PORTAGE │ The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission's Transportation Policy Committee on Tuesday approved a request to allocate funds to repair a bridge on Kennedy Avenue over the Grand Calumet River in East Chicago.
The Lake County Board of Commissioners submitted a request to NIRPC that funds currently programmed in the Transportation Improvement Program for the reconstruction of Colfax Street, from Main Street (53rd Avenue) to 45th Avenue in Griffith be reallocated to the bridge.
A latest inspection report and previous underwater inspection indicates the substructure has an estimated remaining life of eight years and a structural rating of poor, according to a letter to NIRPC from the Lake County board.
The estimated cost of the project $2.25 million versus an estimated replacement cost in excess of $5 million.
According to its letter the Board of Commissioners are proposing a “pile sleeve system” that would replace a structural steel jacket around the existing piles and rehabilitate the substructure in place rather than replacement of the entire structure. The remainder of the bridge would be rehabilitated in conjunction with substructure.
The funds for the Colfax Street Reconstruction were $3.5 million. Those will be transferred to the bridge repair ($2.25 million) and for phase three of the 45the Avenue reconstruction ($1.25 million).
The amendment will now move for approval in front of the full NIRPC commission.
In other news, David Wright, planning and marketing manager for the Gary Public Transit Corp., said ridership was up about 4 percent compared to the same month last year. For the year, ridership was up about 5 percent. Ridership on the Gary Public Transit Corp. was also up 5 percent in 2012 over 2011.
“In 2013 we actually equaled our 2011 ridership in mid November,” Wright said. “So we pretty much gained a full month of ridership over the last three years.”