The eight-mile single-track extension will result in more reliable access to the Chicago area.

The eight-mile single-track extension will result in more reliable access to the Chicago area.

Photo: West Lake Corridor

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced that its Build America Bureau has provided a Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement (RRIF) Program loan of up to $203.3 million to finance a portion of the $852 million in eligible costs for the West Lake Corridor Commuter Rail Project.

The eight-mile single-track extension of the existing Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District’s South Shore Line between Dyer and Hammond, Indiana, will result in more reliable access to the Chicago area.

Not only does the project invest in fixed track but also will expand multi-modal options with new sidewalks, walking trails, and bike paths in and around stations areas, including four new stations along the alignment (from south to north) at Munster/Dyer Main Street, Munster Ridge Road, South Hammond, and Hammond Gateway). 

“USDOT is excited to provide financing for the West Lake Corridor Commuter Rail project," said Polly Trottenberg, deputy transportation secretary. Multi-modal investments like this support thriving communities, expand transportation options, and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions."

In 2020, USDOT announced a $354.6 million grant agreement with the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) for the West Lake Corridor Project through the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investments Program.

USDOT’s Build America Bureau helps communities across the country reduce the costs of infrastructure projects by providing low-cost, long-term RRIF and Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loans and other types of financing. The borrower is the Indiana Finance Authority (IFA). 

“The Bureau financed approximately one-third of the project costs to get this important project underway so the area can reap the benefits from new jobs and increased capital investment in the region as soon as possible,” said Morteza Farajian, Bureau executive director.

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