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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Joliet Intermodal Terminal [Updated]

This entry was originally posted on Sunday, September 6, 2009. Begin update.

The State Journal-Register has a report in today's paper on the new Joliet railroad facility, Joliet center part of statewide rail push.

“Right now, there’s probably about 2,000 tradespeople out there working. There’s probably more earth-moving machines on that property than any project in the Midwest,” said John Greuling, president and CEO of the Will County Center for Economic Development.
Greuling said the Will County group first learned of the Union Pacific construction about four years ago, though the goal of making Joliet a hub for one of the nation’s largest “inland ports” is part of much more ambitious long-term plan.
“We are marketing ourselves as part of the global supply chain. … It’s a pretty aggressive plan we’ve been working on for eight years,” said Greuling, who added that six other major rail carriers will use the Joliet facility.

Very impressive. Obviously, a lot of people and businesses and government had to have a lot of foresight to work together on this. The people of Will County (and surrounding counties) should be very pleased.

Thanks to David Jordan of Peoria Station for the tip.

End update.

joliet_term_web.jpg Construction crews continue to grade the site of Union Pacific Railroad's new Joliet Intermodal Terminal in Joliet, Ill., while other crews begin laying track in this July 29, 2009, aerial photograph taken looking south at the 785-acres facility. The intermodal terminal is scheduled to open June 2010.

Trying to find out what all this Joliet business is about, I found the Union Pacific press release from just a couple days ago:

Joliet, Ill., September 03, 2009 - Union Pacific's new Joliet Intermodal Terminal will support customer growth by increasing the railroad's international and domestic container capacity and improving rail traffic efficiencies in Chicago, the nation's largest rail center. Once on line, customers from across Union Pacific's network will benefit from Joliet's annual capacity of 500,000 ocean-going containers.
Construction began in August 2009 and the initial phase is scheduled for completion in June 2010. The new facility, located about five miles south of I-80 and seven miles east of I-55, has additional space for future expansion based on customer demand.
CIC - Joliet is a $2 billion private investment, 100 percent developed with union labor, which is expected to generate as many as 15,000 new jobs and millions in new tax revenue for local governments over the next 10-15 years. CenterPoint will be investing more than $200 million in new infrastructure, including roads, bridges and utilities. Of the 3,900 total acres, 975 acres are zoned for rail and intermodal terminal development; 1,900 acres are available for up to 20 million square feet of industrial facilities (warehouse, distribution, manufacturing, cross-dock, and transloading); and 400 acres can accommodate container/trailer and equipment management facilities. The remaining 625 acres have been reserved for stormwater and conservation.

I bet the people of Joliet are very happy about this. Read the whole thing, including comments from Governor Pat Quinn and Senator Dick Durbin: Union Pacific's Joliet Intermodal Terminal Investment Supports Customer Growth; State-of-the-Art Facility Part of Centerpoint's Integrated Logistics Center.

Photo courtesy of the Union Pacific Railroad.

Posted by Marie at September 17, 2009 5:08 PM


Should bring a lot of jobs here, though I'm glad I don't own a house right across the road from this.

Posted by: Pete at September 7, 2009 10:48 AM

I've been thinking about that, too, Pete. I'm sure there are a few environmental problems with that site (e.g., it's not likely to ever be farmland, if it ever was). Also, I wondered about this: "as many as 15,000 new jobs and millions in new tax revenue for local governments over the next 10-15 years." Does that mean it'll be abandoned after 15 years, or they only did 15 years worth of studies. Well, whatever the environmental or longevity case, I think we're willing to overlook some things in the name of jobs. (I'm not being snarky.)

Posted by: Marie at September 7, 2009 10:20 PM

Once upon a time, this was prairie and wetlands (the Des Plaines River is just to the north), then farmland. Most of it is still farmland. But there's a lot of industry that's been in the same general area for for some time. Within a few miles, you've got a couple major oil refineries, the old Joliet Arsenal, rail yards, power plants (including the Dresden nuclear plan), quarries, Caterpillar, a motor speedway, a recreational road racing layout, and much more. Oh, and Wal-mart recently built a huge regional distribution center down there, too. I'm sure the new intermodal facility will have lots of traffic back and forth to that place.

Posted by: at September 9, 2009 1:30 AM

Thanks for the excellent information.

I glanced at the area on the satellite map and wondered what river that was. I should have known it was the Des Plaines.

Posted by: Marie at September 9, 2009 2:00 AM


Looks like you beat the SJ-R to this angle of the HSR/increased freight train story by EIGHT days! Your blog may become the "Peoria Chronicle" of Springfield!

Posted by: David P. Jordan at September 17, 2009 4:26 PM

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