Auburn Road Transportation Project Improves Safety (VIDEO)

By Emma Koch

June 13, 2013 Updated Jun 13, 2013 at 12:18 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) -- Mayor Tom Henry and other community leaders gathered Thursday to celebrate the completion of the Auburn Road transportation project at a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Joining Mayor Henry were neighborhood presidents, representing neighborhoods connected by the new sidewalk and trail, Shawnee Middle School Principal, Matt Scheibel and Fort Wayne City Council members Tom Didier and Russ Jehl, Jason Spreen from INDOT and representatives from contractors DLZ Inc., VS Engineering and Fleming Excavating.

“As this area has grown it has become more difficult for motor vehicles – and it has been nearly impossible for pedestrians to walk to Northrop High School, Shawnee Middle School and Holland Elementary. I’m glad we can make this investment into our future,” said Mayor Henry. “These improvements strengthen neighborhoods in the area by making our transportation system safer for cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. These are critical long-lasting infrastructure improvements that will make our community vibrant for years to come.”

This comprehensive transportation project improves Auburn Road for vehicles, bicyclists, joggers and walkers. It offers important, safer, connectivity for the Auburn Farms and Concordia Gardens neighborhood students to walk to Shawnee, Northrop and Holland. It also connects pedestrians in eight neighborhoods along Cook Road.

"This intersection has been plagued by congestion and unsafe conditions for many years. With this new design traffic will flow more smoothly and safely in this very busy area” said City Engineer Shan Gunawardena.

The project includes two traffic lanes in each direction, a center turn lane, a traffic signal, new gutters, curbs and storm sewers, a trail on the north side of the road, a sidewalk on the south side, both connecting to Cook Road and allowing safe crossing of I-69. 125 trees were planted to replace vegetation cleared for the project.

“The project looks good and it is very much appreciated by the residents in the area. I think the traffic signal is going to improve safety as we come in and out of our neighborhood,” said Jeryl Cook, Concordia Gardens Neighborhood President.

"We are committed to moving forward with projects in neighborhoods across the City to address and fix declining infrastructure” said Director of Public Works Bob Kennedy.

Funding for the $2.9 million project came primarily from the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) ($2.465 million). Additional funding came from the Federal Highway Administration, $216,376, and the City’s Public Works Division $300,000.

“This project represents a big investment and a partnership between the City, State and federal government” said Mayor Henry. “I will continue to work to secure money for improvements such as these in the future to meet the needs of residents in their neighborhoods and on their local streets and sidewalks each day.”

The project was designed by DLZ Inc., constructed by Fleming Excavating, and inspected by VS Engineering.

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