Ground broken on 8-mile South Shore extension in Lake County, Indiana

Chicago News

The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District plans public hearings in April, with a board vote possible in May.

MUNSTER, Ind. (AP) — Officials broke ground Wednesday on an expansion of the South Shore commuter rail line through part of western Lake County.

The 8-mile (12.9-kilometer) line that will extend from Dyer to Hammond and connect to Chicago will be the largest public transit investment in Indiana history, Gov. Eric Holcomb said.

“By bringing commuter rail through the heart of Lake County, the West Lake Corridor project is a game changer for Northwest Indiana and the entire state,” Holcomb said.

The project includes four new stations: two in Hammond, one in Munster and one at the border of Munster and Dyer.

The project, which is funded through a mix of federal, state and local dollars, is expected to cost nearly $945 million, Holcomb’s office said in a news release. The state has committed nearly $255 million in funding and localities have committed more than $335 million.

Construction is expected to finish in late 2024, with passenger service starting in early 2025.

“The West Lake Corridor project is a big win for Hoosiers in Northwest Indiana. This new rail line will encourage billions in private investment in the area, create great jobs for those in Hammond and Dyer and the surrounding counties, and create new opportunities for growth in the Northwest Indiana region,” Republican U.S. Sen. Mike Braun said.

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