Gov. Eric J. Holcomb announced nearly $173 million in federal funding that will allow construction to begin on the expansion of the South Shore rail line to a double track, a decades-long priority for the region.
The $491-million project will speed passenger rail service between Gary and Michigan City as well as make critical safety improvements at grade crossings and platform improvements at five stations.
The Double Track Northwest Indiana Project, which spans over 26 miles from Gary to Michigan City includes installation of a second mainline track, improvements at five stations, expansion of parking lots for over 1,300 new parking spaces, and nine new platforms.
Significant safety improvements will be made in Michigan City, where the rail will be separated from the roadway and 21 at-grade crossings will be closed. The project is expected to more than double existing South Shore Line ridership and reduce travel times for all riders travelling east of Gary.
The project is a unique partnership with the Federal Transit Administration, Michigan City and LaPorte County, South Bend and St. Joseph County, Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) and the Indiana Finance Authority (IFA), who are serving as funding partners.
“This has been a game-changing infrastructure priority for Indiana for many years, so naturally I am thrilled that our efforts have helped secure the full amount of federal funding required to complete the South Shore Line Double Track Project. During her confirmation hearing in 2017, DOT Secretary Chao agreed to my request that she visit Indiana, which culminated months later in a meeting at the South Bend Airport to advocate for advancement of the project. Now, with its expected economic impact of $3 billion by 2048 and the creation of more than 6,000 new jobs, the completion of this and other Northwest Indiana infrastructure projects will benefit Hoosiers for years to come. I applaud everyone at the state and federal level who played a role in helping us reach this pivotal moment,” Senator Todd Young said in a statement.