Susan Erler, (219) 662-5336

CROWN POINT | A $2.1 million makeover of a stretch of West Street kicks off today with a formal groundbreaking by local and federal officials.

U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Merrillville, who was instrumental in obtaining federal water quality grant money to cover 75 percent of the cost of the project, is expected to be on hand, along with members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is overseeing the project.

New storm and sanitary sewers will be installed beneath West Street between Summit and Joliet streets, and the road and curbs will be rebuilt as part of the project, Mayor David Uran said.

The project is expected to alleviate longtime flooding problems, Uran said.

The location was one of several identified as problem areas when Uran created the city Stormwater Advisory Board early in his term in office.

"The area was one in need of immediate attention, that had been overlooked for several decades," Uran said.

The project is expected to improve the efficiency and capability of the city's overall storm sewer management system.

The construction contract was awarded to Rausch Construction Co., which expects to begin the bulk of the work in the spring, officials said.

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