Final phase of Black Oak sewer project set to begin
By Carole Carlson firstname.lastname@example.org/312-701-4271 May 3, 2013 3:00PM
Updated: June 5, 2013 6:12AM
GARY — Officials said Friday they hope the $1.14 million sanitary/storm sewer project along 25th Avenue in Black Oak translates into a business investment in the area and reduced flooding for residents.
Phase II of the Black Oak sewer improvement project is expected to begin in about a month on 25th Avenue between Calhoun and Burr streets. The road will be open only to local traffic during the construction, expected to be completed by November.
Extending Gary’s sanitary and storm sewer lines into Black Oak should alleviate roadway closings and flooding, officials said at the groundbreaking ceremony, just west of Burr Street.
The project is the culmination a two-phase sewer project in Black Oak, a long-neglected area in the city that’s been plagued by flooding in its low-lying areas.
“For so many years, the Black Oak area has not received the attention it deserves as part of Gary,” Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said.
The mayor said the city is investigating a financing plan that will ease the burden for residents who tie into the sewer system. The plan would allow residents to make smaller loan payments. She said the cost could run as high as $2,000.
U.S. Rep. Peter Visclosky, D-Merrillville, steered the project to Gary. It’s authorized under the federal Water Resource Development Act, which allows the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to assist in the planning, design and construction of the project.
The project contractor is Industrial & Environmental Services of Gary.
The Gary Sanitary District provided the 25 percent required match or $417,000.
Visclosky said the project will improve the quality of life for residents. “It is a project that creates new jobs and enhances our ability to manage heavy rains in Northwest Indiana.”