Munster closing out infrastructure, erosion control projects

2012-11-17T20:15:00Z 2012-11-17T21:56:05Z Munster closing out infrastructure, erosion control projectsLu Ann Franklin Times Correspondent
November 17, 2012 8:15 pm  • 

MUNSTER | The Town Council is closing the books on one infrastructure improvement and the town’s portion of a flood/erosion control project.

Grimmer Construction of Highland was hired last spring to replace water mains along Manor Avenue. However, when crews started working, they experienced difficulty locating suitable service lines, Jim Mandon, Munster town engineer, told the council.

“Normally when you put water mains in, you just have to expose the taps,” he said.

On the east side of Manor, crews found they had to dig up sidewalks and driveways to find the connections, Mandon said. That led to additional concrete to reconstruct the structures.

Extra work also was needed when some water service lines were found to have pinholes and evidence of corrosion when the soil was removed.

“When the pipes were exposed, they started leaking water through these pinholes. Soil compacts around the pipes and keeps them from leaking. They spray water when the soil is removed,” Mandon said.

The soil along Manor Avenue was found to be very acidic, which will cause corrosion of pipes, he said.

The Town Council approved a change order to pay Grimmer Construction $15,275.95 which will be paid from the town’s water fund. Of that labor costs totaled more than $6,500 while the remainder was for materials, including concrete and piping.

A second change order for $29,834.10 to cover extra work done by R.A. Oros Inc. of Munster on phase seven of the Hart Ditch flood/erosion control project also was approved.

Mandon said after Oros’ crews installed a wall along Hart Ditch southwest of the 45th Street Bridge, an engineer with Schmidt Associates inspected the work and noticed a tree in a little island of soil jutting from the bank at the wall’s end

That would have directed water from Hart Ditch around the tree and would have caused more erosion in backyards of homes along the ditch, Mandon told the council.

The tree and soil were removed and the wall was extended farther north and provides more protection than was planned, he said.

Mandon said he was able to negotiate the change order down from nearly $37,500 to save the town $7,000.

The money will be paid from Munster’s sewer fund.

Munster is paying 60 percent of the $400,735.94 cost of the project with Lake County funding the remaining amount.

“The county has already approved their portion of the project,” Mandon said.

This is the seventh project along Hart Ditch to improve erosion of backyards and provide additional flood control.

“We’re about 30 percent into the list of projects here. We’re doing the worst down to the ‘not so bad,’” he told the council. “Erosion of the banks was getting near decks, garages and swimming pools.”

In addition, the sediment from the banks travels downstream, creating problems with water backup during rains, he said.

“That’s one of the reasons some of the homes along Hart Ditch are now in the flood plain,” Mandon said.

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