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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

I-39 corridor west of Chicago has high logistics potential, study says


A 165-mile stretch of Interstate 39 in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin could serve as "logistics utopia" for freight and intermodal shippers, according to a recent study by engineering firm St. Onge Co.

The "I-39 Logistics Corridor," located about 50 miles west of Chicago, offers prime locations to move distribution centers away from congested areas and near new intermodal facilities, the study found. The region between Janesville, Wis., and Bloomington, Ill., also connects a northern cluster of interstates (I-94, 90, 88 and 80) with a central cluster (I-55, 57, 64, 70 and 74).

"The corridor is close enough to the Chicago metropolitan area to participate in its long-established dominant position in the movement of goods across the nation and the world, but far enough away to avoid most of the congestion associated with the area," the study states.

The Chicago area handles the most rail traffic in North America, annually exceeding 3 million carloads, 70 percent of which are intermodal loads. In addition, the most heavily used intermodal lane runs between Chicago and southern California, the study found.

"The infrastructure for logistics, which is integrated with I-39, is extensive and interconnected for both domestic and international commerce," the study states.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/13/2005