Former Gov. Mitch Daniels' Newsroom

Contact: Jane Jankowski
Phone: 317/232-1622

For Immediate Release: Oct 13, 2006
Governor delivers Major Moves funds to Gary/Chicago Airport

GARY, Indiana (October 13, 2006) -- Governor Daniels presented $20 million to the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) for use at the Gary/Chicago International Airport and helped airport authorities break ground on the long-awaited runway expansion. Funds were wired to the RDA today.

The amount is more than five times what the Gary/Chicago Airport has received from the state in the history of the facility.

"The RDA has confirmed my view that this project has more potential for northwest Indiana than any other single step. Unlocking the potential of the Gary/Chicago Airport was one of my principal reasons for creating the RDA and one of the most major of the 'Major Moves' we acted to bring to Indiana," said Daniels, who cited the leadership of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, Congressman Pete Visclosky and state Senator Earline Rogers in supporting the airport's development.

The governor's Major Moves initiative specified that $20 million -- part of $120 million the RDA will receive over the next 10 years - would be provided to the airport in the current fiscal year. The RDA will receive an additional $20 million this fiscal year, and beginning in 2007, will receive $10 million in each of the next 8 years.

The RDA recently approved an agreement with the airport to begin the first disbursement of the airport funds.

The $20 million, combined with other local funds, has helped to attract more substantial federal grants for the runway project. The Major Moves money represents about 20 percent of the future investment in the Gary/Chicago Airport and will be used for a variety of airport expansion activities, including runway extension and environmental remediation. Today's groundbreaking begins preparation work for the project, specifically, moving an access road near Cline Avenue. Other state agencies, including the Indiana Department of Transportation, are assisting with the project.

Today, the state also made the first of two $75 million motor vehicle highway distributions to all 92 Indiana counties, the result of Major Moves. The money can be used by the cities, towns and counties for local road and bridge projects. The second $75 million distribution will occur next year. The total distribution for Lake County is about $4.3 million and the total for Porter is about $1.4 million. A link to the amounts for all counties, cities and towns may be found at: