Have your ever gotten caught in traffic during rush hour on the south side of Goshen? If so, you know how FRUSTRATING it can be!
For years, City and County leaders have known about the growing issues with the traffic congestion, but disagreed on what should be done to solve it. As a result, the County and the City have paid for multiple traffic studies over the course of the last 20+ years to try to determine the best options for moving traffic in and out of the industrial area adjacent to the Kercher Road/CR 38 and CR 40 corridors.
Within the last couple of years, I have been able to work with county leaders, local businesses, state organizations and residents to rally TOGETHER to work towards a solution.
In 2015 through 2018, it will time to put those plans into action by constructing several different roadway projects. This year, Elkhart County will straighten out the two hard 90-degree curves on CR 40 west of SR 15. This curve straightening will be extremely important for trucks to maneuver along CR 40, when the Kercher Road/CR 38 Bridge is closed for reconstruction in 2017.
When the Kercher Road/CR 38 Bridge is closed, motorists will be left with two options to cross the Elkhart River on the south side of Goshen: SR 119/Plymouth Avenue Bridge and CR 40 Bridge. So, it is extremely important to have the CR 40 curves straightened.
South Link Road/Waterford Mills Parkway
In 2016, the City of Goshen will be constructed the South Link Road/Waterford Mills Parkway. This proposed new roadway will commence with a traffic signal at the intersection of SR 15 near the old office building for the former Schmucker Realty, and will extend to the east with a bridge over the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks, and then connect into the existing South Link Road/Waterford Mills Parkway (which was built in 2010) at Regent Street.
The project will also include many improvements along SR 15 from the CR 40 East intersection to the CR 40 West intersection. Elkhart County and City representatives have been working with the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) to install a temporary traffic signal at SR 15 and CR 40 west intersection to assist with the flow of traffic during the Kercher Road/CR 38 projects.
Kercher Road/CR 38 corridor
In 2017, the entire Kercher Road/CR 38 corridor from the new CR 17 to CR 27/Dierdorff Road will be under construction for reconstruction of the roadway and bridge. Elkhart County will be reconstructing CR 38 from the new CR 17 to Island View Drive, and it will incorporate an extra wide travel lane in each direction along with a new bridge over the Elkhart River.
A joint project between INDOT, Elkhart County and the City of Goshen will occur along Kercher Road from Island View Drive through the SR 15 intersection to the railroad tracks. Then the City will be reconstructing Kercher Road from the railroad tracks to Dierdorff Road/CR 27 to incorporate a through lane in each direction and a center left turn lane.The corridor from Orchard Drive to Dierdorff Road will incorporate a 10-foot wide multi-use trail and will connect with the Winona Trail, which provides connectivity to downtown Goshen.
I'm going to honest with you, this whole construction process is going to take some time, and more than likely many of you will get stuck in traffic. However, once all of these projects are constructed, traffic flow will be so much better and easier.