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American Shipper

Ports of Indiana awaits federal infrastructure grant

The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor is counting on a $19.7 million federal grant, as one of the 10 FASTLANE small project grants, to aid in the expansion of the port’s cargo handling capacity, according to the NWI Times.

   The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor is waiting to receive a $9.85 million federal grant as part of the $19.7 million expansion to boost the port’s cargo handling capacity, according to local news source the NWI TImes
   Ports of Indiana would provide the other half of the funds, said the NWI Times. Should the funds be approved, they would be used to strengthen the ports infrastructure in order to handle multimodal containers for loadings onto ships, barges, trucks and trains.
   A new 2.3 acre cargo terminal for the transfer of multimodal containers, 4.4 miles of rail, and two new rail yards are included in the expansion plan.  The rail yards will have the capability to store 165 rail cars, accommodate a 90-car train and switch trains onto other tracks, said the NWI Times.
   Additional plans include 1,200 feet of usable dock space, a new 6-acre truck marshaling yard, the extension of a retailing wall on the west dock and the repaving of a dock apron, said the NWI Times.
   “These investments in Northwest Indiana will allow the Port of Indiana to increase its multimodal freight-handling capabilities to help meet anticipated future demand,” said Ports of Indiana CEO Rich Cooper. “Our port companies and stevedores will benefit tremendously with this significant new infrastructure investment that will enhance productivity and efficiency for those who rely on the port’s water, rail and highway connections. Our Portage port is regarded as one of the premier ports on all of the Great Lakes because of our continued reinvestments into the facility. This grant will permit us to further accelerate our investments to help attract new companies and new cargoes to the region.”
   The funds are still awaiting approval from Congress as it is part of the 10 FASTLANE small project grants for 2017. “Congress could vote to block the port expansion or any other similarly funded project within the next 60 days,” said the NWI TImes. However, the project has bipartisan support from state representatives.
   “Indiana’s ports are economic drivers for our state that help create jobs and support our state’s manufacturing,” said U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind. “I was proud to support the Ports of Indiana’s application because this grant will help Burns Harbor increase its capacity and efficiency, expanding economic opportunities for Indiana.” 
   U.S. Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., said, “Infrastructure means jobs. Indiana is investing where it matters to attract business and help existing businesses grow and hire more. The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor FASTLANE grant will help strengthen the Hoosier economy and, in the Senate, I will continue to support efforts to enhance infrastructure vital to our state and nation.”

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