Hammond awards $3.3 million contract to construct bike bridges

2013-09-24T21:15:00Z 2013-09-24T22:28:08Z Hammond awards $3.3 million contract to construct bike bridgesChelsea Schneider Kirk chelsea.schneider@nwi.com, (219) 933-3241 nwitimes.com

HAMMOND | The Hammond Board of Public Works and Safety has awarded a $3.3 million bid to Gary-based Superior Construction to build two pedestrian bike trail bridges.

The bridges on the Erie Lackawanna and Monon trails should increase safety at busy crossings, supporters of the plan have said.

The bridge on the Erie Lackawanna will span Columbia Avenue and 167th Street near Southeastern Avenue, and the bridge on the Monon Trail will span 165th Street near Lyman Avenue.

“Those are exceptionally rough crossings because there's so much automobile traffic,” City Engineer Stan Dostatni said.

Traffic estimates show 165th Street carries 24,000 vehicles per day, with Columbia Avenue and 167th Street carrying 20,000 vehicles per day.

Construction should begin late this year and continue through winter, Dostatni said. The bridges are set to be complete by July for use in next year's Whiting Hammond After Midnight Ride.

Dostatni said the bridges will look similar to those over the Little Calumet River.

Construction is being funded through a “jobs bill” passed by the Hammond City Council in 2012. The ordinance permitted the city to take out a $16 million loan to leverage more funding for streets projects. The city is using gaming revenue to repay the loan.

The city is looking to build other pedestrian bridges in the future as it expands its trail network, Dostatni said. A request for bids is out for a bridge that would span the Little Calumet River to connect the Monon Trail in Hammond and Munster.

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