Council advances 2 major projects

May 4th, 2016

News Coverage:

May 4, 2016

Council advances 2 major projects

Straightening of Maumee Avenue, water main redo

Dave Gong | The Journal Gazette

In a preliminary vote Tuesday, the Fort Wayne City Council approved a road straightening project and a major water main replacement. 

The road project will straighten a portion Maumee Avenue near Indiana Tech to better improve the flow of traffic and reduce the number of traffic accidents along that corridor, Patrick Zaharako, assistant city engineer, told the council.

“We’re at 50 wrecks in the last 10 years or so through this area,” Zaharako said.

The street will still be three lanes through the area, and will include streetlights and trees along the route. 

Councilman Geoff Paddock, D-5th, said this project is something that the city’s been working on the past couple years. 

“We were concerned about not only the number of accidents, but kind of the speed that folks were (driving) up there over the last several years,” Paddock said, noting that with narrower lanes and the addition of trees and streetlights the number of traffic accidents should decrease because drivers will need to slow down.

The total project cost for the Maumee Avenue improvements is $1,156,432. Construction is expected to start this month. 

The water main replacement project is on the city’s south side. The area is bounded by Clinton Street to the west, Robinwood Drive to the east, Eckart Street to the north and Maple Grove Avenue to the south, City Utilities’ Mike Kiester said. The project involves installing 19,805 feet of 6-inch water main pipes, 36 new hydrants and 561 service reconnections, Kiester said. 

“Our replaceable mains here are very old. They were originally installed in the late 1910s, 1920s and early 1940s, so they’ve almost become centenarians,” Kiester said. “They continue to break; … they’ve outlived their useful life. To date, there have been 184 and counting main breaks.”

The total project cost is $2,084,660. Kiester said City Utilities is looking to get started on the project quickly and expects to finish in June 2017. The project will be funded through the utility’s water revenue. 

In other business, the council approved two flood mitigation buyout grants for homeowners in the city’s floodplain who have agreed to sell their properties to the city.

Combined, those two grants will cost the city $154,881. The grants are part of a buyout program in which the federal government contributes 75 percent of the total cost to buy out homes. In this round of funding, a total of nine homes are being bought.