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
* 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
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 DoubleTrackNWI@nictd.com, or on the
project website at
The EA is available
on the project website (doubletrack-nwi.com/documents) and at the following
* Gary Public
Library, Woodson Branch, 501 S. Lake St., Gary.
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.
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.