By SHERRY VAN ARSDALL email@example.com
---- — GOSHEN — Plans are progressing for a $2 million intersection improvement project at Ind. 15 (South Main Street) and Kercher Road by Goshen and Elkhart County engineering departments.
Goshen City Engineer Mary Cripe informed community members about the project during a public meeting Thursday evening in the library at Waterford Elementary School.
A partnership between the Indiana Department of Transportation, Elkhart County and the city of Goshen has been formed to improve the intersection, Cripe said.
Improvements will include a left turn lane, a through lane and a right turn lane on every approach to the intersection, along with a 10-foot multi-use trail to provide connectivity to the Winona Trail along the railroad to the east of the intersection.
The construction along Kercher Road will begin about 50 feet west of Island View Drive and go east through Ind. 15 to the east side of the Norfolk Southern Railroad Marion Branch.
“There will be an updated signal to make sure the crossing is safe there,” Cripe said. “The expansion will all occur on the south side of Kercher Road and the reasoning for that is basically the power poles on the north side are pretty significant and would cost a lot of money (for relocation). We’ve had estimates from about $20,000 to $30,000 a pole to relocate those poles.”
The funding for the project will mainly come from the city, she added, including $40,000 for the appraisal process for the right of way and $325,000 for land costs. INDOT will fund about $200,000 and the city will fund approximately $1,780,000 for construction costs.
Elkhart County will be funding the design engineering and permits along with the buying agent services for the right of way and construction inspection.
A completion date of the project has been targeted for September 2015. Plans for the project include the first four months of 2014 for the appraisal process in land acquisition and then May through October for the purchasing of land.
After the bidding has been completed in November, the clearing and utility relocation will take place until March of 2015. The construction will take approximately six months.