Outstanding Transportation with Highway, Rail, Air, and Barge
A safe, convenient, and efficient transportation system is vital to the future growth and development of Morris. A good street and highway system should not only be capable of accommodating present and future traffic volumes, but should serve the people by connecting living areas with employment, shopping, and recreational areas. In the same sense, the total transportation system, including rail and barge, should link business and industries with essential services, suppliers, terminals, and markets within and beyond Morris. Along with plans to further develop Morris airport, to meet the local and business, current and future, flying needs, Morris is promoting compatible commercial, industrial, and service businesses near the airport.
Transportation facilities providing quality access to opportunities within Morris, primarily employment, education, recreation, and residential areas, and to important linkages outside the City, such as markets and sources of material supply.
Morris is blessed to be located along the heavily traveled Interstate 80, which extends across the entire length of the United States connecting New York and San Francisco. This critical Interstate carried approximately 35,500 vehicles daily (west of Route 47). Approximately 38% of this total was truck traffic. U.S. Route 6 runs east-west through the town, paralleling I-80. Seneca and Channahon are neighboring municipalities to the west and east respectively on U.S. 6. There is an average of 14,000 vehicles daily on U.S. 6.
Illinois Route 47 is one of the major north-south State Routes. It connects Morris with Yorkville to the north and Dwight to the south. Beyond neighboring communities, Route 47 extends north to the Wisconsin border and south to Interstate 74 and the City of Champaign. More than 28,000 vehicles come through the city limits daily along Illinois 47.
Morris is served by the CSX freight line, which runs between Joliet and Henry. One round trip freight train runs on a typical day on the line. It connects with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF), Iowa Interstate, and Union Pacific (UP) Railroads. As two of the largest railroads in the country, the BNSF and UP move a large percentage of the nation’s freight. Commuter rail service may come to Morris in the future. There are two counties and several communities from LaSalle to Joliet that are working together on the concept of passenger service. This would allow residents of the area to take the train to Joliet and then onto train service to Chicago and the suburbs.
The Illinois River runs east-west along the City’s south boundary. The river is entirely navigable and maintains a navigation channel between its eight locks and dams. Barge traffic is extensive on the river throughout the year. The Illinois River is a primary connection between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River. Morris’ location on the Illinois River allows for the capability of shipping bulk goods via barge, which appeals to heavy manufacturing industries. The Illinois River is also heavily used by residents and visitors for recreation.
The Morris Municipal Airport serves Grundy County. It is located approximately 1½ miles north of Interstate 80. It is a publicly owned, public use, general aviation airport with 5,008 by 75 foot hard surfaced and lighted runway. Several local businesses utilize Morris Municipal Airport. It is primarily used for corporate and private flights. Primary commercial airports O’Hare and Midway in Chicago are located approximately 60-75 miles from the city.