Thursday, April 28, 2016

A backhoe removes debris from a house demolition at the southwest corner of Prairie and Middlebury Streets May 30, 2014. The demolition is an early sign of coming construction of the Prairie Street overpass. (Jennifer Shephard / The Elkhart Truth)
Prairie Street overpass groundbreaking ceremony set
Posted on June 17, 2014 at 5:50 p.m.

ELKHART — Demolition of several properties along Prairie Street is complete, so now comes the time to formally launch plans to build the railroad overpass along the roadway.

Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore and others will gather Thursday, June 19, for a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off the multi-million dollar project. It starts at 10 a.m. and will be held near the Prairie Street-Middlebury Street intersection, just north of the Norfolk Southern Railroad crossing where the overpass is to be built.

The public is welcome.

Demolition of 14 properties along Prairie Street in the area took place earlier this month and soon work will begin on Main Street nearby. Actual construction of the overpass structure probably won’t come until next year.

Meanwhile, Carolyn Hunt is spearheading a planned effort Saturday to distribute fliers in the Prairie Street neighborhood about lead-testing programs and the dangers of lead. Some of the structures demolished contained lead paint, prompting concerns that the demolition could cause dispersal of fine lead particles in the neighborhood. Lead can cause nervous system and brain damage to children if ingested.

Crews handling the demolition used water from hoses to keep dust to a minimum as demolition took place and city officials expressed confidence the work wouldn’t result in environmental issues.

Follow reporter Tim Vandenack on Twitter at @timvandenack or visit him on Facebook.