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Merrillville: Construction hampered by utilities

Updated: December 29, 2012 6:23AM



MERRILLVILLE — Council members voiced concerns Tuesday about construction delays on U.S. 30 caused by the need to relocate underground utility lines.

Construction over the summer through U.S. 30 has faced a number of setbacks due to utility lines more shallow than expected while drain pipes for the highway were being placed. During planning for the highway project, utility lines were estimated to be deeper underground. When construction crews needed to place drain pipes for the highway, they were delayed when they found utility lines.

“Every time construction crosses in front of a business,” Bruce Spires, the town public works director, said, “the utility lines have to be moved.”

Work was expected to be completed in October, but has continued due to delays. The work will also continue into spring.

“At the first of April, we’ll be down to one lane again,” Spire said. “It’ll be a shorter amount of time, but what do you say to those businesses?”

Council President Shawn Pettit, D-6th, said the council needs to meet with all utility companies in the area to clarify issues.

“Something’s got to give,” Pettit said, “If it’s not one utility sticking it to this town, it’s another.”

Town officials said the intersection of Harms Road and Colorado Street will be closed from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, due to repairs on a gas main.

Vehicles are encouraged to avoid the intersection and use Mississippi Street or Clay Street as a detour.

In other news, council held a first reading for the ordinance that would redistribute one precinct from Ward 5 to Ward 4. Precinct 30, covering voters from U.S. 30 north to 78th Avenue and Hendricks Street east to Taney Street, would vote for a new council member during the next election. All council members voted in favor of the amendment, which drew no public comment. The redistricting will be voted on at the next council meeting on Dec. 11.

The council also recognized the two high school football teams, Merrillville High School and Andrean High School, for successful seasons. Both teams finished the season as regional champions.



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