FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – The construction of a new interchange along I-69 will cause traffic delays over night for the next two nights.
If you plan on traveling on I-69 Tuesday or Wednesday night, you might want to think about taking another route. The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) will be shutting down a section of the interstate to begin road construction on a new interchange. The affected area is just north of Exit 116 (Dupont Rd. and SR 1) at I-69 and Union Chapel Road.
INDOT officials say they will be building a bridge with a roundabout to create more access to Dupont Hospital and Parkview Regional Medical Center (PRMC) as well as the businesses in the area.
“They were expecting up to 4,000 additional cars per day when Parkview Regional Medical Center opened, so this is help with that flow of traffic,” said Mary Foster, INDOT Media Relations.
Roundabouts use circular lanes to carry traffic in the same direction to various points of the intersection. Foster says the advantages to a roundabout include free-flowing traffic without obstructions such as “Stop” signs or signals, which can result in delays.
Crews have already begun construction, but Tuesday and Wednesday nights, crews will bring in beams to complete the bridge. On Tuesday, August 7, only the northbound lanes will be affected, and on Wednesday, August 8, the southbound lanes will be affected.
Foster says drivers can expect delays from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. both nights. The Allen County Sheriff's Department will be directing traffic, so Foster advises drivers to be patient and use caution. She says drivers can expect approximately two delays every hour and should use alternate routes.
“That would be recommended if they’re going to be traveling in that area tonight because these stoppages could last up to 20 minutes,” Foster said. “They should be prepared to stop under the direction of the Sheriff’s Department. They will directed into the left lane because there will be a crane over in the right-hand shoulder and right lane, so it will be restricted to one lane during this time also.”
Foster says this is just one of many more road closures and delays to come. The project should be complete by late Fall 2012, with the exception of the northbound on-ramp to I-69 from Union Chapel Road.
The contract for the Union Chapel and I-69 interchange was awarded to Brooks Construction of Fort Wayne for the low bid of $13.9 million. Parkview contributed $10 million to this project, which is a collective effort amongst INDOT, Northeastern Indiana Regional Coordinating Council (NIRCC), Allen County and Parkview Regional Medical Center.
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