GOSHEN — Goshen Redevelopment Commission members Tuesday approved a request for proposals for a traffic analysis and engineering study aimed at assessing the condition of the roadways adjacent to the new Consolidated County Court Complex property.

Back in mid-2019, the Elkhart County Board of Commissioners began exploring the idea of consolidating the county courts system into one location. The seven county courts are currently split up, with the Circuit Court, Superior Court 3 and Superior Court 4 running out of the historic courthouse in downtown Goshen, while superior courts 1, 2, 5 and 6, plus the Juvenile Court, are located at the building in downtown Elkhart.

Early last year, the consulting firm PMSI Corp. recommended the county construct a 170,000-square-foot modern facility that would bring all the courts under one roof with room to potentially expand the system.

Following a study of more than two dozen potential sites, Elkhart County Council members in November unanimously approved the purchase of 32 acres of vacant property at 1905 Reliance Road in Goshen as the location for the new consolidated courts campus.

“Last fall, the commission agreed to fund up to $1.5 million in public infrastructure improvements for Reliance Road, Peddler’s Village Road and at the key intersections in the area around the new complex,” Becky Hutsell, redevelopment project manager for the city, said in introducing the RFP request. “Prior to commencing design, a full traffic analysis is needed as well as an evaluation of engineering options related to the future improvements.”

As currently proposed, the scope of work outlined in the RFP includes:

• Traffic analysis along Reliance Road, at site access points, and at the intersections of C.R. 17 and Rieth Boulevard; U.S. 33 and Reliance Road; C.R. 17 and Peddler’s Village Road; U.S. 33 and Peddler’s Village Road; U.S. 33 and Rieth Boulevard; and C.R. 17 and Missouri Avenue.

• An engineering study including LiDAR, utility map, C.R. 17 bike path plans and feasibility of access locations and necessary improvements including cost estimates; major utility impacts; right of way impacts, lighting and drainage.

• Impact to the nearby Goshen Fire Department Station 4 and Interurban Trolley route.

• Construction impacts, including anticipated permitting and maintenance of traffic.

• Impacts to the bike path, including the proposed C.R. 17 path.

“Although we had originally planned to request permission to issue the RFP in February, the county will be selecting their design-build team within the next week,” Hutsell said of the decision to fast-track the request. “We want to ensure that we’re coordinating with their efforts to collaboratively plan for both projects,”

Once the county’s design-build team has been selected, it was noted that construction on the courts complex is expected to begin later this year and take about two years to complete.

John Kline can be reached at john.kline@goshennews.com or 574-533-2151, ext. 240315. Follow John on Twitter @jkline_TGN.

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