Officials broke ground on Oct. 28, 2020, for the West Lake Corridor Project in Indiana.
(West Lake Corridor Project photo)
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration (FTA) on Oct. 28 announced a $354.6 million grant agreement with the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) for the West Lake Corridor Project. The project will improve transportation options for Lake County, Ind., residents traveling to downtown Chicago and South Bend International Airport, while reducing travel time and spurring economic development.
"This $354.6 million federal infrastructure grant will better connect northern Indiana residents to jobs, education and critical services," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
The West Lake Corridor Project is a 7.8-mi. southern extension of the NICTD's existing South Shore Line (SSL) commuter rail service between Dyer and Hammond in Indiana, with four new stations. The total project cost is $944.9 million with $354.6 million in funding committed through FTA's Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program.
"FTA is proud to join our partners in northern Indiana to improve public transportation and support economic recovery," said FTA Deputy Administrator K. Jane Williams. "Commuters on the South Shore Line can now look forward to faster and more efficient transit service connecting them to major employers in Chicago, enhancing opportunities for Lake County residents while encouraging economic development locally."
Williams added that "this federal investment underscores the Trump Administration's commitment to fund infrastructure which provides an economic boost for northern Indiana, creating jobs that will help these communities recover from the COVID-19 public health emergency."
FTA's CIG program provides funding for major transit infrastructure projects nationwide. Projects accepted into the program must go through a multi-year, multi-step process according to requirements in law to be eligible for consideration to receive program funds.
With this announcement, FTA has advanced funding for 40 new CIG projects throughout the nation under the Trump administration since Jan. 20, 2017, totaling approximately $10.7 billion in funding commitments.