Chesterton Tribune



First step in filling Crocker ditches is a survey

Back To Front Page



Work could begin as early as this year on the piping and in-filling of the drainage ditches on the north side of 1050N in Crocker.

Chesterton Engineer Mark O’Dell told the Stormwater Management Board at its meeting Tuesday night that he’s in the process of obtaining quotes for a preliminary survey of the ditches.

“We need to do a survey first, some potholing, to see what we’d have to do to close the ditch,” he said. “There’s a lot of utilities out there, natural gas, fiber optic.”

O’Dell and Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg originally pitched the project to the Stormwater Management Board in June 2019, after noting that the ditches are deep and in places a natural-gas line running both parallel and perpendicular to the ditches has been exposed by erosion. As O’Dell noted, “If a car goes into that ditch, you’re not getting out.”

Ongoing infrastructure installation on the south side of 1050N, however--on the site of the new Springdale planned unit development--made the piping project infeasible last summer.

Then, at the Town Council’s last meeting, on Feb. 10, President Sharon Darnell, D-4th, suggested that the time might at last have come to pursue it.

O’Dell told the Chesterton Tribune after the meeting that, at a minimum, the project could be designed and engineered this year and the possible acquisition for right-of-way or easements begun.

A similar project was completed in 2017 along the north side of West Porter Ave. between 18th and 23rd streets, when that ditch was piped and in-filled.

Flail Mower

In other business, O’Dell reported that the Stormwater Utility’s new flail mower--acquired with an eye to exposing the old agricultural ditch east of the headwaters of Peterson Ditch--is currently being used by a Street Department crew on the vegetation bordering the pond at Coffee Creek Park.

“They’re training on it,” O’Dell said. “They’ll probably be out there for a week or two, working around the lake.”

Although the Stormwater Utility purchased the flail mower last year at a cost of around $10,000, the mower itself must be mounted on a mini-excavator, which the Stormwater Utility is opting to rent, at a price of $3,700 per month, as it would cost nearly $60,000 to buy outright.

Later this year the flail mower will be used to expose the old agricultural ditch east of the Peterson Ditch headwaters, to determine to what extent its flow into Peterson Ditch is being hindered and by what. Last year Bill Laster, a resident of Oakwood Drive, appeared twice before the Stormwater Management Board to complain that the ditch’s congestion has caused runoff to backwash into his rear yard, located on the east side of South 11th Street.

January in Review

In January the Stormwater Utility ran a surplus of $9,283.


Posted 2/19/2020




Search This Site:

Custom Search