Upon Further Review, IDOT Is Granting Limited Access From Route 53 To NorthPoint Facilities

WJOL reported last month that IDOT was going to grant NorthPoint permission for truck access to Route 53 at the Third Coast Intermodal park. Officials told WJOL that we were wrong, but just two weeks later we learned the story was correct.

IDOT has given NorthPoint/Third Coast Intermodal limited access to use the Route 53 entrance and exit on a temporary basis.

Approximately 350,000 square feet of the three million square feet of warehouse space is operational and leased by FNS. WJOL has learned that approximately 15 trucks a day will be using Route 53 to enter and exit the park.

The next tenant to go online is Target which won’t be until 2025 and they’ll have to go through the process as FNS did to get permission from IDOT.

State Representative Walsh Jr. (D-Elwood) issued the following statement in regards to the approval of temporary access to Northpoint via IL 53 by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT);

“While I am disappointed with the approval of any increased truck traffic on IL 53, I am glad to see that IDOT has placed a set of effective restrictions and conditions on that decision. My position on this matter has been consistent, the only way that approval would be acceptable was with conditions from IDOT that prioritized the safety and quality of life of the residents of the 86th district. I do not believe the restrictions go far enough, but they do represent the best case scenario for maintaining safety while the developers work to restore their access to Millsdale Road.

There will be no access until IL 53 has been modified to meet IDOT specifications and standards. In addition, no building permits will be approved or issued by the City of Joliet to Northpoint until access to Millsdale Road is restored.

Most importantly though, this access is tied to one occupant of one warehouse only. Any request to allow other occupants of any of the constructed warehouses to use IL 53 will trigger an immediate set of requirements from IDOT. These include requiring estimates of the increased traffic volume and, if required, further modification to IL 53 before any other trucks will be allowed access. If those requirements are not met in a timely manner, it will result in access being fully revoked and IL 53 being restored to the state it is in today, with Northpoint paying for that restoration.

While this is not the preferred outcome, I am optimistic that the requirements the state has placed on this temporary access are comprehensive enough that there will be no other choice for the developers but to proceed in a productive and positive manner. Furthermore, if an agreement is reached between the developers and the City of Joliet to adjust the Memorandum of Understanding allowing access to Millsdale Road once again, the temporary access to IL 53 will be revoked and the modifications removed. I want to thank every resident of the 86th district who engaged with the process and made their voices heard.”

Meanwhile, State Senator Rachel Ventura also releasing a statement:

“I am vehemently opposed to the decision to allow Northpoint access to Route 53. For years, residents across the district have strongly been against this project due to environmental and health concerns as well as the significant increased traffic that would come to an area that has already been burdened with increased trucking over the years.

 

“This decision directly impacts residents’ daily lives. I have reached out to IDOT to better understand why and how this decision was made despite my letter last month asking to deny the project’s request to gain permanent access to Route 53. I have scheduled time with IDOT for a further conversation on this matter and other matters impacting our region.

 

“We cannot continue to put profit over people and disregard the thousands of residents who have voiced their concerns for years. I will continue to echo my constituents’ concerns on NorthPoint.”