The Indiana Department of Transportation recently received federal funding to support the I-80/I-94 FlexRoad project in Northwest Indiana.
“FlexRoad represents a transformational opportunity to improve mobility and safety, while also providing better access to employment hubs and destinations for those who live and work near the corridor,” Gov. Eric Holcomb said in a press release.
“Strategies like dynamic shoulder lanes, variable speed limits, ramp metering and queue warning systems are innovative tools to help optimize traffic flow and make travel safer,” Holcomb said.
The FlexRoad project involves construction on the 12-mile stretch of the I-80/I-94 Borman Expressway. The road extends from the Indiana-Illinois state line to I-65 in Gary.
“The Borman accommodates an average of more than 200,000 vehicles per day, making it the busiest interstate corridor in Indiana,” said Mike Smith, INDOT commissioner.
Smith added that existing traffic volumes are forecasted to increase nearly 20 percent by 2040. The expressway already sees high levels of congestion and traffic incidents.
“The utilization of the Borman Expressway is a fact of life for countless residents of Northwest Indiana, commuters and commerce,” U.S. Rep. Frank Mrvan said.
The goal of the FlexRoad project is to improve travel time, enhance safety and reduce carbon emissions.
The project is currently in the design phase, with the team studying four different designs. Construction is projected to start in 2026.
The $127 million grant was awarded through the National Infrastructure Project Assistance (Mega) program. The funding will support over half of the anticipated $212.5 million cost of the project.
The Mega program assists with large projects that are likely to have national or regional economic, mobility or safety benefits. It is part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
The Borman Expressway was named for Gary native Frank Borman, one of the first astronauts to circle the moon. It was originally constructed in 1950 for 60,000 vehicles per day. By the early 2000s, the road was carrying 160,000 vehicles per day.