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Latest RAISE grants include $17 million for Ridge Road Complete Streets project

U.S. Department of Transportation

Munster's efforts to make Ridge Road more friendly to people and bikes are getting a boost. The town was awarded more than $17 million in the latest round of Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability & Equity (RAISE) grants announced by the U.S. Department of Transportation Thursday.

As part of the Ridge Road Complete Streets project, more than a mile of roadway will be reduced from five lanes of traffic to three. But it'll also get a 10-foot-wide path on the south side of the street, along with new signage, seating and more than 250 trees. The total project cost will be more than $21 million.

Officials say that stretch of Ridge Road saw more than 600 crashes from 2016 to 2020. They believe the upgrades will make it safer for residents to get to the planned West Lake Corridor station without having to use a car.

In a statement from U.S. Representative Frank Mrvan's office, Munster Town Manager Dustin Anderson said the project followed "an exhaustive public engagement process" that included input from thousands of residents.

Locally, the RAISE program is also providing 20 million dollars to rebuild the Harvey Intermodal Transportation Center, 20 million to convert an abandoned rail line in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood to a multiuse path, and 2.4 million for engineering work for a project to improve access to South Bend's market district.