Indiana town will soon know whether to go above or below grade crossings, but cost might be biggest obstacle

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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The Pittsburgh city council appears ready to give the green light to a major Norfolk Southern bridge project.
Norfolk Southern

Officials in Elkhart County, Ind., have decided to launch a study on the construction of either an overpass or an underpass at several grade crossings.

Abonmarche Consultants will execute the study. The centerpiece of the research is the town of Osceola and grade crossings at Ash, Apple, and Beech roads and Chestnut Street.

The study will provide the following:

  • Create a map with traffic counts of all areas affected by the rail crossings in the designated area;
  • Present a “red flag” system for environmental, utility, right-of-way and other factors that would affect any proposed construction and planning projects;
  • Offer detailed pros and cons of a potential overpass or underpass in Osceola, where there are four at-grade crossings; and
  • Study Beech Road relating to its north-south connectivity through Osceola in addition to the potential evaluation of a possible connection to the St. Joseph Valley Parkway.

The study is expected to take three to four months. Looking into a way around the grade crossings has been needed for decades, but cost has prevented initiating a study.

Norfolk Southern informed Osceola officials that the Chestnut Street crossing would be closed later this year. Osceola is located just west of Elkhart’s Robert Young rail yards.

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