In The Times and on WJOB, there have been cost estimates of anywhere between $250 million and $1 billion discussed for this (South Shore Line expansion) project. That is a staggering amount of money, considering the cost overruns usually associated with any government project.
Maybe U.S. Rep. Visclosky and the other backers of this project should consider other alternatives. For example, instead of taking the train to the few people in the southern areas, why not encourage them to move to areas where the train is already operating?
With that amount of money, many areas of Hammond, East Chicago and especially Gary would see benefits. That outlay of dollars would bring improvements to the infrastructure, housing stock and public services of these older urban areas.
Helping the inner cities is something The Times has proposed quite often. I hope Hammond's Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. will hang tough with his objections.
- Glenn Dodge, Whiting