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Will County seeks community input on freight

Residents can give opinion in person, or online By MIKE MALLORY - April 27, 2017

JOLIET – Will County has announced several ways residents can take part and have their voices heard in its Community Friendly Freight Mobility Plan.

A series of open houses, workforce forums and an online survey are being used to collect feedback from residents on the current state of freight and transportation in the county as well as how it relates to their daily lives.

Leaders from the freight and logistics sectors are being asked to participate in a workforce forum. Its goal is to help create an action plan to address workforce issues and needs identified by employers in Will County. The forum will be from 9 a.m. to noon May 9 at the Workforce Center of Will County, 2400 Glenwood Ave., Joliet.

Three public open houses are set for mid-May in Wilmington, Plainfield and New Lenox, with the following planned dates: from 5 to 7:30 p.m. May 16 at the William E. Dugan Training Center, 19800 W. South Arsenal Road, Wilmington; 5 to 7:30 p.m. May 17 at Plainfield Village Hall Community Room, 24401 W. Lockport St., Plainfield; and 5 to 7:30 p.m. May 18 at New Lenox Village Hall, One Veterans Parkway, New Lenox.

The county also has begun a survey at, where residents can spend about 10 minutes answering questions about freight and how it can alter their quality of life.

All of the input will be gathered along with other findings of the consulting firm CDM Smith, and they will be released sometime this summer.

“This study is really designed to benefit not just the businesses and logistics companies but to understand how this industry and movement of freight is impacting residents here,” said Will County Center for Economic Development President and CEO John Greuling. “We have some understanding of congestion, noise and safety concerns, but these open houses and the survey give residents an opportunity to give input to the consulting team.”

The county is using the study as a holistic approach to finding the needs of the county’s transportation network as it seeks federal funding to improve roads such as Interstate 80 and Interstate 55.

“We have tried to make it a very open process,” Greuling said.

Will County has the largest inland port in North America, six Class I railroads and three navigable waterways.