Mayor Thomas M. McDermott Jr.

Downtown Hammond and Downtown Hessville Reconstruction Starts

CATEGORY: Economic Development, Mayor's Office, News

The City of Hammond has begun two major corridor construction projects along Hohman Avenue and Kennedy Avenue. Both projects are expected to be substantially completed this year with some minor landscaping work carried over into 2023.

“Hammond’s new emblem for 2022 is the hard hat,” said Mayor Thomas M. McDermott, Jr of the combined $12.5 million projects for Hammond funded mostly by Federal American Rescue Plan Act grant monies. “I appreciate the Hammond Common Council working with my administration to get these projects to the starting line,” said Mayor McDermott.

The City hired world-renowned urban planner Jeff Speck of Jeff Speck and Associates to provide a vision that would return downtown Hammond’s Hohman Avenue to a walkable community. The City engaged with the engineering company American Structurepoint of Merrillville to perform the detailed design of the project and the construction work was awarded to Rieth-Riley Construction Company of Gary.

The project reconstructs Hohman Avenue from Sibley Street to Russell Street and realigns Rimbach Street, relocates the rotunda at Rimbach Plaza and provides improved parking and walkability to the downtown area. While downtown Hammond remains open for business throughout the project, motorist should expect detours to impact travel along Hohman Avenue. The project paves the way to a number of new development projects in downtown Hammond including Rimbach Square, Madison Lofts and the redeveloped Bank Calumet building.

Kennedy Avenue from 164th Place to 169th Street reconstruction also begins Monday. The project will provide widened sidewalks for business to expand outdoors when weather permits and will create an improved “downtown” feel. “We took the principles we learned from Jeff Speck in downtown Hammond/Hohman Avenue and applied them to downtown Hessville/Kennedy Avenue,” said Mayor McDermott. “We collaborated with Councilmen Woerpel, Rakos and Tyler and the community organization, HC3, to set a vision in place that would improve the business climate in Hessville. I’m excited about what the future brings for both our downtown economic areas.”

Lochmueller Group of South Bend prepared the design that brings geometric shapes, brick borders, raised intersections and greenspaces throughout the project thereby improving the walkability in

Hessville. Construction work was awarded to Milestone North Contractors of Griffith. Revitalization of the roadway and streetscape in this area expects to support new opportunities for businesses and residents to this urban setting.