SOUTH BEND -- Part of a major road project in South Bend is underway -- but it shouldn't affect your driving just yet.
If you use State Road 23, near South Bend's 5 points intersection, you may have noticed crews have started demolishing homes.
It is an active construction zone, so INDOT is asking people to slow down and be careful. But there will be no road closures at least through the end of the year.
There is a giant hole in the ground at the intersection of South Bend Avenue and Notre Dame Avenue. That hole used to be the site of an active night-time hang out. It was Club 23.
"The demolition started Monday," says project manager Ed Pilipow.
Pilipow works for Phend & Brown, Inc. He says the state purchased 38 parcels of land within the project area. Most of the parcels have homes or commercial buildings on them.
As the asbestos is removed in each building, it will be demolished. Many already have been spray painted with "OK", indicating they are ready for demolition crews.
Trees are also being removed, soon the area will look completely different.
"By fall of 2014, if everything goes right it will be completed," says Pilipow.
Not everyone is happy about that. Phil Slatt has owned his laundromat business for 40 years. The Corby Fabic Care Center sits on ground zero of the 5 points intersection. His building will still be standing after the project is complete but it will be on a cul-de-sac -- not good for business.
"If I am going to be on a cul-de-sac, they generally don't recommend that. Laundromats are supposed to be in high traffic areas, easy in and easy out," says Slatt.
Larry Jasinski also has a business in the area. Larry's Soft Water won't be affected much because he mostly does service calls. He is happy about the changes and says it will mean safer streets...
"On the corner here we have quite a bit of action where we have accidents," says Jasinski.
A lot will be changing along that stretch of State Road 23. The road will be widened and 5 points will disappear.
--Twyckenham will go further north and connect to Edison.
--The road will be widened.
--Howard Street, on the west side of 23, will connect to Corby on the east side of 23.
--State Road 23 will curve south into Eddy Street. That gets rid of the 5-points problem.
--What is currently the 5-points intersection will cease to exist. It will be turned into a cul-de-sac.
--And South Bend Avenue will connect to Campeau street.