South Shore Line expansion gets recommended for federal funding

("20030504 14 South Shore Line @ Hudson Lake, IN" by David Wilson, CC BY 2.0)

Two major projects to upgrade and extend northern Indiana’s South Shore commuter rail line are again being included in recommendations for federal funding.

Those projects are a planned extension between Hammond and Dyer and the addition of a second line between Gary and Michigan City. Those are aimed at easing travel into and from Chicago.

The Northwest Indiana Times reports the Federal Transit Administration’s report lists construction costs of $321 million for additional line and $661 million for the extension. Federal funding amounts haven’t yet been set.

South Shore President Michael Noland says work is nearly completed on environmental studies and financing plans. He says the rail line asked federal officials to delay issuing needed project ratings until those steps are finished.