LaSalle Street Traffic

Aerial of Downtown












I&M Canal Trail

A safe, convenient, and efficient circulation system is vital to the economic well being and quality of life in Ottawa. An effective system must not only be capable of accommodating present and future traffic volumes, it should also serve the public by connecting living areas with employment, shopping, medical and recreational facilities. The transportation system must meet the needs of business and industry by linking those activities with essential services and distant markets. The total transportation system should be multi-modal including local and transient vehicular traffic, pedestrian ways and bicycle circulation, rail service for transport of goods, water transports, as well as the potential to restore commuter rail service to Ottawa.

Several federal and state highways run through Ottawa. I-80 is located in the northern portion of the City, and Illinois Routes 23 and 71 transect the City. Illinois Route 23 runs north-south while Illinois Route 71 runs from the northeast to the southwest. Illinois Routes 23 and 71 travel directly through the downtown bringing a large amount of traffic through the center of Ottawa. U.S. Highway 6 is located slightly north of the downtown and travels east and west. The development of these major roadways combined with the earlier means of transportation and the Illinois and Fox Rivers, helped Ottawa gain importance as a regional transportation hub.

One type of circulation that Ottawa should promote and utilize to its full potential is the I&M Canal Trail that is used by bicyclists, hikers, crosscountry skiers and snowmobiles. The trail uses the historic I&M Canal tow path, and is part of the Grand Illinois Trail. The Canal Trail will be connected to the downtown through the Riverwalk Trail to help link pedestrians to the downtown.

The City of Ottawa is currently working on several projects dealing with transportation in and around Ottawa. The first is the potential for a commuter rail line that would utilize the existing train station and CSX line. A feasibility study is underway to determine the potential need for commuter rail service. The counties involved are Will, Grundy and LaSalle. The proposed commuter rail service would run 59 miles from Joliet Union Station to a terminal station in the LaSalle-Peru area, passing through Minooka, Channahon, Morris, Seneca, Marseilles, Ottawa and Utica.

CSX Train Station