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. It is 30.83 miles (49.62 km) in length. Also known as the Ronald Reagan Expressway after being named as such in 2005, the Interstate was originally conceived as a bypass for US 24 around the south and east ends of Fort Wayne. Due to heavy traffic on US 30 through the city, support was gained to connect the bypass to I-69 on the city's north end.
|Ronald Reagan Expressway|
I-469 highlighted in red
|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|
I-469 was the most expensive civic project in the history of Allen County, costing over $207 million. As a bypass route, I-469 has been ineffective at helping with north–south traffic along I-69, due in part to the extra 12 miles (19 km) between its termini in comparison to I-69. However, the route has served effectively as an east–west bypass around the city, removing heavy truck traffic from passing through Fort Wayne.
I-469 begins at I-69 exit 296 and Lafayette Center Road in southwestern Allen County. The freeway heads east as a four-lane freeway, running concurrently with US 33. The highway begins to turn southeast, passing through farmland. The route has a diamond interchange at Lafayette Center Road East and at Indianapolis Road, before turning due east and passing just south of Fort Wayne International Airport. The next interchange is at the northern terminus of the southern section of State Road 1 (SR 1) and serves the airport via Bluffton Road. After curving northeasterly, I-469 has an interchange with Winchester Road and another with US 27. At the interchange with US 27, US 33 leaves I-469 heading south concurrently with US 27.
The freeway then curves northeasterly, with interchanges at Marion Center Road and Tillman Road. Then, I-469 passes southeast of New Haven, with an interchange at Minnich Road. After the Minnich Road exit, the road begins to curve due north along the east side of New Haven. The freeway has an interchange with US 30/SR 930, at SR 930's eastern terminus; US 30's begins running concurrently with I-469. After the interchange at US 30 is a bridge over Norfolk Southern railroad tracks and an interchange with US 24. This is the eastern end of the concurrency with US 24.
I-469 proceeds north, concurrent with both US 24 and US 30. The freeway crosses the Maumee River and begins to curve to the northwest, entering commercial properties. The next interchange is with the southern terminus of the northern section of SR 37, after which the route enters residential properties with a small amount of farmland. The highway then curves further west to an interchange at Maplecrest Road. At I-469's northern terminus, it has an interchange with I-69; US 24 and US 30 continue to the south along I-69.
I-469 is maintained by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT). As of 2017, I-469's annual average daily traffic was 46,161 vehicles per day between Maplecrest Road and I-469's northern terminus, 34,651 near its interchange with US 30, 14,821 near its interchange with Marion Center Road, and 22,142 between the highway's southern terminus and its interchange with Lafayette Center Road East. By comparison, in 2017 I-69 saw over 60,000 vehicles per day in a majority of sections between the termini of I-469.
A 2007 traffic count along I-469 found that only one section of the highway, between Maplecrest Road and I-469's northern terminus, saw traffic numbers close to anywhere along I-69's route around the city, while other sections are much more lightly traveled. John Stafford, who formerly worked for Allen County Plan Commission during planning for I-469, stated in 2008 that the highway was relatively new and would eventually spur growth. While I-469 has been ineffective as a north–south bypass around Fort Wayne, in part because its length is 12 miles (19 km) longer than I-69's route around the city, officials have stated that heavy truck traffic along Coliseum Boulevard has almost entirely disappeared, and some have stated that I-469 functions better as an east-west bypass around Fort Wayne.
In the 1950s, Coliseum Boulevard was built as a "circumurban" highway, and US 30 was rerouted onto it to bypass the downtown area of Fort Wayne. I-69 was constructed in the 1960s around the west side of the city; its first section opened in October 1962. In 1970, Eli Samaan created a transportation plan for Fort Wayne, including north–south and east–west expressways through the city, along with a route along the city's south and east edges. Fort Wayne mayor Ivan Lebamoff supported the east–west expressway, and the route was approved by the state. However, the estimated $110 million needed for the project could not be allocated, so the project was scrapped. When the state began looking for a solution to traffic issues on US 24 through Fort Wayne, plans for a bypass began. In large part due to heavy traffic on Coliseum Boulevard, which became known for its commercial properties and issues with bottlenecks, the idea gained support.
The original plans for the bypass were to connect I-69 to US 24 east of Fort Wayne, but by 1981 these plans were expanded to connect to I-69 on the city's north side, completing the half-loop. Samaan stated that he had to convince Governor Otis Bowen in 1978 to expedite construction of the bypass. An additional factor appeared as contracts for the project were being awarded, when General Motors announced construction of an automotive plant in 1984 on Lafayette Center Road, where the bypass was planned to interchange with I-69. According to Samaan, this helped to accelerate construction when the state decided it would be beneficial to the new employer in the area, stating "I never have seen anything move that fast in my whole life."
Construction began in 1988, with the first section built between I-69 and Lafayette Center Road. In June 1989, the US 24 bypass received the I-469 designation. A temporary halt to construction occurred 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. Upon the highway's completion in 1995, its construction was the most expensive in Allen County's history, with a cost of $207 million. In 1998, US 24 and US 30 were rerouted onto I-69 and I-469. Originally, INDOT planned to transfer maintenance responsibility of Coliseum Boulevard to Allen County and the cities of Fort Wayne and New Haven. Due to a lack of local funds to maintain it, INDOT retained maintenance responsibility and re-designated Coliseum Boulevard as SR 930. In 2005, I-469 was given the name Ronald Reagan Expressway, in honor of the former United States president.
The entire route is in Allen County.
|Lafayette Township||0.000||0.000||0||I-69 / US 33 north – Fort Wayne, Indianapolis||Clockwise terminus; 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; I-69 exits 296A-B|
|0.988||1.590||1||Lafayette Center Road east|
|1.852||2.981||2||Indianapolis Road||Formerly SR 3|
|Pleasant Township||6.627||10.665||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|
|Marion Township||11.572||18.623||11||US 27 / US 33 south – Fort Wayne, Decatur||Northern end of US 33 concurrency|
|13.265||21.348||13||Marion Center Road|
|Adams Township||15.772||25.383||15||Tillman Road|
|New Haven||17.701||28.487||17||Minnich Road|
|19.421||31.255||19||US 30 east / SR 930 west (Lincoln Highway) – New Haven, Fort Wayne||Signed as exits 19A (US 30) and 19B (SR 930) counterclockwise; southern end of US 30 concurrency|
|20.874||33.593||21||US 24 east||Eastern end of US 24 concurrency|
|Fort Wayne||24.575||39.550||25||SR 37 north (Maysville Road) – Fort Wayne||Southern terminus of the northern section of SR 37|
|28.563||45.968||29||Maplecrest Road||Signed eastbound as exits 29A (south) and 29B (north)|
|30.567||49.193||31A||I-69 north – Lansing, MI||Westbound exit and eastbound entrance; I-69 exit 315|
|30.822||49.603||31C||Auburn Road||Westbound exit only|
|30.822||49.603||31B||I-69 south / US 24 west / US 30 west – Indianapolis||Counterclockwise terminus; western end of US 24/US 30 concurrency; I-69 exit 315|
|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. Archived from the original on July 3, 2017. Retrieved October 4, 2007.
- Indiana Department of Transportation (2012). Indiana Transportation Map (PDF) (Map) (2011–2012 ed.). 1:550,000. Indianapolis: Indiana Department of Transportation. OCLC 765461296. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
- Google (September 11, 2012). "Overview of Interstate 469" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
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- Indiana Department of Transportation. "Traffic Count Database System". Indiana Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on June 28, 2018. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
- Lanka, Benjamin (July 20, 2008). "Bypassing the Bypass: After 20 years, Interstate 469 Remains a Lightly Traveled Loop". Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. Archived from the original on May 22, 2011. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
- Leininger, Kevin (September 8, 2009). "We Need Solution for Indiana 930". The News-Sentinel. Fort Wayne. OCLC 8807796. Archived from the original on September 17, 2017. Retrieved November 19, 2013.
- Ripple, David Alan (1975). "Chapters VII and VIII: Cost, Funding and General Benefits". History of the Interstate System in Indiana. Vol. 4. West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University. Appendix, table 41, p. 876. doi:10.5703/1288284313910. Publication FHWA/IN/JHRP-75/29.
- "Discovery of Canal Lock Halts Road Project". Post-Tribune. Crown Point, Indiana. June 6, 1991. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved April 12, 2018 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)).
- Leininger, Kevin (September 8, 2009). "We need solution for Indiana 930". The News-Sentinel. Fort Wayne. OCLC 8807796. Archived from the original on September 17, 2017. Retrieved November 19, 2013.
- Indiana Department of Transportation (July 2015). Reference Post Book (PDF). Indianapolis: Indiana Department of Transportation. I 469. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
- Indiana Department of Transportation (March 14, 2011). "I-469, Fort Wayne". Indiana Department of Transportation. Retrieved September 7, 2012.