Governor Eric Holcomb will Wednesday take part in a ceremonial groundbreaking to launch the $900 million West Lake extension of the South Shore commuter rail line.
The rail extension, when completed in 2024, will provide commuter train service from Hammond, Dyer, and Munster to downtown Chicago.
The ceremony will take place in Dyer where one of four new passenger stations will be built.
The long-sought project is the state’s largest public transit investment in Indiana history.
Federal Transit Administration Deputy Administrator Jane Williams is scheduled to join the event virtually to sign the Full Funding Grant Agreement, which will cover about half the cost of the project.
The state of Indiana has pledged $125 million towards the project. The balance of approximately $325 million will be covered by local municipalities and the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority.
The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, which operates the South Shore Line, expects trains to start running in February 2025.
NICTD President Mike Noland told our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana the rail project got a boost when President Donald Trump unexpectedly tweeted in May that the U.S. Department of Transportation was providing a $100 million advance on the expected full-funding grant agreement for West Lake.
“That was a very big shot in the arm for the project,” said Noland.
The project will include the addition of four new passenger stations and the construction of 2,300 park and ride spaces.