Funding for Northwest Indiana transportation projects was expanded at a recent meeting of the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC). New transportation projects approved include 31 bridge projects, 14 pavement projects, 19 drainage projects, 6 intersection safety improvements, 3 multi-use trail projects and lighting on region roads, which are found in the 2022-2026 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). In addition, funding for projects in Burns Harbor, La Porte, and Portage was expanded.
The projects were added to the 2022-2026 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), the overarching five-year plan to manage funds for federal and state-funded transportation and public transit projects in La Porte, Lake, and Porter counties. The TIP is solely managed through NIRPC as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the region, designated by the US Department of Transportation.
The Commission approved “FY 2022-26 TIP Amendment #1” for future planned projects, sponsored by Burns Harbor, Griffith, Hammond, the city of La Porte, La Porte County, Lake County, Merrillville, Porter County, Valparaiso, and Winfield, and the Indiana Department of Transportation. Additionally, the Northwest Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) received funding for security on the South Shore rail line. Public comment on the amendments concluded after a 30-day period with no responses.
The Commission was also informed of “Emergency Transit Amendment #15” to the 2020-2024 TIP, which will ensure funding is maintained for previously-scheduled work for the Gary Public Transportation Corporation.
Other topics included a budget amendment and a contract with South Shore Clean Cities to manage air quality public education programs for NIRPC.
Adam Parkhouse, speaking for the Indiana Department of Transportation, said a call for projects is currently open for the second round of the Community Crossings grant program. He also said residents should look for details on upcoming public meetings concerning congestion on the Borman Expressway.
Denarie Kane, NIRPC Economic Development District Coordinator, relayed that economic pandemic relief loan funding under the EDA CARES Act is now available for region businesses and organizations through NIRPC’s Recover NWI revolving loan program. Information and applications can be found on the NIRPC website at www.nirpc.org/recovernwi . The program is managed through the NIRPC Economic Development District (EDD), designated by the US Economic Development Administration.
The Executive Board of the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission will meet on September 16, 2021. Find details on the NIRPC website at www.nirpc.org .
NIRPC is the Metropolitan Planning Organization and Council of Governments for La Porte, Lake, and Porter counties in Northwest Indiana. Working collaboratively across the region, NIRPC coordinates regional comprehensive planning and programming for transportation, economic development, and environmental policy.