Construction snarls some traffic downtown

Traffic backed up on Jefferson near Broadway
Traffic backed up on Jefferson near Broadway

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – As you have probably already noticed, road construction season is in full swing.  Especially if you drive through downtown Fort Wayne a lot, you’ve probably had to deal with some serious traffic snarls this week.

Crews have condensed two or three lanes down to one near the intersection of Jefferson and Broadway. Crews are revamping the sewage and storm water sewers there. Officials tell NewsChannel 15 the work should be completed Wednesday. Tuesday afternoon, traffic in that area was backed up for at least a quarter of a mile.  Folks we talked with waiting in traffic said they had been waiting for 10 or 15 minutes on Jefferson.

This construction on Jefferson is part of a large sewer and storm water upgrade to the area.  The city decided to start the upgrade in 2009 to cope with more people living, working, and playing downtown.

“Once you have all of these people, all of this influx… you know that there is going to be the need to have a better system to carry not only sanitary sewer but storm water sewer away as well,” City of Fort Wayne Public Works spokesperson Frank Suarez explained.

Be prepared to see more orange barrels go up next week at Superior, Ewing and Fairfield downtown.  Crews will start work on a new roundabout that will go in.

“We’re going to be pulling in five streets into one intersection that we currently have a stoplight where people are idling polluting the air.  Now, they can go right in and proceed and go on.  It’s going to improve traffic flow,” said Suarez.

 

The roundabout will be complete by the end of the year.  If all of this irritates you, city officials hope you take this into account:

 

“It does tear up our city.  We know it’s intrusive, but it is building a better system and it is going to help us with quality of life down the road.  So, we hope people understand that,” said Suarez. “It’s very similar to if we make repairs to our house or we want to remodel a room. We are inconvenienced for a while, but the payoff is worth it.”

A couple other things to note: Traffic on Fairfield will switch from one-way to two-way next week. Motorists will also be able to journey either north or south when traveling on Ewing Street as the street will be converted from one-way travel to a two-way street going from Superior Street to Jefferson Boulevard where it connects to the already two-way Ewing.

If you feel like you’ve seen more construction than usual, you’re right.  The city has spent a record amount of money -$23 million- to repair streets and make upgrades.

 

 

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