The officials of the Gary/Chicago International Airport in the US will be able to continue working on its $174m runway expansion with Canadian National, after removing an existing railway line to a new route that had been blocking the construction.
This step was celebrated at a ceremony with attendance by Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, US Senator Joe Donnelly, US Representative Pete Visclosky, Regional Development Authority (RDA) executive director Bill Hanna, board vice-chairman James Cooper and interim director BR Lane.
"The completion of the runway will serve as a catalyst for the expansion of greater market opportunity currently outside of our reach," said Lane.
"While there is still work to be done to complete the runway expansion, the relocation of the railroads significantly advances the project toward completion."
The entire railroad relocation will take 32h, during which train movements into and out of the adjacent Kirk Yard will be suspended.
CN manager of Public Affairs Patrick Waldron said: "Relocating this railroad track is a significant and complex infrastructure project.
"Since CN acquired the former EJ&E railroad in 2009, we have been committed to this relocation project."
The city of Gary and the Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority had entered into a public-private partnership with AFCO/AvPorts for the management and development of the airport and its surrounding land in January.
US Senator Donnelly said: "With a longer runway, Gary Airport should be able to accommodate larger cargo planes and passenger airlines and I am hopeful that this expansion project will provide a boost to the region's economy."