MICHIGAN CITY – Karwick Road will be closed at the South Shore bridge for nearly three months during construction of a new bridge.
At its meeting last week, the Michigan City Board of Public Works and Safety approved the street closure through Oct. 13 to allow Fenton Rigging and Contracting of Cincinnati, Ohio, to replace the bridge.
Justin Stephens of Fenton Rigging, a subcontractor for CSX, approached the city initially about changing the structure of the bridge to eliminate the sharp curve.
However, City Engineer Charles “Spike” Peller told the board the city decided against that option because to do so would have cost millions of dollars.
Stephens said that throughout the majority of the project, a 300-ton crane will be positioned at the edge of the road near the bridge; and he believes the street closure is a necessary safety precaution for both Fenton work crews and the public in the event of a collapse.
The Board of Works also approved the closure of Karwick Road from Springland Avenue to Warnke Road from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. July 29-Aug. 2, to allow Woodruff & Sons Inc. to take corrective action at the Karwick Nature Park at the request of the Michigan City Sanitary District.
In other business:
• Peller provided an update on Councilman Sean Fitzpatrick’s request to install streetlights along Pahs Road. The city engineer said he’s working with NIPSCO to determine a cost to hang lights on already-installed, city-owned utility poles. But because no memorandum of understanding has been reached with La Porte County, no lights will be installed on county-owned poles. Peller hopes to have a final plan ready for approval at the Board of Works’ next meeting on Aug. 5.
• Harry and Maureen Stevens of Stevens Marine requested the crosswalk near the Naval Armory on Lake Shore Drive be updated with pavement markings and signage to improve pedestrian safety. Board President Steve Janus said he will refer the matter to the Michigan City Street Department, and report back on it at the Aug. 5 meeting.
• By a vote of 2-1, the board approved a $500 payment to the Michigan City High School Marching Band and $600 payment to Dan McCool of the Caledonia Kilty Pipe Band for their performances in the Michigan City Patriotic Parade on June 29. Janus was the lone dissenting vote on the late request.
• Chem Check Inc. was awarded the bid for demolition of a home at 816 Pine St. at a cost of $10,780.
• The board approved the requests for solicitation of bids and the bid packets for the 2019 Michigan City Paving, Citywide Pavement Marking, and Pavement Crack Sealing projects.
• Change orders on two local projects were approved. The one on the 2019 Citywide Pavement Repair Project reduces the contract-cost with Rieth-Riley Construction Co. by $4,220. The one for the 2019 Citywide Sidewalk Repair Project reduces the contract with Walsh & Kelly by $100,975.
• A horizontal drilling permit was granted to ESPO Engineering for the installation of underground CATV cable beneath 601 Wabash St.
• Resident Dennis Gooch requested additional parking spaces be installed at 703 and 707 E. Michigan Blvd., but the board denied the request at Peller’s recommendation. Peller said 703 has alley access and can get to the residence from that direction. Although 707 does not have alley access, he said, to install parking would cost the city $10,000-$20,000.