3 years after closing, Chicago Ridge truck terminal could reopen

Mike Nolan
Southtown Star
February 08, 2013

More than three years after it closed its Chicago Ridge terminal, trucking company YRC is taking a look at reopening it.

The company, formerly called Yellow Roadway, in December filed an application for a business license to re-establish the terminal, 10301 Harlem Ave., according to George Witous, Chicago Ridge village attorney.

In a memo sent last month to Chicago-area employees of YRC Freight, the company’s main trucking subsidiary, a company official indicated that efforts to reopen the terminal are at their earliest stages.

Matters such as obtaining the business license “will take some time to finalize,” and “there is a significant amount of construction time that will be required to bring the facility back to a condition that allows it to be operational,” according to the memo distributed by Rich Ganch, area director of operations for YRC Freight.

A spokeswoman for YRC would not confirm the company’s plans and said the firm had “no comment whatsoever.”

The terminal was shuttered in late 2009, and the property has been dormant since. Witous said the site is about 75 acres.

Locally, YRC also has a truck terminal near U.S. 30 and the Calumet Expressway in Sauk Village.

The company rapidly grew into one of the nation’s biggest freight haulers, with Yellow Transportation and competitor Roadway merging in 2003, and the combined company buying regional trucking company USF — operator of the Holland, Reddaway and New Penn lines — in 2005.

When the recession slashed revenue for trucking companies, YRC scrambled to cut costs and sell assets, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters agreed to wage cuts and a temporary halt to pension contributions by the company.

At the time the terminal closed, longtime Chicago Ridge Mayor Eugene Siegel wasn’t exactly broken up about the company trucking out of town, calling it “not a big loss to the village” and expressing hope that the property could be redeveloped for retail use.

After the terminal closed, there initially were reports that the property had been sold, but Witous said village officials understand that YRC still owns it. Cook County tax bills for the site show that YRC was billed last year for the property tax, totaling a little more than $1.3 million.

Witous said that, along with obtaining a business license, YRC would need to ensure that the property is in compliance with village building codes, although no code violation citations have been issued to the company.

He said village officials have had an “ongoing conversation over years” with YRC about the property, and that YRC last year applied to the village to fix up a terminal building but didn’t follow through.

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