SOUTH BEND — Having bought her rural Edison Road home 10 years ago with plans to retire there with her husband Bruce, Sue Burnett was alarmed to hear that a new South Bend Chocolate Co. heaquarters and dinosaur museum planned nearby might also serve as the South Shore Line’s new station.
Then came the silence, turning her worries into frustration.
In early December, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg said he hoped to receive a “preliminary readout” of a consultant’s study examining potential new routes by the end of the year, with a “formal copy” in his hands by February.
In early February, his spokesperson said he expected to have it by the end of the month.
In early March, when it still wasn’t ready, a Buttigieg spokeswoman said he anticipated receiving the study in “a few weeks.”
This past week, Buttigieg said he will ask the city’s common council to schedule a public meeting late this month or in early May to receive the study from consultant AECOM. He would then hope to pick one of five options for a new route a “month or two” after that.
Burnett, who said the existing tracks south of her home already create too much noise to leave her windows open, worries about even more noise if freight trains run through the proposed South Bend Chocolate site on their way to the South Bend International Airport, as St. Joseph County officials hope.
“Not knowing where the route’s going to go... what do you put into your house?” Burnett said. “Do you continue trying to improve where you’re living, or because of the unknown of having your property value all in the sudden totally drop...”