FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – INDOT officials said the proposed interchange at I-69 and Union Chapel Road would alleviate traffic backups on Dupont Road.
Hundreds of residents attended at public hearing Tuesday night at Maple Creek Middle School on Union Chapel Road.
INDOT estimated the project will cost about 16 million dollars.
In 2010, Parkview Hospital promised INDOT 10 million dollars to help fund and fast track the project.
However, neighbors living in the Autumn Ridge subdivision said the plan desperately needs a sound barrier to protect their quality of life.
INDOT said Autumn Ridge Golf Course owners would have to pay for a sound barrier to be built.
Meanwhile, six homes will be bought and torn down to built the Union Chapel Road Interchange.
During construction, Union Chapel Road at I-69 will close to through traffic.
Detours will be routed on Auburn, Dupont & Diebold roads.
However, I-69 traffic will not be adversely affected.
Two lanes in each direction will remain open.
Only the shoulder width will be restricted.
Meanwhile, the proposed design has never been built before on a freeway in Allen County.
Engineers have studied the area, and recommend the best bet for traffic flow is a Roundabout Interchange.
"We are not believing that there will be additional traffic accidents due to this configuration. We do believe that it will be signed appropriately so the user will easily be able to identify what motion to take and which direction to go," said INDOT Project Manager Kimberlee Peters.
"Everything we do, we think this is going to be the last time we do it in our home that we thought we were going to be in until the day we died," said Diane Harmeyer, who will negotiate compensation for her property with INDOT later this year.
Harmeyer has lived at her home off Union Chapel Road for 56 years.
Residents told Indiana's NewsCenter the project was previously slated to be built at I-69 and Hursh Road.
INDOT has already begun making preliminary relocation offers.
However, no residents have been bought out yet.
Residents shared with Indiana's NewsCenter they are worried about receiving proper compensation.
INDOT said displaced residents will be offered "fair market value."
However, residents countered that they are being low-balled.
Public comments will be accepted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org until Friday, March 11.
The design phase will begin this spring.
INDOT plans on buying out property owners by this fall.
Construction for the Union Chapel Interchange should be complete before the end of 2012.
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