MERRILLVILLE | Work to enhance Kaiser Ditch wouldn't be as effective in alleviating drainage issues in Merrillville if the town weren't completing its own project addressing flooding issues, Lake County Surveyor George Van Til said.
The surveyor's office is in the midst of the $300,000 project to reconfigure and remove obstructions and sediment from Kaiser Ditch.
The ditch runs from U.S. 30 to Turkey Creek, just north of Calumet Park Cemetery.
Van Til said the project will alleviate flooding issues in multiple areas, including the Independence Hill subdivision.
He said retention ponds and new culverts have been installed during Merrillville's Taft Street drainage project. The Kaiser Ditch work would have been less significant without the improvements completed by Merrillville, Van Til said.
Matt Lake, executive director of Merrillville's Stormwater Utility, said the town also collaborated on the Kaiser Ditch work by providing materials for some aspects of the project.
Lake said Merrillville is responsible for 12 locations in which water drains from roadways into the ditch. The town helped to enhance those spots by buying new pipe as well as rock to prevent erosion where the water enters the ditch.
The surveyor's office installed the materials.
Lake said the collaboration saved the town money it would have had to spend to hire a contractor to complete the installation.
Van Til said work associated with the Kaiser Ditch project has reached an area north of 73rd Avenue.
A sediment trap recently was installed south of 73rd Avenue. Lake County and Merrillville will monitor the trap and clear it when necessary, Van Til said.