Chesterton Tribune



Federal grant awarded to Burns Harbor Port for expansion work

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U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao has confirmed that the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor will receive one of the nation's 10 FASTLANE small project grants for 2017.

The grant is part of a $19.7-million expansion of the infrastructure which will increase cargo handling capacity and multimodal capabilities.

The port expansion will include construction of a new 2.3-acre cargo terminal with multimodal connections for handling cargo transfers between ships, barges, rail cars and trucks.

In addition, 4.4 miles will be added to the port's existing 14-mile rail network, while two new rail yards will create storage for 165 cars, accommodate a 90-car unit train, and provide rail car switching within the port, which will improve operating efficiencies for port companies.

Improvements to the west dock, including the extension of a retaining wall and the paving of a dock apron, will also result in an additional 1,200 feet of usable dock space. And the project scope includes a new six-acre truck marshaling yard to relieve congestion along port roads.

“With these investments, companies using water to move cargo will have new options for their inbound raw materials, outbound finished products and transferring shipments between ships and barges, rail cars and trucks,” Ports of Indiana CEO Rich Cooper said. “Strategic investments in port infrastructure produce a foundation for long-term growth, bring a positive economic impact to the area and support trade throughout the state.”

“Indiana's ports are critical hubs for jobs and economic growth and this expansion will help our state attract even more business to northwest Indiana,” Gov. Eric Holcomb said. “This new investment will not only improve the region's economic vitality, but also the international competitiveness of our entire state.”

U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., who wrote a letter of support for the Ports of Indiana application, said, “I was proud to support the Ports of Indiana application, because this major federal grant will allow Burns Harbor to move forward with an expanded, increasingly-efficient operation. I'm looking forward to seeing these upgrades in action because we know it will bring more economic opportunities to the region and our state.”

“Improving infrastructure is one of the best ways we can foster growth, and our federal and state governments continue to make investments to attract new business and help existing businesses expand," said U.S. Senator Todd Young, R-Ind. “Our ability to move raw materials and finished products is critical for economic success and this FASTLANE Grant will help our Lake Michigan port strengthen the Hoosier economy.”

“I congratulate the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor for their diligence to successfully obtain this federal grant opportunity,” said U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st. “This port is an essential component of a strong and growing northwest Indiana economy and these federal funds will help improve its ability to create jobs and generate additional economic activity throughout our region and our state.”

The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor opened in 1970 and serves the largest steel-producing region in North America. Major cargoes handled by the port include steel, coal, limestone, fertilizer and grain. Port operations generate an economic impact of $4.9 billion per year and support over 39,000 total jobs.


Posted 10/31/2017




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