Chesterton Tribune



Frontier's failure to move fiber optic line delaying East Porter Avenue culvert project

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Folks wanting to know why East Porter Ave. between Dickinson Road and 250E will likely remain closed until at least Aug. 18 can blame Frontier Communications.

As Chesterton Town Engineer Mark O’Dell told the Redevelopment Commission at its meeting Monday night, Frontier still needs to re-locate both an underground fiber optic line and an overhead telephone line before the new box culvert can be installed in place of the old bridge over Sand Creek.

Frontier was advised of the need to re-locate those lines in November 2017, O’Dell said, and was further advised in March to begin the procurement process for the materials required. As of Monday, however, Frontier did not have those materials.

Which means that O’Dell was forced to ask the Indiana Department of Natural Resources for an extension of the 30-day permit authorizing work in a salmonid stream. DNR did grant that extension, from the original expiration date of July 15 to Aug. 18, O’Dell told members on Monday. “We must be out of the stream and up and running by Aug. 18,” he said. “Frontier is the hold-up right now. They should have started procurement in March.”

“This has caused a lot of difficulty for the contractor,” Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann added. “Frontier may find that the lines will get moved and they’ll be billed for it.”

Meanwhile, O’Dell said, the old bridge has been removed and the new box culvert is in manufacturing and will soon be delivered on site.

Until the box culvert is open for business, motorists will continue to be forced to detour 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 contract for the project was awarded to low bidder Grimmer Construction Inc. of Highland. Contract price: $619,370.20. A portion of the cost is being defrayed by a Community Crossings state infrastructure grant.

Fiber Optic Project

In other business, work on the fiber optic project is nearing completion, O’Dell reported. At the moment the only significant job left is connecting the already completed network south of the three railroad lines--Norfolk Southern, CSX, and Amtrak--to the line serving Yost Elementary School.

“Right now we’re dealing with all three railroads,” O’Dell said.

“We’re not live but we’re close,” he added and noted that the meet-me room at the municipal complex on North 15th Street--essentially the network’s nerve center--is 95 percent complete.

Members did vote unanimously to approve the sixth pay application from the general contractor, CSU Inc. of Plainfield, Ind., in the amount of $129,611.05. The balance to finish is approximately $284,000, O’Dell said, with a retainage to date of $61,845.78, which will be paid to CSU when the project is officially done. Total project price, including all change orders to date: $1,508,140.45, an increase of $274,466.54 or 22 percent over the original contract price of $1,233,673.91. Most of the change orders involved the necessity of the more expensive boring procedure, in lieu of the less costly trenching method.

Fiber Optic Ribbon Cutting

Thomas Carroll, senior vice president for Nitco--the firm contracted to administer, maintain, and market the fiber optic network--took a moment on Monday to invite town officials and the public to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the project, at 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 11, at Thomas Centennial Park.

“While the network isn’t complete yet and has not been accepted by Nitco, it’s time to start the celebration,” Carroll said.


Posted 6/27/2018





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