Road near General Motors plant to get major upgrade

Allen County’s plans to reconstruct and upgrade a one-mile section of the Fogwell Parkway near the General Motors plant have received a major boost in the form of $6.5 million in federal funds.

The Indiana Department of Transportation also has informed county officials that funding for other phases of the project will be awarded at a later date. The total project cost estimate, including engineering, is $8.9 million. The federal aid award covers 80 percent of the construction and inspection costs. The project is expected to be bid in late 2023.

The county plans to reconstruct the section of four-lane road from Lafayette Center Road to Winters Road with new pavement underdrains, curb and gutter, and upgrades to guardrails, signage, and drainage as needed. Fogwell Parkway has been damaged from years of heavy truck traffic, an ineffectual original underdrain system and adverse weather effects. The highway serves several companies, including GM, that rely heavily on it in their daily operations.

In its application for funding, the county Highway Department cited its concern that if the pavement deterioration continues, driving on the roadway will become hazardous for drivers — possibly resulting in damage to vehicles and cargo.

“It is great to see that both the state and federal governments through this award are recognizing the economic impact that improving our roads within this corridor is continuing to have in southwest Allen County and the rest of the northeast Indiana region,” Commissioner Nelson Peters said in a statement.