U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) announced that after years of work, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) intends to award the nearly $173 million plus in federal funding needed to complete the South Shore Line Double Track Project.
In August, the FTA announced it would allocate $50.6 million to the South Shore Line Double Track Project. The FTA has now announced its intent to award the additional funding requested by the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) to complete the project.
This is the culmination of broad bipartisan efforts over the last several years at both the state and federal level to advance this crucial infrastructure project, which includes installation of a second main line track stretching more than 26 miles from Gary to Michigan City, Indiana, along with platform upgrades at five stops along the line.
“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,” said Senator Young. “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.”
“The South Shore Double Track Northwest Indiana Project is a win for Indiana and a big step forward for our public transportation system in the northwestern region, and I’m proud I could play a role in securing federal funds from the Federal Transit Administration needed to complete this important economic development project. Thanks to bipartisan work from every level of government by Governor Holcomb, Senator Young, Representative Walorski, now-retired Representative Visclosky, and our state legislators and local leaders in our northwestern counties, the South Shore Double Track project will bring new investment, jobs, and growth to the region,” said Senator Mike Braun.
“I congratulate all of the individuals and entities involved with this project for their steadfast dedication to investing in the positive economic future of our region. Specifically, I want to thank Governor Holcomb, Senators Young and Braun, our state legislators, local leaders, and everyone at the RDA and NICTD for their perseverance to make this investment a reality. Let us use this opportunity, coupled with the West Lake expansion of the South Shore, to urgently seek out the next transformational investments for our region. We must move quickly and decisively to maximize these investments to create good-paying jobs and enhance our quality of place. We must also ensure they inure to the benefit of every citizen of Northwest Indiana,” said former Representative Pete Visclosky.
“Today’s announcement highlights what Governor Holcomb and all of our dedicated leaders can accomplish on behalf of our region when we work together. This significant investment in our transportation infrastructure will create new good-paying jobs and positive, collective economic impact throughout our entire region. Let us continue to look for opportunities to create partnerships between federal, state, and local government entities and stakeholders to build an economy that works for everyone,” said Representative Frank J. Mrvan.
“The South Shore Double Track project will make transportation across northern Indiana more efficient and boost economic development in the South Bend region,” said Representative Jackie Walorski. “The full-funding grant agreement brings this vital project another step closer to reality. I’m thrilled to join Senator Young, Governor Holcomb, and other local, state, and federal officials in marking this momentous occasion. Our region’s economic future depends on innovative solutions like this, and I look forward to continuing our work together to strengthen northern Indiana.”
“By improving commuter rail through the region, the project is a game changer for northwest Indiana and the entire state,” said Gov. Holcomb. “Combined with our recent announcement on the West Lake Corridor project, double tracking the South Shore line will connect Hoosiers, attract talent and business, and increase quality of life in our great Indiana communities.”
The South Shore Line Double Track Project and the West Lake Corridor Commuter Rail Project combined are expected to attract roughly $2.3 billion in private investment to Northwest Indiana, and create more than 6,000 new jobs and $3 billion in economic impact by 2048.
In October, FTA announced $354 million in funding for the West Lake Corridor Commuter Rail Project, which includes the construction of a new eight mile commuter rail line extending from Hammond to Dyer, as well as the construction of four new stations and a new maintenance facility.
During Department of Transportation Secretary Chao’s nomination hearing in January 2017, Senator Young invited her to visit Indiana and subsequently in June 2017, Senator Young officially invited Secretary Chao to visit with stakeholders in Indiana and discuss the two projects. Later that summer he hosted Secretary Chao and Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams in South Bend at the South Bend Airport, where Senator Young, Governor Holcomb, and Congressman Visclosky demonstrated the importance of the Double Track Northwest Indiana Project.