Union Chapel & Auburn Intersection Closes For Roundabout Construction (VIDEO)

By Emma Koch - 21Alive
By Corinne Rose

August 12, 2013 Updated Aug 12, 2013 at 5:54 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) -- Travel headaches are just beginning for drivers and residents on the far northwest side of Fort Wayne, because four months’ worth of work has just begun on the intersection of Union Chapel and Auburn Roads.

Since construction signs have just gone up, drivers approaching the intersection coming north really haven't gotten the idea yet. So they're turning around in Mary Cuney's driveway. And she says that's something she hopes doesn't last the entire length of the project.

"There's someone now. And there's somebody waiting. I'll have to put a thing up across there and then they won't be able to do that," Cuney says.

Cuney's home is right next to the construction at Auburn and Union Chapel Roads.

Work begins this week to rip out the old intersection so a large roundabout can be built there, similar to the one at Union Chapel and Diebold.

And just like that four-month project on the other side of I-69, this $1.7 million project is scheduled to be complete just before Christmas.

"There's nothing you can do about it, so you just kind of have to put up with it, I guess," Cuney adds.

Contractors will do storm sewer, water line, and soil erosion work before the road construction begins.

The roundabout is designed to keep more than 20,000 vehicles a day moving through what had been a four-way intersection.

"This was important to us and it was important to Allen County to make sure that traffic is flowing really well all around that area to help with any congestion," says INDOT spokeswoman Mary Foster.

Congestion is growing with booming residential areas and the Parkview Regional Medical Center right there.

So to further help ease the traffic tie-ups, next summer, crews will redesign the interchange at I-69 and Dupont Road to install what's called a diverging diamond at the bridge over the highway.

Until then, cars will most likely continue to try to turn around in Mary Cuney's driveway.

"I suppose that's the only way they'll be able to come down, so probably it'll be that way," Cuney says.

In addition to losing part of her front yard, something else Mary Cuney will lose are her trees. Her husband planted them 24 years ago before he passed away.

The intersection of Union Chapel and Auburn Road is closing so a roundabout can be built.

The detour for Union Chapel is Coldwater to Dupont to Diebold. The detour for Auburn is Dupont to Coldwater to Pion.

If weather allows, the work should be completed by the end of December.

Also, the I-69/Union Chapel interchange ramps, the Union Chapel Bridge and I-69 will have intermittent restrictions over the next several days for surface paving.

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