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Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor wins Northwest Indiana Partners for Clean Air Industrial Award (copy)

A freighter makes a delivery at Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor in Portage in this July 2017 file photo. The port is beginning a series of infrastructure upgrades.

The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor is soliciting bids from contractors for fiber, wire and rail projects.

The deepwater port on Lake Michigan is giving contractors until 1 p.m. Oct. 11 to bid on the infrastructure projects as it seeks to make $20 million in improvements over the next few years with the help of a federal grant that will cover about half the cost.

Indianapolis-based Ports of Indiana, a quasi-governmental but largely self-supported port authority that runs Indiana's three ports on Lake Michigan and the Ohio River, plans to install 3,500 feet of fiber optic cable and underground conduit at the international port in Porter County. 

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It's also looking for a company to excavate and remove about 38,000 yards of material from a five-acre site at the north end of the port, and to cap that site with a layer of compacted aggregate to extend the dock. About 16,000 yards of the material will be used to form a new berm at a different site on the port, while the other 22,000 yards would be disposed of off-site.

Finally, for the rail project, the port seeks a contractor to install 16,800 feet of new railroad track for its east and west railyards and 2,000 feet of track for a new connection between the port and the Norfolk Southern railyard.

The specifications for the projects can be found at the port’s administration office at 6625 Boundary Drive, Portage, and can be requested electronically by emailing jnordman@portsofindiana.com. For more information, call 219-787-8637.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.