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Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Traffic moves to the right side on the new section of the Clinton Street bridge. While the work is behind schedule, good summer weather would get the project back on track soon.

Orange barrels back in season

With the arrival of hot weather, prepare for extra road delays

Laura J. Gardner | The Journal Gazette
Motorists driving on Lima Road must make do with only two open lanes during construction.
Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Construction on the U.S. 24 Fort to Port project continues west of Webster Road. This section should be finished sometime next year.
The Journal Gazette
Gregg Bender/The Journal Gazette

With Memorial Day behind us, we have officially hit the summer construction season.

While many of the major projects – Lima, Maplecrest, Fort to Port and Clinton – have been under construction for some time, others will begin to pop up with increased frequency.

In an effort to provide drivers with a guide for what to expect on the streets this summer and beyond, I have listed what I believe are some of the more significant construction projects in our area and where they stand.

Lima Road

Project: Widen Lima to three northbound and three southbound lanes from south of Ludwig Road to north of Dupont Road; center median will be raised to separate opposing traffic; curbs and gutters will be added; and other drainage work will be done; an 8-foot-wide trail will be constructed on both sides.

Cost: $23 million

Status: Construction continues on the northbound lanes with only two lanes open from Washington Center Road to north of Cook Road. The state plans to reopen Cook in about two weeks. State officials said the current congestion is probably the worst it will be during construction. The project is slated for completion this fall.

Fort to Port

Project: Converting U.S. 24 to a four-lane highway between Fort Wayne and Toledo

Cost: 11-mile stretch in Indiana will cost $170 million; Ohio is investing $420 million for its 58-mile reconstruction

Status: Indiana experienced some pavement problems in the section around Webster Road, which is under construction. This section is supposed to be done this year and the final section to the west is expected to be done next year. The road is complete from just west of Indiana 101 to Napoleon, Ohio.

The Indiana segment from west of 101 to west of Roussey Road has some drainage problems and guardrails to complete, after which the section will be done.

The section in Ohio from Napoleon to Toledo is expected to be done by July 2012.

Clinton Street bridge

Project: Reconstruct the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Bridge on Clinton over the St. Marys River; will include truss-type arches and cables to enhance its aesthetics

Cost: $7.5 million

Status: Traffic has shifted to the new section of the bridge, but is restricted to one southbound lane. A second lane is scheduled to open June 6. The third phase is scheduled to begin Nov. 1 and will require a total closure of Clinton Street for about two weeks to erect the ornamental steel and lighting.

According to the state, the project is about 16 weeks behind schedule, but will likely regain much of that time with favorable summer weather.

Maplecrest Road

Project: Extend Maplecrest south from Lake Avenue to Indiana 930 in New Haven; 1.5-mile extension includes constructing four bridges and will cross a set of Norfolk Southern railroad tracks, providing safer access to the Riverhaven community

Cost: About $31.3 million

Status: Lane restrictions on Indiana 930 should be lifted at the intersection with Adams Center Road by late June. Restrictions, however, will begin at that time on Lake Avenue for about 30 days. Adams Center Road will likely close in June for 30 days to correct drainage problems in the area. A detour will take drivers on Moeller Road, Meyer Road, New Haven Avenue, Indiana 930 and back to Adams Center Road.

The entire project is expected to be completed by Nov. 22, 2012.

Other projects

•Dupont Road is being widened from Interstate 69 to just east of Tonkel Road. The project includes new pavement, curbs, gutters and sidewalks. The $11 million project is on schedule to be completed in August.

•Ewing Street and Main Street intersection will be closed today to accommodate storm sewer work. Superior Street will open before the city closes Main Street, but vehicles will no longer be able to cross Ewing on Main.

Fairfield Avenue, which was made two-way between Main and Wells streets while Superior was closed, will revert back to one-way southbound.

The project will eventually move south and close Berry Street as the contractor progresses.

The $1.6 million project is expected to be done in July in time for the Fort Wayne Newspapers Three Rivers Festival.

•Diebold Road will be widened from Dupont to Union Chapel roads and will allow traffic with two exceptions. The intersection with Norarrow Drive will be closed to through traffic for 30 days to lower the existing road to provide for better visibility for drivers.

The section from Norarrow Drive to Union Chapel Road will be closed to through traffic from today through Aug. 31 to construct a new bridge at the Ely Run stream.

The detour will take people on Dupont Road, Auburn Road, Union Chapel Road and back to Diebold.

The $3.3 million project is expected to be open to traffic by Nov. 15 with a final completion date of May 1, 2012.

•Washington Center Road and Dartmouth Drive intersection will be widened to add left turn lanes on Washington Center. Preliminary tree removal work has already occurred and utilities are being relocated. The widening of the road will begin by June 20 and will require the city to restrict traffic to one lane in each direction. Drivers are encouraged to find alternate routes.

The $615,350 project is expected to be done by Aug. 26.

•Woodburn Road-Webster Road intersection will be realigned. The existing Webster Road will be moved to the east to line up with the existing North Webster Road.

Woodburn Road west of North Webster Road to Webster Road will be closed to through traffic from July to September. The same will apply to Webster Road south of Woodburn Road. The detour will take people on Slusher Road, Sampson Road, Woodburn Road and back to Webster Road.

The $1.5 million project is expected to be open to traffic by Dec. 2 with a final completion date of May 1, 2012.

•St. Joseph Center Road bridge over the St. Joseph River will be renovated. The work will rehab and widen the bridge to allow for a 6-foot-wide sidewalk on the south side and a 10-foot-wide trail on the north side of the bridge.

Traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction during construction.

The project is set to be bid in July with restrictions lasting from August through August 2012.

•Indiana Toll Road will see pavement repairs between Exit 124 (Howell) and the Ohio line. Crews will be stripping one- to five-mile sections of the road to repave them, creating sporadic lane restrictions. Each restriction will typically last one to three days.

The project will begin Sept. 6 and be concluded the week before Thanksgiving. Some spot hole patching will occur in June.

•Spring Street bridge over the railroad tracks will be rehabilitated and widened. This will provide a left-turn lane for Leesburg Road and 8-foot-wide sidewalks on both sides of the bridge. It will also include a new traffic signal at the intersection.

Small sections of Spring, Leesburg and Sprunger Avenue will be closed for 90 days beginning Oct. 3. Eastbound traffic will take Hillegas Road to State Bouelvard, to Tyler Avenue to Spring.

The $2.3 million project is scheduled to be complete Aug. 12, 2012.

•Auburn Road will be widened and improved between Clinton Street and Cook Road. Although this is a small section, it is heavily traveled and crosses over Interstate 69.

The project was delayed slightly because federal requirements are forcing the city to do an asbestos inspection before they tear down a barn to make way for the road. The project will also include a new signal at Auburn and Cook and an improved intersection at Auburn and Clinton.

The anticipated $3.8 million project might not begin construction until early 2012 and take a full year to complete.

•Lake Avenue will be reduced from four lanes to three lanes between Anthony Boulevard and Stanley Avenue. The project will also include some concrete repairs on Lake and an improved signal at Hobson Road.

The anticipated $1 million project was originally to be constructed this summer, but city officials said it may now be delayed until 2012.

Road Sage provides transportation knowledge, solves driving dilemmas and answers construction conundrums. It appears every Saturday. Email your questions to roadsage@jg.net.

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