The traffic situation on Union Chapel Road will get worse this summer before it gets better.
Allen County highway officials said this week they plan to close the intersections at Auburn and Diebold roads consecutively for 90 days each so the roundabouts can be completed. Thats six months of closures.
The area has been under construction since the Indiana Department of Transportation began rebuilding the bridge and creating an interchange with Interstate 69. That project, which includes roundabouts at each end of the bridge for the off ramps and on ramps, is expected to be completed this summer.
Allen County, meanwhile, is building roundabouts to the east and west, at the intersections of Diebold and Auburn roads, respectively.
In an effort to get them finished this summer, county Highway Department Director Bill Hartman said, they will close one intersection entirely for 90 days and then the other.
Officials want all the work finished this summer so that next year work can begin on rebuilding the I-69 interchange with Indiana 1/Dupont Road.
In the meantime, city of Fort Wayne officials are using the roundabout construction as a chance to upgrade a water main in the area. City Utilities Andrew Schipper told the Board of Public Works on Wednesday that the construction plans in the area kept conflicting with the 12-inch water main that supplies water to the east side of I-69.
When officials examined the water pressure and flow in the area, they realized the main needed to be upgraded. So while the area is torn up and the pipes have to be moved anyway, theyll replace about 400 feet of water pipe with larger, 16-inch mains.
Board members approved spending about $75,000 in spending on the project.