FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Ongoing road construction on East State Boulevard in northeast Fort Wayne has closed all of the sidewalks at the intersection with Reed Road. With three Fort Wayne Community schools nearby, it has created obstacles for those students who walk or ride their bikes to and from school.
Glenwood Park Elementary, Lane Middle School and Snider High School are all near that intersection.
With the sidewalks closed on both sides of the road in every direction, WANE 15 witnessed many students cutting through yards to turn from Reed onto State or vice versa on Tuesday afternoon when school let out.
The woman who lives at the home on the northeast corner of the intersection declined an on-camera interview, but she told WANE 15 she had no problem with kids who cut through her yard or used her driveway which connects to both Reed and State.
The bigger problem is for those who need to cross state to continue down Reed.
WANE 15 witnessed one student on a bike who had a very hard time crossing Reed because there are no crosswalks or crossing signals. Plus, due to the torn-up sidewalks and street, he had to get off his bike and walk for part of it.
Fort Wayne’s City Engineer Patrick Zaharako advises against anyone crossing State to continue down Reed while work is ongoing.
“I don’t recommend crossing at locations that are not meant for pedestrian crossings. We want everybody to be safe, even if it takes a little bit longer to be safe,” he said.
Zaharako said walkers and riders who need to get across State to move down Reed should use Forest Avenue to Berkley Avenue and then cross State and either head back toward Reed or the neighborhood to the north.
He told WANE 15 that Fort Wayne Community Schools was issued a press release about the road work on State.
WANE 15 reached out to school officials to find out if students at any of the schools had been given any guidance on navigating the construction if they take that route.
In a statement, Communications Manager Scott Murray said: “FWCS appreciates the City of Fort Wayne’s commitment to maintaining and improving sidewalks throughout the community. These improvements can create obstacles for those children trying to get to school. We encourage families to find safe alternate routes until the construction projects are complete.”
Zaharako said they anticipate road work –including the sidewalks — to be completed and have everything open on the south side of E State in two to four weeks. Then, the road and sidewalks will be done on the north side of the road in four to six weeks.