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Bids opened for Ferndale flooding work

FORT WAYNE – Board of Public Works members on Wednesday opened bids for work to prevent flooding in the Ferndale neighborhood.

The project includes storm drainage improvements on Fernwood Avenue, Dalevue Drive, and Prairie Grove Drive. Staff will examine the bids and make a recommendation to the board in a week or two; construction is expected to be completed by early summer.

The Ferndale neighborhood, along Lower Huntington Road in Waynedale, has been beset for years by flooding from the Fairfield Ditch, which can flood suddenly, and from combined sanitary and storm sewers that aren’t big enough to handle the flow during rainstorms.

Those sewers overflow, backing up into the street at the lowest point in the neighborhood, at Fernwood Avenue and Dalevue Drive, which is also the first place to flood when Fairfield Ditch overflows. Portable pumps during heavy rains only work until the ditch spills its banks.

Earlier this year, the city bought six houses in the neighborhood and crews are in the process of tearing them down.

A second phase of the project calls for a small berm behind the remaining houses to protect them from ditch flooding.

The board also approved the first two resurfacing packages for a year expected to be heavy with construction projects.

Two packages – one covering about 9.25 miles in the southwest quadrant and another covering about 10 miles in the northwest – were approved Wednesday, both include milling and resurfacing. They are expected to be bid March 5.

Board members also voted to move forward with a street lighting project in the neighborhood around Abbett Elementary School on the city’s southeast side.

Officials said the current, oddball mix of lighting will be replaced with town-and-country-style LED lights that use 72 watts of power but give light equivalent to a 150-watt bulb.

They also approved a sewer separation project for the neighborhood between Taylor and Hale streets.