Mayor Tom Henry joined City of Fort Wayne Manager of Right of Way & Landscape Services Nick Jarrell, Sixth District City Councilwoman Sharon Tucker, Greater McMillen Park, Eastside Community and Harvester Community neighborhood association residents and area business owners, along with the City’s Public Works Division, for a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the Pontiac/Wayne Trace Roundabouts Renovation & Beautification Project. The approximately $850,000 project is a major improvement to the Coliseum Boulevard-Pontiac Street corridor, a key thoroughfare serving close to 16,000 vehicles.
The Pontiac/ Wayne Trace Roundabouts Renovation & Beautification Project involved renovating a multi-point intersection that was originally a two to four-way stop before becoming two roundabouts that were completed in 2002. Much of this area is integrated with the adjacent railroad and serves as an industrial route, which results in issues that made the area visually unappealing. Over the years, the roundabouts saw significant wear and tear, such as center island ruts, due to the high volume of trucks which utilized the intersections. The original landscaped monumentation in the enter islands was also damaged. The side-slope vegetation along the railroad right of way hadn’t been maintained and utility poles with crossing lines created an eyesore.
As part of the City’s Southeast Strategy, the Public Works Division saw an opportunity to renovate the two roundabouts to form an inviting entryway between the Greater McMillen Park, Eastside Community and Harvester Community neighborhoods—three of the City’s largest southeast neighborhoods. Right of Way staff designed the plans in-house, along with some donated structural engineering services provided by Engineering Resources, Inc, a local civil engineering firm.
Improvements include the following:
• Increased lane widths for large vehicle turning radii
• Greater protection of the inside islands
• Landscaping of the center islands
• Artwork in the form of three towers in each center island
• Removal and clearing of brush along the railroad right-of-way
• Addition of steel facades at the railroad bridge to define entry into the neighborhoods on either side of the railroads – Greater McMillen Park, Eastside
Community and Harvester Community
• Painting of bridge abutments and handrails
• Addition of lighting under the railroad bridge
• Addition of lighting to illuminate the towers and controlled lighting inside the towers for aesthetics enhancements
The Pontiac Street Roundabout improvements are part of the record $38.5 million invested in neighborhoods throughout Fort Wayne this construction season. Since 2014, the City has invested more than $250 million in neighborhood infrastructure enhancements.
“Fort Wayne continues to grow and succeed with proactive efforts that make us a leader in providing opportunities for residents, neighborhoods, and businesses,” said Mayor Henry. “I’m encouraged by the work that’s been done to highlight and celebrate our great neighborhoods in southeast Fort Wayne and make the nearby roundabouts safer and more aesthetically pleasing. We’re a community that’s moving in the right direction and the best is yet to come.”