NICTD Receives Environmental Award

Written by Andrew Corselli
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Left to Right: Nicole Barker, South Shore Line, Director of Capital Investment and Implementation; Chris Beck, South Shore Line, Chief Infrastructure Development Officer/West Lake Corridor Project Manager; Michael Noland, South Shore Line, President and CEO; Janice Reid, HDR, Chicago Environmental Services Leader. Photo via HDR.

The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) recently received an Outstanding Achievement Award for Excellence in Environmental Document Preparation from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for its environmental documentation for the West Lake Corridor project.

The West Lake Corridor project aims to expand NICTD commuter rail service via an eight-mile southerly branch from the South Shore Line Hammond, Ind., station to Dyer. The proposed $933 million project would “increase transportation options for accessing downtown Chicago, improve mobility and accessibility, and stimulate economic development for growing communities throughout Lake County, Ind.”

The Outstanding Achievement Award for Excellence in Environmental Document Preparation is presented in two categories biennially: Environmental Assessment and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

The HDR-led West Lake Corridor Final EIS and Record of Decision reflects FTA Region V’s new best practices review process, fulfilling requirements for content, utility and practicality in environmental documentation.

The West Lake Corridor recently received a positive rating from the FTA and approval to enter the engineering phase of the New Starts program.

“I am so humbled to accept this prestigious award on behalf of HDR,” said Janice Reid, HDR’s environmental lead for the NICTD project. “This accomplishment is a reflection of all the hard work, late nights and teamwork that was displayed during this tremendous effort. Staff from several HDR offices worked hand-in-hand with our client through numerous iterations and changes to the project and document based on stakeholder and FTA input, and ended with a confirmed ‘outstanding’ EIS document.”

“The technical expertise of our teams, their attention to detail, patience and determination are unrivaled,” said Transportation Environmental Services Director John McPherson. “Beyond just this year’s award, we continue to refine and improve our approach, resulting in environmental work that sets the standard across the industry.”

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