Year in Review 2018: South Shore Line
Over the last year, one of the big stories was the future of the South Shore Line and whether it should build a new station in South Bend.
Infrastructure and innovative solutions experts from Chicago-based AECOM laid out five options for a new South Shore Line station in South Bend.
In April, AECOM presented its findings to the South Bend Common Council. Click here to view the report
After much discussion, the city's Redevelopment Commission approved a plan to move the station downtown. Of the five options, it was the most expensive at $102 million.
It was the option backed by South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
"You move into the future and say, OK seven years from now, in 2025, what do we want downtown to look like? Imagine what it would look like if people, whether they take the bus in part of the city, or whether they live in one of those apartments right in the heart of the city, could get on the train and 90 minutes later, step off of it in downtown Chicago," Buttigieg said.
He says this could be a "once in a generation opportunity" for the city.
"It's a compelling vision. The economists tell us it could deliver up to $400 million or more of economic value," Buttigieg said.
Although a lot of details will still need to be sorted out, one renovation that's already set in motion is the double-tracking portion of the project.
That's what will cut travel time down to an hour and 42 minutes. And according to Mayor Buttigieg - it's set to be ready by 2020.
Even though the decision has been made, there are still many lingering questions.
"The question now is, if we do something as ambitious as a downtown station, how long would that take? I'm asking the engineers if we can do it by 2025. We'll have an answer pretty soon," Buttigieg said.
Mayor Buttigieg says discussions about the logistics and funding for a new station will continue in the new year.