GARY - A major water infrastructure project is underway in Gary following a groundbreaking Friday by Greenwood-based Indiana American Water. The work includes installing nearly two miles of 36-inch water main to replace nearly a century-old 20-inch water main.

The project runs along 11th, 12th and 13th Avenues from Chase Street to Monroe Street. The work is expected to increase flow and firefighting capabilities and could also mitigate low pressure issues to allow the company to not replace two pump stations.

Indiana American Water says it has committed to more than $127 million in investment in northwest Indiana over the last several years. Projects include close to $67 million in water main and hydrants replacement, $23 million for new meters and service lines and some $38 million for pumping, treatment, storage and operations facilities improvements.

"Investment in water infrastructure is critical to the success of any community, and these investments help to ensure water quality, system reliability and the safety of our employees and surrounding neighborhoods," said Indiana American Water President Deborah Dewey. "Much of Lake and Porter counties depend on us to provide quality water service, and it is through our regular investment in water infrastructure that we are able to deliver high-quality service to all of our customers here."

This work is the second phase of the $8.5 million transmission main project.