Only about 500 acres would be needed for the actual facility, where goods would be shifted back and forth between railroad cars and trucks, Texas-based Duncan Associates said. The rest would be developed into warehouses and manufacturing plants.
The firm identified three potential sites, all of which are complicated by issues involving location, environmental contamination or land ownership.
The project, which has potential to create thousands of jobs, is opposed by some local residents as well as a group that helped stop the proposed Illiana Expressway. The road would link Interstate 65 in Lake County and Interstate 57 in Illinois.