On Thursday, CSU
Inc., the contractor installing the Town of Chesterton’s fiber-optic
network, struck and breached a sanitary sewer main in the 1300 block of
South Fifth Street.
On Friday, CSU
breached a water main in the 600 block of West Porter Ave.
Tuesday--shortly after 3 p.m.--it breached a residential natural-gas service
lateral in the 600 block of South Calumet Road.
South Calumet Road
was subsequently closed south of Porter Ave.--and at deadline today remained
closed--after the gas shut-off valve failed and NIPSCO was forced to dig
through eight inches of concrete road surface to access the main itself and
turn off the gas there.
Although Fire Chief
John Jarka told the Chesterton Tribune today that the odor of gas was
heavy in the neighborhood--and “quite bothersome to residents”--atmospheric
meter readings taken both by firefighters and the NIPSCO crew showed no
excessively high elevations, and evacuations were not deemed necessary.
Jarka added that he
offered the residents of the home impacted by the breach the loan of an
electric heater but was told that they had a wood-burning stove and would be
warm enough until gas service was restored.
At 10:30 a.m. today
Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg said that NIPSCO had succeeded in
replacing the faulty shut-off valve--it was very old, he noted, and there
may never have been a need to use it before--and was working to install a
new service lateral to the residence. The excavation will then be backfilled
and Schnadenberg expected South Calumet Road to be re-opened by 3 p.m.
It was still
unclear, however, why the CSU crew hit the service lateral in the first
place. “It’s hard in this weather with the snow,” Town Engineer Mark O’Dell
said. “The locates disappear, so the crew has get them re-marked to find
O’Dell did say that
the water main breached on Friday had been improperly located by an Indiana
American Water Company crew. The sanitary sewer line breached on Thursday,
on the other hand, was properly located by the Chesterton Utility.
CSU has installed
more than 50,000 linear feet of fiber-optic conduit to date, and until
Thursday there had been no issues, O’Dell said. CSU’s low-bid contract price
for installing the network: $1,233,673.91.