Clinton St. Closed for MLK Bridge Construction

By Katrina Helmer
By Scott Sarvay
By Jeff Neumeyer
By Maureen Mespell

January 16, 2012 Updated Jan 16, 2012 at 11:14 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Traffic on the busiest entranceway into downtown Fort Wayne from the north will be diverted for the next two weeks, to allow for a major bridge replacement project to go forward.

It’s happening on Clinton Street at the Martin Luther King Bridge.

In the short term, motorists will have to get used to a new way to roll into downtown.

As of 2 p.m. Monday, cars and trucks approaching the MLK Bridge began to be diverted westbound onto Fourth Street, then south on Harrison to enter downtown.

Both those streets will be one-way streets for the duration of the closure on Clinton Street.

Steel arches will be lifted into place by a crane, transforming the bridge into what city officials hope will be a landmark entranceway to downtown.

Frank Suarez/Fort Wayne Director of Information: " The architects and the designers of the bridge have a really good idea of what it's going to look like. For those of us who are not architects, it takes a little bit to imagine what it's going to look like, and I think though, the anticipation of what it's going to do, the view of downtown as you come in at night, is certainly going to be something we're all going to be looking forward to."

Indeed, electrical contractors will work for about ten weeks to install necklace lighting on the steel arches, allowing the bridge structure to be outlined in lights after dark.

The re-routing of traffic figures to cause traffic delays on Fourth and Harrison Streets during peak driving hours in the morning and evening.

Motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes such as Wells Street, Sherman Boulevard, North Anthony and Columbia to get into downtown, to avoid some traffic headaches.

The official detour, suggested for trucks and semi-trucks, sends drivers east on Coliseum Boulevard to Washington Boulevard. Westbound Washington Blvd. will then return to to U.S. 27.

The MLK Bridge project should be done by the spring.

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