The intent of the I-469 Bypass was to divert pass-through traffic from I-69 and downtown Fort Wayne to relieve traffic congestion.
Project Type:Beltway Project Mode:Highway Average Annual Daily Traffic:20,352 Length (mi):30.00
Economic Distress:0.87 Population Density (ppl/sq mi):527 Population Growth Rate (%):0.66
Employment Growth Rate (%):0.46 Market Size:196,769 Airport Travel Distance:19.3333 Topography:2
Region:Great Lakes / Plains State:IN County:Allen
City:Fort Wayne Urban/Class Level:Metro Local Area:Fort Wayne
Impact Area:County Transportation System:Highway GIS Lat/Long:41.156795 / -85.049862
Initial Study Date:1987 Post Constr. Study Date:2000
Constr. Start Date:1988 Constr. End Date:1995
Project Year of Expenditure (YOE): 1995 Planned Cost (YOE $):N/A
Actual Cost (YOE $):207,000,000 Actual Cost (curr $):343,707,049
NOTE: All pre/post dollar values are in 2013$
Select a region to display the conditions for that region:
NOTE: All impact dollar values are in 2013$
|Income (in $M's)||64.10||35.90||100.00|
|Output (in $M's)||222.22||124.45||346.67|
I-469, also known as the Ronald Reagan Expressway, is located in Allen County, Indiana in the eastern part of the Fort Wayne metropolitan area. The 31-mile long highway, constructed between 1988 and 1995, provides an eastern beltway around Fort Wayne through rural parts of Allen County, replacing an at-grade inner-urban bypass route with at-grade crossings. I-469 complements I-69, which runs north-south on the western side of Fort Wayne. The four-lane highway also serves the Fort Wayne International Airport southeast of the city. The highway runs through a rural part of the county without sewer and water services, which has limited the highway's economic impacts. An estimated 1,300 to1,400 jobs have been created or retained in the corridor as a result of the highway improvements, primarily at businesses serving travelers.
2.1 Location & Transportation Connections
Fort Wayne and Allen County, Indiana are located in northeastern Indiana along the Ohio border, approximately 106 miles southwest of Toledo, Ohio, 162 miles southeast of Chicago, and 124 miles northeast of Indianapolis. The 31-mile long I-469, renamed the Ronald Reagan Expressway in 2004, provides an eastern bypass of Fort Wayne through rural parts of Allen County. I-69 runs north-south on the western side of the city, and I-469 connects with I-69 both north and south of Fort Wayne. The nearest east-west interstate is I-80, approximately 40 miles north of Fort Wayne. The Fort Wayne International Airport is located one mile from one of the southern exits on I-469.
2.2 Community Character & Project Context
The City of Fort Wayne is located in Allen County, Indiana. The Fort Wayne metropolitan area (comprised of Allen, Wells and Whitley Counties) is a mid-sized urban area with a 2006 population of 351,063, comprising 6% of the total population of Indiana. The metropolitan area had 215,860 jobs in 2006, 7% of the state total. The region's position in the state has remained relatively stable since 1987, when it also housed 6% of the state's population and 8 percent of the state's jobs. Most of the employment and population is located in Fort Wayne and inner suburbs. The remainder of Allen County is rural in character, with fields of corn, soybeans, wheat and hay dominating the landscape.
Employment in Allen County grew by 21% between 1987 and 2006 and the composition of the economy changed. Throughout much of the second half of the twentieth century, the Fort Wayne metropolitan area was a typical mid-western manufacturing center with major employers including General Electric, Westinghouse, International Harvester, and several auto-related companies. As technologies changed and manufacturing jobs moved off-shore, the region suffered losses in the manufacturing sector (-15% between 1987 and 2006). The region has more than offset manufacturing job losses with new jobs in the retail and service sectors. However, the region's per capital income, which was 9% higher than the state average in 1987, is now exactly equal to the state average. This reflects that the service and retail jobs that have replaced the manufacturing jobs pay lower wages.
I-469 was constructed between 1988 and 1995 to provide an eastern bypass of Fort Wayne at a total cost of $207 million. The highway was built to divert truck and through auto traffic from Coliseum Road, an older inner-urban bypass road with at-grade intersections and curb cuts. The northern terminus of I-469 intersects with I-69 in northern Fort Wayne, and it rejoins I-69/US 24/US 33 at Lafayette Center Road in rural Allen County south of Fort Wayne. The four-lane highway (two lanes in each direction) includes sixteen interchanges. It serves as a major roadway for truck traffic coming west and south from Toledo.
The business community in downtown Fort Wayne and along Coliseum Road vehemently opposed the road, fearing negative impacts on existing businesses that depended on pass-by traffic. However, local and regional planning officials felt the bypass was necessary to make the region competitive with other regions for economic growth.
4.1 Transportation Impacts
Because I-469 adds 15 miles to a north-south trip through Fort Wayne compared to I-69, the road is used primarily for local and regional trips (70% and 30% of trips, respectively.). It acts as a collector and distributor for trips traveling on the older US radial highways forming spokes radiating from downtown Fort Wayne. Average annual daily trips on the highway have increased from 25,900 in 1997 to 30,000 in 2007. As a result of access provided by I-469, traffic volumes on Coliseum at US 30 have decreased from 34,000 vehicles per day in 1993 to 25,700 in 2006.
Long haul trucks traveling southwest from Toledo will use I-469 to circumvent Fort Wayne. Between 25 and 30% of the traffic on the southern half of the highway is truck traffic, compared to 15 to 20% of the traffic on the northern half of the highway. Much of this truck traffic previously traveled on Coliseum Boulevard.
4.2 Demographic, Economic & Land Use Impacts
Much of the land within the I-469 corridor remains in agricultural uses. A few industrial uses have located in the corridor, as well as travel-related retail and services at some interchanges.
Allen County has identified the area around the Fort Wayne International Airport as a target industrial development area, and has invested over $8 million in sewer and water infrastructure to the area to help attract businesses. The county has also re-zoned the land to attract industry. The county touts the area's proximity to I-469 and the airport in its marketing literature. To date, only one firm ? General Mills ? has been attracted to the area because of the Interstate access. General Mills purchased a building vacated by Nestl?'s located near the State Route 1 interchange with I-469. The 760,000 square foot building on 118 acres is used exclusively as a distribution center and warehouse, and has an estimated 760 employees.
Directly east of Fort Wayne at the interchange with US 30, a Taco Bell, gas station and truck stop have been built to provide services to I-469 travelers. In total, these establishments employ 58 people. Aeroquip Corporation, a manufacturer of HVAC equipment, located a plant near the I-469 interchange with State Route 24. The firm, headquartered in Ohio, employs 550 people at the Allen County location. The site was selected in large part because of the access provided by I-469.
The county has re-zoned the land around the I-469/Maplecrest interchange for locally-serving strip center development. To date, no development has occurred in the area, in part because the area lacks sewer and water services.
According to regional planners for the area, the anticipated negative impacts of the highway on downtown and Coliseum Road businesses have not materialized. Business on Coliseum Road has remained relatively stable. The southern part of Coliseum near the Jefferson interchange has failed to bounce back since International Harvester closed its Fort Wayne operation in the late 1980's.
Overall, the highway has attracted approximately 1,300 to 1,400 jobs to Allen County since it opened in 1995.
The I-469 beltway was built through rural eastern Allen County, primarily through farmland that does not have water or sewer services. Future growth will be constrained by the lack of services to the corridor. The cost to extend services to the area is substantial, requiring several miles of pipeline from the terminus of existing services closer to the urban area. Allen County's Master Plan calls for focusing development in areas already served by infrastructure. This is in keeping with an overall focus on sustainable development. The corridor is not currently served by infrastructure, is not at the edge of land served by infrastructure, and is thus not a target for future growth.
Allen County Department of Planning Services
Northeast Indiana Regional Coordinating Council
Case Study Developed by Susan Jones Moses & Associates