- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 16, 2015

GARY, Ind. (AP) - The new runway at Gary/Chicago International Airport is scheduled to open next week but it’s not the end of improvements projects at the facility.

The manager of the $174 million expansion project, John Lukas of engineering consultant AECOM, told airport board members Monday that railroad reroutes will continue into next year. The new rail line will replace the current Norfolk Southern Gary branch, which will eliminate numerous rail crossings near downtown Gary, The (Munster) Times (https://bit.ly/1Ijfqm2 ) reported.

The railroad viaduct over Airport Road, which is nearly impassible as the city struggles to complete a paving and drainage project in the flood-prone are, also will be removed this fall.

The relocation of the Canadian National freight tracks, which ran 130 feet from the end of the current runway on an embankment, prompted the other railroad relocations. Those tracks were moved two years ago followed by the embankment last year, but the toe other railroads had to perform complicated reroutes north of the airport.

About $125 million of the project’s total budget already has been paid to contractors, leaving just under $50 million for other projects like the railroad construction, which don’t have to be complete before the new runway can be used.

The extended 8,900 foot runway is slated to open June 25, a day before the Gary Air Show. A July 10 opening ceremony also is scheduled.

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Information from: The Times, https://www.thetimesonline.com

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