Five-points roundabout work uncovers bad soil

2013-06-06T18:45:00Z 2013-06-06T19:23:04Z Five-points roundabout work uncovers bad soilPhil Wieland phil.wieland@nwi.com, (219) 548-4352 nwitimes.com

VALPARAISO | The city's Redevelopment Commission will be asked next week to chip in about $5,200 to cover the city's share of replacing poor soil found beneath Roosevelt Road.

The layer of spongy, granular soil was discovered beneath a layer of concrete from the original roadway during construction of the roundabout at the five-points intersection of Roosevelt, North Calumet Avenue and Vale Park Road, city Engineering Director Tim Burkman said.

Excavating to install storm sewers and water lines uncovered the problem. Burkman said the layer ranges from a foot to about 2-1/2 feet deep, and the cost of removal and replacing it with stone to shore up the road's base is about $26,000. The city's share is 20 percent.

"Roosevelt was originally a concrete road 18 feet wide," Burkman said. "We widened it out to 40 feet over the years, but there was about 8 inches of concrete that bridged over the bad material. The problem is not unusual. When we do soil borings, we get a snapshot of the area, but soil conditions can vary and there are pockets of bad soil."

He said the problem is mostly at the north and south ends of the area dug up for the roundabout. Where the road has been moved to the east at the north end, the soil is fine. The soil problem will not delay the project, which is scheduled to begin curb and sidewalk work next week and lay down the initial layer of pavement starting June 17.

The project will move on to the second phase of the roundabout starting June 24. That will mean closing the east leg of Vale Park and the east half of North Calumet. Calumet will be one lane in each direction in what is now the southbound lanes. Roosevelt will be open but will dead end at the roundabout.

Burlington Beach Road reopened Thursday following installation of a concrete culvert between Silhavy Road and Ind. 49. The old corrugated steel culvert had collapsed and much of it was rusted away, which meant the road was closed to heavy trucks. Now it can be used as the detour route when Vale Park is closed for the roundabout work.

Burkman said the contractor was given three extra days to close the road to complete paving and markings before traffic was resumed. The contractor also installed an additional 18-inch storm sewer line on the south side of Burlington Beach.

"A lot of the work could have been done from the side of the road, but it was quicker and safer to give them the closure extension," he said. "There's still some other work to do that can be done outside the road boundaries, but we met the goal of completing the culvert replacement in advance of phase two of the roundabout."

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