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Deputy Chief of Staff
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100 N. Senate IGCN Rm N105
The mission of the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) is to plan, build, maintain and operate a superior transportation system enhancing safety, mobility and economic growth. Governor Mitch Daniels' Major Moves highway program is realizing INDOT's mi... more.
Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission
Executive Board Member
Chicago Metropolitan Area
Editorial Advisory Board
"These meetings have, I believe, created a greater understanding by our Farm Bureau partners of our processes, time lines and reasoning behind decisions we make about public safety and mobility," said INDOT Deputy Chief of Staff Bob Alderman.
The high stakes of Thursday's vote were made clear when INDOT Northwest Indiana Chief Bob Alderman, a nonvoting board member, made a long and impassioned plea for members to approve the expressway.
He reiterated all the arguments in favor of the Illiana Expressway but focused his most passionate argument on safety. He said maintaining the new expressway will make the Borman Expressway and other roads safer. He even recalled for his listeners the August Interstate 65 crash near DeMotte that killed four children and three adults. "Are you comfortable with your friends and families and constituents traveling on those highways today? Alderman asked near the end of his plea.
"This winter has shown us every weakness we have in the system and we will find a way to improve all of those," said INDOT LaPorte District Deputy Commissioner Bob Alderman on Thursday.
A project to repave U.S. 20 from the LaPorte County line to Interstate 94 in Porter, a distance of more than 10 miles, has been moved up on INDOT's schedule to this summer from its original start date in 2015, Alderman told the regular meeting of the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission in Portage. The two contracts for the repair blitz, one for the northern portion of INDOT's Northwest Indiana district and one for the south, will be let for bid this month, Alderman said. The northern contract will be for approximately $2 million and the southern for about $1.5 million. Those contracts will include projects ranging from patching and repairing a single city block in some areas to a mile of road in others, Alderman said. Ind. 49 from U.S. 30 up to the Indiana Toll Road in Porter County will get a lot of attention as it was one of the main arterials suffering the worst damage in winter, he said.
The Indiana Department of Transportation continues to pour its available resources into pothole patching in the region, but there is no doubt the Northwest corner of the state absorbed the worst of winter's wrath, according to INDOT Deputy Commissioner Bob Alderman.
"The lion's share of the damage has taken place in Lake and Porter counties," Alderman told a meeting of the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission executive board on Thursday. Portage Mayor James Snyder asked Alderman why so many overhead lights are out on the Borman Expressway. Alderman attributed the problem to copper thieves, who have been stripping the wire out of the poles. Police recently apprehended one such thief at his home where he was burning the coating off stolen wires.
Others present included Bob Alderman, Addison Pollack, Jeff Huet, Deb Backhus, Carol Kuznicki, Dave Nellens, Robert Carnahan, David Wright, Teresa Torres, Renae Jackson, Jim Nowacki and Christopher Meyers.
Bob Alderman of INDOT is not a voting member but volunteered to assist on the Legislative Committee. Indiana Department of Transportation: Bob Alderman reported on the problems caused by the severe weather, including the pothole issues. The two right lanes of I-94 just east of Portage are closed due to the repair of a six-foot pothole. Bob Alderman committed that he will get with Mayor Copeland, other principals and Indianapolis to try to get something done. With respect to the asphalt plans, Bob Alderman commented that Reith Riley in Indianapolis is opening their hot mix plant. Bob Alderman commented that a joint pooling of resources is needed to handle the problems collectively. He suggested exploring an opportunity to create a unified mobilization and deployment committee.