Drainage work would involve traffic restrictions

2013-01-02T20:45:00Z 2013-01-02T20:50:05Z Drainage work would involve traffic restrictionsChas Reilly chas.reilly@nwi.com, (219) 662-5324 nwitimes.com
January 02, 2013 8:45 pm  • 

MERRILLVILLE | Motorists are expected to encounter traffic restrictions on Taft Street near 73rd Avenue after work resumes for the Taft Street drainage project.

New culverts will be installed across Taft Street during the next phase, said Bud Crist, president of the Stormwater Management Board.

The culverts will be connected to the two new retention ponds created in 2012, Crist said. One pond is north of 73rd Avenue and the other is south of 73rd.

Crist said workers will have to tear up the road to install the culverts.

Excavation and installation work could proceed quicker if both lanes of traffic on Taft Street were closed, but Crist thinks the Indiana Department of Transportation only would allow traffic to be reduced to one lane.

He said the town will coordinate with INDOT to schedule any restrictions on Taft.

New box culverts were installed across 73rd Avenue in October for the drainage project. A portion of 73rd between Taft Street and Arthur Boulevard was closed for four days when that work was completed, said Matt Lake, executive director of Merrillville's Stormwater Utility.

Crist said the upcoming culvert installation on Taft Street won't begin until gas lines in the area are relocated.

He said a 4-inch gas line has already been relocated, and NIPSCO is in the process of relocating an 8-inch line.

Crist isn't certain when that work will be done.

He said it's possible to start the culvert work this winter if the gas line relocation process is finished soon.

Cleaning ditches also is included in the next phase of the drainage improvements, Crist said.

The entire drainage project could be complete in the spring.

Once finished, flooding issues on Taft Street and in the Independence Hill subdivision are expected to be significantly reduced.

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