South Shore Track Project Gets Favorable Rating

The Federal Transit Administration has given a favorable rating to the South Shore Line plan to add double track in Indiana between Gary and Michigan City.

The project received a medium high ranking, which will allow it to move to the final engineering phase, the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District said.

NITCD officials are hoping that federal funds will pay for 38 percent of the project’s estimated $416 capital cost.

“We are thrilled to announce that the Double Track Northwest Indiana project has reached this critical milestone in the FTA’s Capital Investment Grant program,” said NICTD President and CEO Michael Noland in a statement

Noland said the rating is “the FTA’s way of saying you’ve got a great project that we want to fund.”

The project involves 26 miles of a second mainline track, improvements at five stations, expansion of parking lots for over 1,300 new parking spaces and construction of nine new platforms.

It will particularly affect Michigan City, where the tracks will be separated from the roadway and 21 at-grade crossings will be closed.

NICTD expects that faster travel times east of Gary will lead to a doubling of existing South Shore Line ridership.

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