As you may have noticed within the past couple weeks, construction has begun for sidewalks on Bluffton Road’s west side. This section of sidewalk will connect to the sidewalks on Lower Huntington Road to the south and will stretch almost to Foster Park West on the north.
The sidewalk is intended to serve the residents in the Waynedale Community by giving them greater access to area trails and a walking route near the many businesses which are seated on the west side of Bluffton Road. This of course will also improve safety for those who live in the area who chose to travel by walking, and also those who do not have access to a vehicle and may depend on walking along Bluffton Road to get food or supplies.
Due to its proximity to storefront businesses, the sidewalk installation will transform the once car-exclusive stretch to a pedestrian friendly district. It is expected to encourage local shopping and could allow a greater variety of businesses to setup shop who would benefit from attracting more customers by the window-shopping and walk-in traffic.
According to reports from a local attorney, sidewalks on Bluffton Road were part of the original agreement with the community during the annexation of Waynedale into Fort Wayne. But this recent activity was primarily spurred by a $20,000 donation to survey the path for the sidewalk on the east and trails on the west by the local group, Waynedale Sidewalks and Trails Initiative, who have been independently raising funds for the initiative over the past 5 years.
The Bluffton Road Sidewalk Project is broken into 3 phases.
Phase One goes from just north of Lower Huntington Road to just south of Old Trail. Recently, Hipskind Concrete started stripping sod off and preparing the route for the sidewalk. Phase One has already begun and is expected to be completed by July 3.
Phase Two includes the installation of five-foot concrete sidewalk from just south of Old Trail to Bobick’s Golf, Inc., 5200 Bluffton Road. Phase Two has already begun and is expected to be completed by July 3.
Phase Three is called the “Greenway- Bluffton Road –Trail and Sidewalk.” Aptly named, this phase includes remaining sidewalk gaps from 5200 Bluffton Road, with sidewalk up to Winchester Road and then a 10’ trail from Lower Huntington to Winchester, and into West Foster Park. Phase Three is expected to begin in late June and be completed by November 2017.
As construction continues, it is advised to use caution when traveling by car down Bluffton Road. So far the construction has had little impact on traffic slowing or stopping, but as progress continues there will be workers, trucks and equipment along Bluffton Road to be mindful of.
There will be a celebration ceremony at the completion of the sidewalks and trails but no date has been set. This project’s beginning is one of many recent improvements to be celebrated in the community that serves to better the quality of life for those who reside and work in Waynedale.
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