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Mayor Tom Henry, members of the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission, local contractors, and City Community Development and Public Works staff broke ground today on improvements to Ardmore Avenue from Airport Expressway to Second Street near the entrance to Fort Wayne International Airport.

The approximately one-mile length of roadway will be under construction until November and will be widened to include a center turn lane, new street lighting, street trees and an asphalt trail along the east side of Ardmore. There will be ADA-compliant curb ramps at the intersections of Second Street, Vanguard Drive and Airport Expressway. In order to address numerous drainage issues, storm sewers will be installed, including curb and gutter inlets and yard inlets.

The area will also be made more welcoming and attractive with the addition of new wayfinding signs, as well as a 25-foot lighted gateway marker and landscaping at the southeast corner of Ardmore Avenue and Airport Expressway. The marker will be designed and built by Creative Sign Resources, the road project was designed by A&Z Engineering and it is being constructed by E&B Paving. There will be traffic detours throughout construction, so drivers are encouraged to plan for delays when traveling in the area.

“As our community competes for jobs and talent, we know the importance of putting our best foot forward and making a good impression on our visitors,” said Mayor Henry. “That’s one reason this Ardmore project is so important – it will create a welcoming and attractive gateway for people traveling to and from our airport.”

“The Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission is pleased to provide the necessary funding for this gateway improvement project,” said Christopher Guerin, president of the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission. “This project fits the Commission’s priorities of supporting business growth and development and improving the quality of life for residents.”

The trail on the east side of Ardmore Avenue is the third phase of the planned Ardmore Avenue Trail, a six-mile planned trail from Jefferson Boulevard to the airport. From the airport, the trail follows Ferguson Road to Bluffton Road/SR 1. When the entire Ardmore Avenue Trail is complete, it will connect all of the neighborhoods, residences and businesses along Ardmore Avenue with the Wabash and Erie Canal Towpath Trail at Taylor Street, which then connects with over 80 miles of interconnected trails running throughout Fort Wayne.

Cost of the project is approximately $3.7 million; it is funded with tax increment financing funds, generated through the Baer Field TIF District. These dollars do not come from the City’s general fund that is used for infrastructure improvements throughout Fort Wayne’s neighborhoods.

The Ardmore Avenue Gateway project is part of the Front Door Fort Wayne Plan, which is a 10-year plan to transform and beautify the City’s primary corridors and gateways. The plan was developed with input from a 14-member citizen advisory committee and was adopted by City Council in June 2012.