and Portage work together to develop the area between Ind. 51 to approximately Dombey Road as a tourist service center, offering parks and parking and services to those who visit the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

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Posted by on Apr 1st, 2013 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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