GARY | Rep. Peter Visclosky, officials from Gary and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers held a groundbreaking ceremony in Gary on Friday to mark the construction start for the Gary Black Oak phase II sewer improvement project.
"For so many years, the Black Oak area has not received the attention it deserves as a part of Gary," Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said. "This sewer project is another example of how this administration is letting residents know that we have not forgotten about you, and expect to make improvements in Black Oak and all over the city."
"As one of the council persons who represents a portion of the Black Oak area, I am elated to see this project move forward," Councilwoman Mary Brown said. "I am sure that our residents will be very pleased to see that these enhancements are being made."
“On behalf of the Sanitary District, the City of Gary, and the Black Oak Community, and as the president of the Gary Sanitary Board of Commissioners, I would like to express our appreciation to Congressman Peter Visclosky for having made this project possible,” Commissioner Richard Comer, Gary Sanitary District Board of Commissioners, said. “This is the culmination of a two-phase project in the Black Oak Community that will have great impact on relieving much of the flooding conditions in this community. This could not have materialized without Congressman Visclosky's intervention.”
This project is authorized under the Water Resource Development Act’s Section 219 project authority, which allows the Corps to assist local governments in planning, designing, and constructing water- related projects. Projects under this authority are cost shared at 75 percent federal and 25 percent nonfederal. The local sponsor is Gary Sanitary District’s Storm Water Management District.
“The Corps is proud to be a partner in this project that will help reduce the risk of roadway and basement flooding in this highly-traveled and busy business section of Gary," Col. Frederic Drummond Jr. said.
Construction will include installing approximately 1,500 linear feet of 30-inch storm sewer, and storm inlets and catch basins on the southwest side of Gary. It also includes full reconstruction of 25th Avenue between Calhoun and Burr streets. The flow from this area will be drained into an existing manhole on Burr Street which will direct the flow south.
“The 25th Avenue stormwater interceptor project continues the vital work to improve the quality of life for residents of the Black Oak area,” Rep. Peter Visclosky said. “It is a project that creates new jobs and enhances our ability to manage heavy rains in Northwest Indiana. I thank the Gary Sanitary District; the City of Gary; the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Chicago District; Industrial Environmental Services, and the concerned community who have strongly advocated for the Black Oak-area stormwater infrastructure improvements over the years.”
Field construction work is projected to begin in May 2013 and completed in November 2013. The contract was awarded to Industrial & Environmental Services of Gary on Dec. 28, 2012, for $1,145,970.