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Road closure

Road closure sign

HAMMOND

Residents in Hammond will have to put up with a number of street closing around the city in the coming weeks, but there is a path ahead for some neighborhood improvements as well.

City Engineer Dean Button presented a list of the closures to members of the city's Board of Public Works and Safety at its Thursday morning meeting. Some of the closures are being done in connection with railroad work at crossings, while others are city closures.

The city also listed a release late Thursday noting the various closures taking place this fall.

Button noted that Norfolk Southern has already completed a number of closures at smaller streets during the past couple of weeks. The next several weeks will see closures at some of the major roadways. 

The upcoming Norfolk Southern closures include Calumet Avenue near Fayette Street, Sept. 11 through 15; 169th Street near Arizona Avenue, Sept. 26 through 30; Indianapolis Boulevard near Sherman Street, Oct. 9th through 14, and Columbia Avenue near Sherman Street, Oct. 24 through 28.

Former City Engineer Stan Dostanti, who still serves on the board, noted that these and other closings can be extended due to weather conditions. Button is hoping though the crossing work can be done in the time requested or sooner.

IHB Railroad is looking at closing 165th Street, near McCook Avenue, from Sept. 11 through 22, while CSX Railroad has scheduled a closure of Sheffield Avenue near Hanover Street from Oct. 24 through 28.

In addition, the ongoing Chicago Street project is expected to result in that road being closed from Pine Avenue to Columbia Avenue through November 4th. 

Federal matching funds are paying for most of the cost of the Chicago Street widening and reconstruction project taking place in Hammond, which was estimated earlier this year to cost about $35 million.

The city also will have Summer Street closed at 165th Street for repairs from Oct. 16 through Nov. 10. Dostanti noted, however, that asphalt work taking place in November can be problematic because of the weather.

OTHER UPCOMING PROJECTS

The board Thursday gave approval for Councilman Anthony Higgs, D-3, to use $48,000 of gaming funds toward an overlay project on the 100 block of Mason Street from State Line Avenue to Hohman Avenue.

Councilman Dave Woerpel, D-5, also received conditional approval for his request for $16,400 for engineering services and $163,199.10 for construction related to Birch Avenue, Birch Place, and 172nd Place lighting project. Button noted that lighting projects can involve much more than lights. They can include sidewalks repairs, curb ramps for ADA accessibility, pavement markings and signage, he said.

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Ed has been with The Times since January 2014. He previously covered government affairs for Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers in Florida. Prior to Scripps, he was with the Chicago Regional Bureau of Copley News Service.