In May 2014, CMAP released the O'Hare Subregional Freight-Manufacturing Drill-Down Report, which outlined existing workforce, infrastructure, and development issues in the O'Hare International Airport subregion. The report identified opportunities for local governments in the subarea to work across jurisdictions to support growth in the freight and manufacturing industries, and specifically recommended the coordination of truck routing and planned infrastructure improvements across communities in that area. As a result of this CMAP report, a number of municipalities in the O'Hare subregion (Bellwood, Bensenville, Des Plaines, Elk Grove Village, Franklin Park, Itasca, Maywood, Melrose Park, Northlake, Schiller Park, and Wood Dale, as well as the Chicago Departments of Aviation and Transportation), as well as Cook and DuPage Counties, came together to propose a project that would create a truck routing and infrastructure plan across their communities.
The subregion around O'Hare International Airport is an economic driver in the greater Chicago region and has a large concentration of freight and manufacturing uses. Together, the participating municipalities in the subregion contain over 3,300 industrial firms employing over 73,000 workers. These freight and manufacturing firms are attracted to the subregion in part because of its location and strong access to transportation infrastructure that carries goods and people into and out of the area. However, these communities have struggled to handle truck activity and provide adequate infrastructure for trucks, and have also faced challenges in balancing regulations to control truck traffic with support for local logistics and manufacturing businesses. Furthermore, collaboration has not always occurred among those communities to designate truck routes. As a result, trucks must often use complicated routes on roads that were not built to handle their weights, causing heavy wear and tear that requires intensive road maintenance and strains local governmental budgets. Additionally, congestion and truck traffic have been identified as a quality-of-life problem in many of these municipalities.
Given these challenges, the O'Hare Subregion Truck Routing and Infrastructure Plan will investigate ways to collaborate across municipalities to address issues of inconsistent regulation, poor roadway conditions, traffic congestion, community impacts, and uncoordinated routing for oversize/overweight vehicle permits. This scope of services will describe the proposed components that a consultant may include in creating a truck routing and infrastructure plan for municipalities in the O'Hare subregion. The plan should include quantitative and geospatial analysis of the subregion's truck systems and provide recommendations for future capital improvements to connect and modernize the routing network, as well as address quality-of-life issues resulting from freight movement. It is understood that a subregional truck routing plan would need to consider routing of oversize/overweight trucks as well.