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Major Lake, Porter County road projects in approved federal transportation plan
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Major Lake, Porter County road projects in approved federal transportation plan

U.S. Rep. Frank J. Mrvan stock

U.S. Rep. Frank J. Mrvan, D-Highland

The replacement of the Kennedy Avenue bridge over the Little Calumet River and the long-sought extension of Willowcreek Road south from Portage are among the infrastructure projects in the Region included in legislation approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

The committee approved HR 3684, which is the INVEST in America Act, said U.S. Rep. Frank Mrvan, D-Highland. The legislation reauthorizes surface transportation programs that direct federal investments in roads, bridges, transit and rail, and it includes the area projects requested by Mrvan.

The $8.1 million Kennedy Avenue project seeks to address flooding problems that force detouring of traffic and fuel congestion problems, Mrvan said in a news release.

U.S. Rep. Frank Mrvan, D-Highland, lefts, talks about the role of NorthShore Health Centers in Hammond Thursday, while NorthShore CEO David Hall, right, listens.

The new bridge also would improve water flow and reduce the potential for flooding in nearby communities, he said.

The $7.4 million sought for the Willowcreek Road extension would provide an improved north-south connector in Porter County and reduce travel delays, Mrvan said.

Willowcreek Road provides access to major highways in the area and the proposed extension south from County Road 700 North would link those to U.S. 30, he said.

Another $2 million is being sought to reconstruct Central Avenue in Portage from the Porter-Lake County Line Road east to Willowcreek Road, Mrvan said.

The project would improve safety conditions, outdated infrastructure and drainage, and reduce congestion, he said.

After months of work, the city of Crown Point marked the end of its 101st Avenue Sanitary Sewer Infrastructure Improvement Project with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with a project ribbon cutting. Imad Samara, project manager with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stands to the left while U.S. Rep. Frank J. Mrvan, D-Highland, Lt. Col. Matthew Broderick, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Chicago District deputy district engineer, and Crown Point Mayor David Uran cut the ribbon for the project. 

A $1.5 million proposal calls for widening and improving 45th Avenue from Colfax Avenue to Whitcomb Street in unincorporated Lake County, Mrvan said.

"I appreciate the action by Chairman (Peter) DeFazio and the members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to include these critical regional transportation infrastructure projects that will improve the quality of life for residents in Northwest Indiana and create more good-paying job opportunities," Mrvan said.

"This is a team effort, and I am grateful to have the engagement of so many stakeholders in Northwest Indiana who assisted in identifying and ensuring the worthiness of these federal investments," he said. "I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to approve this legislation by the full House as soon as possible."

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Porter/LaPorte County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Bob is a 23-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.

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