Governor Eric Holcomb announced Thursday that millions of dollars in federal funding will allow construction to begin on the South Shore Line’s Double Track Project.
The Federal Transit Administration and the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District finalized $173 million in funding to add a second mainline track between Gary and Michigan City.
South Shore Line President Mike Noland said adding a second track will dramatically reduce travel time in the region, particularly from South Bend.
“Ninety-minute service to Chicago from South Bend. That’s our goal," he said. "Michigan City, we’re at an hour and thirty-five minutes. We’re going to get it down to just over an hour.”
In addition to speeding rail service, the project will also provide for safety improvements, new platforms and expanded parking.
When combined with the West Lake Corridor Project along the Indiana-Illinois border, the Double Track Project is expected to attract $2.3 billion in private investment to northwest Indiana and $3 billion in economic impact by 2048.
“Everything that we have that we enjoy as Hoosiers, we’re going to be able to leverage that by our connectivity to the Chicago economy," Noland said. "It opens up the region in so many different ways.”
Noland estimates construction on the Double Track Project will begin sometime this summer.
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