Fair travel: Alternate routes, patience will help ease the traffic flow in 2017

Elkhart County 4-H Fair fans can relax and breathe easier. There are still plenty of ways to the fairgrounds this year even with the variety of road improvement projects in Goshen.

And the new South Gate entrance route, completed in 2016, is being encouraged as a vital thoroughfare for fair-goers entering Goshen from all parts of the county. The gate is located on C.R. 36 (College Avenue) just east of U.S. 33 past the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks.

The express route will open for daily Fair access at 8 a.m. on Friday, July 21 and will be fully monitored by parking staff as well as security personnel. After 9 p.m. each night, the route will be exit-only away from the fairgrounds.

“Four or five years ago, the Fair board had the foresight to plan for the U.S. 33 Northern Connector construction impact on Fair traffic,” says Bryan Blair, general manager of the 4-H fairgrounds. “By planning ahead and purchasing land, building the bridge across Rock Run Creek two years ago and by opening the South Gate off of C.R. 36 for the Fair last year, it gave us the opportunity to work out as smooth a traffic plan as possible to accommodate our guests and the overall traffic impact to Goshen.

Other 4-H Fair alternative routes include:

  • Lincoln Avenue (S.R. 4) east out of Goshen to Blackport Drive then to C.R. 34 near the 4-H Fair main entrance.
  • Lincoln Avenue east to C.R. 29, south on C.R .29 to C.R. 34, and entering Gate 7 of the fairgrounds from the east on C.R. 34.
  • From Middlebury, Millersburg and New Paris, C.R. 34 from the east.

Fans traveling from Elkhart and the west part of the county can still use U.S. 33 into Goshen from west, and take either Indiana Avenue or Chicago Avenue south to Lincoln Ave. From Lincoln Avenue, fair-goers can navigate their way through the downtown area to Madison Street, which will take drivers east to C.R. 34 (Monroe Street) at the stoplight in front of Goshen High School.

Some routes may require a few extra miles and a little more time, but should help alleviate traffic on C.R. 34, historically the most congested pathway to the fairgrounds.

“The best ways to get to the Fairgrounds this year will be from the south and the west so we are encouraging as many of our Fair guests as possible to consider an alternate route to save themselves some time,” Blair added.

Currently, there are road projects at C.R. 38 west between S.R. 15 and C.R. 21 on Goshen’s south side, along with work being done on Pike Street from Chicago Ave. to north Main Street, as well as the northern corridor construction in front of the high school.

The 2017 edition of the Elkhart County 4-H Fair runs July 21-29.  Additional express route maps can be found at www.4hfair.org.

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