Chesterton Tribune



Lift stations trails construction keep Porter RDC staff busy

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The Porter Redevelopment Commission took several actions Tuesday related to ongoing trail and sewer projects.

Approved was the apparent lowest qualifying bid of Woodruff & Sons with a base bid of $245,433 to upgrade the Triangle lift station. The engineer’s estimate was $253,600.

Porter director of development Mike Barry recommended the bid be accepted. The lift station needs to be done in the spring of 2014. Porter is under an agreed order with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to stop sewage overflows into receiving waters.

As part of the IDEM order, the town also is building a new Porter Avenue lift station, which will be tested this month. A fourth change-order was OK’d for the lift station but Barry said overall, “We’re well ahead of the game” for the project.

Approved last night on a 4-0 vote with member Elka Nelson absent was hiring engineers Haas & Associates for services not to exceed $9,000 related to extension of an alley at Franklin Street and Hageman Avenue; a second engineering proposal submitted exceeded that of Haas.

Barry said the engineer’s estimate to pave 240 feet of alley 12 feet wide is about $12,000 but other change-orders have resulted in cost savings. The alley extension is needed to provide alternate access for residents who will lose parking space due to the new Orchard Pedestrian Way hike/bike trail.

Barry said the redesigned eastern portion of the pedway --- a sidewalk along the north side of Woodlawn Avenue west of League Lane --- probably will be paved next week, and five homeowners along the route will be so notified.

Other pedway change-orders approved reduce the grant project by $28,643 because of the design change from a full 8 foot-wide trail with additional shoulders to the sidewalk nearest the five homes, and reduce by $27,551 the asphalt needed. The town’s 20 percent local share of these savings totals $11,238.

After months of delay Porter’s Brickyard Trail remains unfinished at the pedestrian bridge over U.S. 20 at Howe Road because the town’s awaiting a mortgage release for property there it acquired. Once closing is final, Barry said it will take only 10 to 14 days to finish the work.

Porter also is involved in construction of the Dunes Kankakee Trail that generally parallels Indiana 49. Several jurisdictions are involved with various segments and RDC attorney Gregg Sobkowski said trail stakeholders will meet Oct. 21 to work out a memorandum of understanding.

The DK Trail begins at the Indiana Dunes State Park heading south to the South Shore railroad bridge with a spur from Indiana 49 to the Calumet Trail planned; Porter County will develop a section from north of U.S. 20 to the Porter County Visitor Center. Barry said Porter’s missing DK link will be designed and hook up with the Brickyard Trail, which at that time will be renamed the DK Trail.

Once it is, better wayfaring signage will be installed, in part to eliminate confusion over where to go when entering the Brickyard Trail at Lincoln Street and Wagner Road in downtown Porter.

After the meeting RDC president Greg Stinson and Barry said work is progressing on Porter’s downtown master plan as well as on an upgrade of Tremont Road at U.S. 20. Both projects have been presented to the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority for approval to allocate part of the $19 million RDA grant previously awarded Porter for its Gateway to the Indiana Dunes economic-development initiative.



Posted 9/9/2013