South Shore Rail Line 'Baton' Passes to Federal Leaders

Posted: Updated:
NORTHWEST INDIANA -

"Time is of the essence" for federal action on the proposed $900 million South Shore rail expansion projects says the chief executive officer of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Bill Hanna says Fiscal 2019 budget talks are beginning now and it's important for the South Shore project to be in the mix. He points to recent, high-level attention for the work -- a visit to South Bend from U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, discussion by Governor Eric Holcomb with Vice President Mike Pence and a short conversation between Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) and President Donald Trump during a Wednesday trip to Indianapolis -- as signs of "excellent progress."

Plans call for extending the existing corridor south to Dyer and double-tracking the line between Gary and Michigan City, while making improvements to stops along the way. An additional proposal in northern Indiana would include relocating part of the line in South Bend to improve access at the South Bend International Airport and shave time off the trip to and from Chicago.

Hanna likens the long process to get the proposal to the point it is now to a relay race. "These efforts started with the leasing of the toll road," he said, and has since received bi-partisan support at the local and state levels for the their portion of the funding. "The baton is being handed off at this point. You know, we're talking to the administration... whether it's Vice President Mike Pence or President Trump and we'll be working over the next several weeks with members of Congress, as well," Hanna added.

He says the core of the investment is economic development and tapping into the country's third-largest market, Chicago. "We've interviewed over a dozen national and international-scale developers interested in the project because of the construct," Hanna says. Development zones have already been set for all nine stations involved in the project "so the private sector comes into a development-ready situation." This public-private collaboration, Hanna believes, jibes with the infrastructure funding vision of the Trump Administration and could be adapted as a national model for other transportation-powered development elsewhere.

  • Perspectives

    • Truck Driver Supply Impacting Cargo Hauling Demand

      The U.S. unemployment rate has moved down to 3.9 percent, which is its lowest level since December 2000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Great news! Maybe not. There are business sectors that need employees due to constraints in the labor market - namely truck drivers. The level of employment in the truck transportation industry is essentially unchanged since mid-2015, according to the bureau. And the impact is being felt.

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Triple XXX Root Beer Appears in Prime Time

      A soft drink that carries the name of an iconic West Lafayette restaurant has been featured on a national television series. In a message on the Triple XXX Family Restaurant's Instagram page, co-owner Carrie Ehresman said the recent appearance of Triple XXX Root Beer on NBC's "Chicago Fire" was not product placement. She said the show's producers reached out through the restaurant's website and "we weren't sure we'd make the final cut until it aired!"

    • Mark Sandy became Ball State's director of intercollegiate athletics in 2015.

      Ball State to Introduce Next AD

      Ball State University Monday will name a new director of intercollegiate athletics. Mark Sandy, who has served in the position for more than three years, announced his retirement in January. During Sandy's tenure, eight teams won Mid-American Conference league championships or division titles. Three new facilities projects have been completed during his time in Muncie...

    • Winnings Announced For 2017 Indy 500

      Takuma Sato has been awarded $2.46 million for taking the checkered flag Sunday in the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500. Sato, the first-ever Japanese winner of the race, held off three-time winner Helio Castroneves in the final laps to close out the victory in the sixth-closest finish in Indy 500 history. The total purse was nearly $13.2 million.

    • On-Air

      Find out when and where you can watch and listen to our reports.

    • The facility also features a computer training lab, a bistro and Bosma's retail store.

      Bosma Launches Salesforce Training Program

      Indianapolis-based Bosma Enterprises has launched a program to train people who are blind or visually impaired to be Salesforce administrators. The organization says BosmaForce involves an 18-week online course available throughout the United States. Bosma Enterprises Chief Executive Officer Lou Moneymaker says people who are blind of visually impaired face a 70 percent national unemployment rate, and the BosmaForce program aims to create pathways to high-paying, in-demand careers.