GOSHEN — Approximately 50 people turned out for a special public meeting held at the Goshen Middle School Tuesday evening to discuss the upcoming C.R. 38 road and bridge reconstruction project on Goshen’s southwest side.
It was the first time the preliminary plans for the project were made available to the public.
According to Elkhart County Engineer Jay Grossman, the project involves reconstructing C.R. 38 from C.R. 17 to Island View Drive, just west of Ind. 15, including replacement of the bridge over the Elkhart River.
Grossman said the proposed road will consist of two slightly wider travel lanes with eight-foot wide paved shoulders. Then, east of Orchard Drive, there will be an additional center turn lane installed, as well as a 10 foot wide multi-use trail on the north side of C.R. 38. Additional turn lanes will be incorporated at the C.R. 38 intersections of C.R. 19 and C.R. 21, and a new traffic signal is being proposed at the intersection of C.R. 38 and C.R. 21.
As for the bridge portion of the project, County Project Engineer Tom Rushlow said both the substructure and superstructure of the current bridge will be replaced.
“This bridge is in significant deterioration,” Rushlow said of the current state of the bridge. “It was originally built in 1962, so it’s 52 years old.”
The new bridge would feature a width of 55 feet — twice the original width of 27 1/2 feet — with shoulders added on both sides and a 10-foot wide sidewalk on the bridge’s north side. Rushlow noted that while the causeway leading to the bridge from the west will be retained, there are plans to widen the causeway to the north in order to accommodate the required extra width of the proposed configuration.
In discussing the timeline for the project, Grossman said he anticipates the appraisal process for land acquisition will begin in July and continue through September, noting that all affected land owners should be contacted before the appraisal process begins.