Construction starts on Campeau St. to make travelling safer for pedestrians

Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 5:42 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Road work is getting started at the corner of Campeau St. and Notre Dame Ave. to make things safer for the growing number of people who walk around that area.

While this might cause a short-term inconvenience to drivers, it’s expected to make a lasting improvement for pedestrians.

The intersection where Campeau St. and Notre Dame Ave. meet is already a two-way stop, but only for those driving on Notre Dame Ave.

It’s going to turn into a four-way stop to make crossing the street easier for students and neighbors, but that’s not all that’s going on here.

The city says there have been several close calls here because of the street’s current design.

“It curves through the Notre Dame Ave. intersection, and this is what makes the intersection difficult sometimes for motorists and challenging for pedestrians,” said South Bend Director of Planning Tim Corcoran.

The Campeau Street Streetscape Project is putting pedestrians first by installing new speed humps, bump-outs, sidewalks, and streetlights, in addition to making Campeau St. and Notre Dame Ave. a four-way stop.

The commitment highlights the number of people who cross this intersection these days, from students and neighbors to those who rely on the Northeast Neighborhood Food Pantry for support.

“People leaving here are having to carry bags of groceries and having to cross the street. City buses are going through. Cars are going back and forth constantly, so we are excited about the potential for what this is going to bring for us,” said Food Pantry Organizer Nan Tulchinsky.

However, Tulchinsky says the roadwork might make it more difficult for people to access their resources until it’s finished.

“Streets are closed and people are coming here who don’t know who we are, or where we are. So, we’re trying to watch all those kinds of things along with the foot traffic, the bikes, etc. that are coming in and out from here,” she said.

Even though the westbound turn from State Road 23 is closed, people can still get past the construction by taking detours on Howard St. to the north and Cedar St. to the South.

Phase one of the project will focus on the Frances Ave. and Campeau St. intersection from now until mid-May. That’s when phase two will begin, which will shut down the Notre Dame Ave. and Campeau St. intersection until mid-July, just in time for football season.

“We’d like to have all our streets open to that traffic after games let out, just so it doesn’t cause too much inconvenience for those who aren’t going to the game,” Corcoran said.

The project comes with a price tag of roughly $2.3 million, but Corcoran says it’s being paid through tax revenue generated specifically from the Northeast South Bend and the River East neighborhoods.