BNSF's Logistics Park Chicago (LPC) in Elwood, IL was developed to address freight delays in Chicagos congested rail yards. The project combines intermodal transloading with warehouse space for major retailers, shippers, and logistics contractors.
Project Type:Freight Terminal Project Mode:Highway Average Annual Daily Traffic:7,600 Length (mi):0.00
Project Flags:Intermodal Economic Distress:0.91 Population Density (ppl/sq mi):786 Population Growth Rate (%):4.36
Employment Growth Rate (%):4.52 Market Size:550,104 Airport Travel Distance:54 Topography:2
Region:Great Lakes / Plains State:IL County:Will
City:Elwood Urban/Class Level:Rural Local Area:Elwood
Impact Area:County Transportation System:Highway and Rail GIS Lat/Long:41.390867 / -88.155614
Initial Study Date:2000 Post Constr. Study Date:2008
Constr. Start Date:2000 Constr. End Date:2002
Project Year of Expenditure (YOE): 1997 Planned Cost (YOE $):N/A
Actual Cost (YOE $):1,080,000,000 Actual Cost (curr $):1,567,561,121
Intermodal Actual Cost (YOE $): 1,000,000,000Intermodal Actual Cost (curr $): 1,451,445,483
Highway Road Access Improvement Cost (YOE $): 80,000,000Highway Road Access Improvement Cost (curr $): 116,115,639
All Cargo Volume (Metric Tons): N/AContainer Volume (Metric Tons): N/AContainer Volume (TEU's): 1,500,000
NOTE: All pre/post dollar values are in 2013$
Select a region to display the conditions for that region:
NOTE: All impact dollar values are in 2013$
|Income (in $M's)||104.40||64.54||168.94|
|Output (in $M's)||383.59||237.11||620.70|
BNSF's Logistics Park Chicago (LPC) in Elwood, IL, 40 miles southwest of Chicago, was one of the first developments to combine intermodal transloading with warehouse space for major retailers, shippers, and logistics contractors. Since the park opened in 2002, a total of $1 billion has been invested by ten firms who occupy 9 million square feet within the 770-acre park. To support this investment, a funding package of $80 million in local, state, and federal EDA funding was assembled to build and expand the road network. LPC has produced about 2,000 jobs and has supported a 40% growth in the population of the Village of Elwood. Eventually, the park will be combined with United Pacific's Joliet Intermodal Terminal, into a contiguous development of 6,000 acres with potential f or up to 25,000 jobs.
2.1 Location & Transportation Connections
BNSF's Logistics Parks Chicago (LPC) is located in Will County, on the fringe of the Chicago metropolitan area, 40 miles southwest of the City. LPC is in the I-80 corridor, which stretches from Detroit to San Francisco. The facility is 8 miles from the junction of I-80 and I-55, with convenient access to I-355, Chicago's outer beltway. O'Hare International Airport is 55 miles (70 minutes drive) northeast on I-55. The BNSF line served by LPC connects Chicago area businesses with west coast ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Seattle-Tacoma, serving Asian trade routes. Electronic and retail goods are imported into the region from Asia through the Elwood Center. Grain, soybeans, corn, and other Great Plains agricultural products are shipped back to Asia.
2.2 Community Character & Project Context
Elwood is a small village of 2.7 sq. miles in the heart of Will County, one of the fastest-growing regions of the country. With of population of 2,300, Elwood has traditionally been a small farming community but is gradually being consumed into Chicago's sprawling exurbs. Founded in 1854, the routing of the Joliet-Bloomington railroad through the town played a major role in the town's early growth and development. By 1900, Elwood had a population of 400.
In the late 1930's, the federal government acquired land near Elwood for troop training and weapons production, where it built the Joliet Arsenal. At its peak in the 1940s, the facility produced 97% of the army's TNT and employed over 12,000 people. The Arsenal continued operating during the Korean War of the 1950s and the Vietnam War of the 1960s, when it employed 8,000 workers. The facility was closed in 1993 and was subsequently redeveloped for the Elwood Centerpoint Intermodal Center.
During the 1990's, with the expansion of international trade, Chicago's congested rail yards were reaching capacity and congestion was resulting in delays of up to a week to pass through the Chicago hub. BNSF began seeking sites to build a rail yard for intermodal transfers with plenty of room for future expansion. At the same time, an effort was underway to find a reuse for the 2,200 acre Joliet Arsenal, which was decommissioned in 1993. Because the Joliet Arsenal area had plenty of capacity, was on BNSF's transcontinental mainline, and is near two interstate highways, it was the perfect location for the new exurban Logistics Park concept.
The redevelopment process of this vast property was overseen by the Joliet Arsenal Redevelopment Authority. Centerpoint Properties, the project's developer, brought together all levels of government and more than a dozen agencies and businesses to garner support for a new industrial development concept ? the Logistics Park. This new model combined railroad-owned and operated intermodal yards with on-site warehousing and distribution facilities for major shippers and third party logistics contractors. A package of funding totaling $80 million was assembled to finance the road network for Logistics Park Chicago. This included:
The 770 acre logistics park was opened in 2002. Since then, over $1billion (2005 $) has been invested in 9 million square feet of ?under roof? space. The facility currently does 704,000 intermodal lifts a year. This has produced an estimated 2,000 jobs1 at the following ten major firms who occupy space in the Logistics Park Chicago:
BNSF customers locating near the Logistic Park can reduce drayage costs by as much as 25%. LPC has room for 6,000 stacked containers and 5,200 wheeled containers. Due to the length of its tracks, LPC can accept entire trains, which expedites the time it takes them to complete their entries and departures. LPC's three spot tracks can accommodate 36 auto racks in groupings of six railcars coupled together. About 120 auto-carrier trucks a day serve LPC.
Centerpoint is currently developing another logistics park for United Pacific Railroad in the abutting community of Joliet, IL. The two developments are planned to merge into a single Logistics Park of 6,000 acres. This will have capacity for 30 million square feet under roof that could support up to 25,000 jobs. Future infrastructure projects in support of expansion of the intermodal facilities in the area include a $25 million project to expand the Arsenal/I-55 Interchange from a half to a full diamond.
4.1 Transportation Impacts
Logistics Park Chicago has created a high volume rail corridor for reliable intermodal service connecting Asia via west coast ports with Chicago markets. This has removed truck traffic from interstate highways, improving safety, reducing congestion, and defraying maintenance costs. LPC services 15 to 20 trains a day, some of which are up to a mile long. Based on the current annual number of intermodal lifts, the Elwood Intermodal Center has taken 704,000 trucks a year off of interstate highways. This saves about 1.5 billion truck interstate miles per annum.
4.2 Demographic, Economic & Land Use Impacts
In 2000, just before the LPS opened, there were 1,620 people in the Village of Elwood. Since the Intermodal Center and the related employers opened, the population has grown by over 40%. The number of jobs in the town grew from 602 in 2001 to 3,091 jobs in 2008. At present, the Park's management report that jobs at the Park at both BNSF and the ten related distribution and logistics firms now total around 2,000. Private investment by these firms totals about $1 billion.
The facility has helped to support the development of an additional 100,000 square feet of industrial/warehousing flex space in Will County's I-88 Corridor. Eventually, the Elwood BNSF Park and the Joliet UP Park (now under construction) will be a single contiguous development. By 2030, there are projected to be 25,000 jobs in this combined 6,000 acre area, which was the former Joliet Arsenal.
The Northern Illinois Planning Commission projects that Elwood will have a population of 20,000 by 2030. The Village has ambitious plans for expansion. It has designated large tracts of agricultural land for single family housing development and has zoned brownfield industrial sites for redevelopment as additional logistics and distribution centers.
The Elwood Intermodal Center was a redevelopment of a former military base. As such, it was eligible for generous funding such as the $80 million that was spent on road improvements to support the development. $100 million in Tax Increment Financing notes were used to finance other, non-transportation improvements. In addition, developers received concessionary land prices. Without all these incentives, it is unlikely that this project would have been undertaken on quite so grand a scale.
Joliet Arsenal Development Authority
Village of Elwood
Case Study Developed by Economic Development Research Group