Air, interstate highway, rail, and water transportation the Illinois Valley has it all! Located at the center of a market area that includesRockford, Peoria, Rock Island-Moline, Bloomington-Normal, and Chicago, it is only hours from 30 major Midwest markets.
The Illinois Valley stands at an important interstate crossroads, positioning Valley industries to serve both east-west and north-south markets by motor freight. Interstate 80, the primary route between New York and San Francisco, cuts through the heart of The Valley, serving LaSalle, Peru, Oglesby, and Spring Valley. Intersecting 1-80, at LaSalle, is 1-39, the linchpin of an interstate system that extends from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Interstate 39 crosses the Illinois River between LaSalle and Oglesby via the beautiful Abraham Lincoln Memorial Bridge, the longest bridge of its type in Illinois. Forty-four transportation firms operate in the Illinois Valley.
Illinois Valley Regional Airport - Walter Duncan Field provides air transport services. The Regional Airport has a 6,000-foot-long and 100-foot wide hard-surface, and lighted runway and offers complete facilities and has hanger and tie-down space for 60 aircraft. An Automatic Weather Observing System (AWOS) provides weather information to pilots, public, and state and local agencies, alerting them to threatening weather conditions. Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) and a Localizer are in place, part of a plan to install a complete ILS system. Flight operations increase steadily and are up to 1,200 flights per month. The airport offers charter service to Chicago's O'Hare International and Midway airports. The area has several rental car agencies and ground transportation services to O'Hare and Midway. O'Hare International Airport is only 90 miles and airports in Rockford, Moline, Bloomington, and Peoria airports are within a 60- to 75-mile radius.
The Illinois River flows through the 400-square-mile Illinois Valley, providing natural beauty and an economical means of transportation for industrial shippers. Docks and terminals service barges carrying bulk commodities and heavy cargo between the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico, via the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers.
Four major railroads give overnight delivery to major Midwest markets Much of the rail network parallels the Illinois River, thus water-oriented industry can access both modes of transportation.
The Peoria to Chicago freeway continues down its study path, lending confidence that it will be built and benefit the Illinois Valley area. Of four routes under consideration, three impact positively on the Illinois Valley. The current study phase is focusing on a "ring road" around Peoria. "A complete ring road around Peoria is needed for any of the four cross-count routes to achieve their maximum benefits," said Bob Vickery, Chairman of the Illinois Valley Area Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee. "We're looking at statewide expansion of jobs from eight to 36 percent along the corridor. The numbers we see from the study process is encouraging," Vickery commented. The current phase of study is scheduled for completion in 1997.
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