Chesterton Tribune



East Porter Avenue to stay closed until September 27

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The new target date for re-opening East Porter Ave. between Dickinson Road and 250E--closed for the installation of a box culvert, on the site of the old bridge over Sand Creek--is now Thursday, Sept. 27.

So Chesterton Town Engineer Mark O’Dell announced at Monday’s meeting of the Redevelopment Commission.

Although the culvert’s east wing walls have already been installed and installation of the west walls should begin this week, there’s still significant work yet to complete, O’Dell said: stormsewers and guardrails need to be installed, the roadway re-constructed, curbs and gutters poured, and stream bank stabilization matting laid.

The project had been dogged earlier this summer by the failure of Frontier Communications to re-locate two of its utility lines--an underground fiber optic line and an overhead telephone line--and though that work is now done, the delay blew holes in the general contractor’s schedule, O’Dell told the Chesterton Tribune after the meeting. Scheduled deliveries of material had to be postponed, for instance, and a crane rental had to be re-scheduled. “The contractor had rented a crane for a particular day,” he said. “Then he had to cancel it because of Frontier. And when he tried to re-schedule the crane it was already booked.”

Meanwhile, O’Dell is asking the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to extend once again the expiration date of a permit allowing the contractor to work in a salmonid stream. The original permit expired on July 15, the extended permit expired on Aug. 18, and to date O’Dell said that he hasn’t heard back from DNR. O’Dell did say that, if all goes well, the contractor should be completely out of the Sand Creek stream for good within the next two weeks.

The recent rains haven’t done much for the schedule either, O’Dell added. “Everyone is working as diligently as they can.”

As luck would have it too, Indiana American Water Company (IAWC) is now voicing dissatisfaction with the utility re-location plan which they previously reviewed and approved. But IAWC isn’t in a position to delay things further, O’Dell said. “The water company’s having problems with the culvert. But that’s their problem, not ours. It’s on them. We can’t let them get in the way of the wing walls.”

Until the box culvert is open for traffic, motorists will be forced to continue to detour around the East Porter Ave. closure: motorists eastbound on East Porter Ave. are being sent south on Dickinson Road, east on Sidewalk Road, north on 250E, then back to East Porter Ave.; the detour is simply reversed for motorists westbound on East Porter Ave.

The contractor on the job: Grimmer Construction Inc. of Highland. The contract price: $619,370.20, a portion of which is being defrayed by a Community Crossings state infrastructure grant.



Posted 8/28/2018




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