|Ronald Reagan Expressway|
|Maintained by INDOT|
|Length:||30.83 mi (49.62 km)|
|History:||Designated in 1989;
Finished in 1995
|South end:||I-69 / US 33 at Lafayette Center Road in rural Allen County|
| US 27 / US 33 near Fort Wayne
US 30 in New Haven
US 24 in New Haven
|North end:||I-69 / US 24 / US 30 in Fort Wayne|
Interstate 469 (I-469) is an Interstate Highway in the northeastern portion of the midwestern US state of Indiana. It is an auxiliary route of parent I-69 that also carries portions of US Highway 24 (US 24), US 30 and US 33 around the urban parts of Fort Wayne. In 2004, local officials named all 31 miles (50 km) of I-469 in honor of the late former US president Ronald Reagan.
I–469 begins at I-69, at exit 296, and Lafayette Center Road in southwestern Allen County. The interstate heads east, concurrent with and US 33. The highway begins to turn southeast as a four-lane interstate, passing through farmland. The route has a diamond interchange at Lafayette Center Road East and at Indianapolis Road. The road begins to turn due east, passes just south of Fort Wayne International Airport before an interchange at the northern terminus of the southern section of State Road 1 (SR 1). This interchange serves the airport heading north on Bluffton Road. After Bluffton Road the highway begins to curve more to the northeast, having an interchange at Winchester Road. The interstate makes another curve going due east once again, moving into a residential area. Before the road curves back northeast is an interchange with US 27, US 33 leaves I–469 heading south concurrent with US 27.
After the interchange at US 27 the road curves northeast, having an interchange at Marion Center Road. The road now enters a farmland with some houses, having an interchange at Tillman Road. The interstate passes southeast of New Haven having an interchange at Minnich Road. The interchange at Minnich Road also has access to Paulding Road. After the Minnich Road exit the road begins to curve due north on the east side of New Haven. The interstate has an interchange with US 30, this is the southern terminus of the concurrency between the two routes. This exit also gives access to SR 930 heading west towards New Haven and Fort Wayne. After the interchange at US 30 is a bridge on the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks. Next is an interchange with US 24, this is the eastern end of the concurrency with US 24, heading northeast toward Toledo.
After US 24 exit the interstate crosses the Maumee River and begins curves to the northwest. The highway enters commercial properties and has an interchange with the southern terminus of the northern section of SR 37. After SR 37 the route enter residential properties with a small amount of farmland, as the road curves due north. The route curves northwest and has an interchange at Maplecrest Road. After Maplecrest Road the interstate makes a curve northwest and then west. The road has an interchange with I–69 northbound and then the I–469 crosses over I–69. I–469 ends when westbound traffic turns south onto I–69 southbound or takes an exit ramp to Auburn Road, but has no direct re-entrance to I–469 or I–69.
Coliseum Boulevard and I-69
Several cross-country highways and railroads meet in Fort Wayne, making the city a regional transportation hub. The city has experienced significant growth and urban sprawl since the 1950s, and with this growth comes the influx of commuter traffic intermixing with long-distance travelers. The first attempt at resolving Fort Wayne's congestion problems occurred with the construction of the US 30 bypass (now SR 930, later named Coliseum Boulevard) around the northern edge of the city in 1952, to divert east–west traffic around the central city. Originally a four-lane arterial highway with at-grade intersections, the western part of the bypass was eventually widened to six lanes. Coliseum Boulevard briefly provided congestion relief to Fort Wayne, but massive commercial and retail development along the bypass brought a resurgence of congestion in the 1960s. The first section of Interstate 69 was opened in October 1962, which provided a bypass to divert some north-south traffic to the west of Fort Wayne. While traffic in downtown Fort Wayne improved, congestion along Coliseum Boulevard continued to worsen with the opening of Glenbrook Square Mall in the 1960s, and talk of a bypass to the east of Fort Wayne picked up steam in the late 1970s.
Development and construction
In 1978 plans were unveiled for relocating US 24 onto a new freeway alignment that would start at the existing US 24 east of New Haven, then proceed south and west to I-69 near Baer Field (now Fort Wayne International Airport). The intent of the US 24 Bypass was to provide a direct freeway connection from I-69 to the east side of Fort Wayne and connect to the planned US 24 Fort-to-Port highway between New Haven and Toledo. In 1981, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) expanded the scope of the US 24 bypass, extending the planned freeway north beyond US 24 to I-69 on the north side of Fort Wayne to relieve traffic on US 27, State Road 1 (SR 1), SR 14, and SR 37.
Work began at the south end of the US 24 bypass in 1986; the first 19 miles (31 km) to US 30 opened in 1989. In June 1989 the US 24 bypass received the I-469 designation. However it was signed as SR 469, as required by FHWA, until it was completed to the north junction with I-69 near SR 1 and Auburn Road in 1995.
Construction was halted in 1991 when crews unearthed a lock that was once used in the Wabash and Erie Canal while constructing the interchange with US 24 east of New Haven. This discovery led to a major effort to preserve the canal, resulting in a halt to construction on I-469 while officials debated how to proceed with building without disturbing the canal site. Officials opted to move the old canal lock to the Indiana State Museum, allowing construction to resume in 1992.
In 1993 an additional six miles (9.7 km) of I-469 opened between US 30 and SR 37. The $121 million highway project was completed when the remaining six miles (9.7 km) from SR 37 to I-69 north of Fort Wayne opened in 1995.
Alternate route during I-69 reconstruction
I-469 became the main alternate route for through traffic between points north and south of Fort Wayne during the 2000s[when?] when INDOT reconstructed and widened I-69 within the city limits. To mitigate construction-related delays on I-69, INDOT attempted to divert long-distance travelers around the I-69 construction zone by posting signs north and south of Fort Wayne urging such motorists to use I-469.
The entire route is in Allen County.
|Lafayette Township||0.00||0.00||0||I-69 / US 33 north – Fort Wayne, Indianapolis||Signed as exits 0A (I-69 south) and 0B (I-69 north/US 33); western end of US 33 concurrency; continues west as Lafayette Center Road|
|1.00||1.61||1||Lafayette Center Road|
|1.88||3.03||2||Indianapolis Road||former SR 3|
|Pleasant Township||6.64||10.69||6||SR 1 south / Bluffton Road – Fort Wayne, Bluffton, Ossian, Fort Wayne International Airport||Northern terminus of the southern section of SR 1; serves Fort Wayne International Airport|
|9.27||14.92||9||Winchester Road – Fort Wayne, Decatur|
|Marion Township||11.57||18.62||11||US 27 / US 33 south – Fort Wayne, Decatur||Eastern end of US 33 concurrency|
|13.24||21.31||13||Marion Center Road|
|Adams Township||15.79||25.41||15||Tillman Road|
|New Haven||17.70||28.49||17||Minnich Road||Interchange also provides crossing for Paulding Road|
|19.44||31.29||19||US 30 east (Lincoln Highway) / SR 930 west – New Haven, Fort Wayne||Signed as exits 19A (US 30) and 19B (SR 930); southern end of US 30 concurrency|
|20.89||33.62||21||US 24 east – New Haven||Eastern end of US 24 concurrency|
|Fort Wayne||24.58||39.56||25||SR 37 north (Maysville Road) – Fort Wayne||Southern terminus of the northern section of SR 37|
|28.57||45.98||29||Maplecrest Road||Signed eastbound as exits 29A (south) and 29B (north)|
|31||I-69 / US 24 west / US 30 west – Indianapolis, Lansing||Signed as exits 31A (I-69 north) and 31B (I-69 south/US 24/US 30); western end of US 24 concurrency; northern end of US 30 concurrency|
|30.85||49.65||31C||Auburn Road||Westbound exit|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- DeSimone, Tony (October 31, 2002). "Table 2: Auxiliary Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System Of Interstate and Defense Highways as of October 31, 2002". Route Log and Finder List. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved October 4, 2007.
- Indiana Department of Transportation (2012) (PDF). Indiana Transportation Map (Map). Cartography by INDOT (2011–2012 ed.). http://www.in.gov/indot/files/StateTransportationMap.pdf. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
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- Lanka, Benjamin (July 20, 2008). "Bypassing the Bypass: After 20 years, Interstate 469 remains a lightly traveled loop". Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
- Staff (2004). "Reference Post Book" (PDF). Indianapolis: Indiana Department of Transportation. Retrieved September 7, 2012.
- staff (March 14, 2011). "I-469 - Fort Wayne". Indiana Department of Transportation. Retrieved September 7, 2012.
- Indiana Department of Transportation (December 3, 2001) (PDF). Interchange 17 on I-469 (Map). Cartography by INDOT Graphics. http://www.in.gov/indot/div/interchange/maps/469/ic017_469.pdf. Retrieved January 8, 2012.