New Roundabout Opens, Alleviating Traffic (NBC33 VIDEO)

By Eric DeFreeuw

August 2, 2013 Updated Aug 2, 2013 at 6:35 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.nbc33.com) - A traffic nightmare on the city’s north side is finally over. In its place is a safer, more reliable pattern for traffic flow. At noon Friday the roundabout at Union Chapel and Debold Road is finally open.

Before the project began, the intersection was a very dangerous three-way stop. Now, traffic is able to flow easier and safer through that area.

Ultimately it will provide direct access to the new I-69 interchange in both directions. And that has neighbors very excited now that the inconvience of constant detours is out of their lives.

"Going to 69 from here has been extremely difficult because you have to turn left and almost go a mile and a half out of your way,” says Conrad Vlaskamp, an area resident. “And with them putting gas up yesterday 40 cents, it's no fun doing the extra driving."

Dave Welch, another resident in the area says the roundabout should make it easier for him to get to work.

"Well I travel a lot for business and I experience a lot of roundabouts throughout the country, I have no problems - no issues with them. I think it does move the traffic and everyone keeps moving. And it is safer and it avoids a huge cost of stoplights."

Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) also announced the Union Chapel overpass of I-69 is also progressing as-planned. Crews continue work paving the northeast ramp, and the rest of the interchange is expected to be completed by the end of this summer.

Another roundabout is planned for that area as well, and construction should start within the next few weeks. This one will be at Union Chapel and Auburn Road, so that area will be closed until the project is done, which could take several months.

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