Valpo to have another Indiana 49 road construction project
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent June 28, 2012 5:44PM
Updated: July 30, 2012 6:29AM
VALPARAISO — Come July, the city will have another construction project happening along Indiana 49.
This time, it will be south of U.S. 30, and like the planned Vale Park Road overpass started a month ago, it should not have a great impact on traffic.
A traffic signal will go in where Bertholet Road and Barley Road connect to Indiana 49.
These roads lead to the Porter County Sheriff’s Department and jail on the east and the new North Coast Distributing facility on the west side.
On Thursday, the Board of Works and Safety awarded the contract for the project to low bidder Midwest Electric at a cost of $120,857.
City Engineer Tim Burkman said after preconstruction meetings are held, the company has 60 days to complete the work.
The Valparaiso Redevelopment Commission is funding the project, and the area is set up as a tax increment financing district where the amount of increased taxes from improvements go to pay for the city-funded improvements to promote development.
The Vale Park Road overpass is scheduled to have most of the work completed about Nov. 21 with final details done in May 2013.
Also at the meeting, board members approved setting up a fourth ChicaGo Dash bus route to Chicago and back.
City Administrator Bill Oeding said ridership reached 120 people recently, so the city will buy a fifth bus.
The city must keep one bus in reserve, and the new bus will be paid 80 percent through a grant from the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission.
Oeding said he didn’t know how much it could cost, but renting a bus from The Free Enterprise System until the purchase will also fall under the 80/20 split.
Valparaiso will pay about $1,000 a month to rent the vehicle for the added route.
The board also approved updating the software the Valparaiso Police Department uses to write police reports, at a cost not to exceed $140,000.
This cost will include a tie-in line to the Porter County Sheriff’s Department, likely fiber optics, Oeding said.
The current software is at least 8 years old and often crashes in mid-report and it isn’t compatible with the sheriff’s and the Portage Police Department’s software, he said.
The new Tiberon software will allow the police departments to share and access each others’ most recent reports and compare crimes and names.
“Once we make the initial investment, it’s a great, great tool,” Oeding said.