Coming through: An improved 77th Avenue in Merrillville

2013-07-31T20:30:00Z 2013-07-31T21:17:35Z Coming through: An improved 77th Avenue in MerrillvilleChas Reilly chas.reilly@nwi.com, (219) 662-5324 nwitimes.com

MERRILLVILLE | A road construction project underway near Salk Elementary School might cause some inconveniences for local residents, but Town Councilman Tom Goralczyk thinks they will be pleased with the result of the work.

Goralczyk said work started about two weeks ago to improve 77th Avenue between Marshall Street and Taney Place.

That stretch of 77th Avenue has been closed as work continues to widen and reconstruct the road.

After removing the previous pavement there, it was determined the base of the road was too soft and needed to be addressed, Goralczyk said.

Stone is being added to strengthen the road before it is repaved, he said.

Goralczyk said 77th Avenue was created before Merrillville became a town and engineering standards were established in the municipality. He thinks that's why the base of the road wasn't at town standards.

Workers have finished installing all the curb on the north side of 77th Avenue and driveway aprons for the homes in the construction area.

Goralczyk said the stormwater system in the area also will be improved to prevent water from collecting on 77th Avenue.

Town leaders collaborated with Merrillville school officials on the project.

A new bus entrance and parent drop-off site at Salk are included in the plans, Goralczyk said. The changes will make it easier to travel through that area and improve safety, he said.

Work also includes the creation of 15 new parking spaces at Salk.

The major work associated with the project is scheduled for completion around Aug. 9, Goralczyk said. Road striping and restoration work could occur after that, but 77th Avenue would be open while that takes place, he said.

Goralczyk regularly visits residents in the construction area to explain how the work is progressing.

He said the residents "seem fine" with the project.

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