VALPARAISO | Reconstruction of Calumet Avenue between the Canadian National railroad tracks and Evans Avenue is expected to begin by mid-June.
The city's Board of Public Works and Safety opened bids on the project at Thursday's meeting. The five bids were within a range of about $20,000 of each other, with Hook's Concrete and Construction, of Glenwood, Ill., the lowest at $299,563.
City Engineering Director Tim Burkman said he expects to take a recommendation to the city's Redevelopment Commission on May 9 to seek funding approval. The final approval could come at the works board's May 10 meeting.
The project involves narrowing Calumet to three lanes, including a center turn lane, by building out the west side of the road to add a parkway with decorative lighting, new sidewalks, curbs and gutters, and landscaping. The commission's budget for the project is $500,000.
Burkman said the landscaping portion of the project is not included in those bids. He said it hasn't been decided whether the city's horticulture department will do the work or whether bids will be sought from landscapers. The landscaping will include bioswales to handle drainage from the road.
Hook's is a subcontractor of Hawk Enterprises on the Valparaiso downtown signal upgrade. Hook's is doing the sidewalk bumpouts at several of the intersections involved in that project. The Calumet project is expected to take 75 days for the construction and up to 120 days for the lighting because of the time needed to get the poles delivered.
A left turn lane also will be installed on the north side of the intersection at Evans, eliminating one of the southbound through lanes.