Chesterton Tribune



Permit given for Urschel bridge over Johnson Ditch at Coffee Creek

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Plans for new bridges in the Gateway Blvd. extension to the new Urschel Laboratories were presented to the Porter County Drainage Board Monday morning.

The maps presented by Project Manager Mike Bailey of Tonn and Blank, Donald Oliphant of Christopher Burke Engineering, and Jeff Ban of Development Visions Group, propose a 21’ wide by 10.5’ high ConTech steel multi-plate radius arch with an open bottom culvert over Johnson Ditch as the road travels eastward onto the Urschel development site.

Gateway Blvd. northeast of the Toll Road Ind. 49 interchange is within Chesterton’s town limits. Johnson Ditch is a regulated drain subject to the County Drainage Board.

Johnson Ditch flows into Coffee Creek not far from where the road extension will go through.

All five members of the Drainage Board voted to grant the request.

The 1,200-foot extension of Gateway Blvd. will have four lanes surfaced with asphalt pavement, according to the plans. Bailey said Lake Erie Land Development will extend the road from the existing pavement and Urschel will be responsible as it crosses over Johnson Ditch and Coffee Creek.

Urschel has said it will pay for the installation of the four lane bridge over Coffee Creek which will be a 2’ to 3’ concrete box beam. From pier to pier, the bridge will have two 45’ sections with a 55’ section in between for a total of 145 feet. Guardrails will be placed on each side.

Bailey and Ban said the two crossings will be built together and construction will be completed this year.

“It’s a pretty straight forward road extension project,” said Olphant.

The three-sided arch crossing over Johnson Ditch will be 95 ft. long parallel to the flow of Johnson Ditch. The structure will have 45 to 90 degree wingwalls designed to limit the impact of the ditch’s creekbed. Footings will be buried 2 ft. to limit scour, Olphant said.

He said the crossing will not adversely affect the floodplain of Johnson Ditch by following the County’s stormwater design manual and the DNR’s regulations.

The Indiana DNR has jurisdiction over Coffee Creek and an application for a Floodway Construction Permit with the IDNR’s Division of Water has been submitted for the improvements, the group said.

An existing pedestrian walkway will be relocated to accommodate the new road, Ban said.

Drainage board member Harvey Nix inquired where fill dirt will be placed during construction. The group said fill be placed on the east side of Coffee Creek.

Drainage board member Ed Gutt complemented the men on the amount of detail they provided in the proposal.

Bailey said Tonn and Blank discussed the bridge plans with the Town of Chesterton’s Plan Commission which signed off on the project.

Urschel broke ground on its 157.41 acre site in Coffee Creek Center last July.

In November, the County Drainage board voted unanimously in favor of permitting Lawson-Fisher Associates P.C., an engineering/survey firm from South Bend which submitted the plans on LEL’s behalf, to discharge an outlet into Johnson Ditch.





Posted 2/11/2014




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