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FTA gives favorable rating to proposed NICTD commuter-rail extension

A rendering of the West Lake Corridor Project in bird’s eye perspective.
Photo – NICTD


The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has given the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) a favorable rating for its proposed West Lake Corridor project, district officials announced yesterday.

The FTA's "medium-high" rating of the project means it qualifies to advance to receive funding under the federal Capital Investment Grant Program. To advance, a project must receive a rating of "medium" or higher, according to a NICTD press release. 

The West Lake Corridor Project is a southern branch extension of the existing South Shore commuter-rail line to areas in Lake County, Indiana. South Shore operates between Millennium Station in downtown Chicago and the South Bend International Airport in South Bend, Indiana.  

Over the next year, NICTD will select a firm to design the project, begin real estate acquisition and utility relocation, and complete other actions necessary to receive funding from the FTA, district officials said.

Capital costs will be updated as the project and design are further refined, but current cost estimates put the project at $665 million, according to the NICTD website. The cost includes construction of four stations, parking lots, a combined maintenance and storage facility, and a focus on sustainability and wetland mitigation.

Officials anticipate a construction contract will be awarded in spring 2020, with construction to start later that year.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/26/2019