Motorists were being urged today to avoid, if possible and at all costs,
North Calumet Road from Grant Ave. north to Indian Boundary Road, after a
sanitary sewer main collapsed on Sunday in front of The Port.
Emergency repairs are underway, Chesterton Town Engineer Mark O’Dell told
the Utility Service Board at its meeting Monday night and—best case
scenario—those repairs could be completed by Friday.
A 225-foot section of 12-inch concrete pipe, probably installed in the 50s
or 60s, is being removed and replaced with PVC pipe between Brown Ave. and
Woodruff & Sons of Michigan City is doing the work, O’Dell said, but the
choice of contractor has this consequence: Woodruff is the general
contractor hired by Indiana-American Water Company (IAWC) to install a new
main on the east side of South Calumet Road between the Norfolk Southern
grade-crossing and West Indiana Ave., meaning that this project will be
delayed, although O’Dell is hopeful by only a week or so.
And while North Calumet Road is technically open to both southbound and
northbound traffic, only a single lane is open and motorists are being
directed by flaggers. So O’Dell warned folks to expect delays if they try to
negotiate North Calumet Road.
Best bet is to use these detours:
•Northbound motorists should take Wabash Ave. to Locust Street to Woodlawn
Ave. to Indian Boundary Road.
•Southbound motorists should take Indian Boundary Road to Woodlawn Ave. to
Locust Street to Wabash Ave.
O’Dell also advised motorists who do decide to brave North Calumet Road to
drive slowly, as Chesterton Police officers are on patrol in the work-zone
to enforce the speed limit.
The collapse was discovered on Sunday when a residence in the neighborhood
experienced a sewage backup, O’Dell said. When exactly the concrete gravity
main failed and what exactly caused it to fail, are unknown at this point
but O’Dell did note that IAWC had been in the area recently with a trench
box, as part of its water main project.
All things considered, O’Dell said, things could be a lot worse: the sewer
main is only about seven to eight feet deep, so there’s no ground water
complicating the project; and the road itself is “already torn up” thanks to
IAWC’s work there.
A temporary bypass is in place. At least three lift station flow wastewater
to the main in question.