SOUTH BEND – The St. Joseph County Council is expected to vote today on whether to move Douglas Road north.
The county is being asked to "vacate" the current Douglas Road from State Road 933 to Juniper. Then, the University of Notre Dame will spend millions of its own money to build a new road north on university property, which will then be taken over by the county.
But people who live in Indian Village, a tiny town just north of Notre Dame say they are upset with the project. About 300 people live in the village which sits right next to a proposed roundabout.
Jean Anne Yackshaw moved in 27 years ago.
"It has been a nice place to live until now. We have threats to our quality of life," says Yackshaw.
Those threats come from their neighbor to the south, Notre Dame. The university is asking the city to give up Douglas Road. In exchange, they would pay for, build and give the county a new, four lane road. One of the roundabouts would be just south of the only entrance to Indian Village.
"We don't want a busy intersection by our village. This is going to ruin our quality of life, depreciate the home values and (there will be) noise," says Yackshaw.
The university has said it is trying to make better use of the space it owns while giving drivers and pedestrians a better way around campus. The road will be four lanes and will have bike lanes and walking paths. But Indian Village residents say they feel the university is pushing the project and not listening to their concerns.
"They always get what they want, and everyone is resigned to them getting what they want," says Yackshaw.
"My biggest concern is the whole project is going too fast," says Bill Partridge who also lives in Indian Village. "We are solving their problems and creating problems for us."
A group of Indian Village neighbors will be at tonight's council meeting where they hope their concerns are addressed and the project is tabled.
Corey Noland is the District B County Councilman. Indian Village and the proposed project are in Noland's district. He says safety was his first concern, and the exercise paths and pedestrian crossings addressed that. He understands the traffic and noise concerns voiced by Indian Village residents.
"Not all of the concerns have been addressed, and they probably won't be," says Noland, "It is going to come to the council to decide whether the most important issues have been addressed, certainly the safety."
The university was asked to comment, but a spokesperson told WSBT they have said all they had to say at a meeting a couple weeks ago. They will have representatives at the meeting tonight.
The university has said it wants to finish the road before the end of the summer.
The council is expected to vote tonight at 7 p.m.