VALPARAISO | The five-points roundabout was five years in the making and will take about five months for the building.
Work is expected to begin Monday and continue to the end of October or beginning of November. The start means Roosevelt Road will be closed at its northernmost end for about 500 feet, but access to businesses will be maintained.
"We're excited to see construction begin," said Tim Burkman, city engineering director. "We look forward to the improvement in traffic safety and efficiency once it is complete."
Before construction of the two-lane roundabout can begin, the contractor will be installing new water lines and storm sewers through the intersection. The water line work will include replacing the original feeder line on Calumet Avenue from the Flint Lake treatment plant, installed 80 years ago.
A storm sewer large enough to accommodate runoff from much of the north end of the city also will be installed. The underground work will take about two weeks. Then the excavation will start for rerouting Roosevelt slightly to the east before it enters the roundabout.
The roundabout is being coordinated with work on Burlington Beach Road, where a decaying corrugated steel culvert running under the road east of Silhavy Road will be replaced by a 148-foot concrete box culvert. Gariup Construction has 30 days to complete the project so Burlington Beach can be used as a detour when the east leg of Vale Park Road has to be closed for that segment of the roundabout work.
The east segment of Vale Park is expected to last about 60 days, after which it will be time to close the west leg of Vale Park for about the same amount of time. Calumet Avenue will remain open throughout construction with one lane in each direction.
Walsh & Kelly is the general contractor for the project. The roundabout portion is being done at a cost of $2.27 million, more than 80 percent of which is being covered by federal funds through grants from the Highway Safety Improvement Program and the Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality program.
The city's Redevelopment Commission is paying the local share for the roundabout. The water lines and the storm sewer work also qualified for federal funding as part of the project with the city's Utilities Board paying the local share. G.E. Marshall is doing the water lines and storm sewer.
To learn about the history of the project and keep up to date on its status and the detours, residents can go to the "city projects" prompt on the city's Web site, www.valpo.us, under the City Government heading.