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City of Fort Wayne to spend $24 million in 2020 neighborhood improvement projects


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - After taking a look at the books in the midst of a global pandemic, the City of Fort Wayne reduced its neighborhood improvement project budget by about $9 million.

The city originally planned to spend more than $33 million in neighborhoods this year, but because of lost revenue due to COVID-19, they readjusted their spending.

During the stay at home order, fewer people took trips, which reduced the gasoline tax dollars the city could rake in. Income tax and property tax revenues are also expected to be lower and delayed in some instances. 

The Public Works Division will now spend $24 million to improve streets, roads, alleys, sidewalks, and trails.

“This year is a challenging year with the unforeseen circumstances that are creating some uncertainties and a bit of a late start on our projects. But now we are moving forward and continuing our tradition of working in neighborhoods,” said Shan Gunawardena, Director of Public Works.

“Our projects remain focused on all modes of transportation, including pedestrians, bicyclists and motor vehicles. They are comprehensive and will strengthen neighborhoods well for the future.”

This is the seventh year in a row that the city has spent more than $20 million on neighborhood improvement projects.

Projects will continue to focus on arterial connections between neighborhoods, neighborhood streets, alley, curb and sidewalk repair, and trail connections.  

The 2020 improvements will be in more than 100 neighborhoods and include paving, concrete street reconstruction, bridge replacements, sidewalk repair, and additional sidewalks and trails.

Here is a partial list of the projects:

  • Arterial projects will take place on Hobson Road (Coliseum to Stellhorn), Goshen Avenue, and Maplecrest Road. 
  • Comprehensive concrete repairs will take place in the neighborhoods of Glenwood Park, Tanbark Trails), Springwood-Orchard Woods (phase l), Aspen Village and Greater McMillen Park (phase lll).   
  • 25 miles of paving will take place on streets such as Burns Boulevard, Ardmore Avenue, Kinnaird Street, Pettit Avenue, Dartmouth Drive, Executive Drive, Dupont Road (east of Coldwater), North Clinton Street, South Anthony Boulevard and Webster Street.
  • Bridge repairs will continue on East State Boulevard over the Bullerman Drain, while construction will begin on the Van Buren Street Bridge and design work will begin on the Bluffton Road Bridge. 
  • Alley reconstruction will take place in the neighborhoods of Pettit-Rudisill, Spy Run, West Central and Hoagland-Masterson.  
  • The nearly two-mile-long Beckett’s Run Trail will be built this year, along with a trail connection from St. Joe Center to Wheelock Road.  
  • New sidewalks will connect walkers along Carew Street, Tillman Road, Hessen Cassel Road and Washington Center Road.   
  • Sidewalk repairs will occur in neighborhoods like Oxford, Chandlers Landing, New Glenwood, Monarch Park, Mount Vernon Park, Covington Reserve, Avalon, Abbey Place and the Anthony Wayne Community.
  • New ADA curb ramps will be installed in several neighborhoods including Tartans Glen, Woodland Lakes, Valley Park Forest, Nebraska, Kern Valley, Fairfield Terrace/Belmont and Eastside Community. 

The city says more projects are in the planning stages.

Kayla Crandall

Kayla Crandall is an Emmy award-winning journalist. She serves as the Social Media and Digital Content Manager at WPTA. Follow her on Twitter @KaylerJayne.

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