As part of its effort to provide more valuable and concise real-time traveler information to the motoring public, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announces the availability of the Travel Midwest Alerts System (TMAS). The TMAS is a free service which provides email notifications for up to date traffic information on user-selected trips along the expressways in the Travel Midwest coverage area. The TMAS replaces the less comprehensive Illinois Traffic Alert System (ITAS) legacy product that was initially deployed in 2006.
The TMAS provides users the capability to select one or more trips using the Travel Midwest Trip Report and then create an account to receive traffic information along that trip. The email format, the days and times on which the user receives alerts, and the type of traffic information for each trip are customizable. The user can also give a period during which alerts will not be sent (e.g., for a vacation) and a speed threshold so that alerts are sent only when the speed is below that value. Once a user has created an Alerts System account, trips and their alert preferences can be added, modified, or deleted at any time. The customized trip option provides a valuable enhancement for both regular commuters and the discretionary traveler.
For more detail on defining trips and registering for email alerts, see the Travel Midwest Trips and Alerts Help page.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is announcing a public involvement meeting to discuss a proposed roadway rehabilitation of WIS 32, from 91st Street to 85th Street and safety improvements to the intersection of WIS 32 and 91st Street.
The meeting will take place at the Kenosha Municipal Building – City Hall (Room 204), 625 52nd Street, Kenosha, WI 53140 on Thursday, March 2, 2017, from 5 to 7 pm. The meeting will be conducted in an open house format. The objective of this meeting is to familiarize the public with the purpose and need for the project and to obtain input on the proposed improvements. No formal presentation will be given. Representatives of WisDOT will be available to discuss the proposed project and address any questions or concerns.
The purpose of the proposed project is to extend the life of the roadway and improve safety. Roadway work will include removing and replacing the existing concrete at both the 85th Street and 91st Street intersections along WIS 32. In between these two intersections, the roadway will be patched then overlaid with asphalt.
There is a trend of crashes between vehicles turning left from northbound WIS 32 to 91st Street and vehicles driving southbound on WIS 32. To address this safety concern, the intersection of WIS 32 and 91st Street will have a protected/permitted left turn signal installed. This type of signal will reduce crashes by allowing vehicles to only turn left with a green arrow or flashing yellow arrow. The above information will be displayed at the meeting to provide more detail and to further discussion. We encourage the public to attend the meeting and provide comments.
After gathering input at this meeting, design modifications will be explored and another public involvement meeting may be held in 2017.
Construction is anticipated to begin in Fall 2020 or Spring 2021.
If you are unable to attend the meeting, or would like more information, contact Cindy Flower, WisDOT project manager, at (262) 548-5695 or by email at Cynthia.Flower@dot.wi.gov. Written comments regarding the project can be mailed to Cindy Flower, 141 NW Barstow Street, P.O. Box 798, Waukesha, WI 53187-0798. Citizens who are deaf or hard of hearing and require an interpreter may request one by contacting Cindy Flower at (262) 548-5695 to make arrangements. This number is not a TDD telephone. TDD calls may be placed through the Wisconsin Telecommunications Relay System (dial 711).
The Illinois Tollway has begun work this week to remove and rebuild the IL-23 Bridge on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) in Marengo. Construction of the new bridge is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2017.
IL-23 and the bridge will remain open to traffic throughout construction. Traffic shifts and lane reductions will be put in place to safely accommodate traffic and a work zone as the bridge is removed and rebuilt one side at a time. Up to 3,100 vehicles use this portion of Illinois Route 23 daily.
The Tollway’s construction of the new IL-23 Bridge is being coordinated with McHenry County and the City of Marengo and will accommodate ongoing local planning efforts for a new interchange in the future. The cost to construct the new bridge is estimated at $9 million.
In 2017, the Tollway will remove the existing bridge built in the 1950s to carrying IL-23 traffic over the original I-90 Tollway and build a new wider and longer bridge in its place. The new concrete bridge will provide full shoulders and one lane in both directions and the new structure will be supported by a center median pier in I-90 with concrete abutments on either side of the roadway.
The project will lengthen the IL-23 Bridge due to the new, wider I-90 roadway completed in 2014 and will widen the bridge to provide space for turn lanes to access future interchange ramps. In addition, portions of IL-23 at I-90 and Grossen Road at IL-23 will be rebuilt to accommodate the new bridge structure.
Work on the IL-23 Bridge Project will begin the week of February 13 with advance work to prepare for bridge removal and reconstruction. Flaggers will be used to maintain traffic through the work zone on IL-23 during advance work. Electronic message signs and construction signage will be in place on IL-23 and on I-90 to alert drivers to the work zone and new construction traffic patterns.
On I-90, the left lanes in both directions be will closed and speed limits reduced through the duration of the project to provide for a work zone.
On IL-23, daily lane closures are scheduled between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. as work begins to install temporary traffic signals on IL-23, as well as construction of temporary pavement for traffic staging, tree removal and preliminary dirt grading.
Once temporary traffic signals are in place, IL-23 traffic will be shifted and reduced to a single lane on the bridge with signals controlling access for northbound and southbound traffic during removal and reconstruction of the east side of the bridge. The east side of the bridge is scheduled to reopen by the end of summer, at which time work will begin on the west side of the bridge. The new bridge pavement will be wide enough to accommodate one lane of traffic in each direction and a work zone for the remainder of the construction project.
In addition, throughout the project, a portion of Grossen Road south of I-90 will be closed due to its proximity to the bridge. No detour will be posted, but traffic on Grossen Road can use Carls Road to reach IL-23.
Reconstruction of the IL-23 Bridge is being coordinated with the City of Marengo, McHenry County, Riley Township and the Illinois Department of Transportation, along with local school districts and police and fire departments.
Construction information about the IL-23 Project is available under “Projects Overview” in the Explore Projects section on the Tollway’s website at illinoistollway.com.
Seeks to build upon past accomplishments in sixth year of Move Illinois Program
The Illinois Tollway today highlighted its major goals for 2017 and how it will build upon its notable achievements in 2016 to deliver greater value to its 1.6 million daily customers and the communities throughout the 12 counties in Northern Illinois served by the Tollway system.
The Illinois Tollway enters 2017 with a balanced budget and funding commitment of nearly $1 billion to support the sixth year of its 15-year, $12 billion capital program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future. The agency is positioned to meet goals set by the Tollway Board of Directors and Governor Bruce Rauner to continue to expand and improve the 292-mile Tollway system, deliver technological innovations, create greater opportunities for small, diverse and veteran firms and meet the needs of Illinois’ customers and communities at every turn.
“While we celebrate our past achievements, we are looking ahead to the future,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Greg Bedalov. “We are dedicated to being the best toll agency for our customers and communities, which means continuing to invest in infrastructure improvements, implementing cutting-edge technologies and working with firms and individuals who reflect the diversity of the communities we serve.”
“Our focus in 2017 is to continue making strategic investments that provide lasting value to our customers and tangible benefits for local communities,” said Illinois Tollway Board Chairman Bob Schillerstrom. “We will push ahead in delivering on our promises to customers and be aggressive in our efforts to maintain Illinois as a leader in the regional and national transportation network.”
In 2017, the Illinois Tollway will invest nearly $1 billion in capital improvements to deliver strategic investments in infrastructure, additional access, state-of-the art technology and improvements benefitting the diverse communities along the five roadways that make up the Illinois Tollway system.
In 2016, the Tollway completed roadway improvements as part of the $2.5 billion Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) Rebuilding and Widening Project on time and within budget, delivering back to customers 62 miles of new roadway on I-90 from Rockford to Chicago.
This year, the Tollway is rolling out SmartRoad on a section of I-90, enhancing safety and making the roadway more efficient for customers, incorporating active traffic management and integrating Pace Bus transit stations and services within the roadway for the first time in agency history. The entire I-90 corridor will serve as a test bed for future technologies, with power and fiber built into the roadway to accommodate innovations that become available in the years ahead.
Also in 2016, the Tollway expanded its system for the first time since 2007 with the opening of the western section of the new IL-390 Tollway between US-20 and I-290, which is also the first cashless tolling roadway on the Tollway system. The new roadway expanded the Tollway system to 292 miles from 286 miles.
In 2017, the Tollway will complete construction of the eastern section of the IL-390 Tollway to IL- 83. The work will help create opportunities for new jobs and economic development, provide mobility in the region, relieve congestion and open the way for western access to O’Hare International Airport.
In 2017, the Illinois Tollway will build on the success of its diversity program – recognized for its efforts and successes in 2016 by the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Minority Contractors and the Federation of Women Contractors.
In 2016, the Tollway worked in partnership with a wide variety of industry partners and advocacy agencies to build an even more robust diversity program. As a result, the Tollway has committed more than $4 million in its 2017 budget to diversity initiatives, an increase of more than 60 percent over the 2016 budget.
Funds will be used to support and expand mentoring and technical assistance programs for businesses of all types and sizes, as well as seed the development of new workforce development centers intended to create a pipeline for diverse, historically underrepresented men and women to enter the primary construction trades for Tollway and other transportation industry-related work.
The Illinois Tollway is an economic engine for the region, stimulating development and creating jobs. From 2012 through 2016, the Tollway’s capital program has created or sustained up to 49,260 jobs to support engineering and construction projects systemwide. In addition, upon completion in 2017, the new I-90 improvements and access are projected to support creation of 11,500 additional permanent jobs within the Chicago region over the years to come.
Communities throughout I-90 including Belvidere, Huntley, Hoffman Estates, Elk Grove Village and Schaumburg are welcoming the new and improved roadway in 2016 and completion of new interchange access in 2017 as a boon to economic development and job creation. In 2016, Zurich North America opened its new $300 million headquarters in Schaumburg near the new Meacham Road Interchange, bringing with it nearly 3,000 employees. And Fiat Chrysler Automobile committed $350 million to produce its top-selling Jeep Cherokee line at the Belvidere assembly plant off the Irene Road Interchange.
In 2016, Tollway Board Chairman Bob Schillerstrom started a “listening tour” with nearly 20 communities along the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294). Local communities shared their needs for reducing congestion, accommodating the growth of freight traffic, improving stormwater management and the environment and stimulating economic development through improved access. In 2017, the Tollway will complete a master plan to serve as a roadmap for planning, design and reconstruction of I-294 from 95th Street to Balmoral Avenue.
Customer Service and Efficiencies
The Illinois Tollway makes providing value for its 1.6 million daily drivers a top priority. This includes being responsible, transparent and accountable with how customers’ toll dollars are spent.
In 2016, the Tollway launched a new state-of-the-art tolling system that is more flexible, responsive and effective in providing customers with greater functionality and more self-service options and positioning Illinois for national tolling interoperability.
The new system better manages the growing number of toll transactions on the Tollway system, which increased 5.7 percent in 2016 to approximately 932 million. The Illinois Tollway’s tolling system experiences the highest percentage of electronic toll collection in the nation among tolling systems that support both cash and electronic toll collection. Nearly 88 percent of all toll transactions in 2016 were electronic transactions from more than 5.9 million active transponders and more than 4.2 million active I-PASS accounts.
In 2017, the Tollway will leverage the capabilities of this new system to deliver greater customer service, make tolling seamless for customers from other states by working toward the goal of national interoperability and prepare to take on whatever innovations come next.
About Move Illinois
The Illinois Tollway’s 15-year, $12 billion capital program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future, is improving mobility, relieving congestion, reducing pollution, creating as many as 120,000 jobs and linking economies throughout the region. The first five years of Move Illinois is on schedule and within budget, delivering the rebuilt and widened Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) as a state-of-the-art 21st century corridor and opening a new interchange connecting the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) to I-57. Progress continues on projects addressing the remaining needs of the existing Tollway system, delivering the Elgin O’Hare Western Access Project and planning for emerging projects, including reconstruction of the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294).
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 IL-390 Tollway.
Wisconsin's frozen road law takes effect Thursday, December 22, 2016 at 12:01 a.m. for the regions designated by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) as Zones 1 and 2 – roughly the northern half of the state. The declaration applies to all numbered state and federal highways. The law does not apply to Interstate highways except to portions of I-39 and I-41 as specified in state law (348.01(2)(bc) and (bd). The frozen road determination for the remaining portions of the state will be made once conditions warrant.
The frozen road law allows heavier loads for trucks carrying peeled or unpeeled forest products cut crosswise (not including woodchips), and salt and sand for winter maintenance until approximately early March, unless thawing necessitates an earlier cancellation of the provision or continued cold weather allows for an extension of the declaration period.
The declaration is issued once the ground under highway pavement is frozen to a depth of at least 18-inches, allowing the maximum gross weight for trucks hauling logs or salt and sand for maintaining roads in winter to go up to 98,000 pounds on vehicles with a minimum of five axles (from the normal 80,000 pounds). Special permits for hauling the increased weights are not required in Zones 1 and 2, however, vehicles must be legally licensed at 80,000 pounds to handle the increased weights. The higher weight limits do not apply to county or local roads unless authorized by the local agency having maintenance authority. Also, higher weights may not be transported on any highways or bridges specifically posted for lower weight limits.
WisDOT and county highway personnel monitor temperature forecasts, along with frost tubes – liquid-filled devices under pavement – to help determine when roads are adequately frozen to accommodate heavier loads. Further information can be found on the WisDOT website and by checking a recorded message on the Frozen Road Hotline at (608) 266-8417. Haulers with specific questions can contact WisDOT’s Oversize/Overweight Permits Unit at (608) 266-7320.