Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in wp-settings.php on line 472

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in wp-settings.php on line 487

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in wp-settings.php on line 494

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in wp-settings.php on line 530
BusINess » Transportation

Archives for the ‘Transportation’ Category

Cline Avenue plans remain up in the air

The Indiana Department of Transportation has no firm timeline for building a replacement route for the condemned Cline Avenue bridge, but it hopes to have significant parts of the project under way by the middle or end of this year.

“There is no timeline that is official at this point because we don’t know what we are going to do,” said INDOT spokesman Jim Pinkerton. “It depends on what options we work on. If it’s relatively easy, we can move relatively quickly.”
Read the rest of this entry »


First cars roll out of N. Ind. electric car plant

A northern Indiana plant owned by a Norwegian company that makes electric cars has finished work on its first fully-electric cars.

Fifteen cars rolled out of THINK North America’s Elkhart plant on Wednesday, bound for Indianapolis. The cars will be used primarily by the state Department of Natural Resources as part of its fleet of vehicles.

Gov. Mitch Daniels was scheduled to accept the vehicles Thursday. WSBT-TV reports that the cars are part of the state’s “Project Plug-In” that’s intended to make Indiana a leader in making and using plug-in vehicles.

THINK opened its plant in an empty plant in Elkhart in October. Company officials plan to roll out 300 electric cars from the plant by the end of the year. The plant currently employs more than 25 workers.

Information from: WSBT-TV, 22wsbt.com.


Gary airport wants to build highway/rail overpass

The Gary/Chicago Airport Authority on Thursday voted to spend $609,689 to design a highway overpass that would carry traffic over railroad tracks moved for runway expansion and eliminate a train-snarled crossing.

The Industrial Highway overpass would go over a pair of Canadian National tracks that currently sit at the end of the airport’s main runway as well as CSX tracks that currently cross the road just northwest of the airport, Airport Director Steve Landry said.
Read the rest of this entry »


NIRPC seeking big transpo projects

The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission is opening a one-month window for municipalities and the Indiana Department of Transportation to submit transportation projects for inclusion in its 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan.

Preliminary engineering for the proposed Illiana Expressway might be one project submitted, along with other transportation expansion plans that will enhance traffic flow in, around and between communities. The public can comment in March on projects preliminarily selected.

“The bottom line is we have a lot of work we need to do by the time we go out for public comment,” NIRPC Transportation Planning Manager Bill Brown said at Tuesday’s meeting of NIRPC’s Transportation Policy Committee.
Read the rest of this entry »


Local Pontiac lovers lament loss of iconic brand

Richard Orelup, of Valparaiso, will miss Pontiac. Orelup owns a 1999 metallic blue Firebird Trans Am and an orange 2005 Vibe. GM's agreements with Pontiac dealers ended Oct. 31. It decided to kill the brand last year. (Photograph by John Luke/The Times.)

Richard Orelup, of Valparaiso, will miss Pontiac. Orelup owns a 1999 metallic blue Firebird Trans Am and an orange 2005 Vibe. GM's agreements with Pontiac dealers ended Oct. 31. It decided to kill the brand last year. (Photograph by John Luke/The Times.)

As Pontiac died a lonely death, it gave Rick Orelup time to think about his one final wish: Buckle him in and bury him in his metallic blue 1999 Firebird Trans Am.

“I told my parents there’s a spot in the backyard where they can bury me in it,” said Orelup, 31, of Valparaiso. “It will be my coffin. I’m never going to get rid of that car. That’s my baby. That car will never leave my possession.”
Read the rest of this entry »


Thanksgiving will continue 2010 holiday travel rebound

Munster resident Roland Kwasny, right, and others load their luggage into a USA Coach bus bound for Chicago's Midway and O'Hare International airports. (Photograph by Jon L. Hendricks/The Times.)

Munster resident Roland Kwasny, right, and others load their luggage into a USA Coach bus bound for Chicago's Midway and O'Hare International airports.
(Photograph by Jon L. Hendricks/The Times.)

The number of people taking to the roads and skies this Thanksgiving holiday weekend will increase by more than 11 percent from 2009 due to an improving economy and the pull of loved ones, according to AAA projections.

That is the second-largest increase for any holiday weekend yet this year in the American Automobile Assocation’s holiday trends forecast.
Read the rest of this entry »


Auto industry’s return to ‘normal’ boosts steel

A Chicago Assembly Plant employee works on the assembly line. A bevy of challenges remain in the auto and steel industries as lower operating rates, high unemployment and reduced levels of consumer demand are expected to temper short-term performance expectations. (Photograph by The Times.)

A Chicago Assembly Plant employee works on the assembly line. A bevy of challenges remain in the auto and steel industries as lower operating rates, high unemployment and reduced levels of consumer demand are expected to temper short-term performance expectations. (Photograph by The Times.)

Improvements in the domestic auto industry will be a key driver to the economic recovery for steel production, analysts and company executives said.

However, a bevy of challenges remain in both industries as lower operating rates, high unemployment and reduced levels of consumer demand are expected to temper short-term performance expectations.

At a steel conference in Chicago earlier this month, Kim Korth, president of auto research firm IRN, said the recent recession seemed worse than prior ones because the automotive industry sustained a lot of damage in a short time. The 43 percent drop in overall light-duty vehicle production between 2007 and 2009 happened in half the time than the last precipitous decline in the late 1970s and early 1980s, according to IRN’s data.
Read the rest of this entry »


Gary/Chicago airport ready to expand main runway

Wil Davis, Gary Jet Center owner, stands in 2008 at the northwest end of Gary/Chicago International Airport's main runway, just a few hundred feet from the railroad tracks that block its expansion. On Thursday, Davis warned the airport authority board that his business and others are in peril if the tracks are not moved. (Photograph by The Times.)

Wil Davis, Gary Jet Center owner, stands in 2008 at the northwest end of Gary/Chicago International Airport's main runway, just a few hundred feet from the railroad tracks that block its expansion. On Thursday, Davis warned the airport authority board that his business and others are in peril if the tracks are not moved. (Photograph by The Times.)

The Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority on Thursday voted 5-0 to approve an agreement more than a decade in the making that should clear the way for expanding its main runway.

The agreement with Canadian National Railway Co. provides for the reroute of railroad tracks that sit on an embankment just 130 feet from the northwest end of the airport’s main runway, airport attorney Patrick Lyp told the board.

“It’s the step that opens the door, so now we can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” board member John Evans said after the meeting.
Read the rest of this entry »


RV companies digging out

Employees work on a recreational vehicle at a Jacyo manufacturing facility. (Photograph by The Times.)

Employees work on a recreational vehicle at a Jacyo manufacturing facility.
(Photograph by The Times.)

Armed with spreadsheets and sales projections, Derald Bontrager and key executives at Jayco huddled in fall 2008 to figure out how their recreational vehicle manufacturing company could reduce costs enough to survive the depths of the recession.

Again and again they met during the next several months, each time realizing more jobs held by local workers had to be eliminated. And in a family owned business like Jayco, which is based in Middlebury, laying off people is personal.

“That was the most difficult and challenging part of the downturn,” said Bontrager, president and chief operating officer at Jayco.
Read the rest of this entry »


Project shipments boosting Burns Harbor port business

Large poles to be assembled as part of a wind turbine sit in storage on earlier this month at the Port of Indiana Burns Harbor. (Photograph by The Times.)

Large poles to be assembled as part of a wind turbine sit in storage on earlier this month at the Port of Indiana Burns Harbor. (Photograph by The Times.)

Shipments at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor are up 55 percent so far this year compared to the same point in 2009 as stronger economic conditions helped land the largest project cargo shipment in the port’s 40-year history.

And executives from the port and its general cargo terminal operator believes there may be opportunities to catch more business in 2011.

At a business meeting Thursday at the Portage Yacht Club for the Ports of Indiana Commission, Burns Harbor Port Director Peter Laman said he hopes to keep strong momentum through the end of the 2010 shipping season. Since April, the port has handled more than 1 million tons of cargo, and by year’s end Laman estimated the total could be about 1.3 million tons.
Read the rest of this entry »