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Crown Point begins bond process for ‘desperately needed’ 109th Avenue improvements

Traffic backs up just east of Broadway on 109th Avenue in May during the afternoon rush hour.

CROWN POINT — The ball is now officially rolling for what Crown Point Mayor David Uran calls “desperately needed” road repairs to be done in the city and to 109th Avenue.

During its meeting Monday, the Crown Point City Council approved the first reading of two ordinances to authorize bonds for the repairs.

The first bond, which will be used specifically for 109th Avenue, is payable from local income taxes with a property tax backup.

The second bond is for roads that have been labeled No. 1 and are in need of immediate reconstruction as outlined by the city’s PASER ratings. According to the PASER ratings, roads rated No. 1 have "severe distress with extensive loss of surface integrity" and need to be reconstructed. The second bond will be paid for using property taxes.  

Heather James, bond counsel to the city from Ice Miller law firm, said the $5 million bond for 109th Avenue must be paid back by Feb. 1, 2040.

Uran said the city is only anticipating a 15-year bond, however, because “that is typically the shelf life” of a road that is repaired correctly.

Road repairs will be done from east of Interstate 65 on 109th Avenue to Iowa Street. There is a provision in the bond to be able to also provide for the first lane extension on Mississippi Parkway going south in Crown Point.

“If there are proceeds left over that are needed, we could use those to improve some of the higher, more cost-prohibitive roads in Crown Point. Ones that we have targeted include the Historical District with Court Street from the square to the fairgrounds, which is a huge undertaking,” Uran told the council. 

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The other $2 million bond that will help take care of all the roads rated as No. 1 throughout Crown Point. The city will be “retiring pennies” of the current general obligation bond. Uran said those funds will be used to reinvest in the city’s infrastructure.

Uran said the bond, combined with other local allocated funding, will put a “record number of miles of roads being done this year in Crown Point.”

“This will give us a huge leg up. We get a lot of calls on 109th … and roads everywhere,” Uran said. “These will address those concerns. These are action plans will take place this year.”

Surveying has already begun for construction on 109th Avenue. Design for the road improvements will begin this month. Bidding for the project will begin in mid-August and a contract will be awarded in September.

Public hearings on the bonds will be held July 1. If all aspects of the bond process advance as scheduled, 109th construction could begin in September. The goal is to have the project complete by December.

State Rep. Lisa Beck, D-Hebron, attended Monday's meeting and said she was excited to see progress begin with improving 109th Avenue. She said she's organizing a meeting between officials of Lake and Porter counties, Crown Point, Winfield and Lakes of the Four Seasons to address other portions of 109th in need of repair.

Winfield’s portion of the road, which goes from the Lake/Porter county line to Colorado Street, will cost the town $28 million to fix, Town Council President Gerald Stiener said during a March Town Council meeting. With an annual budget of $3 million, it’s impossible for the town to afford on its own.

“I think a huge collaboration is the next step,” Beck said. “The more people that talk, the more solutions we can find together. We have to do something.”

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Allie covers South Lake County municipal government, development and breaking news for The Times. She comes to the Region from Lebanon, Indiana. She is a proud Ball State University graduate.