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Airport Expressway (Fort Wayne, Indiana)

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Airport Expressway, is a 7.9-mile (12.7 km) long expressway located in Allen County and the City of Fort Wayne, Indiana. The expressway, completed in 2001, provides access to the Fort Wayne International Airport. Airport Expressway begins as an extension of Lower Huntington Road in rural Allen County at an interchange with Interstate 69 (I–69) exit 299 (formerly exit 99) and travels northeast, then east to end at Fairfield Avenue. None of the highway is listed on the National Highway System. Various sections are rural four-lane undivided highway and urbanized four-lane divided highway.

Airport Expressway sign

Airport Expressway
Airport Expressway highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by City of Fort Wayne Street Department and Allen County Highway Department[1]
Length7.9 mi[3] (12.7 km)
ExistedJuly 10, 2001[2]–present
Major junctions
West end I-69 near Fort Wayne
East endPaulding Road in Fort Wayne
Highway system

Airport Expressway was first designated as an expressway in 2001. A section of the highway originally served as part of the Baer Field Thruway, a connection between the Baer Field Airport and the city of Fort Wayne. Some of the route was part of the Indiana State Road system, before the Indiana Department of Transportation decommissioned it.


Route descriptionEdit

Airport Expressway begins at an interchange with I–69 and Lower Huntington Road, as a county highway. The route heads northeast as a four-lane undivided, with a wide median, passing through farmland. The road enters the City of Fort Wayne at an intersection with Smith Road. After Smith Road the expressway passes between the northwest side of the Fort Wayne International Airport and farmland. The expressway turns due east and passes between industrial properties, as a four-lane divided highway. The road has a traffic signal at Ardmore Avenue, with access to the airport terminal. After Ardmore Avenue the route crosses a Norfolk Southern Railroad track. The road turns northeast and has a traffic signal with Bluffton Road, formerly State Road 1 (SR 1). After Bluffton Road the expressway passes through residential properties and crosses over the St. Marys River. The road turns due east after crossing the river and has a traffic signal at Fairfeld Avenue. This intersection is the eastern terminus of Airport Expressway, the route continues east as Paulding Road. Paulding Road heads east, becoming a four-lane undivided highway and has an intersection with U.S. Route 27 (US 27).[1][3][4][5]

No segment of Airport Expressway in Fort Wayne is included in the National Highway System (NHS).[6] The NHS is a network of highways that are identified as being most important for the economy, mobility and defense of the nation.[7] The highway is maintained by the City of Fort Wayne like other major streets in the city. The department tracks the traffic volumes along all major streets as a part of its maintenance responsibilities using a metric called average annual daily traffic (AADT). This measurement is a calculation of the traffic level along a segment of roadway for any average day of the year. In 2012, City of Fort Wayne figured that the lowest traffic levels were 7,400 vehicles used the highway daily between Coverdale Road and Smith Road. The peak traffic volumes were 14,800 vehicles AADT along the section of Airport Expressway between Winchester Road and Paulding Road.[1]


Airport Expressway was planned in the 1970s, it would have followed mostly Dalman Road. The first section of Airport Expressway opened as Baer Field Thruway, the former name of the airport. Baer Field Thruway went from Indianapolis Road (now Ardmore Avenue) to Paulding Road at Fairfield Avenue. The section from Bluffton Road to Paulding Road was SR 1, until it was removed in the early 1990s.[2] The western segment of the expressway, from I–69 to Ardmore Avenue, was priced at $10.5 million[8] (equivalent to $15 million in 2019[9]) and was open on July 10, 2001 as Dalman Road. On August 10, 2001, Allen County renamed this section of Dalman Road to Airport Expressway and it was officially open. The city of Fort Wayne changed Baer Field Thruway to Airport Expressway, giving the road one name from I–69 to Paulding Road.[2] On October 17, 2007, the expressway was dedicated to honor State Representative Ben GiaQuinta.[10]

Major intersectionsEdit

The entire route is in Allen County.

Lafayette Township0.00.0    I-69 / US 24 / US 33Continues west as Lower Huntington Road
Fort Wayne4.47.1Ardmore AvenueTo Fort Wayne International Airport
5.48.7Bluffton RoadFormerly SR 1
7.912.7Fairfield Avenue
Paulding Road
Continues east as Paulding Road; to US 27
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b c Map of Fort Wayne (PDF) (Map). Office of City Traffic Engineer. May 11, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c McGrath, Shawn (July 10, 2001). "Airport Expressway open to traffic Final touches being made to Dalman Road extension". The News-Sentinel. Fort Wayne, IN. Retrieved December 6, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Google (December 5, 2012). "Overview Map of Airport Expressway in Fort Wayne" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved December 5, 2012.
  4. ^ Indiana Department of Transportation (August 23, 2011). Indiana Railroad Map (PDF) (Map). 1:633,600. Indianapolis: Indiana Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 5, 2012.
  5. ^ Indiana Department of Transportation (2012). Indiana Transportation Map (PDF) (Map) (2011–2012 ed.). 1:550,000. Indianapolis: Indiana Department of Transportation. OCLC 765461296. Retrieved December 6, 2012.
  6. ^ Federal Highway Administration (December 2003). National Highway System: Indiana (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Washington, DC: Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  7. ^ Natzke, Stefan; Neathery, Mike; Adderly, Kevin (September 26, 2012). "What is the National Highway System?". National Highway System. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  8. ^ Leininger, Kevin (May 31, 2002). "Indianapolis Road lands project - City taps it to be main route to airport". The News-Sentinel. Fort Wayne, IN. Retrieved December 6, 2012.
  9. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  10. ^ Quilligan, Kathleen (October 17, 2007). "Expressway dedicated in honor of GiaQuinta". The News-Sentinel. Fort Wayne, IN. Retrieved December 6, 2012.

External linksEdit