Local and federal officials gathered in Gary Friday to celebrate the completion of a major sewer project in the Black Oak section of the city. Congressman Pete Visclosky, Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and the US Army Corps of Engineers were among those who cut the ceremonial ribbon marking the end of the Gary Black Oak phase II sewer improvement project. [Photo courtesy US Army Corps of Engineers Chicago]
“The Corps is proud to be a partner in this project that will help reduce the risk of roadway and basement flooding in this highly-traveled and busy business section of Gary," Corps Chicago District Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Kevin Lovell said.
"Infrastructure investments are critical to the success of our local economy,” Visclosky said. “I extend my sincere appreciation to Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, to the Gary Sanitary District, and to the Chicago District of the Corps for their dedicated work on the storm water interceptor project in the Black Oak area. This renovated system will alleviate the storm water challenges experienced by the City of Gary and improve water quality throughout the region."
"The completion of phase two of the Black Oak Sewer project is another great example of teamwork and progress," said Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson. "The residents of Black Oak deserve these upgrades, and we thank them for their patience during this process."
“On behalf of the Sanitary District, the City of Gary, and the Black Oak Community, and as the president of the Gary Sanitary Board of Commissioners, I would like to again express our appreciation to Congressman Peter Visclosky for having made this project possible and keeping his promise to do all that he could to bring about the elimination of the long-standing drainage problem in Black Oak,” Commissioner Richard Comer said. “And, it is with the greatest of pleasure and thank you that we are here this morning closing out Phase one and Phase two of the Black Oak Sewer Project.”
This project is authorized under the Water Resource Development Act’s Section 219 project authority, which allows the Corps to assist local governments in planning, designing, and constructing water-related projects. Projects under this authority are cost shared at 75 percent federal and 25 percent nonfederal. The local sponsor is Gary Sanitary District’s Storm Water Management District.
The contract was awarded to Industrial & Environmental Services of Gary, Ind., Dec. 28, 2012, for approximately $1.15 million. Field construction began May 2013. Construction was completed Dec. 4, 2013, with only a few minor punch list items remaining, such as final videotaping of the interior of the newly-installed storm sewer.