ELKHART — The travel restrictions on S.R. 19 on the west side of Elkhart have expanded, stretching south of the St. Joseph River.
Take heart, though — lane restrictions on the north side of the river should be lifted, by and large, by mid-December, according to the Indiana Department of Transportation.
The S.R. 19 work, launched last May and scheduled to last until 2014, calls for the widening of S.R. 19 between Lusher and Beardsley avenues with the addition of a center turn lane along much of the section.
Work has thus far focused on the area from the St. Joseph River north to Beardsley Avenue, but efforts recently turned to the area below the river from Vermont Avenue south to Lusher Avenue, INDOT said this week. To prepare for more intense efforts next year, crews are doing prep work on the east side of the new section, limiting northbound traffic flow to the inside lane, down from two lanes.
The restrictions south of the St. Joseph River are limited to daytime hours and they should stay in effect until Dec. 7. The southbound lanes south of the St. Joseph River aren’t impacted.
Meanwhile, the work north of the St. Joseph River advances, and that section — two travel lanes in each direction with a center turn lane when complete — should largely reopen “within a couple weeks,” INDOT spokeswoman Mary Foster said in an email. The earlier timeline called for the section to open by the end of November.
As is, traffic is limited to one lane in each direction. And Foster said there still may be lane restrictions in the northbound lanes north of the St. Joseph River from Roseland Boulevard to Strong Avenue to permit guardrail work.
S.R. 19 work over the coming winter should be lighter. The focus next year turns to the section of S.R. 19 south of the St. Joseph River to Lusher Avenue.