A commitment to improve safety on a major roadway and enhance a neighborhood and park has been fulfilled. This afternoon Mayor Tom Henry and Indiana Tech President, Dr. Arthur Snyder, joined city council members, residents from the East Central neighborhood, students from Indiana Tech and staff members from three City of Fort Wayne divisions to celebrate the improvements to Maumee Avenue.
At a ribbon cutting ceremony today, the group celebrated the straightening of Maumee Avenue, to remove a sharp curve that had been the sight of more than 50 accidents since 2005.
“I am pleased that we could make revisions that improve safety for motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists, while at the same time making additions to strengthen the East Central neighborhood,” said Mayor Henry. “The changes include ornamental lighting, improved sidewalks and ramps for those with disabilities, enhanced stormwater drainage, new landscaping and an improved park; these are assets that will strengthen this neighborhood for years to come.”
Improvements to Maumee Avenue represent cooperative partnerships between Indiana Tech, the East Central neighborhood, the Division of Public Works, City Utilities and the Parks Department.
The project straightened the former curve in the road to improve safety near the Indiana Tech campus. Indiana Tech purchased and donated the property on the south side of the current road to make this improvement possible. East Central residents and the Parks Department collaborated on the relocation of the East Central Neighborhood marker, incorporating it into John Nuckols Memorial Park, that will now sit totally on the north side of Maumee Avenue, where it was split by the road before.
“The improvements to Maumee Avenue have made for a much safer, and more attractive, gateway to our campus and our neighborhood. Our students, alumni, faculty, staff and visitors have all noted the positive impact of the project. I appreciate the hard work of all the men and women who worked on the straightening project, and the partnership of the Mayor and everyone at the City who helped make it happen.” said Dr. Arthur Snyder, Indiana Tech president.
“This project is an immense safety improvement and adds to our quality of life amenities and continues to push the tremendous momentum we are seeing each day in our community,” said Mayor Henry.
In the past 11 years, 54 accidents have occurred near the curve and 76 percent of those were single vehicle accidents. The project straightened Maumee Avenue between Harmar and University streets. Landscaping with trees and a reduction of lane width from 12 to 11 feet were designed to encourage slower speeds.
Other enhancements for this neighborhood project include brighter lighting on lower posts, new sidewalks, curbs and ADA ramps, and new storm inlets and stormwater pipes.
Additionally, John Nuckols Memorial Park, which boarders Maumee Avenue, was moved entirely to the north side of the new road. The park is the same size but is no longer separated by the three-lane roadway. The park also incorporates the East Central neigbhorhood marker.
Brooks Construction was the contractor for this $1,156,432 improvement.
About John Nuckols Memorial Park
Originally known as Hayden Park, formed in 1876, the park was renamed in honor of Fort Wayne’s first African American city council member, John Nuckols, in 1986.
Nuckols served on the City Council from his first election in 1959 through his death in 1982. At the time of his death he was said to be the longest serving city council member in the entire country. Historians site his vehement advocacy for minority rights as one of his most significant accomplishments, fighting to have the City reform hiring practices for women and minorities.
An inner-city barber, Nuckols represented what was then known as the 1st Council District.