The City of Elkhart has been selected to receive a nearly $16 million grant from the Indiana Department of Transportation’s Local Trax Program. The grant will allow the City to construct a railroad overpass at Hively Avenue on the City’s southeast side.
In an effort to improve safety and reduce traffic delays, the City of Elkhart has been investing in its various railroad crossings for the past two decades.
In 2001, over 35,000 vehicles per day directly crossed the Norfolk Southern railroad lines at eight different Elkhart locations, from Main Street to Hively Avenue. Each of these direct crossings was a potential conflict with the nearly one hundred trains that travel through the City on a daily basis. With construction of the Indiana Avenue Underpass and the Prairie Street Overpass, significant progress has been made, reducing the number of direct crossings to less than 12,000 vehicles per day.
The Hively Avenue Overpass project is projected to reduce the number of direct railroad crossings to 4,000 vehicles per day at a single location, Main Street. This project will improve safety, reduce travel times, and provide for additional economic development opportunities. Hively Avenue is a vital east-west corridor in the City, linking businesses and people with customers and employment opportunities.
The INDOT grant is expected to fund 100 percent of the cost of design and inspection and 75 percent of the cost of right-of-way and construction. The City’s share of approximately $4 million will cover the remaining 25 percent. The final financial details will be determined as the project proceeds. Early information from INDOT suggests that construction of the project could begin in 2021.