JOLIET, Ill. — 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, the railroad said.
Once on line, customers from across Union Pacific’s network will benefit from Joliet’s annual capacity of 500,000 ocean-going containers.
Officials and customers gathered today to celebrate the construction commencement of Union Pacific’s nearly $370 million, 785-acre Joliet Intermodal Terminal and CenterPoint Intermodal Center – Joliet (“CIC – Joliet”), a 3,900-acre state-of-the-art integrated logistics center.
“Our new intermodal terminal demonstrates Union Pacific’s unwavering commitment to provide outstanding customer service and make additional investments in our communities. Ultimately, the impact means good paying jobs for the community, growth in the markets we serve and an expansion of the role of rail – one of the ‘greenest’ and safest modes of freight transportation,” said Jim Young, Union Pacific chairman and chief executive officer.
Intermodal traffic has grown substantially over the last decade, particularly in the Chicago area. Joliet’s additional capacity will allow Union Pacific to continue pursuing opportunities in the growing rail-truck market.
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.
The Joliet Intermodal Terminal features include:
- Four 8,000-foot tracks with capacity to handle the loading or unloading of 107 intermodal “double-stack” rail cars.
- Six 8,000-foot tracks to give train crews the ability to sort rail cars by destination.
- An additional six tracks to stage rail cars prior to unloading or loading.
- Four cranes that straddle the rail cars and two rubber-tired mobile “packers” that lift trailers and containers on and off rail cars. The cranes are equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, increasing loading and unloading efficiencies.
- More than 3,400 “staging” or parking places for trailers and containers.
- An advanced Yard System that coordinates all movement of rail cars, trucks, trailers and containers at the facility.
- AGS Gate technology that decreases truck processing time from five minutes to between 30 to 90 seconds.
- A state-of-the-art security system.
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.
CIC – Joliet is an extension of CenterPoint’s internationally recognized 2,500-acre integrated logistics center in Elwood, located just two miles south, the redevelopment of the U.S. Army’s former Joliet Arsenal. Total investment in CIC – Elwood is projected to be $1 billion at full build-out. CenterPoint has developed almost nine million square feet of industrial facilities within CIC – Elwood in just six years as a result of customer demand for warehouse/distribution facilities located adjacent rail. Combined, CenterPoint’s 6,000 acres within CIC – Elwood and CIC – Joliet create the largest master-planned integrated logistics center in North America.
Mike Mullen, Chief Executive Officer of CenterPoint stated, “This project would not be possible without the extraordinary support of our elected federal, state and local officials, union labor leaders, the United States Army, dozens of federal and state agencies and our surrounding community of Joliet. The project will drive economic development locally and throughout the region, providing a first class model for public/private infrastructure investment. With our partners at the Union Pacific, we seek to create the most environmentally friendly inland port in North America.”
Union Pacific invested nearly $240 million for capital projects in Illinois in 2008. During 2009, Union Pacific plans to invest $1.7 billion in strengthening the track infrastructure across its more than 32,000-mile system. This extensive investment in the railroad’s track helps ensure Union Pacific has the capability to offer quality, safe and cost-effective service to meet its customers’ current and future transportation needs.