MERRILLVILLE | The cost of the frontage road project along U.S. 30 has gone up again.
Town Councilman Shawn Pettit said it has increased by about $32,000 this year because of delays associated with relocating utility lines in the construction area.
Pettit said the town will fund the increase with money from the Merrillville Road tax increment financing district.
Utility line relocation also delayed the frontage road project for several weeks last year. At that time, the construction cost increased by about $86,000, Pettit said.
In 2012, the council instructed Town Attorney John Bushemi to ask NIPSCO to contribute funds for the additional $86,000 Merrillville had to pay. On Tuesday, the council asked Bushemi to add the $32,000 increase to Merrillville's request.
The frontage road work could be finished in early July, according to the Butler, Fairman & Seufert engineering company.
When the project is finished, 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 will be improved, but those roads won't be extended.
In other matters, the council decided to designate property at 1794 W. 81st Ave. as an economic development target area.
That property, which once housed a Saturn dealership, will become the Berman's Infiniti of Merrillville dealership.
Creating the economic development target area permits Chicago-based Berman Auto Group to seek tax abatement, Town Manager Bruce Spires said.
The tax abatement proposal could go before the council next month, Spires said.
Renovations are ongoing at the property for the new dealership. The Berman Auto Group has indicated it plans to open this summer.