FORT WAYNE – The next phase of downtown construction detours begins Wednesday with a major change in traffic patterns.
Main Street will be closed between Ewing Street and Fairfield Avenue, and Fairfield will be closed from Superior Street to Berry Street.
Westbound traffic on Main will be detoured down a temporarily two-way Ewing to Superior to Van Buren Street. Eastbound traffic on Main will take Van Buren to Wayne Street to Ewing.
Southbound Fairfield will be detoured onto the two-way Ewing. Ewing will be a two-way street from the bridge over the St. Marys River to Jefferson Boulevard. Berry and Pearl streets between Ewing and Fairfield will remain closed, as they are now.
Weather permitting, the closures will be in place for 30 days.
These closures will allow the contractor, API Construction, to install storm sewers on Fairfield through this area.
The project builds on an earlier one in which a massive new storm sewer trunk line was laid down Ewing, from Brackenridge Street to the river. This project will build branches on that trunk, carrying storm sewage down Berry, Main and Pearl streets to the trunk line under Ewing.
The sewers downtown are combined sewers, meaning they carry both sewage and stormwater from street drains. During heavy rain, stormwater overwhelms the system, washing millions of gallons of sewage into the rivers.
This project will install new dedicated storm sewer lines, so street drains that currently go to the combined system will instead go to the storm-only system, where storm water can be safely carried to the river without pollution.
Officials said drivers should expect delays, especially with the conversion of Ewing to two-way traffic.