Illinois Congressional Leaders Support Compass Business Park
Durbin, Rush, Kinzinger and Kelly laud economic opportunity, truck mitigation
CHICAGO – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representatives Bobby Rush (D-IL-01), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL-16), and Robin Kelly (D-IL-02) have announced their support for Compass Business Park as a means of creating economic opportunity and meeting the growing transportation needs of Will County and the nation’s largest inland port.
The Joliet City Council is considering the proposed $1.2 billion investment in the warehouse, distribution, and light manufacturing center that would generate new revenue and jobs for the local, regional, and state economies. Meanwhile, its closed-loop network is designed to keep trucks off local roads and Route 53.
There is substantial private investment in constructing and operating the proposed project and making improvements to area roads and infrastructure. Compass Business Park would create up to 1,600 union construction jobs and 2,300 indirect jobs annually during its construction period, along with up to 10,000 full-time and 17,000 indirect full-time permanent positions upon full build out. It is also expected to generate a total economic output of $32 billion during construction and $5 billion annually after full build out.
“Will County is fast becoming an economic engine for Illinois as change how they purchase their retail goods,” Durbin said. “Compass Business Park is a responsible solution that would create thousands of new jobs while addressing transportation needs and mitigating truck traffic.”
With Compass Business Park’s direct connection to and from the UP and BNSF intermodal facilities, trucks would no longer have to travel onto local expressways and state routes just to ferry shipping containers between the rail yard and warehouse facilities located in nearby towns. This direct connection would result in a reduction of future truck traffic on I-55 and I-80 of up to 40 percent, or nearly 11 million truck miles a year.
Rep. Kinzinger, whose district includes the BNSF intermodal facility, noted that Compass Business Park would bolster private investment in Illinois and create supply-chain efficiencies without placing an additional financial burden on taxpayers or the State. He added that as a master-planned project, Compass Business Park aims to mitigate longstanding traffic problems on local roads by prohibiting trucks from leaving its closed-loop network.
“NorthPoint’s plan to build Compass Business Park would encourage smart growth, boost economic development and bring jobs and revenue back to Illinois,” Kinzinger said. “The closed loop system and the privately funded bridge would prohibit trucks from gaining access onto Route 53, which would ultimately reduce truck congestion for residents, commuters and visitors to the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery.”
Rep. Bobby Rush, whose district includes the proposed project, called Compass Business Park the single most important development in the state and believes the project would serve as a major asset for the community and create economic opportunity throughout the Southland region.
“Unlike the other warehouse developments springing up one by one along Route 53, Compass Business Park enables us to manage new development, which is inevitable with the increasing demand for goods and faster delivery times, while controlling truck traffic and improving safety on our roads,” Rush said.
With e-commerce leading the need for more logistics centers and aviation hubs like the proposed third airport in Peotone, Compass Business Park would serve as a complement by creating additional jobs and revenue for the greater Southland area, according to Rep. Kelly.
“Spurring economic development, creating jobs and investing in our outdated infrastructure is a shared goal,” Kelly said. “Construction of Compass Business Park meets those goals, aligns with existing infrastructure priorities and would deliver the needed economic opportunities to the Southland.”
The project would extend the area road safety benefits by leveraging the planned and funded improvements along I-80 and construction of the Houbolt Road bridge, which are expected to begin shortly. The state overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan capital bill last year that specifically allocates $850 million to make improvements along a 16-mile stretch along I-80 from Route 30 in New Lenox to Ridge Road in Minooka, which calls for extra lanes, bridge replacements, and interchange improvements. In addition, the City of Joliet is planning to break ground soon on the $200 million bridge crossing the Des Plaines River as a means of channeling trucks from the intermodals onto I-80 and away from local roads.