A front-end loader moved around sections of cement sewer line at 41st Avenue and Chase Street as federal and local officials gathered Monday to mark the start of a $1 million Calumet Township drainage improvement project.
"This project is a great example of our state and federal partners working together to benefit this community and the nation," Col. Christopher Drew, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said.
Drew was joined by U.S. Rep Pete Visclosky, D-Merrillville, Lake County Commissioner Michael Repay, D-Hammond, and Surveyor Bill Emerson Jr., to launch the project.
Work will include constructing 4,400 feet of new storm sewers from about Chase Street to Marshall Place along and north of 41st Avenue in an effort to alleviate residential flooding in the area.
"This is what it's all about. Getting it done for the people," Emerson said.
The project allows the Army Corps of Engineers to provide planning, design and construction assistance for water-related environmental infrastructure projects in select areas, according to information provided by the Army Corps.
"There is a lot of work to be done here, there really is," Drew said. "This is one of those great projects. It's a focused area. It allows us to address those issues."
The project is a 75 percent federal and 25 percent local funding partnership. The Lake County Commissioners are providing the local match of $242,000 for the work.
"This is a Lake County government initiative" Visclosky said.
If the county did not come up with the $242,000 in matching funds, it would not have been able to secure the match needed to make the project happen.
"Because of their commitment to improving the storm sewer drainage system in Calumet Township, the ability to care for and protect homes in this community will be vastly improved and will further enable the resident to thrive and contribute to our growing regional economy," Visclosky said.
LGS Plumbing of Crown Point was awarded the contract for the work for $866,328 in September. Work began on the project June 1.
"This is a great project and a great starting point for going into the future," Drew said.