Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.
And prepare to detour.
The summer construction season will commence—just in time for the fall—on
Monday, Aug. 30, with the replacement of a failed force main along West
Porter Ave. between South Calumet Road and Fifth Street.
West Porter will be closed to through-traffic between South Cal and Fifth.
It will also be closed to local-traffic in the immediate work area. And, not
long after the project begins, the intersection of West Porter and Fifth
will be closed as well.
Chesterton Town Engineer Mark O’Dell told the Town Council at its meeting
Monday night that he and contractor G.E. Marshall are currently finalizing a
detour route. The project is expected to take 30 days to complete.
Then—slightly complicating matters—on Tuesday, Sept. 7, the northbound lane
of South Calumet Road between Porter Ave. and Morgan Ave. will be closed for
a sanitary sewer separation project. “We hope to have it done before Oz
Fest,” O’Dell said. “If it isn’t, (contractor) Rieth-Riley will gravel it
out” and make the north lane driveable.
to Remain Closed
In other business, Park Superintendent Bruce Mathias told the council that
the vandalized skate park will remain closed for the foreseeable future, as
he won’t rob manpower from ongoing work to task it to cleanup. “The skate
park will be closed for awhile,” he said.
“It’s just too bad,” Mathias added. “A handful of people are ruining it for
the 50 or so kids who are really nice.”
In response to a query from Member Jim Ton, R-1st—who regretted the need to
spend public money on repairs—Mathias did say that he’d be amenable to
letting volunteers into the skate park, if there are any, to do some of the
Chesterton Police believe the vandalism occurred late Wednesday or early
Thursday, when someone with a can of spray-paint defaced some of the
equipment. In addition, part of the large sign recognizing the folks and
businesses who donated money, labor, and materials to the construction of
the park was damaged. Police estimated damage at $500.
Meanwhile, O’Dell announced that the new Fifth Street sidewalk—constructed
on the west side of the road between 1100N and Hunters Court—is done.
And it was done under budget. Low-bidder Chicago Concrete and Construction
Company of Orland Park, Ill., was awarded the contract for $70,843.75,
O’Dell noted. The final tab for the work: $61,000.80, for a savings of
nearly 14 percent on the original bid.
“The contractor did a good job,” O’Dell said.
Ton—in response to one wag who, in a recent Voice of the People in the
Chesterton Tribune, unaccountably called the Fifth Street sidewalk a
“sidewalk to nowhere”—noted that “we go out of our way, the Street
Department goes out of its way, to make a special effort to replace
sidewalks. And the Street Department does an excellent job with the
resources it has.”
From the CFD
Members voted 5-0 to authorize Fire Chief Mike Orlich to apply for
membership in the District I Fire Suppression Task Force: a
multi-jurisdictional organization of fire departments willing and able to
respond to major local, regional, or state incidents.
Orlich told the council that membership does not entail “an etched-in-stone
commitment,” added that the CFD would only respond to incidents when it had
available manpower and engines, and emphasized that “we wouldn’t do anything
detrimental to the town’s coverage.”
Orlich did observe that the Town of Chesterton, should it sustain a serious
incident of its own, would be the beneficiary of membership in the task
In response to questions from the public, interested in knowing the specific
medical services to be provided at the new 24-hour free-standing emergency
department being built by the Sisters of St. Francis Health Services Inc.,
Town Manager Bernie Doyle had this information: multiple ER rooms staffed 24
hours per day, seven days per week; diagnostic imaging; CAT scan;
ultra-sound; a full lab; primary care; and specialty medicine.
Groundbreaking is scheduled to break in October on the site of the old
Jewel/Osco on Indian Boundary Road, with a projected completion date of