The Ports of Indiana Commission approved more than $500,000 in contracts to five Indiana companies during Thursday’s meeting at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor.

“We have some of the most modern shipping facilities in North America and these projects allow us to continue to attract and grow business at our three ports,” said Rich Cooper, CEO of the Ports of Indiana. “Maintaining and further developing our infrastructure ensures a port environment that provides our customers with a sustainable competitive advantage.”

There were three projects at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor, including:

  • $254,661 for dock improvements to Larson Danielson Construction Co. Inc. of LaPorte,
  • $29,600 for engineering services to John A. Doyle and Assoc. Inc. of Michigan City, and
  • $144,270 for geotechnical engineering to Weaver Boos Consultants LLC of South Bend.

Projects for the Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon included:

  • $48,438 for Crane Terminal floor work to Concrete Pavers Inc. of Evansville, and
  • $42,554 for main rail rehabilitation to All Track Inc. of Pendleton.

“Port operations generate tremendous employment for Indiana,” Cooper said, “but it’s a great deal higher when you consider all the construction as our ports grow. We’ve actually had more construction workers onsite at Mount Vernon this year than employees who work at the port everyday.”

Among other business outside the ports, the Ports of Indiana will assist two Northwest Indiana companies on special projects that will help their businesses: one involving foreign-trade zones and the other related to water restoration.

The commission ratified a request by Metro International Trade Services LLC to temporarily modify the boundary of Foreign-Trade Zone 152 to two different warehouse locations in Gary. The temporary modification will allow Metro, who operates a foreign-trade zone at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor, to experience similar benefits in its Gary locations at W. 151 St. and 240 Waite St. The Ports of Indiana is a statewide grantee of foreign-trade zones, which allows it to facilitate international trade and help Indiana companies be more globally competitive.

The Ports of Indiana has also agreed to serve as the public sponsor for NIPSCO’s water restoration project at its Bailly Generating Station. While this project does not impact or require funding from the Ports of Indiana, the partnership will allow the port’s neighboring utility to work with the US Corps of Engineers to fix a long-time difficulty at its generating station.