South Shore Line Double Track Project construction underway, expected to bring in jobs, new residents to Michigan City
MICHIGAN CITY, Ind.,--Federal, state and local leaders met in Monday for a ceremonial groundbreaking of the construction on the double track of the South Shore Line. The project extends the double track that is already in place in Gary out to Michigan City. Many officials including Gov. Eric Holcomb and Sen. Todd Young, believe the 650 million dollar project of federal, state and local dollars will bring in more people looking to become Hoosiers and live close to Chicago without the high cost of living.
The project is one of the largest transportation expansions in the state.
“This is Hoosier history being made right before our very eyes, and I feel fortunate to be on that team,” said Gov. Holcomb.
The South Shore Line double track project adds nearly 18 miles of new track to the existing line. In addition to the double track project, Gov. Holcomb has also made the West Lake Corridor Extension a priority, extending the South Shore Line to Lake County. The projects will not only reduce travel times, but increase train frequency, improve public safety, and promote economic development throughout northwest Indiana, making the region prime real estate for new Hoosiers.
“When you talk about ‘location, location, location,’ you talk about being next to the third biggest economy in the country, how you connect with that is of paramount importance,” said Gov. Holcomb.
Michael Noland, president of the South Shore Line also made note of the allure to northwest Indiana.
“We have lower taxes, we have Lake Michigan, we have a budget that would be-- a balance sheet that would be the envy of most states around the country and now we’ve got the opportunity to connect into Chicago and become a place of choice for people who are looking for a place to live,” said Noland.
The project will increase the number of people and jobs in Michigan City, bringing much needed growth, according to Michigan City mayor, Duane Parry.
“Michigan City was 44,000 people in 1965. That was the year we were declared an all-American city. We’ve dropped now to where we are 31 [thousand],” said Mayor Parry.
The location will be more than a platform, it will have a large parking structure, train station, luxury apartments and retail shops.
“It’s going to throw our downtown section right in the spotlight,” said Mayor Parry. “As you’re traveling from south to north on Franklin St. and you approach the 11th St. new station block, you’re going to recognize that you are entering downtown Michigan City. It’s going to change or skyline.
The double track is projected to be complete by 2024 with a portion expected to open by the end of 2022. Once finished, a trip from South Bend to Chicago will go from one hour and 55 minutes to one hour and thirty.
Read more about the double track project and west lake corridor expansion.