Chesterton Tribune



NIPSCO to replace gas main on North Calumet Road

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NIPSCO is preparing to replace a natural-gas main along North Calumet Road between Indian Boundary Road and Grant Ave., Chesterton Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg announced at Monday night’s Town Council meeting.

Work could begin this week, Schnadenberg said, but will be much less invasive than similar projects in the past and will probably require only temporary road closures.

NIPSCO will be replacing the current main, on the west side of the road, with a new one on the east side. But rather than digging a trench along the entire route, NIPSCO will be boring, with some minimal excavation every 400 feet or so. A few panels of sidewalk will likely need to be replaced, Schnadenberg noted.

When the new main is completed, the transition from the old one should be seamless, Schnadenberg said, with no disruptions in gas service expected. The old main will then be abandoned and left in place.

The project should take around 30 days to complete, and then North Calumet Road will be re-paved between Indian Boundary Road and the Norfolk-Southern railroad right-of-way, one of the projects being funded this year by a 50/50 Community Crossings state infrastructure grant.

Ind. 49 Intersection Project

In other business, Town Engineer Mark O’Dell reported that INDOT is in the preliminary stages of planning a large-scale intersection improvement project along Ind. 49, at Indian Boundary Road, East Porter Ave., 1100N, and Gateway Blvd.

The project itself is some three years out, but INDOT has already been in communication with the town about it, O’Dell said. Among other things, INDOT is eyeing the widening of the intersections and the addition of dual turn lanes.

“It would improve the level of service a lot,” Schnadenberg told the Chesterton Tribune after the meeting, by increasing the volume of traffic which can move through the intersections in a given cycle, without the need to alter the timing of the traffic signals.

The Old Travel Agency

O’Dell, wearing his Building Commissioner’s hat, reported that he’s been receiving calls about the old travel agency at the southeast corner of East Porter Ave. and South Calumet Road, which is currently being remodeled.

The owner of the property, BenLew Enterprises LLC, is in the process of seeking a number of variances from the Board of Zoning Appeals, mostly related to the subdivision of the site into two separate parcels, a B-3 lot where the travel agency was located and an R-1 lot where the old house to the west is located. BenLew hasn’t yet presented its plans for the B-3 property to the BZA, but O’Dell is hopeful. “It’s B-3,” he said, “so a lot of good uses can go in there.”

O’Dell also reported that he expects to receive plans within the next few weeks for the new Dollar General on the old Lipinski property on Broadway.

Right-of-Way Agreement

Members voted unanimously to take under advisement Odisei Miron’s petition for a right-of-way agreement, under which he would be permitted to gravel the platted but unimproved segment of Center Street in Crocker, between Elgin and Ritter streets.

Miron told the council that he wants to build a house and use the unplatted portion of Center Street as his driveway.

A neighbor, however, Donna Barr, expressed concerns from the floor, saying that the owner of the property in question--possibly by the previous owner--used the property for the storage of RVs, trucks, and other large vehicles, and that damage was caused to mailboxes and landscaping when those vehicles were driven off the property onto Elgin Street, where she lives.

That was the old property owner’s deal, Miron said, not his. “I’m trying to be a good neighbor and keep it clean.”

Right-of-Way Vacation

Members also voted unanimously to hold a public hearing at their Aug. 10 meeting on Tammy Symmes’ petition for a vacation of the portion of platted but unimproved Union Ave. adjacent to her residence at 723 S. Jackson Blvd.



Posted 7/14/2020




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