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Residents call expansion of Intermodal Center “A Madhouse”

Megann Horstead, Reporter – news@thetimesweekly.com | 9/20/2018, 6 a.m.
Resident says the city is creating a “madhouse” with their plans for expansion of the CenterPoint Intermodal Center. They voiced ...

Resident says the city is creating a “madhouse” with their plans for expansion of the CenterPoint Intermodal Center. They voiced their concern over truck traffic congestion on Schweitzer Road at a recent Council meeting.

The Joliet City Council approved a set of annexations associated with the CenterPoint Intermodal Center. Future development in this area may include warehousing and distribution facilities

The plans, as requested, seek approval of the annexation and classification to I-TC intermodal terminal-industrial park zoning for five parcels of land off Brandon Road that total 17.2 acres.

Previous city council action to approve CenterPoint plans includes language stipulating that future development related to the deal is contingent on the continuation of negotiations with residents adjacent to the site. As such, the original annexation agreement does not require an amendment.

Joliet resident Mike Marchio expressed some concerns for the project Monday during the Joliet Pre-Council meeting, saying it is becoming a “madhouse” on Schweitzer Road.

“New buildings are being built, and our street is becoming a main thoroughfare,” he said, referring to Schweitzer Road.

Marchio said the city spoke of plans to ease this concern about 10 years ago.

“They were going to close the street, close the railroad crossing, so that would take care of the some of the noise and all the traffic,” he said.

Marchio suggested that the city look into creating a quiet zone or create a dead-end road by the railroad tracks.

Councilwoman Jan Quillman asked if city staff could do something to accommodate the residents in that area and their concerns.

“CenterPoint is looking at doing some potential additional development on the west side of the tracks and relocating Brandon Road,” said Jim Trizna, director of public works for the city of Joliet. “We have a lot of concerns also with what they’re proposing to do. Basically, [they’re looking at] shifting Brandon Road a little bit farther east and closer to the railroad crossing.”

The city is currently seeking quiet zones for the railway crossings at Laraway, Schweitzer and Millsdale roads.

“We’re actually have a [diagnostics] meeting with all these agencies out there on site,” Trizna said. “They want to look at all the conditions of that.”

Trizna said it’s a slow process, and it may take about a year to see results.

City staff is also recommending the closing off of the railroad crossing or installing a signal where Brandon and Schweitzer roads meet to tie in with the gates and flashers.

The Joliet Plan Commission at its meeting last month provided a positive recommendation to the Joliet City Council.

Councilman Pat Mudron said he does not support council action to approve the annexations associated with CenterPoint.

“I can’t vote on something in the future that may come or may not come,” he said, noting that he wants an agreement in writing enacted with backing from the residents who live off Schweitzer Road.

In a 7-1 vote, officials decided to advance the annexations agreements associated with the CenterPoint Intermodal Center. Voting no was Mudron.