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ILLINOIS TOLLWAY EXPECTS NEARLY 9 MILLION VEHICLES THANKSGIVING WEEKEND

Tollway offers online tools to help customers reach their destinations safely and efficiently

DOWNERS GROVE, IL (November 21, 2016)  – The Illinois Tollway anticipates nearly 9 million vehicles will travel the Tollway system this Thanksgiving weekend from Wednesday, November 23, through Monday, November 28. The heaviest travel is expected on Wednesday, November 23, when more than 1.8 million vehicles are projected to be on the 292-mile Tollway system. On an average day, about 1.6 million vehicles use the Illinois Tollway.

A cornucopia of customer-friendly features are available on the Illinois Tollway’s website, illinoistollway.com, to help Thanksgiving travelers, from real-time traffic information to Trip Tweets for incident information on each of the five tollroads to I-PASS account management tools. One useful resource is the Trip Calculator. Tollway customers can use Trip Calculator to determine in advance how much they will pay in tolls along a designated route or use the pay online feature to identify and pay for any missed tolls to avoid violations.

 “With more vehicles on the Tollway system this Thanksgiving, we want customers to know that we provide a variety of helpful online tools that are fully accessible from mobile devices,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Greg Bedalov. “These online resources help make travel on the Tollway system safer and more efficient for Tollway customers making the annual pilgrimage to grandmother’s house.”

The Illinois Tollway allows a seven-day grace period to pay for any missed tolls. This helps cash-paying customers avoid toll violations in the event they go through one of the growing number of cashless tolling facilities on the Tollway system. That includes the Illinois Route 390 Tollway, the Tri-State Tollway (I-294)/I-57 Interchange and several new ramps opening as part of the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) Rebuilding and Widening Project. Toll plazas that have I-PASS or Pay Online lanes are also identified in the tolling information section of the Tollway’s website.

I-PASS customers who are renting vehicles for their Thanksgiving excursions can now add temporary license plate information to their accounts. The ability to add rental vehicles allows I-PASS customers to use their own transponders to pay tolls anywhere I-PASS or E-ZPass are accepted, including the Chicago Skyway, Indiana Toll Road and 14 other states.

To accommodate increased Thanksgiving holiday travel on the Illinois Tollway, most construction activity will be restricted to better serve Tollway customers. Most temporary maintenance and construction lane closures will be suspended from noon on Wednesday, November 23, through 9 a.m. on Monday, November 28. Some work may continue behind barriers to keep work on schedule.

Electronic message signs and construction signage are in place to alert drivers in advance to construction and lane closures. Traffic shifts and lane closures are necessary to provide a work zone to safely accommodate construction and maintain access for drivers. Drivers are reminded to slow down and follow posted speed limits in construction work zones, which are in effect 24/7 even if no workers are present.

Areas where work zones will continue to be in place during the holiday include:

Jane Adams Memorial Tollway (I-90)

  • Between the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) and the Elgin Toll Plaza, work is wrapping up for the I-90 Rebuilding and Widening Project.

o   Four lanes open in both directions between Roselle Road to just east of Arlington Heights Road and also between the Elgin Toll Plaza and Beverly Road.

o   Three lanes are open in both directions between Beverly Road and Roselle Road and from just east of Arlington Heights Road to Mannheim Road.

  • The new Meacham Road Interchange is open with a westbound exit ramp and a westbound entrance ramp.
  • A new eastbound exit ramp is now open at the Roselle Road Interchange.

Illinois Route 390 Tollway

  • Work continues on the Illinois Route 390 Tollway with construction along Thorndale Avenue from I-290 to York Road and on the I-290 Interchange. Traffic is shifted onto frontage roads in both directions between I-290 and York Road.

Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88)

  • Between U.S. Route 30 in Rock Falls and Chicago Avenue (U.S. Route 52) near Dixon, traffic is reduced to one lane in both directions.

Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355)

  • Between 63rd Street and 75th Street, traffic is shifted on I-355 and on and the ramps from southbound I-355 to 75th Street.

Tollway Travel Tips

The Tollway offers the following ways for drivers to get the latest travel information before they get on the road:

  • illinoistollway.com – Construction/Planning section, Tollway Trip Calculator, live roadway images and real-time roadway incident information
  • 1-800-TOLL-FYI – Daily lane closure and travel information
  • travelmidwest.com – Real-time travel times
  • twitter.com – Real-time roadway incident information at Tollway Trip 90, Tollway Trip 88, Tollway Trip 355, Tollway Trip 94/294 and Tollway Trip 390

Drop It and Drive! – Using a hand-held phone and texting while driving is illegal in Illinois. Tollway customers can stop at any of the Safe Phone Zones located at Tollway oases to safely use their cellphones for calling, texting and accessing mobile apps. A map of Tollway oases can be found online at illinoistollway.com.

Drivers can also avoid tired driving by stopping at one of the seven Tollway oases for a break from the holiday rush. The oases provide drivers an opportunity to not only rest and refuel, but also enjoy a variety of services for travelers and access to retail shops, restaurants, spacious food courts, panoramic windows, kid-friendly spaces and free Wi-Fi services.

Illinois State Police District 15 Combines Visibility with Strict Enforcement
The Illinois State Police District 15 will be out in full force throughout the Illinois Tollway system during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Special enforcement details focused on speeding, distracted driving, seatbelt use and alcohol-related violations will be the focus to help keep motorists safe.

“The idea is to combine high visibility with strict enforcement to reduce speeds and prevent serious injury crashes,” said District 15 Commander Robert Meeder. “We want everyone to enjoy the holidays and make it home safely.”

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 292 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), the Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80) and the Illinois Route 390 Tollway         

CONTACT:     Dan Rozek, (630) 241-6800 ext. 2392 or drozek@getipass.com

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