Crews repair breach under Marquette Park lot
By Carole Carlson email@example.com/648-3154 August 28, 2012 6:46PM
Out for a bike ride to enjoy the weather, David Tretter and Leann Vargas, both of Portage, stop to take in a beach view at the site where Gariup Construction earlier in the day repaired erosion damage to a silt fence (background) next to a new parking lot at the east end of Marquette Beach in the Miller section of Gary, Ind. Tuesday August 28, 2012. Erosion from recent rains led to damage to the fence and past the fence toward the beach. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 30, 2012 6:23AM
GARY — City officials said Sunday’s rainfall caused a breach under a parking lot under construction at Marquette Park sending sediment and asphalt to the Lake Michigan shoreline.
City Planning Director Dwayne Williams said Tuesday contractors had fixed the breach with a silt wall.
The small lot is east of the concession stand.
“We had an unusual rainstorm. We’re trying to contain the sediment on the site. There was quite a few extensive hours of rain and when you have that type of downpour, you’ll have a breach somewhere. We looked at it and cleaned it up.”
Miller resident Richard Barnes took photographs of the erosion on Monday, calling it an “impending environmental disaster.”
The new parking lot is part of the $28.1 million Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority-funded Marquette Plan.
The new parking lot, east of the Aquatorium, will also include lighting for safety and environmental features, such as a rain garden and native plants, to help control rain water from flooding.
The project, once expected to be completed in July, has suffered several delays and now is on target for completion by the end of the year.
“We’re still pushing forward,” said Williams. “That’s to be expected with construction. We had some severe heat this summer. We’re chugging along.” He estimated work is about 85 percent complete.
The project includes a nearly complete renovation of the park pavilion, Father Marquette statue and surrounding grounds, new parking lots and a refurbished concession stand, and the road itself through the 241-acre park.