CROWN POINT | The Lake County Drainage Board on Wednesday approved spending $171,902 for emergency repairs to a collapsing culvert pipe that helps drain Spring Street Ditch in downtown Schererville.
The entire project costs $245,575, and the town is paying $76,672.
“If another part of the culvert caves in, water won’t flow and will back up and damage homes and businesses,” Lake County Surveyor George Van Til said.
Christopher Burke Engineering LLC, of Crown Point, will provide an engineering plan and specifications for the repairs.
Instead of replacing the culvert, Burke has recommended the less-expensive alternative of inserting a sleeve liner into the concrete pipe to re-strengthen the structure.
“Because the Drainage Board declared this an emergency situation in December, we can bypass the regular bidding process,” Van Til said. “We hope to have this finished in a few weeks.”
The Drainage Board also instructed attorney Clifford Duggan to respond to BP’s latest attempt to not comply with board instructions regarding two pipelines over Beaver Dam Ditch in St. John Township.
In a letter to Duggan dated Jan. 11, BP attorney V. Samuel Laurin III of Bose McKinney & Evans LLP questioned the Drainage Board’s authority to regulate routine maintenance of BP pipelines.
Last year the board instructed BP to bury its pipelines under the drainage ditch. The company said that was too expensive, and Van Til’s office proposed other alternatives the Drainage Board approved.
BP agreed to various alternatives, but hasn’t compiled with any, Van Til said.
Duggan said he is drafting a response to Laurin’s letter.
“We’ve had many face-to-face meetings with BP. They need to come back to the board,” Duggan said.
In other business, Gerry J. Scheub was re-elected board chairman. New board member Michael C. Repay was elected vice chairman. Roosevelt Allen Jr. is the third Drainage Board member.