Indiana-Burns wins $9.85m FASTLANE grant
US Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao has confirmed that the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor will receive $9.85m of funding as part of the country’s 2017 FASTLANE small project grants.
The funding for the port constitutes part of its $19.7m infrastructure expansion which is set to boost cargo handling capacity and multimodal capabilities.
Ms Chao’s August recommendation that the port be awarded the grant was approved by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works following a 60-day review period.
The Ports of Indiana application was backed by the senior US senator for Indiana Joe Donnelly, who wrote a letter of support for the bid.
The expansion of the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor will include a new cargo terminal with multimodal connections for handling cargo transfers between ships, barges, rail cars and trucks, as well as a 4.4-mile extension of its existing 14-mile rail network.
Additionally, the work will see the creation of two rail yards and a six-acre truck marshalling yard and will make improvements to the port’s west dock, including extending a retaining wall and paving a dock apron.
Major cargoes handled by the port, whose operations create an economic impact of $4.9bn a year and support more than 39,000 total jobs, include limestone, coal, steel, grain and fertiliser.
Governor of Indiana Eric Holcomb commented on the grant: “This new investment will not only improve the region’s economic vitality, but also the international competitiveness of our entire state.”
“Our ability to move raw materials and finished products is critical for economic success and this FASTLANE Grant will help our Lake Michigan port strengthen the Hoosier economy,” said the junior US senator for Indiana Todd Young, who is a member of the Senate Transportation and Commerce Committee.
Ports of Indiana chief executive Rich Cooper said: “With these investments, companies using water to move cargo will have new options for their inbound raw materials, outbound finished products and transferring shipments between ships and barges, rail cars and trucks.”
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