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LP receives grant for railroad improvements

December 20, 2018

La PORTE — The city of La Porte received a $6,238,880 grant from the Indiana Department of Transportation last week for the construction of rail crossing safety improvements in the heart of the city.

La Porte’s application, which proposes a rail overpass connecting the historic downtown to NewPorte Landing and residential areas around Clear Lake Tipton and Park Streets, was chosen along with 11 other projects statewide as part of the state’s recently launched Local Trax program.

Local Trax is a partnership with INDOT, local communities, businesses, industry and railroads to improve the quality of life for residents through large-scale rail-related transportation projects.

Altogether, the state awarded $121 million in one-time, state matching funds for rail crossing safety improvements throughout the state.

Eligible projects include high-priority railroad grade separations, crossing closures and other safety enhancements at railroad intersections with local roads.

La Porte’s proposed overpass will improve safety and mobility across the Norfolk Southern Rial Corridor that runs though the center of the city.

Local Trax requires participating municipalities to provide 20 percent of funding for land acquisition and construction, with the state providing the other 80 percent.

INDOT will fund and manage design and environmental work, as well as provide project management through design delivery, contract letting, construction and inspection.

The total estimated cost for La Porte’s project is $7,798,600, with the 20 percent match expected to come from local Major Moves funds and County Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT).

Mayor Mark Krentz was enthusiastic about the proposed improvements to safety, economic development and quality of life in La Porte.

“With over 50 trains crossing through the center of the city each day, we’ve experienced our share of safety concerns and inconveniences,” Krentz said. “With this proposed grade separation, we will alleviate those concerns and improve mobility in our community.”

Those interested in more information regarding these changes should contact La Porte City Planner Beth Shrader at 326-8260 or email bshrader@cityoflaportein.gov.

—From staff reports

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