MERRILLVILLE | In addition to taking longer to complete, a project expanding and improving frontage roads along U.S. 30 in town will cost more than anticipated.
The total figure wasn't immediately available, but the town should know the added cost by the end of the year, Public Works Director Bruce Spires said during Tuesday's Town Council meeting.
Spires estimates the cost will increase by "tens of thousands of dollars."
He said multiple utility lines had to be relocated, which unexpectedly stopped construction for several weeks and resulted in the added cost.
Spires suggested the town could ask NIPSCO to contribute funds for the cost increase.
Town Councilman Tom Goralczyk said Merrillville officials would wait until the town receives the total figure before they approach the utility.
Spires said the project initially was expected to be completed in October. The work won't be finished until next year, he said.
Some frontage roads have been reduced to one lane because of excavation work. Spires said crews are adding asphalt to level off the roads so they can be reopened to two lanes for the winter.
He said work will stop once the asphalt work is finished, and the project likely would resume in April.
Asphalt added now would have to be torn out when the project starts again, and frontage roads would be reduced to one lane again at that time, he said.
Officials from some businesses in the construction area have said the lane reduction has confused customers and affected sales.
Once the project is finished next year, frontage roads on the south side of U.S. 30 will be connected from McKinley Street to the traffic signal in front of Meijer.
Frontage roads on the north side of U.S. 30 also will be improved, but those roads won't be extended.