FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Fort Wayne will invest $24 million to improve city streets, roads, alleys, sidewalks and trails.
Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry, along with neighborhood leaders from the Fairfield Terrace neighborhood, members of the Fort Wayne City Council and staff members from the Public Works Division, gathered Monday to announce projects for 2020.
“I’m encouraged that we’re in position to move forward with several neighborhood infrastructure improvements,” said Mayor Henry. “Residents have been patient as we’ve had to be deliberate with projects as we continue to battle COVID-19 and financial uncertainties in local government due to the pandemic. We’re coming together as a community to make a meaningful difference and begin important construction work that will move Fort Wayne and our neighborhoods forward in a positive direction.”
Funding for the projects has been a challenge due to the coronavirus pandemic. Reduced income tax, gasoline tax and property tax lowered the projected revenue for 2020.
City officials said they have been proactively planning for projects over the past years, allowing the planned programs to continue.
In 2013, Mayor Henry’s bipartisan Fiscal Policy Group created a framework for sustainable funding for area infrastructure work, improvements to parks and public safety investments. This has allowed for over $204 million allocated for neighborhood improvements over the past seven years. During that time, funds have surpassed the $20 million mark every year.
“This year is a challenging year with the unforeseen circumstances that are creating some uncertainties and a bit of a late start on our projects. But now we are moving forward and continuing our tradition of working in neighborhoods,” said Shan Gunawardena, Director of Public Works. “Our projects remain focused on all modes of transportation, including pedestrians, bicyclists and motor vehicles. They are comprehensive and will strengthen neighborhoods well for the future.”
This year’s projects will continue to focus on connections between neighborhoods, curb and sidewalk repair, neighborhood streets, alleyways and trail connections.
A partial list of projects was announced at the press conference:
- Arterial projects will take place on Hobson Road (Coliseum to Stellhorn), Goshen Avenue and Maplecrest Road.
- Comprehensive concrete repairs will take place in the neighborhoods of Glenwood park, Tanbark Trails, Springwood-Orchard Woods (phase I), Aspen Village and Grater McMillen Park (Phase III).
- 25 miles of paving will take place on streets such as Burns Boulevard, Ardmore Avenue, Kinnaird Street, Pettit Avenue, Dartmouth Drive, Executive Drive, Dupont Road (east of Coldwater), North Clinton Street, South Anthony Boulevard and Webster Street.
- Bridge repairs will continue on East State Boulevard over the Bullerman Drain, while construction will begin on the Van Buren Street Bridge and design work will begin on the Bluffton Road Bridge.
- Alley reconstruction will take place in the neighborhoods of Pettit-Rudisill, Spy Run, West Central and Hoagland-Masterson.
- The nearly two-mile-long Beckett’s Run Trail will be built this year, along with a trail connection from St. Joe Center to Wheelock Road.
- New sidewalks will connect walkers along Carew Street, Tillman Road, Hessen Cassel Road and Washington Center Road.
- Sidewalk repairs will occur in neighborhoods like Oxford, Chandlers Landing, New Glenwood, Monarch Park, Mount Vernon Park, Covington Reserve, Avalon, Abbey Place and the Anthony Wayne Community.
- New ADA curb ramps will be installed in several neighborhoods including Tartans Glen, Woodland Lakes, Valley Park Forest, Nebraska, Kern Valley, Fairfield Terrace/Belmont and Eastside Community.
The Public Works office reminds Fort Wayne residence that additional projects are in the planning stages but are unable to be confirmed at this time due to a later start than normal.