There’s good news and bad news for the bottle-necked, zig-zagging, detouring
motorists in Chesterton.
The replacement of a failed sanitary sewer force main on the north side of
West Porter Ave., between South Calumet Road and Fifth Street, is “very
close” to completion, Town Engineer Mark O’Dell told the Town Council at its
meeting Monday night.
“Maybe a week,” O’Dell said.
That stretch of West Porter Ave. will then be re-opened to traffic.
The bad news? Sometime later this fall the same stretch of West Porter
Ave.—between South Calumet Road and Fifth Street—will be closed again, as
crews re-line a gravity sewer on the south side of the road. That project is
being partially funded by an earmark obtained by U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky,
D-1st, and administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Meanwhile, crews are making progress in the separation of a combined storm
and sanitary sewer line on the east side of South Calumet Road between
Morgan Ave. and Porter Ave.
But that project is still “a couple of weeks” away from being done, O’Dell
told the council. Crews did recently finally work their way around a fiber
optic bank, which had slowed excavation somewhat, but they’ve also been
unearthing abandoned but still active water and natural-gas service laterals
which have been capped at the property line but remain connected to the main
Member Jim Ton, R-1st, did wonder whether the asphalt plants might close for
the winter before South Calumet Road is done. But O’Dell put that fear to
rest and said that long before those plants close, the sewer should be
separated, the excavation filled, and the road re-surfaced.
In other business, O’Dell gave members a summary of the re-surfacings
completed earlier in the year with federal stimulus funding. A total of 2.02
miles were milled and re-paved, at a total cost of $256,765 or $126,952 per
The scope of the work:
•Wabash Ave. from Fourth Street to Waverly Road.
•11th Street from 1100N to West Porter Ave.
•Porter Ave. from 15th Street to 23rd Street.
Town funds were also used to pave the short stretch from the curve of
Waverly Road north to the CSX at-grade crossing on Waverly Road.
Meanwhile, Park Superintendent Bruce Mathias reported that volunteers
removed a total of 96 pounds of trash and litter from Coffee Creek Park on
Saturday, during the annual Adopt-a-Beach cleanup headed by MS4 Operator
Members agreed by consensus to take under advisement a petition for Dan
Steiner of Steiner Homes for a wavier from the Town Standard requiring
garages to be no more than 18’’ above grade.
Steiner is requesting a waiver after the garage in question—through a
“screw-up,” Steiner frankly admitted—was actually built 27.5’’ above grade.
The council asked Steiner to provide department heads with additional
surveys of the property so that they can assess the impact of the elevated
garage on drainage.