Illinois Tollway prepared for changing winter conditions

Illinois Tollway prepared for changing winter conditions
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Illinois Tollway prepared for changing winter conditions

Drivers urged to reduce speed, be alert for plows and emergency vehicles

The Illinois Tollway has mobilized its full fleet of 196 snowplows in response to freezing rain and snow that is expected to slow rush hour travel as it continues falling overnight and into Wednesday, creating slippery pavement conditions in some areas that could affect drivers during their Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning commutes. The Tollway’s Snow Operation Center will remain open through the storm to manage the agency’s systemwide response.

“Our trucks are salting the pavement to prevent ice from forming but conditions may vary as the storm moves through the area, so we ask drivers to please slow down and be alert,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Liz Gorman. “We are reminding everyone to allow extra time to complete their trips and give snowplows and emergency vehicles the extra room they need to safely do their work.”

Drivers can receive real-time information on pavement conditions and roadway incidents by signing up for Tollway Trip Tweets at twitter.com from the Tollway’s website at illinoistollway.com.

Illinois Tollway roadway courtesy of the Illinois Tollway Authority

Illinois Tollway roadway courtesy of the Illinois Tollway Authority

The roadway reports will be updated by the Tollway frequently during the storm as pavement conditions change to better assist customers in planning their trips. Tweeters can follow all five Tollway Trips or just the roadways that interest them.

The five are: @94_294_Tollway, @I_90_Tollway, @I_88_Tollway, @I_355_Tollway and @IL_390_Tollway.

To respond to this weather event, the Illinois Tollway has a full complement of more than 200 staff and supervisors working per shift to ensure that roadways are kept clear of snow and ice.

During heavy snowfall, snowplows often work in tandem to remove as much ice, slush and snow as possible from all lanes at once. When it is safe to pass, the plows spread out and allow traffic to flow around them.

The Tollway and other Illinois transportation and safety agencies also have launched the Give Them Distance campaign to remind drivers to slow down and change lanes safely when they see any stopped vehicle with flashing emergency or hazard lights. Drivers can visit www.GiveThemDistance.com for more information on this safe-driving initiative.

Tollway Travel Tips
The Tollway offers the following tips for winter weather events:
· Slow down and leave enough time to reach your destination.
· Do not make sudden lane changes and always use your turn signal.
· Don’t follow too closely and increase your intervals between vehicles.
· Reduce speed in cash lanes at toll plazas.
· Remember to always wear your safety belt and ensure children under the age of 8 are securely restrained in child safety seats.
· Drop It and Drive. Don’t text or use a hand-held cellphone while driving. Both are illegal.
· 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.
· More information about safe winter driving is available at illinoistollway.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 294 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.

Ray Hanania

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