In fits and starts the Chesterton Redevelopment Commission is turning its
attention again to the long-discussed Dickinson Road extension.
At their meeting Monday night, members asked Town Engineer Mark O’Dell to
begin assembling all of the documents and notes which have accumulated over
the past 10 years or so about the project, the idea being to see where
exactly it stands.
In fact the commission has not addressed the Dickinson Road project since
2006, when it went so far as to retain two appraisers to value a piece of
property needed to link Dickinson Road north to the intersection of Sand
Creek Drive North and Michael Drive. But the project got back-burnered when
the commission prioritized the South Calumet District instead.
Back-burnered too because the complex and potentially pricey project didn’t
appear at the time to be eligible for federal funding.
For three years no Chesterton official publicly discussed the project, until
in October 2009 Town Council Member Jeff Trout, R-2nd, suggested at a
meeting that it was time to begin thinking seriously again about a
north-south arterial east of Ind. 49.
Then, at the commission’s March meeting, Member Jim Ton made the same point.
Ton returned to it on Monday and his colleagues agreed that before the
project can be pursued meaningfully, they need to know what’s already been
“We need to know what the engineers have said, what documents we have, and
what has changed since them,” Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann said. “We also
need to know whether there might be federal funds at all now, as opposed to
none a few years ago.”
“Let’s look at those documents and refresh ourselves,” Ton said.
O’Dell said that he might be able to put something together by the
commission’s next meeting, June 28.
Stay the Course
on South Calumet Road
Meanwhile, as the South Calumet District nears completion, merchants
elsewhere in town are wondering whether their neck of the woods might get
the same treatment.
“We’ve been getting a lot of compliments about the landscape package,”
O’Dell told the commission. “People are asking if we’re going to do the same
thing on Indian Boundary Road.”
Not at this time, the commission concurred.
Rather, members are turning their thoughts at the moment to the next stretch
of South Calumet Road, roughly from the Chesterton Post Office north to
Porter Ave. Such a project would be nowhere near as involved as the current
one and would probably involve something along the lines of street- and
landscaping and maybe some curb and sidewalk improvements.
Sometime in June the South Calumet District project should be substantially
completed, with all “manifold entrances” to the businesses finished, all
streetlights installed, all gateway and commercial signage erected, and all
Members voted 4-0 to approve the following claims: $89,432.27 from general
contractor G.E. Marshall of Valparaiso; $63,531.46 from landscape contractor
Larson-Danielson; $12,912.50 from project engineer DLZ; and $500 from Harris
Welsh & Lukmann.
Member Mark Singer was not in attendance.
Members also voted 4-0 to approve Change Order No. 2 for the project, which
added $57,700.44 to the original contract price for Phase II of
$2,076,997.67. With Change Order No. 1 having added $26,615 to the original
price, the new price now totals $2,161,313.11, an increase of around 4
A good chunk of Change Order 2, O’Dell noted—around $25,000—is for work
initially slated from Phase I of the project and later added instead to
In addition, members voted 4-0 to authorize an expenditure of $27,500 to
extend DLZ’s construction administration contract through the end of the
In other business, members voted 4-0 to approve an expenditure of up to
$15,000 to stripe roadways in the TIF District.
Ton took a moment at the end of the meeting to express his gratitude to
Jim’s Lawn & Garden at 102 Beverly Drive for taking the initiative and
mowing the grass along 100E in the South Cal District.
The commission is right now preparing to get quotes from landscape
contractors to maintain the new plantings in the district.