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St. Joseph County exploring ways to alleviate train traffic in Osceola

Janne Simoes

St. Joseph County has approved a study to explore ways to alleviate railroad traffic in Osceola.

County economic development director Bill Schalliol said Tuesday that the study will consider adding an under- or overpass at the intersection of Lincoln Way and Ash Road on the Elkhart/St. Joseph County line.

According to the proposal submitted to the county commissioners, the intersection sees over 14,000 vehicles a day and is frequently blocked by parked or slow-moving trains, creating traffic safety concerns.

“This study is multifaceted,” Shalliol said. “It’s mobility, it’s safety, it’s economic development — it has everything kind of wrapped up into one.”

The study will also consider adding an interchange at the intersection of Beech Road and the U.S. 20 Bypass and an extension of Beech or Ash Road south to the bypass.

Shalliol said the Osceola study was recommended as part of the joint County Connections Mobility Study conducted by St. Joseph and Elkhart County last year. According to the proposal, it was originally submitted as a READI grant funding, but is unlikely to meet all project requirements.

“Due to the amount of funding recently announced by the federal government for programs… that focus on rail infrastructure enhancement, this is an important time to get this base report completed to be eligible for future funding opportunities,” the proposal reads.

The county board commissioners approved the study at its meeting Tuesday. It also has support from Osceola town officials and State Sen. Linda Rogers, who represents Osceola.

The study will be conducted by Abonmarche Consultants at a cost not to exceed $72,000.

“Again — very, very, very high level study,” Shalliol told the commissioners Tuesday. “It doesn’t guarantee any outcome in particular, but it certainly looks at the outcomes.”

Contact Gemma at or follow her on Twitter at @gemma_dicarlo.

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Gemma DiCarlo came to Indiana by way of Athens, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and certificates in New Media and Sustainability. She has radio experience from her time as associate producer of Athens News Matters, the flagship public affairs program at WUGA-FM.