Notre Dame looking for green light to move Douglas Road

NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- The University of Notre Dame is proposing a plan to close Douglas Road through campus and re-route a new road along the north edge of the campus.

It's in the early stages, however, the university has already made it clear they will pick up the bill for the project, which consists of making a new four-lane road and a bike path, among other things.

White Field off of Juniper is where the proposed new east-west road could cut through.

Andrew Kostielney, the President of the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners pretty much gave  the project idea the green light. "It doesn't happen very often that someone comes in and volunteers to build you a new road, so I think it would do a great job of helping increase traffic flow through that area and quite frankly, we've got the existing Douglas Road, it has been on the books to resurface for the last two to three year, but we've not had the money to do it so this is kind of a win-win from the county stand point," said Kostielney.

He said, "they (Notre Dame) have paid for an engeneering study to be done by DLZ and they are trying to do the traffic study to see if the numbers verify that and get a rough idea of what the total cost would be." 

Meanwhile a handful of neighbors who live across the street from where a roundabout is proposed said they hope the proposal gets detoured forever. One of those neighbors is Ernie Meuninick. He said he can't use the words on TV he really wishes to say because they would be inappropriate, "They (county officials) shouldn't buckle to Notre Dame just because it's going to be for free."

Meuninick said he used to be a huge Notre Dame fan, but after 40 years of living next to the University as neighbors he has changed his tune.  He is pretty convinced Notre Dame's Plan to reroute Douglas Road has already been given the green light by county officials. He said, "It is a done deal, the city will do anything Notre Dame wants because they are getting a free road."

Tim Sexton a spokesperson for the University of Notre Dame says the number one reason for wanting to close off the road is safety. The university owns all the property to the west of Douglas and he says they are worried about their students and staff crossing the road. He also said the closure is important, "for future expansion on the academic side this would open up things down the line."

Sexton said, "We should get the results back late September, early October and we are looking forward to sitting down with the county and discussing them further, and of course sharing those findings with the community."

Meanwhile nearby neighbors like Meuninick said, "this is crazy and I'm not for it." Meuninick is the only resident willing to go on camera with ABC 57. Other neighbors who spoke to ABC 57's Judi Lykowski on Monday were also opposed to the project however they would not go on camera.  



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