News release from the City of Fort Wayne:
Superior Plan: Connecting a Changing Corridor
(August 5, 2014) – Mayor Tom Henry and neighborhood and business leaders broke ground for the roundabout and two-way street conversion at Superior, Wells, Fairfield and Ewing today.
“Demonstrating a commitment to enhancing our transportation system positions us as a leader in economic development, job growth and job retention, and strong neighborhoods,” said Mayor Henry. “The roundabout project is another example of the unprecedented momentum we’re experiencing in Fort Wayne. By working together, we’re investing in our future and making a meaningful difference for residents and businesses.”
The roundabout will connect the five-legged intersection of Wells from the north, Fairfield and Ewing from the south and Superior from the east and west. Upon completion of the roundabout, Ewing and Fairfield will be converted to two-way traffic to meet the evolving needs of an area that continues to change.
Besides serving as a gateway the roundabout will improve air quality by allowing traffic to flow into the intersection, thus eliminating lengthy idling at a traffic signal.
The roundabout will be constructed in two phases – with the west side of the project beginning this week. Also this week – Ewing will be converted to a two-way street. The second phase of the roundabout will be completed by October and both Ewing and Fairfield will be open to two-way when the roundabout is completed.
The streetscape, including landscaping, sidewalks, and bike lanes will be completed in 2015.
The corridor travel improvements tie together years of a variety of improvements that have given new life to the area.
- 2007 Allen County Public Library completes major renovation and new look. (Ewing)
- 2008-2010 City faÃ§ade grant improvements spruce up Wells Street businesses (Wells)
- 2009 City streetscape improvements to the Wells Street business area including, lighting, parking, landscaping and banners (Wells)
- 2009 Parkview Field completed and TinCaps have record attendance of 400,000 (Ewing)
- 2009 Trinity English Lutheran Church completes extensive expansion and renovation (Ewing/Fairfield)
- 2012 The Harrison apartments completed. (Ewing)
- 2012 The University of Saint Francis announces purchase of Scottish Rite and former Chamber building, bringing students/faculty downtown. (Ewing/Fairfield)
- 2013 Redevelopment purchased land and prepared it for development across from Parkview Field. (Ewing/Fairfield)
- Throughout the last few years several businesses and churches have made building, landscaping and parking improvements to enhance their properties and the area.
Besides the two-way conversions and the roundabout, the project also calls for other enhancements in the downtown business district. Landscaping and bicyclists and pedestrian enhancements will improve Main and Jefferson Boulevard.
Project Details and Completion Dates:
- 5-legged intersection of Fairfield/Ewing/Superior/Wells into a roundabout. (2014 completion expected in late November)
- Conversion of Fairfield & Ewing from one-way to two-way traffic between Baker Street and Superior Street. (2014 – Ewing in August, Fairfield in mid-October)
- Main Street between Jackson Street and Maiden Lane will become one lane of vehicular traffic in each direction with a center turn-lane and bike lanes. (2014)
- The streetscape on Fairfield & Ewing, including landscaping, a sidewalk separated by a parkstrip, bike lanes and lighting will give the area a new look. – Planned for the 2015 construction season
- A wider sidewalk on the south side of West Jefferson Blvd between Fairfield Avenue and Broadway to improve safety for pedestrians. This enhancement will reduce vehicular travel lanes from four to three, similar to what is currently in front of The Harrison. – Planned for the 2015 construction season
Local companies and staff from design and engineering firms American Structure Point and GAI Consultants, along with landscaping architects, Landplan Group, and construction company, Brooks Construction, are the lead companies on the project.
These improvements are viewed as transformative for this corridor and the project is receiving $3 million from Legacy funds. Additional funds of approximately $1 million will come from the Tax Increment Financing District (TIF) funds for the area.