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GLRTOC logo   The Travel Midwest Alerts System

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.

12/20/2016 4:28 PM (Updated 12/31/2016 8:34 AM)

Illinois Department of Transportation logo   Illinois Department of Transportation Seeks Input for Long Range Transportation Plan

Through June 2, Illinoisans are encouraged to complete an online survey that will help identify how residents would like the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to prioritize its budget.

The information provided will help IDOT develop its Long Range Transportation Plan, to be released in late 2017.

Help us plan the future of Illinois transportation!

5/22/2017 5:55 PM (Updated 5/22/2017 5:56 PM)

Illinois Tollway logo   Illinois Tollway And Illinois State Police Offer Fun and Safety Event

OPERATION KID OFFERS FAMILY FUN AND SAFETY EVENT MAY 27 IN ITASCA
Free safety seat checks and kids ID cards available at K.I.S.S. event at the Itasca Fire Department

DOWNERS GROVE, IL – The Illinois Tollway and Illinois State Police District 15 are working to keep children safe every trip, every time through Operation Kid 2017 and are hosting a free Kids’ Identification and Safety Seat (K.I.S.S.) event Saturday, May 27, at the Itasca Fire Department.

“Child ID cards are simple and proven way to keep kids safe, not only on summer vacations, but also for travel year round,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Greg Bedalov. “An up-to-date, good quality photo along with the descriptive information an ID card provides is one of the most effective tools to help locate the child. We invite families to stop by, get ID cards for their kids and have some fun with our District 15 and Tollway safety experts.”

The next Operation Kid K.I.S.S. event is scheduled Saturday, May 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Itasca Fire Department, 520 W. Irving Park Road. Highlights include:

  • Free identification cards for children ages 3 and older.
  • Child safety seat inspections and installations.
  • Touch-a-truck display featuring hands-on exploration of a Tollway H.E.L.P. truck, snowplow, Illinois State Police and Itasca Police and Fire Department vehicles.
  • Fire station tours and fire safety information.
  • A free drawing for a chance to ride to school in a police car for families receiving safety seat inspections and kids IDs.
  • A free drawing to win passes to the Itasca Waterpark for families receiving safety seat inspections and kids IDs.

Operation Kid 2017 K.I.S.S. events make staying safe quick and convenient for parents, grandparents, caregivers, and fun for kids by providing free kids’ ID cards and child safety seat inspection and installation help. K.I.S.S. events are scheduled throughout Northern Illinois in 2017.  Learn more about the facts and event details at the Tollway’s website at illinoistollway.com. 

Operation Kid 2017 – It’s as easy as 1-2-3!

1 – Find an event near you!

The Illinois Tollway and Illinois State Police District 15 are hosting the free K.I.S.S. events at convenient locations, including children’s museums, malls and Tollway oases.

A complete list is available on the Tollway’s website at illinoistollway.com.

2 – Get a photo ID card for your child

At K.I.S.S. events, trained professionals take photographs and fingerprints of children 3 and older and gather vital information to include on an ID card that parents and caregivers can reference in an emergency.

Up to 90 percent of families will at some point temporarily lose a child in a public place, surveys indicate. Kids IDs are tools that provide police with accurate descriptions to help locate lost children.

3 – Make sure your child’s safety seat is safely installed

Certified child passenger safety technicians inspect child safety seats and help with proper positioning and installation, as well as provide information on correct sizing, expiration dates and recalls to protect children most effectively.

Properly installed child safety seats save lives and significantly reduce injuries in the event of a crash. Yet, Illinois State Police find that approximately 90 percent of child safety seats they inspect are improperly installed.

“One child fatality on Illinois roadways is one too many,” said District 15 Commander Robert Meeder. “K.I.S.S. events offer a convenient way for drivers to make sure they comply with Illinois law, which requires that whenever a person is transporting a child under age 8, the person is responsible for properly securing the child in an appropriate child restraint system.”

5/22/2017 3:47 PM (Updated 5/22/2017 3:47 PM)

Illinois Department of Transportation logo   IDOT, Law Enforcement Urge Motorists to 'Click It or Ticket' as Summer Travel Season Begins
As Memorial Day approaches, the Illinois Department of Transportation and state and local law enforcement agencies are joining forces to remind motorists to wear their seat belts and avoid impaired driving. 
 
"Wearing your seat belt is the law, but it's also a matter of common sense," said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. "Making the right choice to buckle up, every time, no matter where you are seated, substantially increases your chance of survival in the event of a crash. By buckling up and avoiding impaired driving, you can help keep Illinois roads safer for all who are traveling." 
 
Motorists can expect to see increased patrols and enforcement zones throughout Illinois as part of IDOT's "Click It or Ticket" campaign. To help kick off the campaign, law enforcement agencies throughout Illinois will join neighboring states Monday, May 22, from 4 to 8 p.m., in mobilizing the national "Border to Border" Operation, sending a zero-tolerance message to the public that driving or riding unbuckled will result in a ticket, no matter what state.
 
These unified efforts to crack down on unbuckled and impaired drivers come at a time when traffic fatalities are on the rise. Illinois has seen an increase in motor vehicle fatalities over the last two years. According to 2015 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, 42 percent of nationwide motor vehicle fatalities involved unbuckled vehicle occupants.

Seat belts are designed to keep you positioned safely in a vehicle. Should a crash occur, a seat belt helps slow down the body, works in conjunction with the air bag and spreads force over a wider area of the body, lessening the likelihood of injury or ejection.

"You can safeguard the lives of your passengers and fellow motorists simply by buckling up," said Illinois State Police Director Leo P. Schmitz. "Whether you're traveling block-to-block or border-to-border, make sure every occupant in your vehicle is wearing their seat belt."
 
 
For more information on the "Click It or Ticket"mobilization, visit buckleupillinois.org.

For IDOT District 6 updates on Twitter, follow us at http://twitter.com/IDOTDistrict6.

5/19/2017 2:30 PM (Updated 5/22/2017 9:19 AM)

Wisconsin Department of Transportation  logo   Press Release: Public Hearing Set for WI-120

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) SoutheastRegion office in Waukesha is holding a public hearing to discuss the location, design and environmental aspects of proposed improvements on WI-120, from US-12 to I-43 in Walworth County. The segment of WI-120 proposed to be designated as a controlled access highway is approximately 10.8 miles in length.

The public hearing is planned for Wednesday, May 24, at the Town of Lyons – Town Hall located at 6339 Hospital Road. The event will be conducted from 6 to 8 p.m., with an open house format taking place from 6 to 7 p.m. and the hearing starting promptly at 7 p.m. Interested persons are urged to attend, to ask questions and to provide testimony. Information on how to present verbal and written testimony will be provided at the hearing.

The public is encouraged to attend the public hearing to learn more about the proposed improvements and provide input. Project maps and other information will be on display and project staff will be available to explain the proposed improvements and answer questions.

The meeting facility is wheelchair accessible. Deaf or hard of hearing persons needing assistance may contact Brian Moore via the Wisconsin Telecommunication Relay System (dial 711). To allow time for arranging assistance, please call no later than three working days prior to the hearing.

For additional information about the proposed improvements, interested persons may contact WisDOT Access Management Engineer Brian Moore at 262-548-6463 or Brian.Moore@dot.wi.gov.

5/15/2017 10:53 AM (Updated 5/15/2017 3:34 PM)

Illinois Department of Transportation logo   IDOT, Pace Expand Bus on Shoulder Success to the Edens

The Illinois Department of Transportation) announced that construction will begin this week on the Edens Expressway (I-94) to support the expansion of the popular bus on shoulder program. Nighttime traffic impacts will take place on the expressway until the project is completed this fall.

“This minor modification to our infrastructure will have far-reaching benefits for commuters and the environment,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “Expanding the success of this convenient, innovative program to the  Edens provides travelers in the region one more option to get to where they need to go, while reducing congestion and building more reliability into their trips..”

The bus on shoulder program will allow existing Pace routes 626 and 620, which connect the northeast suburbs and Chicago, to operate on the expressway’s outside shoulders in both directions between Foster Avenue and Lake Cook Road. The project consists of resurfacing the outside shoulders, as well as some travel lanes, adding new signage and modifying rumble strips.

Since the bus on shoulder program was implemented on the Stevenson Expressway (I-55) in 2011, Pace’s on-time performance increased from 70 percent to 90 percent along the corridor. The program allows Pace buses to use the inside shoulders to bypass traffic when speeds have dropped below 35 mph.

“We’ve seen unprecedented ridership growth along the I-55 corridor thanks to bus-on-shoulder operations,” said Pace Chairman Richard Kwasneski. “Since Pace launched its Bus on Shoulder program in 2011, ridership in the corridor has grown by almost five times. When there’s congestion on the roadway, bus-on-shoulder service is faster and more reliable than driving. Commuters see that and choose our service over their cars. We believe they will do the same in the Lake-Cook region and are excited to partner with IDOT on this project.”

A full Pace bus takes an estimated 50 vehicles off the road, easing congestion for the thousands of vehicles that drive along the Edens each day and cutting down on harmful emissions. Pace customers who utilize the service can make their trips even more productive by taking advantage of free onboard wifi. Visit the Pace website to learn more about bus on shoulders.   Beginning Monday, May 15, weather permitting, nightly lane closures will take place in both directions between Foster Avenue and Lake Cook Road. The expressway at times will be reduced to one lane in each direction during the overnight hours. Expressway entrance and exit ramp closures also may be required.

Click here to find details on other construction projects in IDOT’s District 1. Updates on the impacts to traffic are available at www.travelmidwest.com.

5/15/2017 9:26 AM (Updated 5/15/2017 3:28 PM)

Illinois State Police logo   Illinois State Police Announce Roadside Safety Checks to be Conducted

The Illinois State Police (ISP), District 15, will conduct a Roadside Safety Check (RSC) in DuPage, Cook and Will counties during the hours of 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. According to Commander Robert Meeder the Road Side Safety Checks will be conducted May 12, 2017, at the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) Halsted Street Toll Plaza (Plaza 47A); May 13, 2017, on the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88) at the Meyers Road Toll Plaza (Plaza 52); May 19, 2017, on the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) at the Touhy Avenue Toll Plaza (Plaza 29); May 26, 2017, on the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) Halsted Street Toll Plaza (Plaza 47A); May 27, 2017, on the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88) at the Meyers Road Toll Plaza (Plaza 52); and May 27, 2017, on the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355) at the Boughton Road Toll Plaza (Plaza 89).

The ISP has zero tolerance for impaired driving in Illinois. Officers working this detail will be watchful for drivers who are operating vehicles in an unsafe manner, driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license, transporting open alcoholic beverages or driving under the influence (DUI).

Alcohol and drug impairment is a significant factor in nearly 40 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes in Illinois. RSCs are designed to keep our roads safe by taking dangerous DUI offenders off the road. This project is funded through the Illinois Department of Transportation.

5/8/2017 9:37 AM (Updated 5/13/2017 9:12 AM)

Minnesota Department of Transportation logo   MN-36 Stillwater Lift Bridge Resumes Summer Lift Schedule

With the return of warm weather, the Minnesota Department of Transportation will resume the MN-36 Stillwater Lift Bridge summer hours at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning.
The Lift Bridge will be staffed full time from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and from 8 a.m. to midnight on weekends and holidays until the end of the year’s schedule sometime around Oct. 15.
During the lift season, the bridge will be raised on the following schedule:

Weekdays

  •     Every hour between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m.
  •     Every 30 minutes between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
  •     At 4 p.m. and at 5:30 p.m.
  •     Every 30 minutes between 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Weekends, Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day

  •     At 8 a.m., 8:30 a.m. and at 9 a.m.
  •     Every hour between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.
  •     Every half hour between 8 p.m. and midnight

MnDOT will respond to special openings after 10 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends and holidays, on a two-hour notice basis. Requests are to be made by telephoning MnDOT’s 24 hour dispatcher at 651-234-7110. Any requests received by marine radio will be relayed by the bridge tender to the dispatcher.

During the periods of the day when the bridge is manned, bridge tenders will monitor channel 16 on the marine band radio. Upon receiving a call on channel 16, conversations will be switched to channel 14.
For more information or a printable lift schedule, please visit the Stillwater Lift Bridge website at www.mndot.gov/metro/projects/liftbridge/schedule.html.
For updated road condition information, call 511 or visit www.511mn.org.

5/2/2017 5:00 PM (Updated 5/6/2017 8:56 AM)

Indiana Toll Road logo   Expiration of Toll Subsidy and Notice of Pending Toll Change on Indiana Toll Road

ITRCC, the operator of the Indiana Toll Road, announces today that the toll subsidy program in place since 2006 will expire May 31, 2017.  The May expiration will result in a toll rate increase on June 1, 2017 for Class 2 users (2-axle vehicles and motorcycles) paying via electronic to $10.52 for a full-length 157-mile trip and to $2.13 for a trip between the Portage barrier to the Illinois State line.

Proceeds from the original 2006 Indiana Toll Road lease agreement established a toll subsidy for Class 2 users paying via electronic tolling that was to remain in place for 10 years.  The subsidy was to expire June 2016, but funds still remained in the toll subsidy account.  The Indiana Finance Authority extended the subsidy for the Class 2 E-ZPass users until May 31, 2017.

As part of the scheduled annual toll review which takes effect July 1, 2017, the toll rates for a full-length trip for all Class 2 users will increase from $10.52 to $10.75.  Class 5 users (typical 5-axle semi) will invest $43.01 in their full-length trip.  Toll rates vary according to vehicle class and distance traveled.  Please visit www.ezpassin.com for full toll rate schedules and further information. 

ITRCC remains committed to the continued delivery of a safe, reliable and efficient travel experience for our customers.  ITRCC is currently entering our second year of construction on the $200 million 80/90 PUSH project.  This investment will deliver major pavement and bridge upgrades, which will improve safety and significantly reduce the level of maintenance work required in the future.   ITRCC is also well-advanced in the project to reconstruct the eight travel plazas and will shortly commence the roll out of an Intelligent Transportation System to further enhance safety and customer communications.  These projects represent the biggest investment in upgrading the road since it was first built in the 1950s.

5/1/2017 4:08 PM (Updated 5/2/2017 10:45 AM)

City of Chicago logo   Chicago River Bridge Lifts Mark Start Of 2017 Boating Season

27 Bridges to be lifted from Ashland Avenue to Lake Shore Drive

The City of Chicago will begin the springtime bridge lifts this Saturday morning, allowing recreational boat traffic to move from boat storage yards to harbors across Lake Michigan. The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) will begin lifting the movable bridges over the south and main branches of the Chicago River Chicago River so that sail boats and other pleasure craft can safely and easily move into summer docking locations up and down the shoreline.

Each year, in the spring and fall, CDOT raises the movable bridges along the Main and South Branches of the Chicago River on a twice weekly schedule on Saturdays and Wednesdays to accommodate recreational boats traveling to and from their storage yards.

“The springtime lifting of Chicago’s iconic movable river bridges marks the beginning of the boating season each year and is a welcome sight for Chicagoans,” said CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld, who also serves as Chicago’s Harbor Master and has jurisdiction over the city’s waterways. “CDOT works with local boat storage yards each year to create a schedule that accommodates boats while causing the least amount of impact on downtown street traffic.”

During these “boat runs,” the bridges are raised sequentially, typically one at a time. Each bridge lift takes an average of 8-12 minutes. A total of 27 bridges will be lifted in succession from the Ashland Avenue Bridge on the South Branch to Lake Shore Drive.

The Spring 2017 bridge lift schedule is as follows:

* Wednesday, May 24 at 9:30 a.m.
* Wednesday, May 31 at 9:30 a.m.
* Saturday, June 3 at 8 a.m.
* Wednesday, June 7 at 9:30 a.m.
* Saturday, June 10 at 8 a.m.
* Wednesday, June 14 at 9:30 a.m.
* Saturday, June 17 at 8 a.m.
* Wednesday, June 21 at 9:30 a.m.
* Saturday, June 24 at 8 a.m.
* Wednesday, June 28 at 9:30 a.m.

4/15/2017 12:14 PM (Updated 5/22/2017 9:20 AM)

IHSR   Chicago - Milwaukee Intercity Passenger Rail Corridor

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), are completing an Environmental Assessment (EA) and Service Development Plan (SDP) study increasing the Amtrak Hiawatha Service from 7 to 10 round trips per day between Chicago, Ill., and Milwaukee, Wis.

On October 6, 2016, a Draft EA of the Chicago-Milwaukee Intercity Passenger Rail Program was made available for public comment. The document was available for review at WisDOT and IDOT, local public libraries and electronically on the project website.

The initial public comment period was open through November 15, 2016. More than 350 public comments were received during the initial public comment period. During this time, a public hearing was held in Milwaukee, Wis., and public meetings were held in Chicago and Glenview, Ill. Attendance and number of comments received at each meeting are as follows:   

  • Public Hearing in Milwaukee, Wis., on October 27, 2016: 52 people signed in and 13 comments were received
  • Public Meeting in Chicago, Ill., on November 1, 2016: 29 people signed in and 3 comments were received
  • Public Meeting in Glenview, Ill., on November 2, 2016: 256 people signed in and 225 comments were received

A 60-day extension of the comment period was requested and was granted by WisDOT and IDOT, the project sponsors to allow agencies, stakeholders and the public additional time to review the Draft EA.  During the comment period extension, an additional 300 comments were received. The comment period closed on January 15, 2017.

While many of the comments were supportive of the project, a majority of the comments were submitted from northern Illinois suburban communities and expressed concern regarding the purpose and need for the project, the possibility for additional freight rail traffic, and the potential for idling freight trains to produce air pollution and noise and vibration impacts to adjacent neighborhoods. Other concerns included the cost of the project and the source of funding, pedestrian safety, traffic delays at grade crossings, potential derailments and the project’s effects on adjacent property values.

All agency and public comments will be incorporated into the Final EA, which will be released later in 2017.

The project sponsors are undertaking additional analyses to further quantify the potential impacts resulting from the increase in Hiawatha Service from 7 to 10 round trips per day. The analyses will include further evaluation of infrastructure investment projects and construction impacts, as well as noise and vibration, air quality, socioeconomics, grade crossings, and threatened and endangered species impacts. Updates will be made to the purpose and need, alternatives analysis, and environmental review sections of the EA.

Once the additional analyses are complete, WisDOT and IDOT will communicate the results of the analysis with agencies and municipal leaders. Following this coordination, a final EA and SDP will be completed reflecting the additional analyses. This is anticipated to occur during the second half of 2017.

Future project updates will be posted to this webpage and illinoisrail.org.

For questions on the project, contact:  DOTChicagoMilwaukeePassengerRailEA@dot.wi.gov

2/27/2017 9:13 PM (Updated 2/27/2017 9:14 PM)

Keep Us Alive Drive 45 logo   Keep Us Alive Drive 45

Keep Us Alive Drive 45 is our commitment to keep workers and motorists safe in work zones. Each year, many people are killed in construction zone accidents, both commuters and workers. Please abide the posted speed limit in work zones. When workers are present, it's 45 M.P.H. - It's The Law.

Join us in our pledge to increase awareness and promote safe driving in our work zones by displaying an orange ribbon. Together we can make our roadways a safer place to commute and work. With your help, we can see to it that a construction zone is not an end zone.

8/21/2006 12:00 AM (Updated 1/21/2015 10:29 AM)
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