Road construction project frustrates New Haven business owner, mayor

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FORT WAYNE, Indiana (WPTA) – As of May of last year, depending on “when”… Sections of Landin Rd. in New Haven have been closed.

A bridge is currently under construction and motorists can only drive south into the city.

Some New Haven residents and business owners say they are frustrated with the progress or lack thereof, including Lash Auto Service owner Larry Lash.

“We’ve seen a significant drop in the customer base,” Lash said. “It’s more difficult to bring them in, so we made special arrangements to bring them in here at different times to avoid traffic between the platforms and the site .”

Ravenswolf Emporium co-owner Nicole Moore says if the construction project isn’t completed quickly, her shop may have to close forever.

“We lose hundreds a week. I mean we’ve never been in thousands because we’re new, but unless things improve it’s not looking good. I mean, several companies have already closed.”

We wanted to speak to New Haven Mayor Steve McMichael, R, to get some answers.

He says it’s a complicated project involving the city, county, state, Indiana DNR, the Army Corps of Engineers because of the river, and Norfolk Southern because of the railroad tracks.

“It’s not just a normal public works project, but a massive public works project where a road has been completely removed and rebuilt, including retaining walls to hold the road in place as these are all flood plains and embankments.”

Business owners who spoke to ABC21 say communication about deadlines and changes was poor.

Lash says, “Communication is the biggest thing when trying to get information. Appointments are given, they come and go, and things don’t get done the way we’re told they’re going to happen.”

“The way I find out everything, the way we all at least find out everything is Facebook. You only happen to see it on the New Haven Facebook page if you check it regularly.

McMichael says city workers have called quarterly meetings and gone door-to-door to chat with business owners about updates, but says, “If we’re missing anyone, I apologize. I suppose it’s possible, but I can tell you that we certainly tried our best, but maybe we can always do better, right?”

While most business owners say they understand the issues, it hasn’t made it any easier.

“It just seems like what I saw, what poor communication from top to bottom,” says Lash

If you have any questions about the project, McMichael invites you to contact his office with questions. Call 260-748-7079 or email [email protected]

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