NICTD West Lake Corridor Rail Line Subsurface Utility Engineering

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is utilizing a $354.6 million grant agreement with the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) for the West Lake Corridor Project.

The project will improve transportation options for Lake County, Indiana, residents traveling to downtown Chicago and South Bend International Airport, while reducing travel time and spurring economic development. “This federal infrastructure grant will better connect Northern Indiana residents to jobs, education, and critical services,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
The West Lake Corridor Project (WLC) is a 7.8-mile southern extension of the NICTD’s existing South Shore Line (SSL) commuter rail service between Dyer and Hammond in Indiana, with four new stations. The total project cost is $944.9 million with $354.6 million in funding committed through FTA’s Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program.

The WLC is a southern branch extension of the existing South Shore Line (SSL) to reach high-growth areas in Lake County, Indiana. The Project is being designed with a focus on sustainability and wetland mitigation, incorporating best practices to protect the environment. The WLC project benefits include:

  • Faster, less expensive, and more reliable access to higher-paying jobs in Chicago and surrounding areas
  • Transportation choices for travel within the corridor and beyond
  • Encouragement of business investments in station areas to create growth in local jobs
  • Live/work/play lifestyle development around station areas
  • Walking trails and bike paths in and around station areas
  • Attracting and retaining families and younger residents
  • Relief of existing and anticipated traffic congestion
  • Reduction of vehicular emissions
  • Embracing a multi-modal corridor and making trail improvements where feasible

“FTA is proud to join our partners in northern Indiana to improve public transportation and support economic recovery,” said FTA Deputy Administrator K. Jane Williams. “Commuters on the South Shore Line can now look forward to faster and more efficient transit service connecting them to major employers in Chicago, enhancing opportunities for Lake County residents while encouraging economic development locally.”

Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. (Jacobs) is the lead designer for the FH Paschen / Ragnar Benson Joint Venture (FHP). T2 Utility Engineers (T2ue) performed Subsurface Utility Engineering services throughout the corridor as part of the VS Engineering Inc. (VS) team, which has a prime agreement with the Jacobs design team.

T2ue worked closely with the design and survey teams to provide utility designating and locating to identify unknown utilities and potential conflicts early in the project design. The project was divided into three areas (North, Middle & South) to facilitate the project schedule.

Due to an accelerated project schedule, T2ue provided deliverables to VS Engineering as soon as various sections of the job were completed utilizing our Field Data Collection program which streamlines data collection and makes it available real time, improving efficiency. This innovative process provides the design team with additional time to analyze the utility conflicts and identify opportunities to avoid costly utility relocations and kept them on schedule for this project. Utility designating (ASCE 38 Quality Level B) was performed first (over 140,000 lft), focusing on the areas along the corridor where major construction elements were proposed, such as new bridges, train stations and drainage structures.

Unknown utilities were encountered within various portions of the project, leading T2ue to troubleshoot these utilities to determine ownership. Following the initial design and preliminary conflict review, T2ue completed more than 85 test holes (Quality Level A) at utility conflict points to confirm the exact location of the utilities. The T2ue team coordinated work daily with NICTD, CSX, Jacobs, FHP and VS. Safety protocols were in place in the form of daily job reports, Job Hazard Assessments and COVID Check-In/Out forms.

Matt Healy, VS Engineering Director of Survey & Right-of-Way, stated, “T2ue provided excellent service on this challenging project. They were always responsive to the requests of the design team and contractor, and flexible to the challenging access requirements of multiple railroads and municipalities, while maintaining an aggressive schedule.”

Client:

VS Engineering, Inc.

City:

Lake County

State:

Indiana

Country:

USA

What Our Clients Are Saying

“T2ue provided excellent service on this challenging project. They were always responsive to the requests of the design team and contractor, and flexible to the challenging access requirements of multiple railroads and municipalities, while maintaining an aggressive schedule.”

Director of Survey & Right-of-Way, VS Engineering, Inc.

Matt Healy

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