FORT WAYNE – Allen County will begin work to repair a section of old U.S. 24 – a road at least one commissioner believes needs a new name – now that the easternmost part of the new highway is open.
The commissioners on Friday approved a $638,792 contract with Pioneer Associates to repair Bridge No. 142 over Gustin Ditch on old U.S. 24. The section is between Indiana 101 and the Ohio state line. The work is expected to cost nearly $770,000.
The section of the new four-lane U.S. 24 is open east of Indiana 101, so county officials are hopeful the bridge work will not cause too many disruptions, according to Mike Green, county spokesman.
Work on the bridge will require closing old U.S. 24 in mid-August until it is completed in early December.
The bridge work is part of $4.8 million the state provided the county to improve the 11-mile stretch of old U.S. 24 before it is turned over to the county for maintenance.
Commissioner Linda Bloom said that money was used to improve the intersection of Webster and Woodburn roads at the highway. It will also be used to resurface the entire stretch of old highway after the new highway opens.
Bloom said that when the state hands over control of the old road, the county should consider renaming it from Old 24.
She said something recognizing the importance of the canals in the area would be appropriate.
When the new highway is done, Bloom said the county hopes improving the old highway will entice growth in eastern Allen County.
Our goal is to have more development built in that area, she said.
Indiana is spending $170 million to build a new limited-access 11-mile stretch of U.S. 24 from Interstate 469 to the Ohio line. Ohio will spend $420 million to continue that highway 58 miles to Toledo.
The new highway is open to traffic from Indiana 101 to Napoleon and should be completely open by December.