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Your opinion
Public sessions for the downtown Fort Wayne riverfront study are set:
•5:30-7:30 p.m. March 12 with a presentation at 5:45 p.m.
•11 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 13, with a presentation at 11:15 a.m.
Both meetings will be at the Allen County Public Library in the auditorium

Officials seek input on plan for city riverfronts

– Officials studying how to use downtown Fort Wayne’s riverfront want your input.

SWA Group is conducting a comprehensive look at how the rivers that have been key to the area throughout Fort Wayne’s history might be used. There have been numerous studies of downtown over the years and numerous recommendations that the city should use its rivers to its advantage. But no study has ever looked at how to use them, whether they can be used, how they can be used and what their use might mean for development.

Now, officials are asking the public to share its vision for Fort Wayne’s downtown riverfront at two meetings in March.

“Public input is critical to the success of our riverfront study,” said Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry.

“This is everyone’s riverfront and the final designs need to reflect the hopes and dreams of our entire community.”

During the meetings, SWA will provide an overview of the data it has collected and preliminary development concepts.

The consulting team will then listen to residents’ visions for the downtown riverfront; the team will use this input to create designs and implementation strategies.

The $500,000 study will examine topics such as environmental issues, flooding, navigation, recreation uses, hydrology, economic development, market viability and entertainment options. SWA Group put together a team of six companies for the study, each specializing in certain areas.

The team includes Fort Wayne-based MKM Architecture + Design; Market Feasibility Advisors; Biohabitats; Moffatt & Nichol; Empower Results; and AMEC.

SWA Group, which has offices in California, Texas, China and the United Arab Emirates, also has experience in areas with flooding and sewage overflow issues.