Slated for completion in 2024, the 12.5km extension will include four new stations - two in Hammond, one in Munster, and one at the border of Munster and Dyer. In July, NICTD awarded a nearly $US 555m contract to F.H. Paschen and Ragnar Benson (both based in Chicago) to complete design work and lead construction.

A $US 354.6m grant from the Federal Transit Administration Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program, announced during the ceremony, will go toward the project, which is expected to cost a total of $US 944.9m. The state has committed nearly $US 255m to the project, and local municipalities and the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority, more than $US 335m.

“Receipt of this [Full-Funding Grant Agreement] for West Lake is the culmination of the incredible vision and leadership that so many in this area exhibited for the past three decades,” says NICTD/SSL president, Mr Mike Noland. “We look forward to our opening day of service in the spring of 2025, if not sooner.”

“FTA is proud to join our partners in northern Indiana to improve public transportation and support economic recovery,” says FTA deputy administrator, Ms K. Jane Williams. “Commuters on the South Shore Line can now look forward to faster and more efficient transit service connecting them to major employers in Chicago, enhancing opportunities for Lake County residents while encouraging economic development locally.”

Earlier this year, NICTD received a $US 50.6m CIG grant for its Gary Double Track Northwest Indiana Project, which adds a 42.8km second track on the South Shore Line between Gary and Michigan City.

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