FORT WAYNE – The city announced plans more than a year ago to convert Fairfield and Ewing streets back to two-way thoroughfares, but apparently the change will be made gradually.
Traffic officials announced Monday that one block of Ewing will become two-way starting Wednesday, despite the rest of the project – which includes a roundabout at Superior Street – not coming until next year.
The need is now, Public Works spokesman Frank Suarez said. The need is immediate and we think there will be more need as the area develops.
Starting Wednesday, Ewing between Jefferson Boulevard and Brackenridge Street will become two-way.
That will enable traffic to turn south from Jefferson onto Ewing to access the parking garage under The Harrison or Brackenridge and stadium parking.
Currently, getting from Jefferson to the main entrance of Parkview Field requires driving south on Fairfield, then east on Baker Street, and north on Ewing.
The intersection of Ewing and Brackenridge will become an all-way stop to reduce confusion and help facilitate traffic through the area.
Suarez said traffic engineers believe any confusion caused by yet another street in the area changingfrom one-way to two-way will be outweighed by better access to The Harrison and Parkview Field.
Were not just doing it one block at a time, this block is being done because its needed, Suarez said. This is a good move for businesses in the area.
Suarez said the conversion will also incorporate streetscape and sidewalk improvements and the addition of a bike lane to the street.
Officials have said they hope it will generate interest from developers since the citys Redevelopment Commission voted to purchase most of the block in an effort to draw a housing development.
Next year, officials plan to make both Fairfield and Ewing two-way between Baker and Superior, where a roundabout will replace the intersection at the foot of the bridge over the St. Marys River.
In the meantime, regardless of whether drivers are trying to get to The Harrison or Parkview Field, driving in the area will become easier, as officials are reopening all lanes of traffic on Jefferson.
Several lanes have been closed for months as work crews widened a sidewalk between The Harrison and the Embassy Theatre.