Work underway on $19.7 million in improvements to Ports of Indiana – Burns Harbor • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine
Indiana - Burns Harbor aerial

Work underway on $19.7 million in improvements to Ports of Indiana – Burns Harbor

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Indiana - Burns Harbor aerial
An aerial view of the Ports of Indiana – Burns Harbor/Portage facility. (Photo provided by the Ports of Indiana)

Giving the Ports of Indiana – Burns Harbor more capacity to handle additional cargo and at the same time reduce its environmental impact will be the result once nearly $20 million in improvements are completed.

Work is underway on one of two new planned rail yards, according to The Ports of Indiana. When both are completed, it will create storage for 165 rail cars as well as space to accommodate a 90-car unit train and provide rail car switching within the port to improve operating efficiencies for port companies, the Ports of Indiana said.

The latest improvements to Burns Harbor port was announced in 2017 when the Ports of Indiana announced it was awarded one of 10, $10 million U.S. Department of Transportation FASTLANE (Fostering Advancements in Shipping and Transportation for the Long-Term Achievement of National Efficiencies) grants. The federal grant is being matched by $10 million in state funds.

Ports of Indiana said total cost for the improvements is $19.7 million. Additional improvements include:

  • Construction of a new 2.3-acre cargo terminal with multimodal connections for handling cargo transfers between ships, barges, rail cars and trucks.
  • A total of 4.4 miles will be added to the port’s existing 14-mile rail network.
  • Improvements to the west dock, including extending a retaining wall and paving a dock apron, which will add 1,200 feet of usable dock space.
  • A new six-acre truck marshalling yard, which should relieve congestion along port roads as well as a 3,400-square-foot lounge for truck drivers. The lounge will give drivers a place to wait as trucks are being loaded, instead of sitting in idling semis, which reduces fuel use and lowers emissions.

Work on the new east and west rail yards is expected to be finished in 2020. The overall project could be finished by 2021 but may possibly carry over into 2022.


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