By: Kayla Wisniewski
The Public Works Division will be replacing existing historical brick pavement from Hoagland to Webster on Butler Street. The City Council discussed the project on Oct. 22 at City Hall in Fort Wayne.
They will be constructing a new base setting, brick pavers, replacing castings, upgrading ADA ramps and repairing sidewalks within the next month.
The project will cost $1,000 a foot, which is almost $0.5 million for 560 feet. The committee explained that although it is an expensive project, it holds integrity for a historical value and will help the neighborhood property values rise.
Shan Gunawardena, the director of Public Works, explained how by improving the city of Fort Wayne, the living conditions for citizens will be accommodated for and more people will want to live there. “We want to serve the community here in Fort Wayne to a high standard where everyone feels that they live in a clean and safe environment,”Gunawardena said.
The division comprises of 11 department services which include street and traffic lighting, leaf collection, street sweeping, snow and ice control, recycling and the city’s transportation system. The Division of Public Works maintains and improves many different areas in Fort Wayne.
The Public Works Division website stated that Public Works supports the citizens of Fort Wayne as well as accommodates for the neighborhoods, businesses, and development projects.
Gunawardena said it’s important that Fort Wayne has a strong Public Works Division because the city is very large in population and has many businesses. Gunawardena explained the department really puts in the time on developing projects to fulfill what the city needs in terms of repair and stability.
Michelle Nelson, the board of Public Works manager, gave details on improvements by the Public Works Division in Fort Wayne. “Our department is always working on projects to help improve the city and continue to service the community,”Nelson said.
Some of the recent improvements were the reconstruction of the Edsall Avenue bridge over the Norfolk Southern Railroad, and the widening of Dupont Road with new sidewalk, trail, street lighting and landscaping. Also, the realignment and widening of State Boulevard from Spy Run Avenue to Cass Street with a new bridge, sidewalk and trail. The department is continuing to propose new projects and starting many more.
“We are excited to start this project on the historical brick pavement because the roads will be in great conditions for drivers and pedestrians,”Nelson said. The start of many of the departments projects revolves around the convenience the finished product will have. Nelson said that she believes this project will have that effect and put Fort Wayne in a better state. “The Public Works department has put a lot of time and thought into this project,”Nelson explained.
A citizen of Fort Wayne, Alyssa Krause, expressed that the Public Works Division has improved her living in the city through the road work. The road leading into her apartment complex was rough with potholes and other issues. “This year they not only filled in potholes but completely redid the road and I can drive smoothly now,”Krause said.
Krause explained how the city should be working on the time length it takes to finish the roads. “I understand it’s a long process, but I feel like they start a lot of projects at one time rather than focusing on one at a time”Krause said. She believes by funding the department more, it will help improve the way of living in the city of Fort Wayne.
The project on Butler Street is set to be completed on April 17, 2020.