A new transportation hub could be coming as soon as 2025 to the Channahon-Minooka border.
The Canadian National Railway began purchasing property near its railroad tracks west of McClindon Road and north of Route 6 in 2019, and it has amassed about 900 acres. Most of this land is within Channahon village limits and is zoned I-2, Intensive Industrial, and has been for more than 20 years.
Channahon Village Administrator Tom Durkin said it’s still early on in the process. The village has a professional fee agreement with Canadian National to provide a traffic study on its concept layout, which is under review by a hired traffic consultant.
“When we first learned about this, one of the biggest issues was – and Mayor (Missey) Schumacher was adamant about this – was it being a project of this size,” Durkin said. “First of all, 900 acres is a lot of property, no matter what it is. But it’s this particular type of proposal that is gonna have some pretty regional impacts in terms of transportation and traffic and we’re making sure that’s dealt with properly.”
Durkin said Minooka, Morris, Grundy County and the Grundy Economic Development Council sat down with Minooka to discuss potential issues regarding the project.
These issues include how traffic is getting in and out of the site, where the site is accessed from, what effects it will have on local infrastructure and roads and regional roads, and what necessary improvements need to be made both in the short and long term.
“How do we minimize any impacts from a nonresidential-type development?” Durkin said. “That’s the sort of thing we look at all the time when it comes to these sorts of projects.”
Minooka held a public workshop two weeks ago intending to provide a better view of what would be going in.
“Initial plans that were proposed to us was an intermodal with train access coming in from Canadian National into a rail yard that would handle [the] transition of goods and services for the Chicagoland market,” Minooka Village Administrator Dan Duffy said. “That was the initial phase.”
Duffy said it would start as about 200 acres, with the remaining acreage phased in over time to integrate logistics and warehousing. About 65 acres of the property would be considered inside Minooka.
“So it would be a possibly huge impact on our community with little to no revenues associated with it,” Duffy said. “That was our initial concern and, primarily, I would ask how does a project of this magnitude impact us? This is a safety issue.”
Duffy said everything from train rail crossing delays to emergency service delays and school routes could be affected by an increase in truck traffic.
Both parties will be seeking public input soon because the public often comes up with questions that city officials and engineers don’t always think of, such as emissions.
Duffy said residents already have come forward asking how the emissions from additional train and truck traffic could affect local communities.
The village of Channahon has a summary of the project available on its website, which is available at channahon.org/222/New-Development-Projects-Businesses. It provides a timeline of when discussions on the project started and was updated as recently as late October.