FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: November 19, 2021
Contact: Lucas Ecklund-Baker, NIRPC Communications Specialist
(219) 243–5945 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Marquette Greenway receives $17.8 million RAISE Grant award
Award generates funds needed to complete Illinois-Indiana-Michigan trail
PORTAGE, INDIANA—The US Department of Transportation awarded the Marquette Greenway project $17.8 million from a 2021 RAISE grant, to be managed by the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC). The award will be applied to funding needed to complete the final 17 segments of the continuous 60-mile trail. “NIRPC is absolutely thrilled at the news of receiving the RAISE grant. This represents, by far, the largest single active transportation investment in the history of Northwest Indiana. The Marquette Greenway is befitting of such an honor, and we are grateful to the US Department of Transportation for recognizing the enormous health, economic, and recreational impacts this project will afford our residents and visitors alike,” said Mitch Barloga, Active Transportation Manager at NIRPC.
The Indiana Dunes National Park and nine municipalities have pledged matching funds toward the Marquette Greenway project. NIRPC is the designated administrator, will manage funding and overall project management, and will work with municipal entities on design, engineering, and construction for these segments. “We are appreciative of the energy and commitment of all municipal entities and the National Park, and our partners One Region and the Northwest Indiana Forum on championing this route through the years,” said Barloga.
The funding allows for completion of the project, with a five-year estimated timeline. An additional $5.2 million is needed to complete the funding and will be supplemented from existing funding sources.
The Marquette Greenway will be an uninterrupted span through the Northwest Indiana South Shore region, running between Calumet Park in Chicago and New Buffalo, Michigan. It will connect 130,000 residents within a half-mile of the corridor and regional and national trail systems, and traverses a diverse geographic, ecological, and socio-economical region.
The project began in 2003 as a collaborate effort within the regional Marquette Plan, first spearheaded by Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-IN) to redevelop the Indiana Lake Michigan shoreline as industrial use recedes. NIRPC and partners competed previously for grants in 2017, 2018, and 2019, under previous program names, TIGER and BUILD.
The US Department of Transportation RAISE Grants make $8.8 billion available in twelve rounds of competition for infrastructure projects that have a significant local or regional impact. The US Department of Transportation notes the RAISE program “enables DOT to use a merit-based process to select projects with exceptional benefits, explore ways to deliver projects faster and save on construction costs, and make needed investments in our Nation’s infrastructure.”
NIRPC is the Metropolitan Planning Organization and Council of Governments for Lake, Porter, and La Porte counties in Northwest Indiana. Working collaboratively across the region, NIRPC coordinates regional comprehensive planning and programming for transportation, economic development, and environmental policy.
Last modified: November 19, 2021