Progress is being made on nearly $20 million in upgrades to improve efficiencies at the Ports of Indiana – Burns Harbor.
In its September report, port officials said the $9.85 million FASTLANE (Fostering Advancements in Shipping and Transportation for the Long-Term Achievement of National Efficiencies) grant is covering some of the costs. The federal grant is being matched by $10 million in state funds.
Officials said improvements to Berth 15 were finished in May, which provided an additional east and west rail connection between the new west rail yard and the port. Work is underway on the dedicated south rail connection.
The improvements to Berth 15 provide an area for rail cars to be loaded and unloaded with cargo, which has direct access to the port's roll on/roll off dock, officials said.
The entire FASTLANE project includes construction of a new 2.3-acre cargo terminal with multimodal connections for handling cargo transfers between ships, barges, rail cars and trucks.
Additionally, 4.4 miles will be added to the port’s existing 14-mile rail network.
Two new rail yards were completed in 2021, which provides rail storage for 165 rail cars and accommodations for a 90-car train. It also provides rail car switching within the port.
Improvements to the west dock, including extending a retaining wall and paving a dock apron, will offer an additional 1,200 feet of dock space. Improvements to the port also includes a new six-acre truck marshalling yard, which will relieve congestion along port roads.