June 29 Storm Cleanup Continues

By Max Resnik

October 16, 2012 Updated Oct 16, 2012 at 6:32 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) – Three and a half months after a summer storm headlined by 90 mile per hour winds ripped through the Summit City, the clean up continues.

One of the areas hit hardest by the storm that brought Fort Wayne to its knees was in the area of Lake Avenue and Tecumseh Street. There, trees, as some neighbors described, seemed to explode and a traffic light landed on the roof of D O McComb & Sons Funeral Home.

Across the street from D O McComb, a tree was uprooted, which forced a sidewalk to become a jagged and dangerous obstacle for runners and bicyclists. The broken sidewalk, which now sits diagonally in front Jim Lucas’ home, is one of 23 destroyed sidewalks in Fort Wayne from the storm. He says he has watched pedestrians and bicycle riders try to navigate the sidewalk.

“They would come through here and they would not see the hole and the way the sidewalk has been uprooted. And so they would trip in that spot. Or like bicycles that would come through here, they would see that and they would end up out there in that little hole where the roots used to be."

Lucas said he called the City of Fort Wayne to notify them to the problem.

Franks Suarez with Fort Wayne’s Board of Public Works says most calls about broken sidewalks came into the city a month to a month and a half after June 29. He says fixes to individual sidewalks would have been too costly for the taxpayer. As such, the city grouped all of the sidewalk breaks into a package and put them up for bid.

"To get the bid specs put together, we had to send staff out to each of the locations to assess what the damage was. How much of an area needed to be repaired? Did the park strip need to be repaired? Does the tree trunk need to be grinded up and removed?"

Suarez says that under normal circumstances, sidewalk fixes would be left to the homeowners and neighborhoods. He says given the special circumstances of the June 29 storm, the city was compelled to help.

After completing the assessments, the city opened the project for bidding. That period lasted two and a half weeks. Following that period was a week of open time before the Board of Public Works could accept the bid. Suarez said repairs began in mid-September through a contract with Rock Solid Concrete for $22,000.

All repairs are expected to be completed by October 31.

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