VALPARAISO — A new cargo transfer facility that could bring up to 50 jobs would be just south of the Porter County Regional Airport at the southeast corner of U.S. 30 and 400 East.

Officials presented their plans for the proposed transportation intermodal at a recent city site review committee meeting. The project is a railroad intermodal that would serve as a sister operation with a $3.5 million project currently under construction in Fort Wayne, which Transpoint Intermodal LLC broke ground on in May.

Just as in Fort Wayne, the Valparaiso project would be a full intermodal ramp loading and unloading international cargo from rail-to-truck and truck-to-rail.

Located on the proposed Valparaiso site is an existing 5,000-square-foot-building that would be renovated. The building will feature employee parking and an existing stone yard immediately adjacent to the building will be reused for vehicle storage. All-new lighting will be installed on the site.

As for the intersection of U.S. 30 and 400 East (the site is just south of the railroad tracks at 54 North 400 East), discussions with Indiana Department of Transportation officials determined a traffic signal was not warranted. Plans do call for a deceleration lane on eastbound U.S. 30 for the intersection.

Before the project can move forward the site review committee listed about 25 issues that need to be resolved including providing a landscaping plan, erosion control plan, frontage improvements, sidewalk waiver, state design release, zoning clearance and a stormwater pollution prevention plan.

In July, Transpoint CEO Duard Ballard told The Times that the Valparaiso facility initially will employ about 15 but within a year that number will grow to 40 to 50 employees, with an emphasis on hiring veterans.

Mayor Jon Costas said at the same time that the facility would become a logistics driver in Northwest Indiana and lead to additional economic development opportunities.

The facility will fit in with for the city’s plans for intermodal transportation as part of its economic development for the 15-square-mile area surrounding Porter County Municipal Airport.

The hub will utilize the Chicago, Fort Wayne & Eastern Railroad system.


Lake County reporter

Rob covers urban affairs and other matters in Crown Point, St. John, Winfield and beyond. Previously he covered Valparaiso, Hammond, Gary and East Chicago. He's also written for various magazines and pens a culture blog for The Times.