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Road Sage for July 21, 2012

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Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette
Vehicles weave through construction on St. Joe Center Road, which provides just one traffic lane in each direction.

Early troubles blew St. Joe bridge target out of water

When a road project is delayed at the beginning, all the good weather in the world sometimes isn’t enough to get it back on schedule.

Q. The St. Joe Center Road bridge project westbound lanes were to be open by May 31. There is still a massive amount of construction going on in that westbound area, almost two months behind. When is the entire bridge project to be completed? – Mike Mack

A. Well, Mike, you are correct in noting we’ve had some pretty good, dry construction weather as of late – even if it has been too hot for me.

But even with that weather, work fell behind because of delays early in the project. Bill Hartman, Allen County highway director, said high water caused delays during the construction of the bridge’s foundation.

In addition, relocating some of the utilities in the area took longer than expected.

Because of that, the construction of the north half of the bridge deck was put behind schedule. He said the bridge is expected to be completed by late fall.

The $3.4 million project will rehabilitate and widen the bridge over the St. Joseph River, allowing for a sidewalk and a trail. Traffic is limited to one lane in each direction during construction.

Q. The exit from northbound Interstate 69 to southbound Coldwater Road has two lanes at the traffic light. Previously, there were lane markers indicating how traffic should flow when turning; however, these have worn away. Can these lines be repainted or a sign posted indicating proper traffic flow? – Chris Pflieger, Fort Wayne

A. They can indeed, Chris.

Toni Mayo, spokeswoman for the Indiana Department of Transportation, said a state crew will paint new stripes on this exit by early August, as scheduling permits. She said that when the work is done, it should be clear to the driver which lane on Coldwater to turn into.

She said the city and state collaborate on intersections where each has a road but said the state has ultimate authority at all intersections of its roads.

Road work

•U.S. 24 will have intermittent restrictions between West Hamilton and West County Line roads until mid-August to allow crews to paint bridges over Aboite Creek. Icarus will do the work for $483,000.

•Parking is no longer allowed on the south side of Edgewater Avenue between Loree and Tecumseh streets to allow a contractor access to repair part of the nearby levee. Traffic will be maintained and parking will be available on the north side. The nearby trail will also be closed during construction, and users will be directed to use the street. The work is expected to last until Sept. 30.

Radio Sage

The bonus audio question this week comes from Margaret Vegeler, who asks about Liberty Mills Road. The segment originally aired Friday afternoon on WOWO and can be heard online at

Road Sage provides transportation knowledge, solves driving dilemmas and answers construction conundrums. It appears every Saturday. Email your questions to