Fleet Management

Trucks Forced to Take Longer Route to Access Major Intermodal Terminal

January 27, 2015

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Photo: CenterPoint Intermodal Center
Photo: CenterPoint Intermodal Center

There will be a new delay starting Wednesday for trucking companies serving the one major intermodal facility southwest of Chicago.

The Illinois Department of Transportation announced that Walter Strawn Drive at the Union Pacific Railroad tracks at the CenterPoint Intermodal Center just west of Illinois 53 in Elwood will be closed to commercial traffic.

For legally loaded commercial vehicles accessing the intermodal terminals in Elwood, the recommended alternate route is Arsenal Road via Interstates 80 and 55, which is a longer and more time consuming route.

The closure of Walter Strawn Drive is necessary to meet the requirements of an order issued by the Illinois Commerce Commission, according to the state DOT.

The Journal of Commerce reports the decision is the latest in a long running battle between Elwood residents and CenterPoint. Last Summer a judge issued a temporary restraining order against the village’s ban but it was overturned by the ICC. The village claims too many trucks use the route and they put the public at risk.

"Without conducting a regional traffic impact study to consider the effects of displaced traffic, we are convinced the displacement of thousands of vehicles each day from the closed crossing, without a defined route in place to access the Intermodal Center, will cause more damage and harm on regional traffic, resulting in unwanted and potentially hazardous situations," CenterPoint said in a statement.

Once the closure is in place, the state DOT said it will continue to monitor conditions at this location and the surrounding area, making the appropriate traffic control changes, if necessary.

According to the Journal of Commerce, CenterPoint Intermodal Center, which also encompasses a BNSF Railway intermodal terminal, is one of the busiest inland ports in the nation with major shipper tenants.

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