7 Million Vehicles Expected on the Tollway This Weekend
DOWNERS GROVE, IL – For customers looking for a fun getaway close to home, the Illinois Tollway and Illinois Office of Tourism have developed a menu of “statecation” ideas that include events and attractions to visit along the 286-mile Tollway system this Fourth of July weekend.
“Continually high gas prices may keep some of the Tollway’s customers closer to home this holiday,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur. “So, we wanted to come up with some great things our customers could do this weekend that would make them feel like they’re on vacation while they’re really just a short drive away.”
“There are so many options for “statecations” this holiday weekend and over the summer season, and the Illinois Tollway can help get you there,” said Illinois Deputy Tourism Director Jan Kostner. “Food and wine enthusiasts can satisfy their appetites at the plethora of festivals and special events held throughout the season, while families can stay cool at one of Illinois’ many water parks and beaches.”
The Illinois Tollway is expecting approximately 7 million vehicles will travel the Tollway system this Fourth of July holiday from Friday, July 1, through Tuesday, July 5. The heaviest travel over is anticipated on Friday, July 1, when nearly 1.8 million vehicles are projected to be on the road. On an average day, about 1.4 million vehicles use the Tollway.
Tollway Construction Zones
The Tollway will suspend all temporary construction lane closures from noon on Friday, July 1, through 9 a.m. on Tuesday, July 5, in anticipation of the increase in travel. Some work may continue behind barriers to keep work on schedule, but this work will not impact traffic.
Major construction areas where drivers should plan for slower traffic during the holiday include:
Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90)
· Traffic in both directions between the Elgin Toll Plaza and Barrington Road is shifted with an express lane on the left and two local lanes on the right and a work zone in the center for roadway and bridge rehabilitation. There is limited access to exits from the express lane, which is for cars only. Eastbound traffic exiting before IL Route 53/I-290 should remain in the local lanes. Westbound traffic exiting before Randall Road should remain in the local lanes.
· Traffic is shifted to the right in both directions between Genoa Road and U.S. Route 20 for roadway and bridge rehabilitation.
Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80)
· Traffic is shifted to the left in both directions between Irving Park Road and Balmoral Avenue for construction of a new all-electronic exit ramp from northbound I-294 to Balmoral Avenue.
· Traffic on I-294 is shifted to the left in both directions near I-57 for the Illinois Department of Transportation reconstruction of the I-57 bridges over I-294.
A 45 m.p.h. speed limit is in effect 24/7 in all construction zones, whether or not workers are present. The minimum penalty for speeding in a work zone is $375.
Know Before You Go
The Tollway offers a variety of ways for drivers to get the latest travel information, including:
· www.illinoistollway.com – Traffic & Construction Section
· 1-800-TOLL-FYI – Daily lane closure information
· www.travelmidwest.com – Real-time travel times
· Up-to-the-minute traffic by roadway – www.nbcchicago.com
· eNewsletter – www.illinoistollway.com
Illinois State Police District 15 Out in Force
Illinois State Police District 15 will be out in force patrolling the Illinois Tollway System throughout the holiday. Troopers also will be conducting Operation CARE (Combined Accident Reduction Effort), which focuses on the fatal five offenses including speeding, seat belt compliance, DUI, traveling too close and improper lane usage.
About the Illinois Office of Tourism
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Office of Tourism manages industry efforts that result in sustainable and significant economic and quality-of-life benefits for Illinois residents. For a list of additional events in Illinois this summer, visit www.enjoyillinois.com.
About the Illinois Tollway
The Illinois Tollway is a user-fee system that receives no state or federal funds for maintenance and operations. The agency maintains and operates 286 miles of interstate tollways in 12 counties in Northern Illinois, including the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88), the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355), the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) and the Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80).
Joelle McGinnis, ext 2380
Jan Kemp, ext 2381