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Sewer upgrade near Foster Park gets completed; helps clear up year-long traffic headache on southside

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Barricades have been taken out on Broadway near the entrance to Foster Park, restoring traffic flow after more than a year.
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Work on a consolidation sewer near Foster Park has wrapped up, opening up traffic flow on Broadway near the project site.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) - Traffic is once again flowing on Broadway between Rudisill and Bluffton Roads.

It is being welcomed with relief by motorists and people living close by who have had to find detours around the road shutdown since July of last year.

Barricades were removed Friday morning on Broadway between Rudisill and Bluffton Roads, opening at least one lane of traffic in each direction.

The road shutdown permitted crews to install a big underground sewer to help keep raw sewage out of the Saint Marys River.

Crews started working on the consolidation sewer upgrade about 40 feet underground clear back in July of last year.

The section of Broadway close to the entrance to Foster Park was closed down so the work could be done.

The new sewer will cut back on the amount of raw sewage that gets into the Saint Marys during heavy rain events by an estimated 94 percent.

But the disruption to traffic was a major hassle for people trying to maneuver through that part of town.

And it was sometimes dangerous for residents living along neighborhood streets that were used as shortcuts by drivers.

"It was just so busy and especially with little kids, we're thankful that it's finished," said Michael Handlin, who lives close to Foster Park.

"Certainly that's a welcome thing when we can see that the lanes are opening and the sidewalks are opening, but the real improvement here…that it's going to benefit the community for decades to come is what went on underneath," said Frank Suarez, a spokesperson for Fort Wayne City Utilities.

He was talking about the installation of the consolidation sewer that will tie-in with the massive deep rock underground tunnel project that will greatly reduce combined sewer overflows into the rivers all over Fort Wayne.

That tunnel should be fully operational by the end of 2023.

Jeff Neumeyer

Jeff Neumeyer is a reporter for WPTA.

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