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Northwest Indiana Regional Logistics Council Releases Strategic Plan

Tuesday, November 03, 2015
Called “Advancing Northwest Indiana's Logistics as the Gateway to the World,” it identifies 54 infrastructure projects to decrease transportation bottlenecks, improve the flow of cargo and facilitate the economic development of the 11-county region.

“The plan includes major regional projects, as well as smaller – but important – local projects,” said Heather Ennis, president and CEO of the Northwest Indiana Forum, in a press release. “Maintaining and increasing our logistics assets at both the regional and the local level creates opportunities to grow our economy and ensure more high-paying logistics jobs for Hoosiers.”

The projects include:
•Converting U.S. 30 from a 4-lane highway to a 4-lane full access-controlled freeway with interchanges at major intersections to improve traffic flow – estimated cost: $933.5 million.
•Widening the 4-lane rural segments of I-65 to a minimum of 6 lanes to relieve congestion – estimated cost: $2.086 billion.
•Constructing the proposed 8-lane Illiana Expressway connector from I-57 in Will County, Illinois, to SR 49 then North to I-80/90 in Porter County, Indiana – estimated cost: $1.05 billion.
•Extending rail lines into the Kingsbury Industrial Park to provide a multimodal rail service yard for the distribution of cold storage commodities from Indiana to Florida – estimated cost: $27.2 million.
•Improving rail track owned by Norfolk Southern Railway from Indiana to the Illinois state line to improve rail traffic flow – estimated cost: $71.4 million.
•Building a heavy haul bridge and additional rail access for the ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor.
•Constructing a new lock to ease the passage of large vessels between Lake Superior ports and steel mills and power plants to support regional businesses – estimated cost: $550 million.

As ED Impact has reported over the last few months, the release of this plan is the third and final of the three regions in northern Indiana (Northeast, Central and Northwest).

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