FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Big construction changes are coming to Goshen Ave. The city has proposed to build a roundabout at the the intersection of Goshen Ave., Sherman Blvd. and Lillian Ave. But one store will be getting the boot and the owner is not happy about it.
The project’s engineer said this is about much more than this 5-point intersection. It’s about making all of Goshen – from Coliseum Boulevard to State Boulevard – a vibrant street that addresses urban needs.
Once upon a time Goshen Ave. and Goshen Rd. were a highway. The City of Fort Wayne says the road needs to be urbanized with sidewalks, lighting, proper drainage and landscaping.
They’re going to enhance the road to better serve drivers, pedestrians, and businesses. That includes building a roundabout at the the intersection of Goshen Ave., Sherman Blvd. and Lillian Ave.
Current design plans show that the roundabout will take down the fishing store, North Side Bait and Tackle.
“I’m feeling very upset because they want to plan on trying to tear this down and put a round about out here on Sherman and Goshen and the bait shop has been here for 95 years,” said owner Mike Reuille. “It’s part of the history of Fort Wayne. There’s not another bait shop around like this.”
Reuille said six generations of people have shopped there and considers it a city staple.
The roundabout’s engineer Shan Gunawardena feels his pain, but says this project best serves the community.
“What we try to do is minimize those impacts as best as we can, but when you are working in an urban environment, people who have built in as close to the highway as possible, close to the roadway as possible, it’s very difficult not to have an impact on somebody,” he said.
They will be offering Reuille money for the store.
“I’d like to stay in this area right here, but there’s nothing,” Reuille said. “I’ve looked. There’s nothing around here where I could move or build another shop. Even if I build another shop, it’s still not going to be the same. It’s not going to be the same because you couldn’t build a building like this.”
Reuille says he’s not going down without a fight. He’ll be at the city’s public information meeting concerning the project on August 29.
The first phase of the Goshen Avenue Corridor Enhancement Project is expected to begin late next year or early 2019. That goes from State Boulevard to Cambridge Boulevard.