contentsWinnebao County IL Regional Planning & EDCads

Winnebago County Location and Transportation


Winnebago County is surrounded by a road network that provides easy access to the Chicago metro area (I-90), Madison (I-90/I-39) and Milwaukee (I-43) in Wisconsin, and one of the nation’s largest freight/rail intermodal hubs in Rochelle, IL (I-39).

The Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD) offers domestic and international passenger service, and has progressively evolved into a dynamic commercial service airport. RFD is ranked as the 220th largest passenger service and 22nd largest air cargo airport in the nation. RFD currently has eight (8) non-stop destinations including: Cancun, Clearwater/St. Pete, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Myrtle Beach, Orlando, and Phoenix/Mesa. The four (4) air service providers include: Allegiant Air, Apple Vacations, Southern Skyways, and United Airlines.


RFD’s administration and board are continually working to grow passenger and air cargo service. RFD is home to the second largest air hub sorting facility in the United Parcel Service system, as well as Airborne Express and BAX Global facilities. RFD is also host to thirty industrial tenants and a Foreign Trade Zone. As a Port of Entry since October, 1944, RFD has international capabilities provided by the United States Customs Office. RFD provides free parking and a hassle-free travel experience for customers, which has helped the airport continually grow in service and passengers. In 2007, RFD was named the Illinois Primary Airport of the Year.

Winnebago County is located on the I-39 Logistics Corridor, which encompasses 10,000 square miles and spans 165 miles from Janesville (Wisconsin) on the north to Bloomington (Illinois) on the south.


Of the seven major interstate highways accessible within the corridor, six intersect truck-friendly I-39 (including I-80, I-88, I-55, I-90, I-74 and I-43) – all with less congestion.

All major transcontinental rail systems converge in the Chicago area and seven of them provide access within the corridor: Union Pacific, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Canadian National (formerly Illinois Central), CSX, Norfolk Southern, and Wisconsin & Southern. We also have short lines, Rochelle Dual-Access Railroad and the Iowa, Chicago & Eastern Railroad and the new Union Pacific Global III Intermodal Facility. All major LTL carriers have terminals in the corridor. The county, City of Rockford and area economic development agencies are working to enhance rail services to the area, both freight and passenger.

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