Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Duneland Chamber Board voices support of South Shore line expansion

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The Board of Directors of the Duneland Chamber of Commerce has pledged to support the expansion of the South Shore Rail Line.

That expansion would run from Lowell to Hammond and extend the commuter line from southern Lake County to Cook County.

“Dubbed the West Lake Corridor, the expansion would connect Northwest Indiana residents with high paying jobs in the heart of the Chicago Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)--currently ranked the eighth-largest economy by GDP in the world,” according to the Chamber.

“An expanded South Shore Rail Line will benefit the region in several critical ways,” Chamber President Heather Ennis said. “It will provide access to Cook County jobs that pay on average 40 percent more than those in Northwest Indiana, promote transportation-oriented development, and relieve congestion on our highways. We have seen such benefits first hand with local access to the South Shore via the Dune Park Station.”

The Chamber’s Board of Directors has submitted a letter of support and encouragement to Congressman Peter Visclosky, who has been an active proponent of the West Lake Corridor project. “The Duneland Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors supports the continued efforts to expand the South Shore Rail Line in Northwest Indiana,” Chamber Chair Scott Mundell said. “The expansion would provide many economic benefits to the region and additional transportation options to the resident sof Northwest Indiana.”

In February, the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority pledged $8 million per year for ten years to match local funding for the expansion project. Once completed, the line is projected to generate a 62-percent increase in annual commuter income, an approximate $12 million in annual new state income taxes, and access to more than 2.1 million Cook County jobs for residents of Northwest Indiana.

For questions, comments, or concerns, please call Heather Ennis at (219) 926-5513 or send an email to heatherennis@dunelandchamber.org

 

 

Posted 3/11/2014