Chesterton Tribune



Commissioners OK SEH as consultant on Mineral Springs bridge in Porter

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The Porter County Board of Commissioners selected a consultant for the design work on bridge 150, Mineral Springs Road over the Little Calumet River in Porter, at its meeting Tuesday.

County Planner Robert Thompson said bridge 150 is on his list of bridges that are at end of life or need to be replaced. 150 falls into the latter category. Thompson’s conservative estimate was that the bridge would be closed for up to seven months after work begins to replace it.

Commissioner Jim Biggs, R-North, asked when Thompson will be notifying the Town of Porter about the closure, which Biggs said affects a main road that is used in the Duneland School system bus route. Thompson said he would get in touch with Porter’s Public Works Supervisor Brenda Brueckheimer, as he has on previous projects, and give the town at least six months’ notice. The Duneland Schools and nearby police and fire departments will also be notified.

Out of five letters of interest from consultants, Thompson recommended SEH Engineering, which the Board approved.

Other Approvals

County Attorney Scott McClure reported the Board is taking advantage of a state statute that allows for a hearing officer to be appointed to hear cases of unsafe buildings and expedite the process of finding solutions for those cases. The Board approved Valparaiso attorney Andrew Bennett as the hearing officer, at McClure’s recommendation.

The Board opted to reappoint Howard Strubel to the Airport Board Authority.

The Board approved a request from Highway Superintendent Rich Sexton to transfer $10,000 from tires to tools. Sexton said each garage doesn’t have a full basic set of tools for drivers to use. The funds will also be used to get more tools for the department’s mechanics because some of the new trucks require specialty tools. Sexton said he hoped the Department could do more in-house work with the new resources.

The Board approved two memoranda of understanding related to the Storm Water Department. Thompson said the first MOU is replacing a previously approved MOU clarifying the use of funds between the Storm Water Department budget and the cumulative bridge fund. The new MOU treats culverts larger than eight feet in diameter as small structures, and they will be paid for out of the bridge fund. The bridge fund will also fund the paving of bridge decks and the roads leading to the bridge 500 feet on either side of the bridge abutment structure. All smaller culverts will be paid for by the Storm Water Department. The second MOU clarifies the cooperative use of Highway Department equipment between the Highway Department and the Storm Water Department, as the Storm Water Department uses Highway Department resources for much of its maintenance.


Posted 7/11/2018




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