45th Street Underpass view west towards Calumet Avenue

Munster's 45th Avenue Underpass Project progressing

Contributed By:The 411 News

Tunnel and retaining walls done with rail traffic crossing overhead

Nearly 18 months into the 2-year project, construction crews are preparing the road bed for the 4-lane underpass beneath the Canadian National rail tracks at Calumet Avenue and 45th Street in Munster.

Walsh Construction started in June 2019 on the $27 million project connecting 45th Street east and west of Calumet. The tunnel and retaining walls are complete with rail traffic already crossing overhead.

When completed, pedestrian and bike traffic will have access to 45th along the underpass route. A frame bridge over the intersection will also permit pedestrian and bike access.

Initially, the Town of Munster considered lifting CN's rail tracks over the intersection and it would have been cheaper. But the rail track's landing, at the return to the existing elevation level would have interfered with development of Centennial Village along Calumet Avenue.

As configured now, Calumet Avenue traffic will continue to stop for trains but 45th Street traffic will not. If funds are found, the Town of Munster will reconsider a fix for Calumet.

Munster contributed $4.5 million of the project's cost. The remainder came from federal funds accessed by the Regional Development Authority, Indiana Dept. of Transportation, and Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission

Centennial Village is located on the former Munster Steel site, which moved to Hammond through a redevelopment agreement by the Town of Munster. Restaurants and a hotel along Calumet are already open. Centennial Village is being developed as a walkable community with retail shops and condominiums coming in the near future.

Adjacent to the planned community are Centennial Park’s golf course, club house, outdoor theater, and walking paths.

Story Posted:11/16/2020

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