A final cost estimate for the St. Joe Valley Metronet’s expansion into Marshall County and the city of Plymouth is expected soon, as one of the organizers of the project has reported that the proposed route has been decided upon and they will soon have an estimated cost.
The path takes consideration of the location of existing utilities and avoids them wherever possible, and also takes into account the subscribers who have already put money into the project to ensure the Metronet expands into the area. Businesses like Hoosier Racing Tire and St. Joseph Regional Medical Center put sums of money up front to make the project happen.
The expansion will reportedly utilize directional boring as opposed to the more common open trenching, and this will increase the cost estimate.
The proposed extension of St. Joe Valley Metronet from St. Joseph County south into Marshall County and through Plymouth has been under discussion for several months with the commissioners and the mayor’s office working together to create new infrastructure for economic development that will serve existing businesses and attract new investment, and a public information session held on Aug. 20 discussed engineering, design and the proposed route to install more than 30 miles of underground conduit and fiber optic cable.
St. Joe Valley Metronet installed its original fiber backbone and connected the first subscribers in 2006. The dark fiber network now extends more than 100 miles and serves more than 100 subscribers in South Bend, Mishawaka and St. Joseph County.