The City of Joliet is ideally located within Chicago’s Southwest suburbs, approximately 40 miles from the heart of the Loop. Joliet’s position along the leading edge of the metropolitan area, in fast-growing Will County, places it in the center of an extensive transportation network.
Reaching Chicago and surrounding suburbs is easy, thanks to the availability of major interstate highways 80, 55 and 355, and various public transit outlets. For local travel, commuters utilize Pace, a suburban bus network offering connections to various Joliet area destinations. Commuter rail is available at Joliet’s historic Union Station, which is serviced by two Amtrak passenger rail lines and two Metra commuter rail lines. Metra’s Heritage Corridor route and Rock Island District route connect riders to downtown Chicago in just over one hour, while Amtrak supplies regular service to Quincy, Illinois; Carbondale, Illinois; St. Louis, Missouri; and San Antonio, Texas.
Corporate and recreational aviation is supported at Joliet Regional Airport and nearby Lewis University Airport in Romeoville. Commercial air needs are readily met through two Chicago-based international airports. The closest is Midway International Airport, positioned 40 minutes from Joliet; O’Hare is located just under one hour from the city.
Business and industry also have options when it comes to distributing goods. In addition to air freight service through Midway and O’Hare, freight rail services are available through the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railroad, and water transport is offered via the Des Plaines River/Chicago Ship Canal.
Joliet’s location and transportation options are significant assets for both businesses and residents. With highways, rail lines, airports and water transportation all available, the city remains well connected to the Chicago metro area and other major markets in the Midwest and beyond.
The Joliet Gateway Center transportation campus is a $34.4 million project that includes the contruction of new commuter parking and kiss-and-ride facilities (completed in 2013), contruction of a new bus facility, construction of a new train station, and the relocation of train passenger platforms. The project is funded through a $32 million grant from the State of Illinois, $7.5 million in funding from the City of Joliet, $2.2 million from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, and $1.7 million from PACE. The Gateway Center project demonstrates the continued partnership of the State, City and County, the RTA, Metra, PACE, Amtrack, Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railroad, and Union Pacific Railroad.
The new Rock Island train passenger platform and temporary Heritage Corridor platform both opened on September 22, 2014. The BNSF Railway and the UP will begin work on rail realignment, new signals, and reconstruction of the rail intersection in Fall 2014. The city will also start construction of two tunnels that will provide access to the new permanent Heritage Corridor platform once it is built. Design for the new rail and bus stations is neary complete. The new train station is planned to open in late 2015 and the new bus station is expected to open in early 2016.