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4/11/2018 12:03:00 PM
Downtown Goshen redesign plans move forward

John Kline, Goshen News

GOSHEN — Once the dust settles on the U.S. 33 realignment, city officials hope to kick off a project to increase parking and make downtown Goshen even more pedestrian friendly.

Goshen Redevelopment Commission members Tuesday approved a request by Goshen Civil Traffic Engineer Leslie Biek to award a $15,800 contract to Abonmarche Consultants to conduct a survey of Main Street needed in order to move forward with the planned redesign. The project is set to kick off sometime next year.

“We sent out requests for proposals to six survey firms. We received four proposals back. Abonmarche submitted the lowest quote with $15,800, and they stated they can complete our timeline,” Biek said of the bid. “So we request the redevelopment commission proceed with Abonmarche, and we will work on the contract and get that signed with them.” 

According to Biek, the planned Main Street makeover is directly connected to the ongoing U.S. 33 realignment project that is set to be completed in the fall.

Construction of the $18.9 million project began in May 2016 and once completed will result in the re-routing of U.S. 33 away from Goshen’s historic downtown district. The project includes the construction of three bridges — over the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks, Lincoln Avenue and Cottage Avenue — and the widening of U.S. 33/Pike Street from Ind. 15 to the Elkhart River.

Once the U.S. 33 realignment is completed, the city will take control of the old U.S. 33 route that used Main Street. That in turn will allow city officials to control the roadway and make any desired changes, according to the Goshen Engineering Department.

As proposed, the plan would increase parking on Main Street by allowing angled parking. Pedestrian “bump outs” at downtown intersections may also be constructed. Bump outs are a popular way to narrow the distance at crosswalks for pedestrians, officials explained.

“The survey will help the engineering department design a light streetscape on Main Street including a lane reduction, angled parking and curb bump outs to be constructed in 2019,” Biek explained.

The request to award the survey contract to Abonmarche was approved unanimously.

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