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Thursday, October 31, 2013    

New Illinois inland port includes BNSF intermodal facility


Elwood, Ill., trustees recently voted unanimously in favor of creating an international inland port authority to promote the village's intermodal distribution center, and manage traffic and public safety issues in the area.

The new Elwood International Port Authority will govern an inland port, protect the village's local self-governing powers and enhance business opportunities at the Deer Run Industrial Park, Elwood officials said in a press release. The Elwood International Port comprises BNSF Railway Co.'s Logistics Park Chicago intermodal facility and the Deer Run Industrial Park, which features about 10 million square feet of warehousing, said Massimo "Max" Bosso, the village's director of engineering and public works.

The authority will route traffic to minimize the inland port's impact on residential neighborhoods and local passenger vehicle traffic; promote the efficient movement of freight and heavy truck traffic; and address environmental and safety concerns related to traffic congestion and other issues, village officials said.

The authority's seven-member board will include Village President William Offerman, three village trustees and three individuals representing industrial park businesses. Board members will have the authority to increase fees on businesses within the industrial park, but any action would require a three-fifths supermajority vote to gain approval.

The village's action is different than state legislation proposed last year that also proposes to create an inland port, Elwood officials said. The village's inland port plan differs because no tolls will be charged, they said.

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