Will improve north-south traffic flow in preparation for the opening of Harrison Square
Mayor Tom Henry and the City's Public Works and Community Development divisions are starting the process of reorienting Calhoun Street to handle two-way traffic throughout downtown Fort Wayne.
The proposed plan will allow two-way traffic between Washington Boulevard and Berry Street, creating a necessary north-south corridor in downtown Fort Wayne, especially with the expected increase of downtown traffic related to the Harrison Square development.
“Ensuring a sensible and logical flow of downtown traffic is important to visitors and residents alike. Calhoun Street is a wonderful pedestrian corridor in our downtown, but the one-way traffic coupled with the much-needed expansions of the Grand Wayne Center and Allen County Public Library that closed local streets can make this section of downtown challenging to find a direct route to attractions, businesses and restaurants,” said Mayor Henry. “I want to preserve as much of the character of these city blocks while improving traffic routes downtown.”
Final designs for the modifications have not been set, but the plan looks to widen the roadway from 24 feet to 34 feet. It would allow for turn lanes at each intersection and provides space for vehicles to unload to the businesses along the corridor. There will also be a sewer separation project in connection to the road work.
Aesthetic improvements include brick inlays on the sidewalks, new trees and tree grates, new street lights and LED paver lights, similar to what has been done on other downtown corridors as part of ongoing streetscape improvements as outlined in the Downtown Blueprint plan.
The City is sensitive to the needs of the businesses currently located on that corridor including local restaurants with outside dining areas. Although local input was sought last year, City officials plan to invite business owners with assistance from the Downtown Improvement District to provide additional participation in this project.
Traffic patterns in downtown were altered in recent years following the elimination of Harrison Street between Jefferson Boulevard and Washington for the Grand Wayne Center expansion and the closure of Webster Street between Wayne Street and Washington for the outdoor plaza at the Allen County Public Library's main branch.
The anticipated cost for the project, using local funds, is $1.47 million. The City would like the improvements complete in April for the opening of the Harrison Square ballpark.
These two blocks were originally part of a three-block City redevelopment project for Calhoun. They were split off from the first segment between Washington and Jefferson.
On July 30, the Board of Public Works authorized the City to enter into a professional services agreement with Bonar Group to revise the initial plans and bid documents for this project from when it was initially designed as part of the three-block improvement.