Statement issued Friday:
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The City of Fort Wayne is looking at ways to reduce traffic congestion on South Anthony Boulevard at the Norfolk-Southern Railroad tracks just north of Wayne Trace. The Community Development Division is hosting a public meeting in the Magee O’Connor Theatre at Indiana Tech’s Andorfer Commons (1600 East Washington Blvd.) Thursday, November 18, at 6 p.m., to discuss a feasibility study that examines options separating the tracks from street level.
Traffic counts by the Northern Indiana Regional Coordinating Council, or NIRCC, show that 14,000 to 15,000 vehicles travel Anthony Boulevard each day. As many as 35 freight trains cross Anthony Boulevard just north of Wayne Trace daily causing congestion and vehicle idling for drivers. As trains halt traffic flow, vehicles may idle for 10 minutes or more.
Solutions might include an overpass, an underpass or a different grade separation option. Potential costs and engineering challenges will be addressed at the meeting.
Anthony Boulevard is a major north-south artery on the east side of Fort Wayne. It is regarded by planners and residents alike as a “main street” in the southeast quadrant that creates access to retail, industrial and commercial enterprises. With the eventual separation of the railroad tracks from the traffic, businesses will be more accessible.
At the public meeting, Fort Wayne City staff will partner with DLZ Engineering, the consultants for the project, to answer questions about the feasibility study which is required before any state or federal funds can be secured. The feasibility study going on now is expected to conclude in late summer of 2011.
A follow-up meeting will occur in early 2011 for those who are unable to attend the November 18 meeting.