Transportation

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Location has been a key part of the equation for Jefferson County’s success with convenient transportation via highway, rail and air. Almost one-third of  the nation’s top 50 metropolitan areas are within 500 miles of Jefferson County. Mt. Vernon is at the crossroads of I-57 and I-64, which is the fifth busiest highway freight intersection in the U.S.

Located in the heart of southern Illinois, Jefferson County has multiple Interstate exits on I-57 and I-64. Some highway access from Jefferson County includes:

Route Access Direction
  • Interstate 57 Local North/South
  • Interstate 64 Local East/West
  • Interstate 70 65 miles north  East/West via I-57
  • Interstate 24 51 miles south East/West via I-57
  • State Route 37 Local North/South
  • State Route 15 Local East/West
  • State Route 148 Local North/South
  • State Route 142 Local Northwest/Southwest

Another key component making Jefferson County a hub of transportation is its world-class airport. The Mt. Vernon Outland Airport has a 6,500-foot main runway, fixed base operation, terminal building and storage hangers. The airport regularly serves local automotive suppliers with just-in-time delivery to plants waiting for larger orders.

Charter and private aviation services are provided, as well as refueling. The facility offers Shell 100 and Jet A fuels; a pilot lounge with weight and exercise room, shower and snooze rooms; wireless internet in the terminal; complimentary refreshments; courtesy shuttle; and overnight hangar reservations. Other commercial air service within 90 miles include Lambert International Airport-St. Louis, Mid America Airport-Mascoutah and Williamson County Airport – Marion.

Not to be outdone, the rail industry in Jefferson County and southern Illinois is thriving and a major component in logistics for North America. Two transloading facilities provide access to four of the train lines that run through Jefferson County. One is at Milano Railway Logistics in Mt. Vernon, which serves the NS, UP and Evansville-Western short-line. The other is in Bluford, operated by Bridgewell Resources and serving the CN line.

Mt. Vernon sits at the unique junction of three Class 1 Railroads, the UP, CSX and NS, as well as BNSF and Evansville Western, allowing companies to move their materials and goods east and west from one location. Jefferson County is also just 45 minutes from East St. Louis, Illinois, the nation’s No. 2 rail hub, and passenger services are available within 30 miles through Amtrak.

Motor freight also plays an extensive role in moving Jefferson County forward. Local distribution is alive and well with manufacturers like Continental Tire, Everbrite Neon Sign, Walgreens Distribution Center and NAPA. Trucking companies include UPS Freight, FedEx Freight, Overnite Transportation and Direct Motor Freight as well as other local companies including Prologistics, Midwestern Transit and Road Dog Drivers.

For companies that require more than road, air and rail transport, inland port facilities are available within one and-a-half hours of Jefferson County on both the Ohio and the Mississippi Rivers.

Jefferson County, Illinois, is uniquely positioned to be a transportation hub for not only the Midwest, but also for all of North America.