Chesterton Tribune



Comment invited on environmental review of South Shore double track project

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The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD), in conjunction with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), has public an environmental assessment (EA) for NICTD’s double-tracking project, which by adding a second track between Michigan City and Gary is expected to dramatically reduce travel times to Chicago.

The EA, published on Thursday, “is an important step in the process of informing the public and gathering feedback about this critical project, all of which contributes to the project’s development to allow NICTD to apply for federal funding through the FTA,” NICTD said.

The EA analyzes NICTD’s proposal to construct a second track between Virginia Street in Gary and East Michigan Blvd. in Michigan City. The project would include the realignment of the South Shore Line along 10th and 11th Streets in Michigan City and the closure of 21 at-grade crossings to increase safety in Michigan City. The project would also enhance the Gary/Miller, Portage/Ogden Dunes, Dune Park, Beverly Shores, and 11th Street (Michigan City) stations.

The public is invited to attend one of two identical public hearings to speak with staff, ask questions, and formally comment on the project. The open-house format hearings:

* 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11, at the Miller Beach Arts and Creative District, Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts, 540 S. Lake St. in Gary.

* 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, at the Stardust Event Center, 777 Blue Chip Drive in Michigan City.

In addition to the public hearings, written comments will be accepted through Oct. 23. Comments may be submitted via U.S. mail (NICTD, c/o DT-NWI Project, 33 E. U.S. 12, Chesterton, IN 46304), via e-mail at, or on the project website at

The EA is available on the project website ( and at the following locations:

* Gary Public Library, Woodson Branch, 501 S. Lake St., Gary.

Portage Public Library, 2665 Irving St., Portage.

* NICTD, 33 E. U.S. 12, Chesterton (in NICTD Offices adjacent to Dune Park Station).

* Michigan City Public Library, 100 E. Fourth St., Michigan City.

* Westchester Public Library, 200 W. Indiana Ave., Chesterton.

“The South Shore Line team has been working tirelessly with the Federal Transit Administration, the Regional Development Authority and our stakeholder communities along the line to help make Double Track NWI a reality,” NICTD General Manager Michael Noland said. “We are proud to have our Environmental Analysis published as it represents another significant milestone achieved and we believe it is a great example of a project that has benefited from a true collaboration of ideas, thoughts, interests and concerns of our stakeholders. We look forward to receiving feedback on this vital project.”

The estimated cost of constructing the second track and station improvements is $312 million. NICTD anticipates construction to begin as early as 2019.


Posted 9/22/2017




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