Jobs coming to Mishawaka in 2013

More than 100 new jobs will be coming to Mishawaka this year.

It's all due to new development in the city and increased interest downtown.

"The Center for Hospice campus--there will be 70 to 90 new jobs. In the [Ironworks Commercial Building] downtown that's starting to be occupied, there's 40 new jobs," said Mishawaka Mayor Dave Wood.

To encourage continued business growth, the city will start several construction projects aimed at improving the traffic flow on the Main Street/Church-Union corridor.

1) Church Street/Union Underpass - Widening Main Street to five lanes from First Street to 8th Street
2) Expanding Bremen Highway South Gateway to five lanes (two travel lanes in each direction with a left-turn lane)
3) Fir Capital Connector - to provide a more direct connection between Indiana Toll Road and northern Mishawaka consolidated retail area
4) McKinley Avenue Grade Separation - constructing a grade separation at McKinley Avenue and the Grand Trunk Western Railroad track. City is currently considering an overpass or underpass for this.

"Our goal is to get five lanes from city limit to city limit," said Wood.

The expansion project also will help an expected traffic increase due to the renovation of the former Scott Brass building on Union to house the city's central services.

"We're going to be dropping hundreds of vehicles perhaps daily in that corridor as well," said Wood.

The mayor said the city's seeing an increase in popularity of the River Walk. The city will therefore be adding surveillance cameras and emergency call boxes to the River Walk area and major parks to increase security.

"We've not had any safety problems out there, but we want to make sure that vandals are not tearing up the investments that our citizens are making," said Wood.

The first construction project the city will focus on will be the Church-Union project.

"We will start by going to our public first like we always do, getting their opinions of the project and, of course, their impression of it," said Wood.

The mayor said in addition to business growth, another primary goal for the city is continuing to decrease crime.

There were three murders and 21 rapes in Mishawaka last year, which is an increase from 2011. Robberies, burglaries and arson are down, however.

The mayor said the majority of the rapes and murders were domestic incidents, and all the murder cases that occurred last year were solved.

The police department is purchasing software that will allow them to pin-point hot-spots for crimes in Mishawaka, which they hope will help prevent future incidents.

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