Chesterton Tribune



Expect apocalypse of potholes in spring

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As the slow dull gray bleak grind of winter continues, folks can be sure of one thing: when it’s over, when it’s finally done and gone and the world is green again, the roadways are really gonna be awful.

As Chesterton Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg put it succinctly on Monday, in his report to the Redevelopment Commission, “I’ll just say, the roads are falling apart. And I have a feeling we’re going to have a problem when the frost gets out of the ground.”

Not every road everywhere, Schnadenberg noted. Crack-sealing maintenance has gone a long way to keeping 1100N between Fifth Street and 100E largely intact and free of potholes. But 1050N from Babcock Road to Ind. 49 is simply crumbling, Schnadenberg said.

A portion of that stretch of 1050N is the jurisdiction of the county, and Schnadenberg said that he will be approaching the Porter County Highway Department at some point about a joint re-surfacing project.

In the meantime, however, Schnadenberg is working on a list of road projects for the 2014-15 seasons, with an eye to both whole-hog re-paving and preventive crack-sealing.

“Compared to some of our neighboring communities, our roads are the best,” Member Paul Tharp said.

President Ed Schoenfelt, for his part, expressed his deep gratitude to the Street Department--and to the other departments as well--for their unflagging work in clearing snow from roads and alleys, plowing cul-de-sacs, and opening storm drains in advance of thaws. “Its most appreciated in my neck of the woods,” he said.

Later in the evening, at the Town Council’s meeting, Member Jim Ton, R-5th, commented on the alacrity with which the Street Department has been patching potholes. “Just driving around town, they’re doing a great job,” he said. I see a pothole one day and it’s gone the next.”

Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, thanked the Street Department in particular for patching a magnificent pothole in front of Chesterton High School.

“You could have lost a Volkswagen Beetle in that one,” Ton joked.

While on the subject of potholes, members voted unanimously to authorize an expenditure of $28,985 for the purchase of a new hot patcher. Schnadenberg said that the current one is old and broken and that the equipment itself is an excellent year-round investment, with the money for the purchase available in the Local Roads & Streets fund.

Facade Funding

Town Manager Bernie Doyle took a moment at the end of the Redevelopment Commission’s meeting to report that the Porter County Economic Development Alliance has provided the Duneland Economic Development Corporation--the Chambers not-for-profit arm--$25,000 in funds for facade improvements.

That award will be distributed among the Tri-Towns of Chesterton, Porter, and Burns Harbor, Doyle added.



Posted 2/25/2014