CROWN POINT | Lake County drainage officials approved more than $737,000 in flood-control work Wednesday in Crown Point, Dyer and rural areas south of Lowell.
The bulk of the money will be spent reinforcing the steep and highly eroded banks of Hart Ditch, also known as Plum Creek, in Dyer.
Lake County Surveyor George Van Til said the $179,760 earmarked for a section near 213th Street and $174,888 for the area between the Indiana-Illinois state line and U.S. 30 are the third and fourth projects in recent months to shore up the waterway, which runs through densely developed residential and business areas in Dyer and Munster before emptying into the Little Calumet River.
The county and Town of Munster have invested more than $4 million in drainage improvements on the waterway during the past 13 years.
The work in Dyer suffered a setback last spring when newly installed metal wire baskets containing stone reinforcing the east bank of Plum Creek near Christian Academy in Dyer collapsed during an April rainstorm. The failure was blamed on unstable soil.
Van Til said Delta III of Hammond recently rebuilt the wall and the project cost the county only $127,000, which was $33,000 less than an original estimate done before the collapse.
The drainage board awarded a $72,653 contract to V-Mad Construction of Lowell to improve drainage of a branch of Beaver Dam Ditch near Lake Street in Crown Point.
The board voted 2-1 to permit the owner of a residential lot at 101st and Madison Street in Crown Point to build a condominium building within 75 feet of Beaver Dam Ditch.
They did so over the objection of Mike Cinjak, who lives in an adjacent condominium and Commissioner Gerry Scheub, D-Crown Point, who said the construction was too close to the waterway and may create flooding problems in the future. Van Til said the developer has agreed to take over maintenance of that section of the ditch.
The drainage board also awarded R. A. Oras, of Munster, $139,015 in improvement of the Ernie Niemeyer Creek between the state line and U.S. 41 near Schneider, and Chem Check Inc., of Hebron, $98,800 in work on Brown Levee Ditch. Both waterways drain farmland north of the Kankakee River.
The board approved a settlement of a property dispute among three landowners southwest of Lowell permitting $72,000 in drainage improvement on Searle Ditch.