FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – One Fort Wayne business is addressing traffic and safety concerns Wednesday caused by an intersection change on Coldwater Road.
What used to be an intersection at Ludwig and Coldwater Roads is now closed off to traffic due to the Ludwig Road Relocation and Coldwater Road Interchange projects. This now causes more traffic down Racquet Drive, which leads to a dead end and just so happens to be the Gassafy Wholesale Florist parking lot.
Jeff Stoppenhagen, owner of Gassafy Wholesale Florist, said throughout the day, cars use his parking lot to turn around constantly. While standing outside, WANE 15 saw about four cars do just that within a five minute span.
“Every night we have 50 or 60 cars turning around in our driveway,” Stoppenhagen said.
Stoppenhagen believes signs alerting drivers that it’s a dead end would help with traffic. He says when he suggested this to the City of Fort Wayne, the city initially thought it would not work.
“When we brought that up, their response was basically people don’t look at signs anyways and well it’ll only take one time for them to figure it out,” Stoppenhagen said.
He said although that is a bother, the main issue is that there is not enough space or pavement down for semi-trucks to safely make the turn.
Being a wholesale business, they work with semi-trucks all the time, and between them and another company located on that street, he says there’s about 25 to 30 semi-trucks coming back there per week, customers, and nine of his own trucks for his business.
A few weeks before Christmas, Stoppenhagen said he had a meeting with the City of Fort Wayne to see how they could help. He says the meeting went well and the city agreed to widen the area in the spring, but said the area would freeze soon which would make the soft spot harder and easier to drive on.
Weeks later, Stoppenhagen reached out to the city again, and before Wednesday, they told him there was nothing they could do about it until spring.
“So I reached back out to the city yesterday and said ‘hey what can we do? When’s the stone getting put down? Any movement on that?’ And basically their response was you’re just going to have to wait until spring time. There’s nothing we can do right now,” Stoppenhagen said.
That’s when Stoppenhagen reached out to 15 Finds Out for help.
After a phone call from 15 Finds Out on Wednesday, the City of Fort Wayne will now take action. Public Works Director Shan Gunawardena released this statement to WANE 15:
“The Ludwig Road Relocation & Coldwater Road Interchange Projects primarily address safety in the area and improve access from I-69 onto Ludwig from Coldwater Road. Eastbound Ludwig Road was relocated north and east with a new traffic signal that has significantly improved this access. There are plans to widen the radius at Ludwig Road and Racquet Drive this spring. There is some temporary pavement down in that area now, but we quickly recognized that additional stone was needed to meet the needs of the semi-trucks and that stone will be added this week. Normally, the ground is frozen during this time of the year, but because of the spring-like temperatures, the ground is much softer. Also, within the next 7 – 10 days, additional signage will be added to help direct traffic to Ludwig and Coldwater roads.”
It’s not clear exactly what the new signs will say, but 15 Finds Out will continue to monitor to see when they’re installed and the extra stone is added to the road.