Chesterton Town Engineer Mark O’Dell can’t say for sure, at the moment, when
the first excavator’s going to hit asphalt.
He does know, though, that it’s going to be a triple witching hour for
At the Town Council’s meeting Monday night, O’Dell reported that right now
he’s trying to coordinate the start dates—and work schedules—of three
separate projects: the separation of a combined sanitary and stormwater
sewer on the east side of South Calumet Road between Morgan Ave. and Porter
Ave.; the re-lining of an 18-inch gravity main on the south side of West
Porter Ave. between South Calumet Road and Fifth Street; and the replacement
of a failed 20-inch force main on the north side of West Porter Ave., also
between South Calumet Road and Fifth Street.
The re-lining job—partially funded by a federal earmark secured by U.S. Rep.
Pete Visclosky, D-1st—is under the administration of the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers, which wants to commence work soon. O’Dell, however, is trying to
prevail on the Corps to delay groundbreaking until after Labor Day.
Meanwhile, O’Dell is also trying to get the South Calumet Road sewer
separation project going now, before Labor Day, with the idea of starting at
the south end—at the intersection of Porter Ave.—to clear that intersection
before excavation begins along West Porter Ave. itself.
In any case, when all is said and done, there will be road closures, lane
restrictions, and detours, O’Dell said after the meeting, although
everything will be done to keep traffic moving as smoothly as possible.
In other business, O’Dell reported that work began on Monday on the
construction of new basketball and tennis courts at Chesterton Park. Those
courts are being sited to the west and north of the baseball diamond and are
being built with CEDIT moneys. Contract price: $88,453, awarded to low
O’Dell also reported that bid documents are being finalized for the
re-placement of the boardwalk in Coffee Creek Park damaged by the floods of
September 2008. That project is being partially funded with federal moneys
made available by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Meanwhile, Park Superintendent Bruce Mathias reported that the Parks and
Recreation Department has acquired some new picnic tables with CEDIT moneys
for Thomas Centennial Park and has ordered brick to go underneath them.
For his part Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg reported that the new
Fifth Street sidewalk—installed on the west side of the road between 1100N
and Hunters Court—has been essentially completed and that Street Department
crews are currently restoring the work site.
When they’ve completed that work, they turn their attention to this season’s
other sidewalk projects, beginning with the east and west sides of 15th
Street from West Morgan Ave. to a point just north of West Indiana Ave.
Earlier in the meeting, Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, assured 15th Street
resident Elizabeth Richardson that her recently asphalted driveway—which
encroaches on town right-of-way—will not be damaged by the new sidewalk,
after Richardson asked from the floor who would be accountable if by chance
Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann reported that the bond sale for the 15th Street
municipal facility “went very, very well.” The projected interest rate for
the issue had been 4 percent; in fact the rate “came in at 3.36 percent,”
Lukmann said, a rate which should save the town $125,000 in interest over
the lifetime of the bond.
Around $2 million in general obligation bonds were issued to finance the
construction of the new facility on the former United Tractor property at
116 N. 15th St.