Rural Residents On Proposed Train-Truck Depot: Not In Our Back Yard

(CBS) — Residents of south suburban Crete are fighting an industrial giant.

Their rural homes have been surrounded by farmland for decades on a swath of land between Goodenow and Crete-Monee roads.

But railroad giant CSX wants to build an intermodal rail facility on more than 1,000 acres next door. Trucks would come in and out of the facility.

Tim Piepenbrink is angry. “It’s going to be horrible,” he says.

Another resident, Carol Zelinsky, has concerns about health and safety with all of the trucks that would be coming into the neighborhood.

“Having over 1,000 trucks in our backyard 24/7 with diesel fumes is a very big concern,” she says.

CSX transportation says the facility would move 500,000 containers a year from trucks to trains, creating up to 235 full-time jobs with an average salary of $60,000.

But critics aren’t sure any of those jobs will benefit locals, and they don’t think the country roads can handle all of the truck traffic.

“This railyard is not going to be good for the area. We don’t have the infrastructure to support it,” Will County Board Member Laurie Summers says.

In a statement, the company says it is taking neighbors’ concerns seriously.

“CSX is working to develop one of the most technologically advanced intermodal terminals in the country. We are committed to completing this project safely, efficiently and in a manner that is respectful of our future neighbors,” the company said.

The mayor of Crete declined an interview request.

The land was zoned for intermodal 10 years ago, but construction stalled due to the recession.

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