MUNSTER | Removal of the 2,500 damaged, diseased and dead trees between the Little Calumet River and the flood protection levee will begin around April 17.
Little Calumet River Basin Development Commission members heard that news from Executive Director Dan Repay during Wednesday's meeting.
Earlier this year Repay worked with Munster and Hammond public works departments and other agencies to survey the trees along the river banks. Pink dots were placed on trees that must be removed to prevent future flooding.
Flooding would occur because as the tree branches and trunks fall into the water, the debris will clog flood-control devices such as the diverters or get caught under bridges at Northcote and Columbia avenues.
Most of the trees are between Kennedy Avenue and the Indiana/Illinois state line, which is the most densely populated and narrowest part of the waterway, Repay said. Those trees to be removed are in five geographical segments.
He said 16 companies with specific expertise in this kind of work have been invited to bid.
Bids will are due by March 25 and will be reviewed for award at the commission's April 10 meeting.
In other business, the commission approved spending $4,000 to replace the tin roof on the pump station at Burr Street in Gary.
During an inspection about two weeks ago, a team led by Repay discovered the rivets and bolts holding on the tin roof had failed and water was dripping on the electrical panel that runs the two pumps.
“The roof is over 20 years old,” Repay said.
In addition, the land near Interstate 65 that is owned by the commission will be leased April 1 to two farmers again this year. The land will be planted with corn.