A concern for Dr. James Gingrich is that neighborhood residents have not been consulted enough in the planning of the project. Gingrich lives on Eighth Street and is a member of the East Lincoln Crossroads Neighborhood Association.
“I personally have a whole bunch of questions about this,” he said.
He said it seems to him that the north route is an expensive way of achieving better traffic flow along Madison Street, where traffic is often held up by trains.
“The real need we have is a grade separation,” he said. “This seems to be a real expensive way to achieve that.”
Another question he has is why the project is moving forward before a resolution to the south connector route is hammered out between Elkhart County and city officials.
That route would include the existing, and new, south link road that runs east and west just north of C.R. 40 from C.R. 27 to the Marion Line railroad to the west. The city is working with railroad officials to construct a bridge over that railroad that would allow the road to link to Ind. 15. The City Council’s wish is to then continue the road west, south of Waterford, and across the Elkhart River to link up with an extended C.R. 17.
The County Commissioners have stopped C.R. 17 at C.R. 38 and are contemplating what to do next. They have agreed to pave the existing two-lane gravel link of C.R. 17 from C.R. 38 to C.R. 40 this summer at the city’s request.
The county and city governments have also drafted an agreement to improve the intersection of C.R. 38 (Kercher Road) and Ind. 15.
Also, the City Council, County Council and County Commissioners have formed a committee to hash out a solution to how the new four-lane C.R. 17 will be linked to city roads.
“I hate to do this piecemeal,” Gingrich said. “That clearly is a critical piece of it.”