Is the City moving forward on the out-of-sight, out-of-mind North River project? This past February, the City sent a request to Senator Richard Lugar’s office asking for $295,000 to fund a section 216 study to review the old Flood Control Project completed in downtown Fort Wayne in 1989.

I always get nervous when I hear talk of messing with the dynamics of the St. Mary’s River. Since the completion of the massive flood control projects implemented by the Corps, my area floods on a much more frequent basis. Every time the City puts up a new wall or levee, it simply forces the water elsewhere.

Flood of February 2008


The request asks the Army Corps of Engineers – an agency which sure doesn’t make me comfortable given its past suggestions and practices – to review the St. Mary’s River environment to determine if modifications are advisable in preparation for the anticipated “brownfield” space renovation.

The request indicates that the North River project is the next step in expanding the success of Headwaters Park. Of course, those who have followed this project remember that the option expired last year in December and the owners of Omni Source extended the option with no charge to this past June. Not much has been forthcoming about the project – unless of course I have missed something.

Here is another thought – lately we have been hearing more and more about building a casino in Fort Wayne. What do you want to bet the City is getting ready – through its request for a flood study and review – to pursue a casino for the North River area. I guess we will have to wait and see, but it sure seems like the casino issue is arising much more frequently and what better place to locate it than the North River area?

Casinos and rivers – rivers and casinos.


About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
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  1. mark says:

    A better place to locate a casino would be wherever a private investor thinks it would be most profitable. Somewhere near 69 and 30 would give easy access and be outside the jurisdiction of the smoking ban and outside the DUI/PI capital of the US. But if we subsidize a downtown casino with tens of millions of tax dollars and give long-term profit guarantees to the developer, somebody will build it where we want. But if we are going to do that, why not go for a beach resort in downtown Fort Wayne?

  2. Mike Harvey says:

    Wow… Stan AND the city combine to steal my business. I wouldn’t have seen that coming as a combo… as the flood waters wash away my well over 1000 tons of high quality beach sand… lol

  3. Mike Harvey says:

    But seriously Dan McDonald’s idea about a river boat casino at US 27 and 469 at his North River blog is interesting…

  4. Carl says:

    I’ve seen that mess of mud and crud this spring – as well as other times – and wondered why a wall couldn’t be built there like the northside neighborhoods have to prevent their area from flooding. In the Foster park area, a similar wall is being built now. Both of these areas have tons of historically important houses and structures, as well as very active neighborhood associations. If they could get a wall, why can’t West Central?

  5. Carl:

    The reason there is no wall is because we don’t want an ugly, concrete monstrosity that requires destruction of one of the few (if not only) open river views in Fort Wayne. Thieme Drive is part of our historical neighborhood, and we certainly don’t want to look like all those other areas with tomb-like walls cutting off the view of the river.

    Our association doesn’t want it, and I don’t want it. I live in the cup area that floods. It is a nuisance, but our homes are built high enough that the water doesn’t damage the homes. The water that does affect us comes from through-the-ground flow into our basements. I usually have an inch or so of water.

    I am always amazed that the first thing that anyone – including the City – thinks of is destroying the river environment to throw up an ugly wall. Many northside residents fought the wall along the St. Joe River – it just didn’t do any good. The Corps and City did what they wanted.

    People also don’t stop and think about the dynamics of slapping up floodwalls, levees, or berms. When you put one of these up in one area it just forces the water somewhere else unless storage capacity is created to take up the increased volume in other areas.

    No thank you to the wall. Those other neighborhoods can have them. I have talked to enough of those residents to know they don’t like them – they just didn’t have a choice.

  6. Carl says:

    Yeah, I kinda knew that and I was playing devils advocate – just a little :’) I have had several discussions with city flood mongers about a better solution to your issue. My wife and I ride our Goldwing through your neighborhood several times a week. The nasty dirt wall was left up entirely too long.
    I agree completely with your feelings. It seems every time the Corp and City get together, we lose another jewel that makes city special.
    I have my thoughts on not just improving river capacity, but the flow as well. Sure, its a great thing to be able to store the water. But isn’t the entire purpose of a river to move water? that being the case couldn’t SOMETHING be cone to make it move faster. How about instead of raising the boundaries (walls, burms, etc) dredging the riverbed instead. Instead of a 4 foot wall, how about digging the river 4 feet deeper? Nothing grows on the river bottom anyway. Just my musings….

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