VALPARAISO | The five-points roundabout project is on schedule to have bids opened March 6 following approval of an agreement Thursday by the city for the reimbursement of the cost of replacing several water lines.
The city's Board of Public Works and Safety approved the contract with the Indiana Department of Transportation to make the water line replacement eligible for 80 percent funding from the federal grant for the project. The total cost of the replacement is estimated at $482,087, which makes the federal share $369,774.
The project will involve replacing an 80-year-old cast iron main on North Calumet Avenue that was the original line bringing water to the area from Flint Lake. Another 60-year-old line on Vale Park Road also will have a portion replaced as part of the project. All the lines will be replaced with the more durable ductile iron pipes.
City Engineering Director Tim Burkman said that, if bids are opened March 6, construction on the roundabout should start by the end of April or early May and be completed by the end of the construction season. The city's share of the road construction is being paid by the redevelopment commission, while the utilities board is paying for the water lines.
Traffic will be maintained on Calumet during construction, and temporary closures will be needed on Vale Park and Roosevelt Road. But it is the driving anxiety some people have about using the roundabout that Mayor Jon Costas said he wants to alleviate.
Although the roundabout has been "engineered to the nth degree," Costas said he wanted to offer a possible solution to those wary of driving through a five-legged roundabout.
"We will offer free driving instructions in their car," he said.