City gets green light for $11M State Blvd. widening project

File. State Boulevard.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The feds have just given Fort Wayne’s $11M West State widening project a stamp of approval. For years, city leaders have said the curve on West State Boulevard between Cass and Spy Run is dangerous and needs to be straightened out. Now that the Federal Highway Adminstration has given the green light, expect to see orange construction barrels next year.

Receiving the notice was good news for city leaders because they’ve been waiting years to tackle the project. But for one historic preservation group the news means a big loss.

“There’s some sadness but also some resignation,” Executive Director of ARCH Michael Galbraith said.

Along West State is the Brookview-Irvington Park Neighborhood. ARCH closely voiced their concern this widening project would damage the historic neighborhood.

“We’ve done everything we possibly could.”

The Federal Highway Administration listened to all of the concerns since they’re paying for 80 percent of the project.

“What they ended up determining was that this was not going to have any kind of impact on the natural or human environment in that area,” spokesperson for City of Fort Wayne Public Works Frank Suarez said.

Frank Suarez, spokesperson for City of Fort Wayne Public Works says the widening project is all about safety: tearing down an old, outdated bridge.

“The bridge is one of the worst in the county. It was built about 85 years ago. Different standards were used at that time.”

Plus, distancing traffic from people who use the sidewalks.

“You know a lot of Northside students use that. So, this is a good thing for them. You won’t be as close to traffic. Many of the residents in that area had experienced accidents where people had hit the bridge, lost control and ended up on their yards and in some cases hitting some of their property.”

The city will go before the Board of Public works Wednesday to see if they can hire a firm to acquire property they need to start the project. If approved, it will go before city council. They hope to have the project complete by the end of 2017.

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