(La Porte, IN) - Despite a recent history of bitter contention, the La Porte County Commissioners have agreed on something. They are opposed to building a La Porte bypass.
At their regular meeting this week, commissioners passed a resolution opposing the construction of a corridor somewhere along La Porte’s east side to divert truck traffic away from the downtown.
Commissioners cited concerns over a bypass route eating up rural greenspace that would negatively impact farmers and county residents. They also discussed what they feel to be lack of collaboration with the City of La Porte.
But their primary objection was financial.
Such a project would cost at least $150 million with a buy-in of about $18 million from the county. Once built, say the commissioners, the roughly 60 new miles of roadway would become the county’s maintenance responsibility. For the commissioners, that’s too big a commitment for a project that they say primarily helps the City of La Porte.
“We can’t get the county involved in this,” said Commissioner Joe Haney. “And we can’t put this kind of burden and these kinds of issues on people today— right now, immediately— let alone on our children and grandchildren for what the financial implications of doing something like this would be toward the county. If the city wants to figure that out, that’s fine. But the county certainly cannot afford to do something like this whatsoever.”
Commission President Sheila Matias agreed. “Politics or no politics, I came against this early on,” she said. “I think this is a terrible idea. With the city, we have tried to play nice, but at this point, the executives for the county need to take a stand for the citizens we represent and say this is our money, this is too much money, and it doesn’t make good sense.”
As part of the resolution, the commissioners support using existing roadways, such as Boyd Boulevard, Boston Street, and Severs Road to handle the traffic.