Bendix Drive set to receive second phase of lane reduction

Proposed reconstruction would bring much-needed upgrades to Bendix Drive
Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 6:39 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The city of South Bend is proposing some significant changes to N. Bendix Drive.

The street will get a “road diet,” commonly known as a lane reduction. The goal: slow down traffic and make the roads safer.

Phase I stretched from Cleveland Road to Lathrop Street and was completed in 2020. Phase II is set to start in the next few years.

The proposal will cut the number of lanes on Bendix from four to two, with a center turn lane on the stretch between Lathrop and Voorde Drive.

This will be the second time this stretch of road, which is a 40-mile-an-hour zone, has seen major changes in less than a decade.

On top of the lane reduction, the plan for this three-quarter mile stretch will also add a multi-use path for pedestrians, which will connect to existing paths to the north and south of the planned construction.

The city will also install new traffic signals at Lathrop and Voorde, replace the water main running along Bendix, and upgrade stormwater sewer and drainage systems.

Still, at least one local business owner isn’t thrilled with the result of the last road diet.

“To me, they should’ve just fixed the road, replaced it the way it was, because traffic was moving a lot better before,” said Dennis Zmyslo, the owner of Tom’s Car Care Center. “It’s hard to pull in and out if you’re turning off a side street because cars are continuously coming now, where before, there was a break when there were four lanes of traffic. At the busy time of the day, it’s just one car after another; it’s like a parade out here.”

In a statement from the City of South Bend Engineering Division, they said:

“Phase Two of the Bendix Drive Reconstruction Project is planned from Lathrop Street to Voorde Drive. Construction is expected to start in 2027. It will be a continuation of Phase One, which was completed in 2020, from the bridge over the Indiana Toll Road to north of Lathrop Street. Once the replacement of the concrete pavement is complete, Bendix Drive will be a three-lane corridor – two travel lanes with a center turn lane – to match the Phase One alignment to the north.

The three-lane segment will also help slow traffic speeds and create safer bike and pedestrian facilities. Eighty percent of the costs for the project will come through federal funds, with 20 percent covered locally.”

City of South Bend Engineering Division

According to a Federal Highway Administration study, a road diet can reduce overall crashes by 19 to 47 percent.

The first crews were out on Bendix Drive Wednesday, marking utility line locations with paint for future crews to begin work.