Monday was the beginning of three road closures in close proximity to each other in the downtown Goshen area. The City Engineering Department had carefully coordinated the closures for the 100 block of South Main Street and the 200 and 300 block of West Lincoln Avenue between the various contracted road construction companies for improvements to the Goshen Theater and paving projects, respectively.

The Indiana Department of Transportation notified the City late last week of their intent to close West Plymouth Avenue (SR 119), between South Indiana Avenue and South Third Street to do repairs on the Elkhart River bridge during this same time period.

Commuters are understandably frustrated as they traverse from point A to point B on their normal routes and find themselves in traffic accumulations of drivers that are trying to avoid detours. 

To help drivers navigate across town quicker, we have outlined some suggested routes to try at this time. A map with the alternative routes is below. Note that traffic is at its heaviest between 2 and 6 p.m.

Unless delays are caused by the weather, Main Street and Lincoln Avenue will be reopened in the middle of next week (the week of June 24). Construction on Plymouth Avenue is expected to continue by the end of June. 

Police Chief Jose’ Miller asks for drivers’ cooperation and patience through this construction period, “The driver in front of you, and the driver behind you are experiencing the same frustration as you. Anger at them, and driving demonstrating that anger, will not be a solution—this will only add distress to those around you.” 

As outlined above, the reasons why these three roads ended up being closed on the same date include private contractor schedules, equipment rentals, State involvement and poor weather conditions. 

Mayor Jeremy Stutsman said the following:

“Generally, the City tries to balance all public projects with the private projects while scheduling with the state and county governments. We also deal with the schedules of the paving companies who rent paving equipment (which has its own schedule and availability). 

“At the same time, these contractors are balancing schedules of projects in multiple communities. The City also considers the schedules of any of the utility/service companies, which may have to approve or move their infrastructure. Finally, we do our best to work around large events like First Fridays and the Elkhart County Fair. 

“As a bonus, the weather can be—and lately has been—very unpredictable, which makes it nearly impossible to keep up with a well-planned construction season. 

“The City overall balances the need to upgrade infrastructure while doing so in a timely manner. We do work hard to make every project move as quickly as possible, but we can’t ignore the needs of our community’s infrastructure. Our goal is to keep our community moving.”