Neighbors salvage goods in 15 homes set to be torn down

Terry Bean salvages a wood burning stove from a home on State Boulevard.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) An $11 million project to widen West State Boulevard is getting underway after nearly nine years of planning.

The first phase of the project is to open 15 homes set to be demolished to anyone looking to salvage materials. The homes sit between Cass and Clinton Streets on State Boulevard.

“The road is going to be moved a little bit south to still keep the neighborhood intact and they’re taking down some of the houses, several that are in the flood area, and then some others to straighten it slightly so it takes out part of the curve,” Public Works spokesman Frank Suarez said about the project.

Instead of just tearing the homes down, the city is letting people salvage what they can. Terry Bean lives in the Brookview-Irvington neighborhood and calls the opportunity a blessing.

“I’ve got oak cabinets and the counter top and the sink, so it’s all there. Just rearranging them a little bit and they will all fit in my kitchen, so this is just exciting,” Bean said holding back tears.

Bean started remodeling her home this year but ran out of money. Then she got this opportunity to salvage what she needed.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Bean said. “It’s like Christmas for me.”

Bean also learned her furnace is on its last leg, but Monday she found one inside one of the homes.

“Last year when I had it cleaned they told me that if something happens to it I’ll have to replace it, so I’ve got a furnace. I’m tickled,” Bean said.

This is the first stage of the project that’s set to start next year and wrap up in 2019, and so far it’s off to a good start.

“I thank the city for this. I really do,” Bean said. “It’s a blessing for me.”

People living in the neighborhood had the first opportunity to salvage goods. Property owners in Fort Wayne neighborhoods can salvage materials December 7 and 8 from 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Click here for more information.