Travel Midwest News Items

RSS 2.0 News Feed: RSS feed of Announcements

Filter Announcements

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 Tollway logo   New Diverging Diamond Interchange Scheduled to Open at Elmhurst Road on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90)

New traffic pattern across bridge begins next week, ramps to open the following week

Traffic on Elmhurst Road crossing over the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) is scheduled to be shifted into the new diverging diamond configuration next week, in preparation for the full interchange to open the following week to provide drivers with a new full-access interchange. Electronic message signs will be put in place in advance to alert drivers to the upcoming changes in traffic patterns.

On Friday, June 16, after the morning rush hour, lane closures and traffic stops will be scheduled to direct traffic crossing I-90 on the Elmhurst Road Bridge into the new diverging diamond configuration with drivers traveling in both directions guided onto the opposite sides of the bridge through new signalized intersections. Once shifted into this final configuration, all ramps will remain closed with posted detours and Elmhurst Road traffic flow and new traffic signal timing will be monitored through the weekend.

On Monday, June 19, the two existing ramps carrying traffic to and from the east are scheduled to reopen, followed by opening of two new ramps carrying traffic to and from the west during the week of June 19.

When all ramps are open, the new diverging diamond interchange configuration will eliminate left turns in front of oncoming traffic, smooth traffic flow and reduce congestion. Right turns work the same as they do at conventional interchanges, and traffic is controlled by signals. In addition, the new interchange will feature a shared-use path for pedestrians and bicyclists in the median of the northbound bridge.

The new ramps carrying traffic to and from the west will have cashless tolling with I-PASS or Pay Online lanes. Cars with I-PASS will pay 55 cents and the cash rate is $1.10 for cars. For trucks tolls will range from $1.70 to $4.50 during daytime hours, with overnight discounts offered. Those without I-PASS can pay their tolls online at the cash rate within the seven-day grace period.

After the full interchange opens, remaining local road improvements include completion of work at the Oakton intersection this summer and reconstruction of Elmhurst Road pavement south of the interchange scheduled to be complete in late fall.

Work on the Elmhurst Road Interchange project is being coordinated with the Elk Grove Village, the City of Des Plaines, the Village of Mount Prospect, Cook County and the Illinois Department of Transportation, along with local police and fire departments.

The Elmhurst Road Interchange Project is delivering a new diverging diamond interchange with new ramps providing full access in all directions between I-90 and Elmhurst Road. The project is funded by the Illinois Tollway’s Move Illinois Program, also included construction of two new bridge structures to carry southbound and northbound Elmhurst Road traffic over I-90 with a shared-use path for pedestrians and bicyclists in the median of the northbound bridge, as well as local road improvements.

Information about the Elmhurst Road Interchange Project is available in the “Projects by Roadway” section in the Explore Projects section on the Tollway’s website at

6/8/2017 1:41 PM (Updated 6/11/2017 12:15 PM)

Illinois Department of Transportation logo   Safety Improvement Project in Kane County

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced that a safety improvement project continues at various locations in Kane County. The project includes construction of pedestrian ramps that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Beginning this week, construction of new pedestrian ramps will continue at the following locations. Daily lane closures will be necessary when construction activities are taking place.

  • IL-64 at Renaux Boulevard in St. Charles
  • IL-64 at New Peck Road in St. Charles
  • IL-64 at Kirk Road in St. Charles
  • IL-31 at Timbers Trail in St. Charles
  • IL-31 at Viewpointe Drive in St. Charles
  • IL-31 at Kellar Place in St. Charles
  • IL-31 at Horne Street in St. Charles
  • IL-25 at Webster Street in Batavia
  • IL-25 at Adams Street in Batavia
  • IL-25 at Laurel Street in Batavia

These locations are part of the second stage of the project. Additional locations will be announced as construction progresses. The overall project will be completed in Fall 2017.

Motorists can expect delays and should allow extra time for trips through this area. Drivers are urged to pay close attention to flaggers and signs in the work zones, obey the posted speed limits and be on the alert for workers and equipment.

Click here to find details on other construction projects in IDOT’s District 1.

5/30/2017 11:31 AM (Updated 6/3/2017 9:09 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:

* Saturday, June 24 at 8 a.m.
* Wednesday, June 28 at 9:30 a.m.

4/15/2017 12:14 PM (Updated 6/22/2017 1:38 PM)

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

For questions on the project, contact:

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)
Site Contributors | Policies | Disclaimer | Glossary | Contact Us
Please send comments, suggestions, or requests for help to Travel Midwest webmaster.
Much of this site's functionality makes use of cookies and JavaScript.
Mon Jun 26 2017 07:22:33 CDT