May 18, 2022 - Mayor Tom Henry and the City of Fort Wayne’s Public Works Division today are recognizing National Public Works Week and the strides the City’s Public Works Division has made to reduce carbon emissions, as well as plans for the future, proclaiming May 15 – 21 as Public Works Week in the City of Fort Wayne.
Fort Wayne is the longest-running municipality in Indiana to use biodiesel fuel in its fleet of vehicles. Biodiesel is a renewable, biodegradable fuel manufactured domestically from vegetable oils, animal fats, or recycled restaurant grease. The City’s use of biodiesel in fleet vehicles dates to 2003, making Fort Wayne the first member of the B20 Club of Indiana. Three hundred and twenty-five city fleet vehicles use biodiesel fuel. City vehicles also have an idle policy to automatically shut down after 10 minutes, except on police vehicles.
In November 2020, the City of Fort Wayne received a grant from The Indiana Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund Committee to help install 27 level 2 electric vehicle chargers. The project was supported by the Northeastern Indiana Regional Coordinating Council, Indiana Michigan Power, and the Greater Indiana Clean Cities Coalition. City Council approved an additional 10 electric vehicle charging stations. Public Works plans to continue to apply for grants as they are available to support the expansion of electric charging infrastructure and electric vehicles.
Also due to the Indiana Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund, the Public Works Division is in the process of purchasing their first electric dump truck.
In 2021, the Goshen Avenue Improvements Project featured a roundabout that improved traffic flow. Now, with the continuous traffic flow from cars no longer stopping at lights, emissions from idling cars is estimated to be reduced by 20%. Several more roundabouts are planned for City of Fort Wayne projects.
To further optimize energy and demand costs, and future rate exposure, the Public Works Division is looking into solar renewable energy to power the recently purchased Avenue of Autos buildings and the Street Light Operations Building, located at 335 Murray Street.
Finally, one of the Division’s goals is to reduce or eliminate all vehicular trips that are one half mile or less by providing a more robust and connected network of pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. This will not only reduce congestion but also reduce the carbon footprint by eliminating needless vehicular trips.
“Public Works Week gives us an opportunity to recognize and thank City of Fort Wayne employees who are making a positive difference in the public works profession,” said Mayor Henry. “Our public works staff is committed to providing excellent services to residents and neighborhoods. Our team oversees projects and programs that are critical to Fort Wayne being a best-run city now and in the future.”