Gary airport board approves $35m funding for runway expansion

29 July 2014 (Last Updated July 29th, 2014 18:30)

The Gary/Chicago International Airport in the US will close the funding gap in its runway expansion project, as its board has approved a plan to borrow up to $35m.

The Gary/Chicago International Airport in the US will close the funding gap in its runway expansion project, as its board has approved a plan to borrow up to $35m.

Sycamore Advisors senior vice-president Melanie Shaker said that a combined total of $39.6m from bond proceeds, along with available cash and grant money, ensures that the airport is left with enough funds to expand the runway, while working on other projects such as relocating rail lines.

"The board is hopeful that the airport’s new plan would see the project accomplished by next year’s deadline."

The new total cost of the project is currently $174.1m, which is 4.8% more than the previously revised estimate of $166.2m from March 2012.

The Times of Northwest Indiana reported that a total of $50m in grants have been directed by the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA), including $7.2m for an escrow fund that will finance rail relocations north of the airport.

RDA CEO Bill Hanna said that public discussions will continue over environmental and railroad issues, but there is now a sense of urgency to finish the project by next year’s Federal Aviation Administration completion deadline.

"The board is hopeful that the airport’s new plan would see the project accomplished by next year’s deadline," said Hanna.