CHESTERTON - One of the requirements for federal funding for the double tracking of the South Shore Line is now complete.
Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District spokesperson John Parsons says the environmental assessment (EA) for the double track project between Michigan City and Gary is done and is now available for public comment. Parsons says the EA can be accessed online through the double track website.
Parsons says "they can provide written comments or they can attend public hearings to be held in Michigan City and the Miller Beach area of Gary to provide oral comments as part of the process."
Parsons says comments will be accepted on the environmental assessment (from September 21st) through October 23rd.
"And the process of satisfying the National Environmental Policy Act so the project will achieve, satisfy one of the major requirements which is to complete the environmental assessment," Parsons said.
Various alternatives had to be looked at (during the environmental assessment) to achieve the double track project, according to Parsons. Planners also had to look at the impact the project could have on the natural environment and human environment, as well as the impact it could have on the Miller section of Gary and Michigan City.
Parsons the EA also looked at all aspects of historic preservation and the impact on the environmental justice communities.
He says anyone interested can attend public hearings to be held in the Miller section of Gary and in Michigan City. There is a hearing scheduled in the Marshal J. Gardner Center for the Arts at the Miller Beach Arts and Creative District on Wednesday, October 11th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. There will be another meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, October 12th at the Startdust Event Center in Michigan City.
Parsons says the completion of the EA and the public comments are a key milestone in satisfying the National Environmental Policy Act.