FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Press Release): Celebrating the long-awaited completion of the State Boulevard realignment project, Mayor Tom Henry joined neighborhood residents and business owners, members of the City Council, city and construction staff to cut the ribbon earlier today.
The project replaces an old bridge, addresses flooding concerns, improves safety for walkers, bicyclists and motorists, and adds landscaping and decorative lighting to the area.
“The new State Boulevard is a beautiful addition to our community. It enhances the area and supports the surrounding neighborhoods and economic vitality for all neighborhoods along this stretch of State,” said Mayor Henry. “Residents remember the days when the road and bridge closed because of floodwaters, and when traffic backed up because of accidents at the sharp curve. The realignment and raised bridge make the area safer for all.”
Flooding and accidents in the area have been a concern for decades, with flood concerns on the Spy Run Creek going back 100 years. The planning for this two-phase improvement began in 2007, but studies for improving the area were done in the 1970s and early 2000s
“We worked hard to incorporate features that would preserve the Historic Brookview Civic Association, raise the bridge to meet required modern standards, and enhance the area with a trail, sidewalks, landscaping and lighting,” said Shan Gunawardena, Director of the Division of Public Works. “Our team worked through the challenges of preserving the history of the route of the old State Boulevard, the environment and a beautiful creek, the changing needs of pedestrians and bicyclists, and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished.”
The two-phase, multi-year, State Boulevard enhancements include:
• Replacing and removing a failing bridge that was over 90 years old
• Building a new bridge south of the existing road and meeting new Federal flood plan regulations
• Realigning the roadway to take out a severe curve and a frequent location of accidents
• Adding turn lanes, protected sidewalks and lighting in Phase 1 between Clinton Street and Spy Run Avenue
• Adding turn lanes, protected sidewalks, landscape medians on new State between Clinton and Cass Street
• Raising the bridge and widening the span over spy run creek to reduce flooding
• Widening the creek to improve flow
• Bank stabilization with block concrete
• Purchasing 15 homes that were in the flood zone and that had experienced frequent floods
• Adding a center turn lane where needed and extending Oakridge Road to create a buffer to Old State and the Brookview Civic Association
• Adding landscaping on both sides of the road that includes various types of perennials and more than 200 trees
• 30 ornamental light fixtures
• Resurfacing of the approaches of connecting streets including Terrace Road, Oakridge Road, Eastbrook Drive, Westbrook Drive, Edgehill Avenue and Cass Street
• New sidewalk, ADA ramps, curbs and drive approaches on Old State and into side streets
• A sidewalk on the north side of State protected by a park strip
• A trail on the south side of State protected by a park strip
• A distinctive ramp and trail bridge for the Pufferbelly Trail allowing safe crossing of the section of State Boulevard that welcomes 18,000 vehicles per day
• Pedestrian crosswalks throughout the area
• Additional storm drains and stormwater improvements including new outfalls
• Water main realignment
Construction of the State Boulevard Realignment Project took place between 2017 and 2020 in two phases. The first phase, between Clinton and Spy Run, was constructed by Brooks Construction. Primco, Inc. constructed the second phase between Clinton and Cass, including the trail bridge. The project was designed and overseen by American Structurepoint, Inc.
The investment for Phase l was $2 million, and Phase ll was $8.2 million. Eighty percent of the project is paid for with Federal funds through the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), and 20 percent from the City of Fort Wayne.
Following the optimal rooting season for perennials and trees, planting of flowers and 200 trees will continue through the end of November.