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Transportation & Infrastructure

Overview

Global Access at the Heart of the U.S.

Home to five international airports, seven Class I railroads, the third largest interstate highway system in the country and the third largest intermodal port in the world, Illinois offers unparalleled access to global markets.

The state’s central location puts businesses, people and goods within a four-hour flight of the entire North American market—not to mention non-stop service to more than 50 international destinations.

In addition, the state offers businesses top-notch digital infrastructure, reliable, low-cost energy and abundant water and natural resources.

Dynamic Road and Rail Network

 

Illinois’ highly efficient network of road and rail includes seven Class I freight railroads, the largest intermodal system in the U.S.—the third largest in the world—and the third largest interstate highway system in the nation, complete with 2,158 miles of road.

Chicago is one of the largest rail corridors in North America, with approximately twenty-five percent of all U.S. freight traffic passing through it.

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Railway at O'Hare International Airport

A Global Air Transport Hub

 

Ranked #1 in the U.S. for non-stop overseas flights, Illinois is a global hub for air transport. The state is home to 12 major airports, including Chicago O’Hare, which is among the world’s busiest airports, served by all significant international carriers.

Home to operations of United, Southwest and American airlines, Illinois boasts the only “Triple Hub” in North America, providing passengers with more than 1,400 daily departures and non-stop services to more than 200 destinations.

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Ports Built for Trade

Offering access to two major water ports—the Port of Chicago and the Port of East St. Louis—Illinois’ connectivity doesn’t stop with rail and air.

Illinois also boasts the largest inland container port in North America—CenterPoint Intermodal Center, located in Joliet, IL—and 13 port districts and waterways, which provide access to the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.

It’s no wonder Illinois ranks as the fifth largest exporting state in the U.S. and the top exporter in the Midwest.

Low-Cost Energy, High-Quality Digital

Illinois offers low energy rates and deregulation, abundant water and natural resources and robust digital infrastructure that keep your business running at a steady clip without compromising your bottom line.

The average cost of electricity in Illinois is significantly lower than many competitor states, including Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware and neighboring Wisconsin, and the state boasts among the best energy reliability in the Midwest.

The state is also committed to increasing its share of renewable energy and investing in smart grid and fiber optic technology to bring 21st century energy and digital solutions to its businesses and residents. A major digital hub, Chicago has among the highest fiber optic capacity of any metro area in the country and three of the world’s largest data centers are in Chicago or its suburbs.

Solar Array

Quick Facts
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International Airports
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7
Class I Railroads
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3rd
Largest in the U.S.
Interstate Highway System
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3rd
Largest in the World
Intermodal Port
Relevant News
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May 12, 2022

David Boulay Appointed to Intersect Illinois Board of Directors

Boulay to represent Illinois Manufacturers Excellence Center (IMEC) in bringing economic development to Illinois Intersect Illinois today announced that Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) President, David Boulay, will join its board of directors. Boulay leads the organization dedicated to helping manufacturing enterprises in Illinois to be globally competitive. His appointment to Intersect Illinois’ board will […]

May 3, 2022

Changing the narrative: Out-of-state businesses are buying Illinois’ sales pitch

If you’re someone who thinks Illinois gets everything wrong when it comes to business, this column isn’t for you. Actually, maybe it is especially for you. Maybe before you scream “Get me outta this $%^& state!!!” again, you should read what Dan Seals says to out-of-state businesses when he tells them, you should be in […]

April 19, 2022

Intersect Illinois Appoints Jeffrey Baker to Board of Directors

Baker to represent Illinois REALTORS® in helping bring economic development to Illinois Intersect Illinois today announced that Jeffrey Baker will join its board of directors, helping further the organization’s mission of bringing economic growth and jobs to Illinois. Baker is the CEO of Illinois REALTORS®, the trade association representing the commercial and residential real estate […]

April 11, 2022

Intersect Illinois Appoints Jennifer Creasey to Board of Directors

Creasey to represent the University of Illinois System in helping bring economic development to Illinois Intersect Illinois today announced that Jennifer Creasey will join its board of directors, helping further the organization’s mission of bringing economic growth and jobs to Illinois. Creasey serves as the assistant vice president of External and State Relations for the […]

March 28, 2022

Intersect Illinois Launches “Be in Illinois” Campaign

Multimedia, muti-channel campaign highlights state’s opportunities for business growth Intersect Illinois, the public-private business recruitment arm of the state, today launched a new multimedia, multichannel campaign called Be in Illinois. The campaign showcases Illinois’ unique assets such as its skilled workforce, central location and history of innovation to corporate investment and relocation decision makers. A […]