The Illinois International Port District plays a major role in national and international freight movement through Illinois. The Port facilitates the barging of break bulk cargo traveling between the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Great Lakes, and points further south such as the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico. IIPD moves more tonnage of this type of cargo, including steel, bulk liquids, grain, stone, cement, and salt, than any other port in the Great Lakes. It also is uniquely suited to facilitate multimodal and intermodal freight movements via nearby access to several truck routes, Illinois Highway 94, and multiple Class 1 freight rail spurs.
In addition to being a major freight asset, IIPD lands are also surrounded by related industry and residential neighborhoods. Located on the far southeast side of the City of Chicago, the Port controls facilities on Lake Michigan and at Lake Calumet, making it a major land owner with a significant ability to impact quality of life and economic development in surrounding communities. This planning priorities effort will help to better understand how IIPD fits into the fabric of the surrounding areas, and how IIPD may best optimize its resources and assets to promote future freight movement, economic development, conservation, and active transportation/ recreation.
With support from CMAP’s Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program, this Planning Priorities report will consist of three phases to be completed in approximately nine months. The first phase will involve an examination of previous planning efforts and an analysis of existing conditions by CMAP staff in collaboration with the Port. The second phase will focus on outreach to stakeholders, and the third phase will include the creation of a report with near-term strategies for the Port's leadership and partners.