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WAYFINDING SIGNAGE - MESSAGE FROM THE MAYOR

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I recently announced that the City of Fort Wayne is accepting bids for the construction and installation of 54 "wayfinding" signs throughout the community – as part of a Legacy Fort Wayne initiative.

The signs will be located on primary transportation corridors throughout the city. Each sign will provide directions to major destinations frequented by out-of-town visitors – such as Downtown, Parkview Field, Jefferson Pointe and the Fort Wayne International Airport. The sign locations and language are still being finalized.

First impressions are critical to the economic success of our community. In order to stay competitive, we need to ensure that tourists, investors and business leaders find our City welcoming and attractive. This system of wayfinding signs is one more piece of our comprehensive strategy to update corridors and ensure we have a vibrant and positive image.

The signs will each be 4'x 8' and made of aluminum. It's estimated the cost for fabrication and installation will be approximately $300,000 and will be funded with Legacy dollars. Installation should begin in November and be completed by the end of the year.

Throughout the Legacy public outreach process, citizens have repeatedly emphasized the need to create a more welcoming and attractive community. These wayfinding signs will make sure visitors experience our hospitality and aren't frustrated when trying to navigate our City.

The wayfinding project is part of Front Door Fort Wayne, an award-winning plan that focuses on beautifying the community's corridors. It incorporates existing landmarks, new landmarks, public art, lighting, signs, bike paths, sidewalks, landscaping, and public transportation facilities and puts a priority on celebrating Fort Wayne's heritage and culture.

Speaking of our wonderful gateways, the City of Fort Wayne has received a plaque in honor of our award-winning Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Bridge. The staff of design firm DLZ Indiana, LLC presented the commemorative display, which includes the recent award from the American Society of Landscape Architects and a photo of the bridge with red, white and blue lights, taken at the dedication ceremony on June 4, 2012.

With the recent 50th anniversary of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, it was only fitting to reflect on the impact his efforts had on cities across the country, including Fort Wayne. Our beautiful bridge is a symbol of unity in our community, a welcoming gateway into downtown and has become a favorite spot for photographs with family and friends.

Additionally, visitors are drawn to the exclusive sculptural etchings and 25 plaques with quotes from Dr. King; wide, pedestrian-friendly sidewalks and seating midway across the bridge; and two sets of stairs connecting to the Rivergreenway below.

The award attached to the commemorative plaque was originally presented late last year by the Indiana Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects for outstanding "Constructed Works."

Our City has been recognized with two other awards for the bridge earlier this year. The American Council of Engineering Companies recognized DLZ Indiana by awarding the Engineering Excellence Merit Award.  Also, in 2013, the Indiana Partnership for Transportation Quality awarded the City an Achievement Award for an Urban Bridge.

On a final note, I'm sure most of you have noticed the road resurfacing work being done on Lower Huntington Road between Airport Expressway and the area near Corline Street; the final layer of surface has been completed and our crews have only pavement markings left to do. All of our departments are working hard to continue providing top-notch services and making our city the very best that it can be!

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Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry
About This Author
A lifelong Fort Wayne resident, Mayor Thomas C. Henry is committed to public and community service. He was elected to his first term as Fort Wayne's Mayor November 6, 2007. Mayor Henry authors the "Message from the Mayor" column.
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