Chris Dall | NQI Times

The RDA helped complete the Modern Forge project, one of eight deal-building funds.
The RDA helped complete the Modern Forge project, one of eight deal-building funds.

When the Regional Development Authority (RDA) was created in 2006, it was a completely new idea. There were no guidelines, examples or templates. All of our accomplishments have been hard-earned. As a result, the RDA has gained a reputation for dealing openly and fairly, adjusting as needed and getting things done.

The expansion of the Gary/Chicago International Airport has gone from something no one ever believed would happen to the brink of completion. Nine years ago, the Marquette Plan to revitalize the Lake Michigan shoreline was just a plan; now it’s real in communities like Whiting, Hammond, Gary and Portage. Rail and bus connectivity to high-paying jobs in Chicago have been upgraded, and new companies lured to Northwest Indiana with the help of the RDA’s deal-closing fund.

The RDA did not accomplish this on our own. The RDA has partnered with local, state and federal governments, and with private businesses, in transforming Northwest Indiana. We appreciate all of our partners’ efforts. Without them, we would not have succeeded.

At the Gary/Chicago Airport we’ve worked with the city and the federal government to move utilities, reroute train tracks, build bridges, clean up environmental contamination at multiple sites and lay down most of a new runway extension. Progress was made recently on one of the final priorities, an agreement between the three Class 1 railroads involved to move their operations off the old tracks, after which the final phase of the extension can be finished. Read more