Statement issued Tuesday:
Fort Wayne, Ind. – In a midmorning news conference, Mayor Tom Henry announced the City of Fort Wayne’s aggressive 2011 Transportation Program. The road, street and trail construction projects will help to create good-paying jobs, strengthen neighborhoods and ensure Fort Wayne is ready to compete for new jobs and business investment. The Mayor proposed over 300 initiatives, including approximately 50 street projects in each Fort Wayne City Council district.
“An investment in our roads, streets and trails is an investment in ourselves and in the long-term economic health of our city,” said Mayor Henry. “The 2011 transportation projects are about making Fort Wayne a place where businesses can prosper, bringing hundreds of good-paying construction jobs to Fort Wayne today, and strengthening neighborhoods in every corner of the city.”
The transportation plan will invest $20.6 million to improve Fort Wayne’s roads and infrastructure, generating over 300 construction jobs and up to an additional 311 jobs resulting from increased economic activity. According to federal data, these investments will generate as many as 600 new jobs in Fort Wayne ("Employment Impacts of Highway Infrastructure Investment," U.S. Department of Transportation, 3/29/2010).
Additionally, the proposal calls for $1.2 million for resurfacing projects conducted by the City’s Street Department. Many of the major projects will receive a significant portion of their funding through Motor Vehicle Highway Funds as well as federal and state grants.
“I’m proud to announce these projects will be financed primarily through federal and state dollars, not local taxes,” underscored Mayor Henry. “Every time we fill up at the pump we’re paying almost 20 cents a gallon to Washington. I’ve been fighting to bring these tax dollars back Fort Wayne. These street, road and trails projects improve our infrastructure and the quality of life for all our residents.”
Highlights of Mayor Henry’s proposed transportation projects include:
• Asphalt and Concrete Road projects: 17 miles of street repairs and construction in all four districts, in neighborhoods across the city.
• Resurfacing: 15 miles of streets.
• The Auburn Road Project: Widen the existing section of Auburn Road from Clinton St. to Cook Rd. to four lands with a traffic signal at the intersection of Auburn & Cook with auxiliary lanes and sidewalks.
• US 27 (Clinton Street) Bridge over St. Mary’s River: The bridge replacement will include an arched, truss-style bridge structure with pedestrian/bike trails on both sides. Construction is currently 31% complete.
• Washington Center Rd. at Dartmouth Drive: Intersection improvements to include pavement widening with added left turn lanes on Washington Center Road and storm water drainage rehabilitation and expansion.
• Resurfacing of South Anthony Boulevard: All four lanes between Paulding and Southdale.
• Greenway Trails: 5.5 miles of new trails in the city and 11 miles in conjunction with Fort Wayne Trails, Inc.
“Trails are a signature element of cities on the move,” observed Mayor Henry. “Every day, I’m working to get Fort Wayne’s economy growing. Our impressive greenway and trail system sends an important message to businesses looking to attract the 21st Century talent they need to grow and Fort Wayne needs to thrive. Trails are economic development infrastructure that puts a smile on our faces, links us together and helps us enjoy our wonderful hometown.”