FORT WAYNE – Construction on West Jefferson Boulevard to restore pavement destroyed by winter weather will not only stretch into next week, but also require closing the road to eastbound traffic today.
You read that correctly: The thousands of cars traveling eastbound on Jefferson into the city will have to find a different route today as crews pour concrete under the railroad viaduct near Catalpa Street.
Jefferson carries more than 30,000 vehicles a day.
The official detour sends traffic down Freeman Street to Taylor, then uses Broadway back to Jefferson.
Crews have been working on the busy, four-lane artery for several days after the freeze-thaw cycle turned parts of the street into something like the Grand Canyon.
But Monday, Fort Wayne officials decided that the work needed on Jefferson was so extensive that the best repair would be complete concrete reconstruction of a 250-foot section of the road.
To accommodate the pouring of concrete, Jefferson will be restricted to one westbound lane starting at 9 a.m., with eastbound traffic detoured around the area.
Officials had hoped to start the work Monday, but the extreme cold was slowing work. Officials did not have an estimate for when eastbound Jefferson will reopen, when it does it will be only one lane until work is complete.
The extreme cold nighttime temperatures will extend the amount of time needed to cure the concrete, so the construction work in the area is now expected to continue into next week.