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Norfolk Southern project could displace trees in construction zone

Norfolk Southern Railroad is planning to start construction in April to link a third track from the C.R. 17 overpass to east of Indiana Avenue in Goshen.

Posted on March 12, 2014 at 9:15 a.m.

GOSHEN — The city of Goshen may remove trees planted along U.S. 33 in response to an upcoming railroad construction project.

Norfolk Southern Railroad submitted plans to the city in February to add a third track along U.S. 33. Construction will begin at the existing third track just north of the C.R. 17 overpass and continue southeast to link to another track just east of Indiana Avenue. The project is expected to begin in April.

Norfolk Southern plans to stake its construction boundaries within the next few weeks. The plans indicate that trees and shrubs planted as part of the second phase of the city’s U.S. 33 Beautification Project may be impacted.

The city plans to relocate healthy trees in the construction zone to its nursery and replant them elsewhere. Becky Hershberger, the city’s brownfield coordinator, told the Goshen Redevelopment Commission on Tuesday, March 11, that each tree would cost $40 to remove and transport to the nursery. There are about 929 trees and shrubs that could be impacted, according to Hershberger, but the redevelopment commission decided that the shrubs would not be removed.

Until Norfolk Southern outlines its construction area, the number of trees that will be affected by the project is unknown.

OTHER BUSINESS

  • The redevelopment commission signed an agreement with TecServ Environmental Inc. for asbestos inspections for three of properties scheduled for demolition -- 411 S. Third St., 208 W. Monroe St. and 311 W. Douglas St. The demolition is part of the River Race Drive construction project. The contract is for $2,220.
  • The board agreed to sell 705 New York St. for $9,000 to Goshen Day Care Board Inc., a nonprofit organization.
  • The board extended a deadline to April 25 for Jerry Reed Excavating to demolish two houses at 209 and 210 W. Jefferson St. The demolition was delayed because NIPSCO has not disconnected gas and electric from the properties. The initial deadline was March 7. thatThe closing date for the Hawks Building, 214 W. Jefferson St., is scheduled for March 27. The redevelopment commission has entered into a purchase agreement with LaCasa Inc. for the building, which will be converted into about 35 apartments.

Follow Elkhart Truth reporter Angelle Barbazon on Twitter at @tweetangelle.




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