FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - A project to construct a roundabout at the intersection of Union Chapel and Diebold Roads begins Thursday, and will shut down that area for three months. The project costs about $1.2 million, and was partially funded by Allen County.
The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) said the closure will last until early July. Traffic will be rerouted to Auburn Road to Dupont Road to Tonkel Road.
When INDOT finishes the roundabout, which is approximately 0.4 miles east of I-69, crews will move to the other side of the interstate and construct another roundabout at the intersection of Union Chapel and Auburn Roads. INDOT is not sure when the roads there will be closed.
During this time, construction of the I-69/Union Chapel Road interchange will continue. Contractors continue to work on building a northeast ramp (the northbound I-69 on-ramp) and the eastern roundabout for the interchange.
When completed, four roundabouts will be built on Union Chapel Road, between Auburn Road and Diebold Road. The span covers about approximately one mile.
"After studies as to how to make this whole corridor safer, when they chose to do the roundabout interchange design, it was decided that roundabouts at Diebold and Auburn Roads also made sense for traffic flow," Mary Foster, the media relations director for INDOT's Fort Wayne district, said.
Foster said that's just part of the work that still needs to be done in that area.
"They're still working on the northeast ramp, which is the northbound I-69 on-ramp," Foster said. "That will be on-going as well now that the weather has started to cooperate a little bit. Also the eastern roundabout on the bridge of I-69" still needs to be constructed.
Foster added that traffic will still be able to cross the bridge over I-69 while construction is going on there.
The interchange is expected to be completed sometime late this summer. Part of the interchange opened back in December. That's when three of the interchange ramps opened to traffic.
One roundabout on the bridge is also open, but Foster said it hasn't been an issue for motorists so far.
"They seem to be adjusting to it," Foster said. "People were uneasy about why we were doing this and how it would work, but I think it seems to be going smoothly. The west end, that roundabout on the interchange, it has been open and we haven't had any incidents I'm aware of. They're pretty intuitive, the roundabout are, so it seems people are figuring it out. There are other roundabouts in the Allen County area, so I think people are getting used to seeing them more and more."
One motorist said the interchange hasn't been busy since it's opened.
"It really hasn't been too busy yet," Krissy Davis, who lives near all the upcoming construction, said. "The stop signs have really confused people. But I think they've already gotten better with the stop signs and it's only been a couple of months."
Davis and Foster agreed the interchange had not had very much traffic, but both said they expected to an increase in traffic as motorists get more familiar with the area.
"I do think once it's all done and the construction is all done, people will actually like it because then we don't have to go on Dupont which is always a mess," Davis said.
INDOT reminded drivers to use caution and consider worker safety when driving through a construction zone. For the latest news and information about INDOT, click here .
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