Most Ardmore Avenue Residents Happy With Construction Outcome

By John W. Davis

October 15, 2010 Updated Oct 15, 2010 at 10:19 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - After months of construction, traffic is flowing on Ardmore Avenue Friday night.

But what do residents think about their new sound barrier wall?

That question was the hot topic as Indiana's NewsCenter spoke with neighbors Friday afternoon.

Mike Toscos lives directly on Ardmore Avenue.

His front yard stood in the middle of city plans to widen Ardmore Avenue.

The city purchased part of his land, paid him for pain and suffer, and built him and his one neighbor, their own exclusive access road.

"I think they did a job that come out better than what I really expected. When it started I really didn't know what to expect. But Dave Ross (City Engineer) and his crew did a good job designing this as far as safety and pleasing the most amount of people they could," said Ardmore Resident Mike Toscos.

"I'm pleased with the design of the wall. The color of the wall. The way its been situated, and the fact that it is now sort of a sound barrier, certainly much more than we saw in the past, when there wasn't a wall there," said Wildwood Park Resident Geoff Paddock.

But what about waking up every morning to the view of a concrete wall?

"I have a bedroom upstairs. I can see over top the wall. I can see the whole apartment complex all the way down to the pavement of the parking lot. So it doesn't obstruct a whole lot that way, the sunset, the amount of sunlight we get here remains about the same," said Toscos.

Toscos feels the project will even raise his property value.

"When we get ready to sell our house, I think that the privacy, having our own private road here, able to maintain a quiet lifestyle in our front yard is now gonna be use able," said Toscos.

Toscos said he has lived on Ardmore Avenue for a long time, noting that the project has been in the works for the last ten years.

Toscos said once the city built the bridge of Hillegas between Bass Road and Illinois Road, widening Ardmore Avenue was only a matter of time.

"It does show that when we work together, we can do something that is constructive and functional but also attractive and can preserve what we want to in our neighbors," said Paddock.

Meanwhile, Indiana's NewsCenter crews are reporting some daytime backups on Hillegas Road, between Illinois Road and Jefferson Boulevard, due to traffic light timing patters entering Ardmore Avenue.

Fort Wayne Public Information Officer Frank Suarez said, anytime the city opens a new road, traffic will flow differently.

Suarez said the city is studying those traffic patterns and will adjust the timing of those stop lights, after that study is complete.

The Ardmore Avenue Project cost $3.2 million dollars.

Construction and detours lasted about five months.

Both sides of the avenue are now two lanes.

The avenue is outlined by a bike path and a sound barrier wall to keep noise out of the adjacent neighborhood.

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