A clearer picture is slowly developing of what the Downtown is going to look
like this construction season.
Put it this way: Chesterton Town Engineer Mark O’Dell and John Schnadenberg
will need to be pretty good jugglers, because they’ll be keeping a lot of
balls in the air well into the fall.
At the Chesterton Redevelopment Commission’s meeting Monday night, O’Dell
said that every effort is being made to coordinate the work schedule to
minimize as much as possible all inconvenience to the businesses in the
Downtown. But he acknowledged that there will be some inconvenience.
The latest information:
•The Downtown sewer separation and replacement project has been officially
divided into two phases. Phase I, beginning probably in mid April, will
involve the separation of sanitary and stormwater sewers and the
installation of a new sanitary line beneath South Calumet Road from the
Norfolk Southern grade-crossing to West Indiana Ave. It will not be
physically possible to complete Phase I by Memorial Day, May 31, O’Dell
said, but it should be done by mid June.
•Phase II of the project will involve only the installation of a new
stormwater sewer beneath South Calumet Road from Morgan Ave. to Porter Ave.
After discussions with some of the business owners along this stretch of
South Calumet Road—including the operator of the Lucrezia restaurant, whose
busiest months of the year are July and August—this phase will commence
sometime in the fall, O’Dell said.
•Compounding the inconvenience to Lucrezia will be an entirely separate
project: the installation of a new sanitary force main between West Porter
Ave. from a point just west of South Calumet Road to Fifth Street. Although
this project will not necessitate the closure of the intersection of South
Calumet Road and Porter Ave. and should be completed within a couple of
weeks, O’Dell said, there will be excavation in the westbound lane of West
Porter Ave., adjacent to Lucrezia, for a few days. This project has not been
•Schnadenberg is also eyeing some paving in the Downtown this season,
chiefly Broadway between South Calumet Road and Fourth Street and Second and
Third streets between Broadway and West Indiana Ave. But Schnadenberg would
also like to pave those portions of South Calumet Road which will not
be excavated this year as part of the sewer separation and replacement
project. Those portions to go under the knife will be paved as a matter of
course, and Schnadenberg wants to make the road surfaces uniform. Estimated
cost: $200,000 or less. The commission took under advisement his request to
use tax increment financing funds for the work.
Meanwhile, the commission continues to mull what has been dubbed Phase II of
the South Calumet District project and would involve street- and landscaping
improvements along South Calumet Road roughly from the Chesterton Post
Office to the intersection of Porter Ave.
At a minimum new decorative streetlighting and sidewalks could be installed
as part of this project. But members are also considering improvements to
the unaligned intersection of South Calumet Road and Porter Ave., possibly
only improved lighting but conceivably—if right-of-way were to be
acquired—some attempt at alignment.
O’Dell said that he needs to work with Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann on the
scope of Phase II.
“We need to expand the improvements through the retail district so people
want to re-locate to town,” Member Sharon Darnell said.
It’s unclear when exactly Phase II would begin.
Members did vote 4-0 to approve an expenditure of around $6,500 to add two
more illuminated street signs at the intersection of 100E and 1100N. Member
Mark Singer was not in attendance.
4-0 to approve the following claims: $10,421.74 from DLZ, the contracted
engineer for the South Calumet District project; $63,901.27 from G.E.
Marshall, the general contractor for the project; $175,278.75 from UMB Bank,
for a bond payment on the project; and $687.50 from Harris Welsh & Lukmann