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Porter County moving forward with bridge, road projects

Porter County plans to invest in its roads and bridges this year.

The county commissioners last week agreed to commit $1.5 million as a local match for a state Community Crossings grant, allowing the county to apply for the maximum amount. Michael Novotney, the outgoing interim director of development and storm water management, said the list of specific roads upgrades remains to be determined, but he planned to discuss it with the commissioners later last week.

"I think you guys have seen over the years what a valuable grant program and a vehicle that's been for the county to complete road improvements across the county," Novotney told the commissioners.

The county council still needs to finalize local funding arrangements, but Novotney was confident the council was in full support.

Meanwhile, the bridge on County Road 1050 South over Pleasant Township Ditch is finally set to be replaced, after it failed an inspection in 2022. "It's been closed for almost two years, so we'll be able to open it up here a little bit later this year," Novotney said.

The commissioners agreed to hire Ellis Construction to replace the bridge, after it submitted the lowest of seven bids at $884,165.46.

Novotney said the county has more than 20 bridge projects that are currently in the design and engineering process. He says the county will soon seek construction bids to rehabilitate the Midwest Steel Highway bridge over U.S. 12 and two railroads in Portage, and replace small structures on Brummit Road and Meridian Road.

Michael Gallenberger is a news reporter and producer that hosts All Things Considered on 89.1 FM | Lakeshore Public Media.