Friday Sept. 13, 2013
Avoid S.R. 19! I repeat — avoid S.R. 19!
Construction on the western Elkhart roadway, a.k.a. Nappanee Street, entered a new phase on Wednesday, and traffic snarls and back-ups are pretty substantial. Look at this article, just posted, with many particulars.
The work is focused on the zone from the St. Joseph River south to Lusher Avenue. Here are a few travel times I posted traveling S.R. 19, trying to get a sense of the chaos:
- Lexington Avenue south to Indiana Avenue, a bit less than three-quarters of a mile: 10 minutes, 32 seconds on Thursday afternoon and 4 minutes, 47 seconds (better, but still long) Friday morning.
- Lusher Avenue north to Indiana Avenue, about a half a mile: 10 minutes, 16 seconds on Thursday afternoon and 12 minutes, 52 seconds on Friday morning.
If you have to get to one of the many businesses in the corridor — a lot of fast-food restaurants, a Family Dollar, Low Bob’s Discount Tobacco, a pair of automotive shops and more — it may be hard to avoid the roadway. However, if you’re going to one of the businesses on the east side of S.R. 19 and coming from the east, you can potentially access the locales from side streets, like Laramie Street, or enter via side entrances, avoiding S.R. 19.
The Indiana Department of Transportation has likewise identified a detour around the area, mainly for Franklin Street motorists.
Look at this map:
If you need to go from the north side of Elkhart to the south side and S.R. 19 is your usual route, there aren’t any clear-cut detours, particularly with the limited number of crossings over the St. Joseph River. You could take side streets within Elkhart, but that may end up taking as long as putting up with the congestion.
Tim Vandenack is a reporter at the Elkhart Truth newspaper in Elkhart, Ind., www.etruth.com. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-296-5884. Visit him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter at @timvandenack.