NOTE: The following update was originally written by Elkhart County Commissioner Mike Yoder.
The Kercher Road (CR 38) project is a few months behind the original schedule. The 5 month delay in utility relocation is the reason. The construction process between the bridge and CR 21 includes moving large qualities of soil from this mile of road to the next miles between CR 21, CR 19 and CR 17.
Originally the majority of the construction process between the bridge and CR 21 was to be complete before August. Which is before Kercher’s harvest season and before the seasonal high customer traffic during September, October and November. Instead we now have a serious CR 38 use conflict creating a potentially unsafe area for construction, for farm employees, customers and residents along CR 38. The two choices available to the Commissioners are to stop all construction until after November or work with the contractor and Kerchers to find a workable solution. With the support of the Kercher family, we are choosing the second option. Here are the new construction area traffic rules:
1. The only permitted use of CR 38 between CR 21 and Kerchers is construction work, Kercher employees, semi-truck traffic to and from Kerchers, and residents that live along CR 38 in this mile.
2. Kercher customers are directed to use CR 21 from the north, to the Orchard subdivision. using Bluff to enter and Orchard to exit onto CR 38 and immediately enter the Kercher complex. Absolutely no semi-trucks can use this route. Not only because it is not legal, but it is physically not possible to make the turns. You will damage private property.
3. Passenger vehicles attempting to use CR 21 from the south to enter CR 38 will be stopped unless they are residents on CR 38 east of CR 21. Only residents, construction employees and semi-trucks arriving/leaving at Kerchers will be permitted on this route.
4. If you believe you can find a way through this area as a shortcut – north to south – you can’t. It will be monitored by city or county deputies.
We expect all the soil relocation, new road design and a base asphalt road (with temp striping) to be completed by September 1. For 30 days everyone will be inconvenienced – but if we can keep everyone off the road for the next 30 days – we have a good chance of having CR 38 between 21 and the bridge open in time for the busiest part of the season for Kerchers and the community.