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55 Gary streets to be repaired in $6.4 million contract

Potholes standing water creating driving hazards for motorists Lake Street between 3rd Avenue Lakeshore Dunes apartment complex. The areis one

Potholes and standing water creating driving hazards for motorists on Lake Street between 3rd Avenue and the Lakeshore Dunes apartment complex. The area is one of 55 to be repaired under a $6.4 million paving contract with Reith-Riley. | Michael Gonzalez~for Sun-Times Media

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Updated: August 26, 2014 6:27AM



GARY — City officials Thursday awarded a $6.4 million contract to repair potholes and street damage at 55 different sites throughout the city.

The city will pay Reith-Riley $2.7 million this year and next and $1 million in 2016 for the project out of city funds. Also, Reith-Riley will subcontract the milling work to Day’s Asphalt, a Gary company, and employ Gary residents on the job.

The announcement comes after a rough winter, on top of years of wear and tear, decimated city streets earlier this year, Public Works Director Cloteal LaBroi said.

“This is a priority for (Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson) to get done, especially after such a bad winter,” LaBroi said. “We had numerous complaints about potholes, and (Freeman-Wilson) took it upon herself to say ‘Hey, we need to do something about this.’ ”

Earlier this year, Freeman-Wilson filled a large van with several Common Council members and department heads, including LaBroi, and toured the city, identifying the worst trouble spots on city streets.

They took notes and cross-checked their survey results with lists of complaints from other council members, narrowing the hundreds of troubled areas down to 55 for now, LaBroi said.

The city also has plans for repairing 15th Avenue, home to a number of businesses, in a separate project. The Gary Sanitary District is in talks with many of those businesses to share the costs of repairing the road, LaBroi said.

“They’re definitely willing to partner with us to get that work done,” she said.

The city also is talking with Portage, Griffith and Merrillville about splitting costs to repair entryways from those communities into Gary, La Broi said.

Those talks include discussions with Merrillville over part of 53rd Avenue, with Griffith over a stretch from 29th Avenue and Colfax to Ridge Road, and over County Line Road from U.S. 12 north to Oak Avenue with Portage.

A key to the contract with Reith-Riley will be putting Gary people to work. Day’s Asphalt will get its milling work on the massive project, and Gary employees of Reith-Riley will be assigned to work on repairing Gary streets, LaBroi said.

“We want those workers to be on the job site, and we want our local contractors to have these opportunities as well,” she said.



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