NIPSCO to Begin 12-Mile Fiber Optic Upgrade From Dune Acres to Michigan City

By: NIPSCO Last Updated: March 29, 2018

rot2Beginning April 2, NIPSCO and contracted crews will be using a helicopter to replace 12 miles of optical ground wire on lattice towers from Dune Acres to Michigan City, which will increase internal communications and connectivity to improve overall service reliability for customers.

This project is just one of many existing and future investments planned as part of the company’s long-term effort to modernize the gas and electric infrastructure across its entire service area.

After fully assessing the route of construction and working with regulating agencies and local stakeholders, NIPSCO’s project team found that using an aerial, helicopter method to perform the work would complete the project in less time while reducing land disturbance and potential impacts to local wildlife and wetlands.

“As originally planned, land-based cranes and trucks would have been required to work at approximately 62 power line tower locations, and these towers are located in wetlands and protected wildlife species habitat within the NIPSCO right-of-way,” said Gordon Ferguson, principal of natural resource permitting at NIPSCO. “Using helicopter construction will reduce the area of land disturbance by approximately 90 percent.”

Area residents and the public may notice the helicopter working from Monday to Saturday during normal business hours. Completion of the project is expected by Saturday, April 14, weather permitting.

For more information on NIPSCO’s modernization efforts, visit

Northern Indiana Public Service Company LLC (NIPSCO), with headquarters in Merrillville, Indiana, has proudly served the energy needs of Northern Indiana for more than 100 years. As Indiana’s largest natural gas distribution company and the second-largest electric distribution company, NIPSCO serves approximately 810,000 natural gas and 460,000 electric customers across 32 counties. NIPSCO is part of NiSource’s (NYSE: NI) seven regulated utility companies. NiSource is one of the largest fully regulated utility companies in the United States, serving approximately 4 million natural gas and electric customers through its local Columbia Gas and NIPSCO brands. More information about NIPSCO and NiSource is available at and