FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Press Release): This morning, Mayor Tom Henry joined area businesses and residents along the Goshen Avenue corridor. At hand, the completion and ribbon cutting of the Goshen Avenue improvement project.
The enhancements that catch the eyes of those journeying in the area include added sidewalks where none existed before, decorative lighting, landscaping, and a roundabout, at the five-legged intersection of Sherman Boulevard, Lillian Avenue and Goshen. What visitors don’t see are significant improvements underground. A new water main will serve the neighborhood well into the future, and extensive stormwater improvements with bioswales and stormwater pipes will improve drainage.
“These are improvements that upgrade a major corridor, but more importantly, add safety features to connect businesses and neighborhoods,” said Mayor Henry. “The Five Points roundabout will enhance traffic flow and safety, and anyone familiar with the area will definitely appreciate the sidewalks and stormwater improvements. It’s a significant improvement for the businesses and the Lincoln Park and Five Points neighborhoods.”
The Goshen Avenue improvements stretch from State Boulevard to Cambridge Boulevard. The center turn lane improves safety for motorists accessing the nearly 50 businesses along the corridor. ADA ramps added to the new sidewalks offer first-time, safe access for pedestrians. The project also includes a better entrance to the Foellinger Theatre parking area with a grass island to separate traffic.
The section between the roundabout and State Boulevard has new paving and the repair of existing sidewalks.
The intersection at the roundabout welcomes 18,500 vehicles per day. With continuous traffic flow, no cars stopping at a light, emissions into the air from idling cars will reduce by about 20%.
“Some people consider Goshen a route to access the interstate or to come into the City to access local attractions, like the zoo. But transportation needs evolve, and a road designed as a highway could not meet the vehicle needs to access business throughout the corridor, nor the foot and bicycle traffic needs of this century,” said Shan Gunawardena, Director of the Division of Public Works. “Yes, this is a delivery route and main corridor. However, to me, it’s very much an essential part of the neighborhoods and the business district it serves. Whether a side street lined with homes or a corridor like Goshen that connects those side streets, our Public Works commitment is to improve transportation safety, enhance public space, and strengthen neighborhoods.”
Goshen Avenue has a long history that’s seen many changes over the years. In 1913, the road became the route of the Lincoln Highway, the nation’s first coast to coast highway. It was a rural highway outside of the City limits, and the Lincoln Highway continued west on what is now U.S. 33. In 1928, the Lincoln highway was re-directed on to what some call Old U.S. 30 (W. Washington Center Road). Today, Goshen Ave. evolves again as an urban street with city neighborhoods, nearby schools, churches, and a business corridor.
Future Goshen Corridor improvements call for enhancements to Coliseum Boulevard. Goshen Avenue becomes Goshen Road west of Harris Road.