"This $173-million federal grant agreement will lead to better access for Northern Indiana residents to jobs, education, and essential services," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
The Double Track Northwest Indiana Project is a 26.6-mile second track on NICTD's South Shore commuter rail line between Gary and Michigan City in Indiana. The total project cost is $491 million with $173 million in funding provided through FTA's Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program.
"FTA is proud to join our partners in northern Indiana to improve mobility, reduce travel times, and spur economic development along this corridor," said FTA Deputy Administrator K. Jane Williams. "Commuters on the South Shore Line can look forward to more efficient commuter rail service connecting them to downtown Chicago, while supporting economic recovery."
Williams added that "this federal investment underscores the Trump Administration's commitment to fund infrastructure that creates jobs and helps communities continue to recover from the COVID-19 public health emergency."
FTA's CIG program provides funding for major transit infrastructure projects nationwide. Projects accepted into the program must go through a multi-year, multi-step process according to requirements in law to be eligible for consideration to receive program funds.
This FTA discretionary grant program funds transit capital investments, including heavy rail, commuter rail, light rail, streetcars, and bus rapid transit. Federal transit law requires transit agencies seeking CIG funding to complete a series of steps over several years. For New Starts and Core Capacity projects, the law requires completion of two phases in advance of receipt of a construction grant agreement — Project Development and Engineering. For Small Starts projects, the law requires completion of one phase in advance of receipt of a construction grant agreement — Project Development.
With this announcement, FTA has advanced funding for 41 new CIG projects throughout the nation under the Trump administration since January 20, 2017, totaling approximately $10.7 billion in funding commitments.