West Lake Corridor project receives $203.3 million RRIF loan

June 20, 2022
The eight-mile track extension will bring faster and more reliable service to the Chicago area, while expanding multi-modal travel options.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Build America Bureau has finalized a $203.3 million Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement (RRIF) loan that will help deliver the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District’s eight-mile West Lake Corridor Commuter Rail Project.

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

The single-track extension of the South Shore Line includes four new stations between Dyer and Hammond, Ind., that will improve travel times and reliability of trains to the Chicago area, as well as expand multi-modal options with new sidewalks, walking trails and bike paths in and around stations areas. The project also includes one maintenance and storage facility, three traction power substations, refurbishing 32 commuter rail cars and construction of more than 2,300 park and ride spaces.

In March 2022, the Indiana Finance Authority (IFA) issued a Notice of Determination to issue bonds not to exceed $300,000 to support the West Lake Corridor project. The IFA is the borrower of the RRIF loan and, along with the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA), serves as a funding partner on the project.

The nearly $945 million project is also being funded the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grants Program. In October 2020, NICTD and FTA executed a Full Funding Grant Agreement for $345.5 million for the project. Congress has allocated more than $197 million to the project through FY 2021.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.