An intersection known for its high incidence of car accidents may soon be safer for travelers.
The Elkhart County Board of Commissioners on Monday, July 7, approved a request from the Elkhart County Highway Department to change the intersection at C.R. 45 and C.R. 13 from a two-way stop to a four-way stop.
Jeff Taylor, manager of the highway department, said there’s been hesitation over the years to make the change because of the intersection’s close proximity to the railroad tracks.
“We don’t want to have a situation where people are sitting on tracks at a stop sign waiting for the intersection to clear,” Taylor said.
However, a recent study found that the intersection’s distance to the railroad tracks is comparable to similar crossroads in the county, Taylor said, and changing the intersection into a four-way stop will help cut down on the “considerable number of crashes” that have occurred there.
“At some point in time, the long-term goal is to have an overpass there to make that situation disappear,” Taylor said.
The commissioners approved the request unanimously.
Niblock Excavating Inc., was awarded with the highway department’s summer paving project. The Bristol-based company bid a total of $3,715,412.3 to pave four groups of county roads. Niblock was the lowest bidder among three other competitors.
Additionally, the county also selected Niblock to pave the intersection at C.R. 3 and C.R. 36 ($10,745 bid) and to patch spots on C.R. 38 between S.R. 119 and Kercher Road ($95,027 bid).
The commissioners accepted two bids placed for an upcoming rehabilitation project on C.R. 46 over Dausman Ditch Bridge – Northern Indiana Construction placed a bid of $323,147.79 and La Porte Construction bid $313,461.
Taylor will return to the commissioners with his recommendation in the near future.
Other approved highway department appropriations
- $200,000 from the Cumulative Bridge fund for the design, construction and inspection of Summit Bridge over Berlin Court Ditch in Nappanee. The county will work with the city of Nappanee on the project.
- $100,000 will be shifted from the Motor Vehicle Highway fund to the Local Road & Street fund for future paving efforts.
- $50,000 from the Local Road & Street fund for highway department vehicle repairs.
- $10,000 from the Motor Vehicle Highway fund for buggy license plates and stickers.