Federal funding comes through for NW Indiana port expansion
By Dan McGowan | Inside INdiana Business
The Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor has been approved for federal funding to cover half of a $19.7 million infrastructure expansion. Plans include building a 2.3-acre multimodal cargo terminal, adding 4.4 miles of rail line, two new rail yards and more dock and truck marshalling space. The northwest Indiana port will be one of 10 recipients of the FASTLANE small project grants this year.
The property in Portage is coming off a three-year period of record shipping totals since it opened in 1970. Through the first nine months of this year, ship traffic at the port is up nearly 20 percent and total shipments are up nearly 11 percent over the same period last year. Governor Eric Holcomb calls Indiana's three ports "critical hubs for jobs and economic growth and this expansion." He adds the expansion will help "attract even more business to northwest Indiana. This new investment will not only improve the region's economic vitality, but also the international competitiveness of our entire state."
The $9.85 million in federal dollars was recommended by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao and approved by the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
Ports of Indiana Chief Executive Officer Rich Cooper says "with these investments, companies using water to move cargo will have new options for their inbound raw materials, outbound finished products and transferring shipments between ships and barges, rail cars and trucks. Strategic investments in port infrastructure produce a foundation for long-term growth, bring a positive economic impact to the area and support trade throughout the state."
The state says operations at the port contribute $4.9 billion in economic impact each year, supporting more than 39,000 jobs. You can connect to more about the expansion by clicking here.