The Illinois Tollway expects 17.6 million vehicles will use the Tollway system between Friday, Dec. 20, and Thursday, Jan. 2 to travel during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
The heaviest travel is anticipated on Friday, Dec. 20, when the Tollway expects nearly 1.6 million vehicles to be on the road. On an average day, about 1.4 million vehicles use the Tollway.
“The Illinois Tollway wishes all our customers safe, smooth driving this holiday season,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur in a news release. “As part of our annual tradition, the Tollway oases will provide late-night drivers a free cup of coffee on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.”
Travelers can get a complimentary cup of coffee at 7-Eleven stores and McDonald’s restaurants located at an Illinois Tollway oases. Complimentary coffee will be served on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve at the following times and locations:
Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90)
- Des Plaines Oasis (9 p.m. to 6 a.m.)
- Belvidere Oasis (9 p.m. to 6 a.m.)
Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80)
- Lake Forest Oasis (9 p.m. to 6 a.m.)
- O’Hare Oasis (9 p.m. to 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. to 6 a.m.)
- Hinsdale Oasis (9 p.m. to 6 a.m.)
- Chicago Southland Lincoln Oasis (9 p.m. to 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. to 6 a.m.)
Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88)
- DeKalb Oasis (9 p.m. to 6 a.m.)
Lane Closures Suspended
To accommodate increased holiday travel, the Tollway will suspend all temporary maintenance and construction lane closures from noon on Tuesday, December 24, until 9 a.m. on Thursday, December 26, and from noon on Tuesday, December 31, until 9 a.m. on Thursday, January 2, 2013.
Some work may continue behind barriers to keep work on schedule, but this work will not impact traffic.
Areas where work zones will continue during the holiday include:
Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80: Between I-57 and Kedzie Avenue, traffic in both directions is reduced to three lanes and shifted right for construction of the new I-294/I-57 Interchange.
Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90)
- Between I-39 in Rockford and the Elgin Toll Plaza, construction is continuing and a work zone speed limit remains in place.
- Westbound traffic between Irene Road near Belvidere and I-39 is currently reduced from two lanes to one lane and an alternate route is posted.
- At the Marengo Toll Plaza, eastbound traffic is shifted to the right and reduced to one open road tolling lane; an I-PASS Only lane is available in the cash plaza for I-PASS users.
- Between Randall Road and the Elgin Toll Plaza, traffic is shifted to the right and reduced to two lanes. Traffic entering eastbound I-90 from Randall Road must merge with mainline I-90 traffic.
Work zone speed limits are in effect 24/7 in all construction zones where lanes are reduced, shifted or traffic is traveling on a shoulder, whether or not workers are present. The minimum penalty for speeding in a work zone is $375.
Tollway Travel Tips
The Illinois Tollway offers the following tips to enhance travel on our roadways:
- Illinois Tollway website: Construction/Planning section and Tollway Trip Calculator and real-time roadway incident information
- Call 1-800-TOLL-FYI for daily lane closure information
- The Travel Midwest website: Real-time travel times
- Twitter: Real-time roadway incident information at Tollway Trip 90, Tollway Trip 88, Tollway Trip 355 and Tollway Trip 94/294
Need Help? Dial *999: If your vehicle becomes disabled, park safely on the shoulder, raise your hood and remain in your vehicle. Dial *999 and assistance will be dispatched to your location.
Illinois State Police District 15 Out in Full Force
The Illinois State Police District 15 will be out in full force throughout the Illinois Tollway system during the holidays.
The goals of the Illinois State Police District 15 are to decrease traffic fatalities and serious personal injury accidents through high visibility and the enforcement of all traffic laws.
District 15 will be conducting special traffic details that focus on the fatal four offenses that include speeding, driving under the influence, seatbelts and distracted driving.
In addition, with the assistance of Tollway maintenance crews, District 15 will be patrolling the roadways to locate stranded and disabled motorist to assist them in reaching their holiday destinations safely.
Source: Illinois Tollway press release