GOSHEN — The Elkhart County Council has set aside $300,000 to help buy right of way to extend C.R. 17 with two lanes south to C.R. 40, but the funding’s approval did not pass without debate.
At Saturday’s meeting, John Letherman, county council president, questioned whether two lanes would be enough to handle future traffic needs. But county commissioner Mike Yoder, who attended the council meeting last weekend, said there are no traffic studies that indicate C.R. 17 would need four lanes between C.R. 38 and C.R. 40 “in our lifetime.”
Letherman also questioned what the cost difference would be to secure right of way access for four lanes instead of two.
“We’re asking for $300,000 for this right of way, so it’s going to be at least that or more,” Yoder told him.
Costing even more time and money, Yoder said, the county would have to hire an engineering firm to study the potential four-lane road and pay another company to appraise the land along C.R. 17. The one-mile stretch from C.R. 38 to C.R. 40 southwest of Goshen is expected to be built this year.