NEXT STEPS

To advance the Double Track NWI project, the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD), operator of the South Shore Line (SSL), completed a study assessing the potential impacts of the Double Track Northwest Indiana (NWI) project on the man-made and natural environments. The effort built upon prior and current planning studies in Michigan City and for the Miller/Lake Street Station in Gary. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and NICTD prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) and Section 4(f) Evaluation to identify any impacts that the project may have on the human and natural environment.

The EA process was necessary to meet National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements and advance the project in the FTA’s New Starts funding program. An environmental review had to be completed for NICTD to receive potential federal funding for the project. The Section 4(f) Evaluation was necessary to comply with the requirements of Sections 4(f) of the U.S. Department of Transportation Act and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

The formal public comment period occurred in September and October 2017. The EA process ended on November 2,2018 with FTA's issuance of a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). The FONSI was required for the project to advance to the next stage.

NICTD submitted the project for a formal Project Rating with the FTA on June 27, 2019, as well as a request to enter the formal Engineering phase of the project. NICTD expects to hear from the FTA in mid-November 2019 regarding approval to enter the engineering phase; a Project Rating is expected by then as well.   

The EA and Section 4(f) Evaluation is available at: Environmental Assessment and Section 4(f) Evaluation.

The Finding of No Significant Impact can be found at: http:www.doubletrack-nwi.com/docs.

The earliest time that property acquisition would begin is late 2019, and it would continue through all of 2020, and potentially into early 2021. 

Please submit your comments at www.doubletrack-nwi.com/contact.