In anticipation of transformative downtown projects, the City of Valparaiso is sharing staging details for the Lincoln Highway Garage, The Linc and related infrastructure improvements to enhance sidewalks, streetscape and underground utilities. “We are excited to see these projects begin and have worked hard to ensure their designs complement the existing character of downtown. We’ve also planned thoughtfully to minimize disruption during the construction phases,” said Mayor Matt Murphy.
The Lincoln Highway Garage project will begin first, ultimately adding 362 parking spaces to support The Linc as well as surrounding businesses and homes. The Linc project will begin next, adding 121 modern apartments with retail space on the ground floors of each of three buildings.
Planned construction phasing includes:
Safety fencing will surround the Lincoln Highway Garage site at the northeast corner of Lincolnway and Morgan Boulevard. Construction is expected to begin the second quarter of 2023 and take approximately 12 months.
Safety fencing will surround The Linc site at the northwest corner of Lincolnway and Morgan Boulevard to Michigan Boulevard. Construction is expected to begin the third quarter of 2023 and take approximately 18 months.
Sidewalk, streetscape and underground improvements will enhance the downtown area and upgrade aged utilities, including separating storm and sanitary sewers, providing long-term sustainability and environmental benefits. Construction is expected to begin early in 2024 and take approximately six to eight months.
For safety, sidewalks will be restricted with pedestrian traffic rerouted across the streets from construction. The City will create a pedestrian loop on the west side of Morgan Boulevard, Jefferson Street and Locust Street with detours marked. Detours will begin with construction of the Lincoln Highway Garage, restricting pedestrians from the north side of Lincolnway (between Morgan Boulevard and Valparaiso Street) and the east side of Morgan Boulevard (between Lincolnway and alley). The crosswalk at Lincolnway and Morgan will also be restricted across the north side of Morgan and the east side of Lincolnway. Restrictions will expand once construction begins on The Linc.
To offset the loss of public parking spaces in construction areas, the City of Valparaiso is sharing information of available parking located at:
Jefferson lot – located at the northeast corner of Jefferson Street and Lafayette Street. This lot was recently expanded by the City of Valparaiso and allows for 3-hour parking or all-day with a parking pass.
Morgan Boulevard – south lot – located at 156 Morgan Blvd. in the southeast quadrant of the block. This lot allows for 3-hour parking or all-day parking with a parking pass.
Washington Street lot - the City is working to finalize a leasing agreement with First United Methodist Church which would provide an additional 24 public spaces, available for parking all days except Sundays.
With the exception of short-term street lane restrictions and closures, vehicular traffic through the construction area will be maintained during all phases of work. Short-term lane restrictions are only anticipated for the unloading of construction materials immediately adjacent to the construction sites and will be managed through use of flagging operations or posted local detours.
As part of the public infrastructure improvements, short-term closure of streets will be necessary to perform some of the underground work, including installation of two water main extensions. These installations will require closure of Lincolnway between Michigan Street and Morgan Boulevard and will be performed during non-peak traffic periods (e.g., overnight hours). It is anticipated that the replacement of an old, combined sewer pipe crossing Morgan Boulevard between Lincolnway and Jefferson Street will also require a street closure of several days. In these cases, local detours will be posted and the public will be notified in advance through public media as well as posted signage along the affected streets.
Neighboring businesses and residents were invited to a preview open house to initiate feedback and share details. To minimize the disruption, contractors for the Lincoln Highway Garage and The Linc projects will not be permitted to park on neighborhood streets. The City has created a web page with maps of pedestrian routes and parking options, which can be found at tinyurl.com/ValpoDowntown.