Hively Overpass.

Hively Overpass.

Purpose and Need

The project is needed to address traffic congestion, lack of mobility, and safety concerns at the existing at-grade crossing of East Hively Avenue and Norfolk Southern Railroad.

  • 6,000 vehicles traveling along Hively Avenue per day
  • 70-100 trains per day

The purpose of the project is to improve mobility and safety within the project area by eliminating vehicle backups and congestion while maintaining, as much as possible, access and connectivity.

Project Description

The Hively Avenue Overpass Project (the Project) is part of the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) Local TRAX rail overpass program. The Local TRAX program is a partnership with INDOT, local communities, businesses, industry and railroads to improve the quality of life for residents through large scale rail related transportation projects. INDOT awarded the City of Elkhart a grant through the Local TRAX program for grade separating the East Hively Avenue and Norfolk Southern Railroad crossing in Elkhart. 

The Project will eliminate the existing Norfolk Southern Railroad at-grade-crossing at Hively Avenue by creating a new grade separation (bridge) that will carry Hively Avenue over the Norfolk Southern Railroad and South Main Street. Additional modifications will be made to surrounding local streets to accommodate the new grade separation (bridge), including street connectivity, pavement improvements and new drainage infrastructure, as required for the project.   The Project will improve mobility in the area by eliminating vehicle backups and congestion that occur at the crossing and adjacent intersections due to frequent train traffic.  

Project Contact Information

Local Representative:
Ryan Clussman
Office Phone: 574-293-2572, ext. 2222

Comments can be provided via:
ElkhartLocalTrax@mbakerintl.com

Consultant Representative:
Charles Boltz
Office Phone: 317-663-8430

Or by mail at:
3815 River Crossing Parkway, Suite 20
Indianapolis, IN 46240

Projects 
Timeline.

Purpose and Need

The project is needed to address traffic congestion, lack of mobility, and safety concerns at the existing at-grade crossing of East Hively Avenue and Norfolk Southern Railroad.

  • 6,000 vehicles traveling along Hively Avenue per day
  • 70-100 trains per day

The purpose of the project is to improve mobility and safety within the project area by eliminating vehicle backups and congestion while maintaining, as much as possible, access and connectivity.

Project Description

The Hively Avenue Overpass Project (the Project) is part of the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) Local TRAX rail overpass program. The Local TRAX program is a partnership with INDOT, local communities, businesses, industry and railroads to improve the quality of life for residents through large scale rail related transportation projects. INDOT awarded the City of Elkhart a grant through the Local TRAX program for grade separating the East Hively Avenue and Norfolk Southern Railroad crossing in Elkhart. 

The Project will eliminate the existing Norfolk Southern Railroad at-grade-crossing at Hively Avenue by creating a new grade separation (bridge) that will carry Hively Avenue over the Norfolk Southern Railroad and South Main Street. Additional modifications will be made to surrounding local streets to accommodate the new grade separation (bridge), including street connectivity, pavement improvements and new drainage infrastructure, as required for the project.   The Project will improve mobility in the area by eliminating vehicle backups and congestion that occur at the crossing and adjacent intersections due to frequent train traffic.  

Project Contact Information

Local Representative:
Ryan Clussman
Office Phone: 574-293-2572, ext. 2222

Consultant Representative:
Charles Boltz
Office Phone: 317-663-8430

Comments can be provided via:
ElkhartLocalTrax@mbakerintl.com

Or by mail at:
3815 River Crossing Parkway, Suite 20
Indianapolis, IN 46240

Projects 
Timeline.

FAQs

Project Scope

The need for this project stems from safety and mobility issues for motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists and trains at the railroad crossings. The proposed project will eliminate the existing Norfolk Southern RR (NS RR) at-grade crossing at Hively Avenue by creating a bridge that will carry Hively Avenue traffic over the NS RR and South Main Street.

The project limits extend from Bismark Avenue to Hazel Street and extend to crossing streets including Monger Avenue, Morton Avenue, Roosevelt Avenue, Homer Avenue, Main Street, Garden Boulevard, Norfolk Southern Railway, Sterling Avenue, Eddy Street, Hammond Avenue, Lowell Avenue and Warren Street.

  • Improve safety – NS RR trains regularly stop on the tracks, restricting traffic for extended periods of time, and delaying emergency vehicle access on either side of the tracks.
  • Reduce delays – The trains typically run through these crossings 70 to 100 times a day.

The Local TRAX rail overpass program provides grants to cities, towns and counties to address high-priority railroad and local road intersections. The program’s focus is providing grade separation, closing crossings and constructing other safety enhancement projects at rail-highway intersections.

Norfolk Southern Railroad is a key stakeholder and an overall supporter and program participant in INDOT’s Local Trax Overpass Program. The project team will continue to work with NS RR as the project moves forward.

Preliminary Preferred Alternative

The range of alternatives and preliminary impacts were presented at public outreach forums (virtual and in-person) in October 2020. Based on the feedback received during those meetings, the project study team took another look at truck movements in the area and expanded the project study area to include south Warren Street to evaluate a truck route.

The preliminary preferred alternative realigns Hively Avenue to the south with a connection roadway to the north. It also includes minor improvements to south Warren Street to better accommodate truck movements in the area.

While the environmental document will document the project’s alternative analysis, the project study team will continue to focus on the preliminary preferred alternative and make adjustments to avoid and minimize impacts, particularly property impacts.

The purpose of public information meeting #3 is to elicit feedback on the preliminary preferred alternative.

Once complete Hively Avenue traffic will cross via an overpass over the NS RR tracks and Main Street.

The design team estimates that approximately 11 acres of permanent right-of-way and less than 1 acre of temporary right-of-way would need to be acquired to construct the preliminary preferred alternative. Currently, the preliminary preferred alternative affects 21 residential and 5 business properties.

The preliminary preferred alternative is not anticipated to negatively impact parks, schools, historic or cultural resources.

Yes, the preliminary preferred alternative will improve bicycle and pedestrian movements in the area and improve overall connectivity to Maple Heart Trail.

Schedule

  • 2019- Current: Environmental study and early coordination
  • October 2020: Public Information Meeting 1
  • Winter 2021: Environmental document released
  • Early 2022: Public Hearing, environmental document finalized
  • Summer 2023: Construction begins
  • Summer 2025: Roadway opens

Design will not be finalized until the environmental process is complete. Final design and impacts to specific properties could be identified in early 2022.

Once the environmental document is approved, design will continue until early 2023.

Construction – which is expected to last two years – could begin as early as summer 2023.

Funding

Total project costs are currently estimated at $24.4 million, which includes planning, design, right-of-way, utility relocation and construction.

Using federal funds is not anticipated at this time.

Traffic Impacts

Yes, the project team has performed the necessary traffic analysis, including revisiting truck movements requiring access to Hammond and Sterling from Hively Avenue. The design team has accounted for all necessary turning movements and traffic requirements. As the project moves forward, additional minor modifications will be made as necessary, to address any issues identified by the public or identified as part of technical review.

The design team has incorporated the necessary turning lanes and travel movements into the preliminary preferred alternative. Additional minor modifications will be made, as necessary, as the project progresses.

Hively Avenue will be closed briefly to tie into the new construction. However, one of primary benefits of the preliminary preferred alternative is that Hively Avenue will mostly remain open during construction, minimizing temporary but important impacts to traffic, emergency services and businesses. Additional details on construction impacts and temporary detours will be provided at the public hearing.

Yes, overall, travel times are expected to decrease due to the elimination of the at-grade railroad crossing.

Emergency Access and Safety

Yes, emergency responders are a major stakeholder and will be engaged throughout the project.

The ADA requires that a grade of less than 5% is used to ensure comfortable usage for all pedestrians, including those with disabilities.

Removal of the at-grade intersection will provide emergency services with a route that has a “known” travel time that cannot be impacted by stopped trains on the tracks. As with any roadway, motorists will be expected to pull over/stagger to allow passage for emergency vehicles.

Public Involvement

Yes, all project information is available at www.elkhartindiana.org.

Yes. The environmental document is expected to be published in early 2022, with a public hearing around that time.

All written inquiries and comments can be sent via email to: ElkhartLocalTrax@mbakerintl.com

Mailed comments can be sent to:
3815 River Crossing Parkway, Suite 20 Indianapolis, Indiana 46240

FAQs

Project Scope

The need for this project stems from safety and mobility issues for motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists and trains at the railroad crossings. The proposed project will eliminate the existing Norfolk Southern RR (NS RR) at-grade crossing at Hively Avenue by creating a bridge that will carry Hively Avenue traffic over the NS RR and South Main Street.

The project limits extend from Bismark Avenue to Hazel Street and extend to crossing streets including Monger Avenue, Morton Avenue, Roosevelt Avenue, Homer Avenue, Main Street, Garden Boulevard, Norfolk Southern Railway, Sterling Avenue, Eddy Street, Hammond Avenue, Lowell Avenue and Warren Street.

  • Improve safety – NS RR trains regularly stop on the tracks, restricting traffic for extended periods of time, and delaying emergency vehicle access on either side of the tracks.
  • Reduce delays – The trains typically run through these crossings 70 to 100 times a day.

The Local TRAX rail overpass program provides grants to cities, towns and counties to address high-priority railroad and local road intersections. The program’s focus is providing grade separation, closing crossings and constructing other safety enhancement projects at rail-highway intersections.

Norfolk Southern Railroad is a key stakeholder and an overall supporter and program participant in INDOT’s Local Trax Overpass Program. The project team will continue to work with NS RR as the project moves forward.

Preliminary Preferred Alternative

The range of alternatives and preliminary impacts were presented at public outreach forums (virtual and in-person) in October 2020. Based on the feedback received during those meetings, the project study team took another look at truck movements in the area and expanded the project study area to include south Warren Street to evaluate a truck route.

The preliminary preferred alternative realigns Hively Avenue to the south with a connection roadway to the north. It also includes minor improvements to south Warren Street to better accommodate truck movements in the area.

While the environmental document will document the project’s alternative analysis, the project study team will continue to focus on the preliminary preferred alternative and make adjustments to avoid and minimize impacts, particularly property impacts.

The purpose of public information meeting #3 is to elicit feedback on the preliminary preferred alternative.

Once complete Hively Avenue traffic will cross via an overpass over the NS RR tracks and Main Street.

The design team estimates that approximately 11 acres of permanent right-of-way and less than 1 acre of temporary right-of-way would need to be acquired to construct the preliminary preferred alternative. Currently, the preliminary preferred alternative affects 21 residential and 5 business properties.

The preliminary preferred alternative is not anticipated to negatively impact parks, schools, historic or cultural resources.

Yes, the preliminary preferred alternative will improve bicycle and pedestrian movements in the area and improve overall connectivity to Maple Heart Trail.

Schedule

  • 2019- Current: Environmental study and early coordination
  • October 2020: Public Information Meeting 1
  • Winter 2021: Environmental document released
  • Early 2022: Public Hearing, environmental document finalized
  • Summer 2023: Construction begins
  • Summer 2025: Roadway opens

Design will not be finalized until the environmental process is complete. Final design and impacts to specific properties could be identified in early 2022.

Once the environmental document is approved, design will continue until early 2023.

Construction – which is expected to last two years – could begin as early as summer 2023.

Funding

Total project costs are currently estimated at $24.4 million, which includes planning, design, right-of-way, utility relocation and construction.

Using federal funds is not anticipated at this time.

Traffic Impacts

Yes, the project team has performed the necessary traffic analysis, including revisiting truck movements requiring access to Hammond and Sterling from Hively Avenue. The design team has accounted for all necessary turning movements and traffic requirements. As the project moves forward, additional minor modifications will be made as necessary, to address any issues identified by the public or identified as part of technical review.

The design team has incorporated the necessary turning lanes and travel movements into the preliminary preferred alternative. Additional minor modifications will be made, as necessary, as the project progresses.

Hively Avenue will be closed briefly to tie into the new construction. However, one of primary benefits of the preliminary preferred alternative is that Hively Avenue will mostly remain open during construction, minimizing temporary but important impacts to traffic, emergency services and businesses. Additional details on construction impacts and temporary detours will be provided at the public hearing.

Yes, overall, travel times are expected to decrease due to the elimination of the at-grade railroad crossing.

Emergency Access and Safety

Yes, emergency responders are a major stakeholder and will be engaged throughout the project.

The ADA requires that a grade of less than 5% is used to ensure comfortable usage for all pedestrians, including those with disabilities.

Removal of the at-grade intersection will provide emergency services with a route that has a “known” travel time that cannot be impacted by stopped trains on the tracks. As with any roadway, motorists will be expected to pull over/stagger to allow passage for emergency vehicles.

Public Involvement

Yes, all project information is available at www.elkhartindiana.org.

Yes. The environmental document is expected to be published in early 2022, with a public hearing around that time.

All written inquiries and comments can be sent via email to: ElkhartLocalTrax@mbakerintl.com

Mailed comments can be sent to:
3815 River Crossing Parkway, Suite 20 Indianapolis, Indiana 46240

Maps 
& Plans.

Maps 
& Plans.