The Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority has adopted an updated Comprehensive Strategic Plan. It includes details on the planned West Lake Corridor Extension commuter rail project, approval of more than $11 million in matching grants for transit projects in Gary and Valparaiso and greenlights funding for law firm Barnes & Thornburg LLP to create a request for proposals for a market and feasibility study on new convention space.
The General Assembly approved $180 million last year to fund the West Lake Corridor Expansion project, which Chief Executive Officer Bill Hanna calls a "gamechanger" for the region. "Building the West Lake Corridor extension and double tracking the existing South Shore line from Gary to Michigan City will bring more people, more jobs, higher incomes and hundreds of millions of dollars of private investment to Northwest Indiana. This investment will make Northwest Indiana the first choice in suburban Chicago for new and existing residents, the first choice for businesses to start or expand, and the first choice for access to jobs, both in the region and in Chicago." A Draft Environmental Impact Study on the expansion was just released and a public comment period is underway.
The $6.8 million for Valpo will help expand the ChicaGo Dash commuter bus service, helping cover demolition and construction costs for a new downtown transit center. Contingent upon securing local and state matching funds, Gary is slated to receive $4.5 million for updating the South Shore commuter rail line’s Miller station.
At a meeting Thursday, the board also approved $35,000 to support the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission-led Northwestern Indiana Brownfield Coalition project and an oversight and administration policy for proceeds of the Gary Urban Enterprise Association.
Summary of action taken by the RDA:
You can connect to the full, updated comprehensive plan by clicking here.