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$3.6M South Haven drainage project will add to traffic headaches but help drainage issues
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South Haven

$3.6M South Haven drainage project will add to traffic headaches but help drainage issues

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SOUTH HAVEN — The northeast section of this massive subdivision will see new water mains put in as streets are torn up for new storm sewers.

Residents were briefed last week on the $3.6 million sewer project.

A groundbreaking ceremony will take place Thursday.

In the spring, Indiana American Water Co. is putting new drinking water mains in front of houses, replacing the lines that currently run behind the homes, project manager Tony Kenning, of DLZ, said.

The county didn’t want its new roads ripped up a year later for the new water mains, so the utility company is replacing the water mains at the same time, Porter County Engineer Michael Novotney said.

“It’s going to be really intense coordination,” he said.

Sanitary sewers behind the homes will remain in place, Kenning said.

Existing storm sewer lines also run behind homes and, in some cases, underneath garages and near homes’ foundations.

“The houses are very, very close together, sometimes 15 to 20 feet,” Kenning said, so abandoned lines will be filled to prevent sinkholes and capped.

Running new sewer lines underneath streets will make them easier to repair.

South Haven has seen major drainage issues, including flooding and sinkholes, as a result of storms.

“In big rain events you may see more flooding, but it’s going to drain away quicker,” Kenning said.

The storm sewers in the subdivision, which is more than 50 years old, are showing their age.

“It likely wasn’t in the best of condition when it was installed,” Kenning said.

The metal pipes weren’t sealed, so sand leaked into the joints, he said.

“There are many pipes that have rotted bottoms out of them,” Kenning said.

In some areas, a felt sock will be inserted into existing pipes to reline them. The felt is chemically treated to harden it, he said.

“There’s going to be a lot of obstruction of traffic and pedestrian access,” Kenning said. “Everybody’s patience is obviously appreciated, because this is a major project for this area.”

Colin Vance, project manager for Grimmer Construction, said his crews will knock on doors to alert people before their road is closed.

“I’m tickled to death,” 47-year resident Robert Boling said.

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