After much discussion and study, Gov. Mitch Daniels has directed the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) to build two interchanges along U.S. 24 as part of the Fort to Port project Dec. 12.
Responding to several concerned citizens, state Rep. Randy Borror (R-Fort Wayne) approached Daniels to take another look at the project.
For a cost of about $40 million, two diamond interchanges will be built at Webster Road and U.S. 24 and also State Road 101 and U.S. 24. One pedestrian overpass for non-motorized vehicles will be built at Ryan Road.
“We have reviewed the accident frequency rate, and we are committed to providing the necessary funds for these interchanges,” said Daniels. “There is no reason to put off for 20 years what can be done now.”
The Fort to Port Corridor is now a $170 million Major Moves construction project that includes added capacity for a 13.1-mi. (20 km) section of U.S. 24 from Fort Wayne to the Ohio state line. Currently U.S. 24 is a two-lane rural road with inadequate capacity, with trucks and freight haulers making up 50 percent of traffic.
“Indiana will increase its position in the global economy with quicker and more efficient access to international ports,” said Daniels. “An improved U.S. 24 will allow easier and quicker access to the Port of Toledo.”
When combined with the Hoosier Heartland Corridor, the new, limited access travel corridor from Lafayette to Toledo, Ohio, allows for the distribution of products from Indiana’s agricultural center to the Great Lakes ports.
Construction will begin in spring 2008, with an anticipated completion date of 2012. Design for the interchanges will begin immediately, with construction likely starting in 2011 or 2012.