15 Find out: Finished road creates dead end for florists in Fort Wayne

FORT WAYNE, Indiana (WANE) – A Fort Wayne company Wednesday is addressing traffic and safety concerns caused by an intersection change on Coldwater Road.

What used to be an intersection at Ludwig Road and Coldwater Road is now closed to traffic due to the Ludwig Road Relocation and Coldwater Road Interchange projects. This now results in more traffic on Racquet Drive, which leads to a cul-de-sac and happens to be the Gassafy Wholesale Florist’s parking lot.

Jeff Stoppenhagen, owner of Gassafy Wholesale Florist, said that throughout the day cars use his parking lot to keep turning. While standing outside, WANE 15 saw about four cars doing just that within five minutes.

“Every night, 50 or 60 cars turn in our driveway,” says Stoppenhagen.

Stoppenhagen believes signs warning motorists that it’s a dead end would ease traffic. He says when he proposed this to the city of Fort Wayne, the city initially thought it wouldn’t work.

“Basically, when we brought that up, their response was, people don’t look at signs anyway, and well, it’s only going to take once for them to figure it out,” Stoppenhagen said.

He said while this was a nuisance, the main problem was that there wasn’t enough space or sidewalk for articulated lorries to make safe turns.

As a wholesale company they work with articulated lorries all the time and between them and another company down the street he says about 25 to 30 articulated lorries come back there a week, customers and nine of his own trucks for his business.

A few weeks before Christmas, Stoppenhagen said he met with the city of Fort Wayne to see how they could help. He says the meeting went well and the city agreed to expand the area in the spring, but said the area would soon freeze over, making the weak point more difficult and more navigable.

Stoppenhagen contacted the city again weeks later, and before today they told him there was nothing they could do about it until spring.

“So yesterday I reached out to the city again and said, ‘Hey, what can we do? When will the stone be laid? Any movement on it?’ And basically her answer was that you just have to wait until spring. There’s nothing we can do at the moment,” said Stoppenhagen.

At this point, Stoppenhagen asked 15 Finds Out for help.

Following a phone call from 15 Finds Out today, the City of Fort Wayne will now take action. Public Works Director Shan Gunawardena released this statement to WANE 15:

“The Ludwig Road Relocation & Coldwater Road Interchange Projects are primarily concerned with safety in the area and improving access from I-69 to Ludwig from Coldwater Road. Eastbound Ludwigstrasse was moved north and east with a new set of traffic lights that greatly improved this access. There are plans to expand the radius at Ludwig Road and Racquet Drive this spring. There is now some temporary paving in this area, but we quickly realized that additional bricks would be needed to meet the needs of the articulated lorries and this brick will be added this week. Normally the ground is frozen at this time of the year, but due to the spring-like temperatures, the ground is much softer. Additional signage will also be added over the next 7 to 10 days to direct traffic onto Ludwig and Coldwater streets.”

It’s not clear exactly what the new signs will say, but 15 Finds Out will continue to monitor when they are installed and whether additional bricks are placed on the road.

https://www.wane.com/news/local-news/15-finds-out-finished-road-creates-dead-end-for-fort-wayne-florist/ 15 Find out: Finished road creates dead end for florists in Fort Wayne

Dais Johnston

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