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Illinois Department of Transportation logo   Solar Eclipse 2017

On Aug. 21, Illinois — and southern Illinois in particular — will be home to some of the best solar eclipse viewing in the country.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon travels between the Earth and the sun, casting a shadow on the Earth’s surface. An approximately 75-mile area in southern Illinois centered on Carbondale will be treated to a full eclipse — when the moon completely blocks the sun for nearly three minutes. The rest of the state will see a partial eclipse of 85 percent to 90 percent coverage.

Latest Updates

How IDOT is preparing

The Illinois Department of Transportation has been coordinating with other agencies on the state and local levels throughout the spring and summer to make sure the eclipse weekend and viewing events run as smoothly as possible.

IDOT staff will be ready and available if they are needed to assist with traffic detours, communicating travel information and more.

Expect congestion

Crowds of 100,000 to 200,000 are expected to come to the prime viewing areas in southern Illinois. Among the heaviest traveled corridors are anticipated to be U.S. 51 and Illinois 13 corridors, plus Interstate 57. Any lane closures on state projects will be lifted throughout the weekend and the day after the eclipse.

Travel Tips

Solar Eclipse Driving Tips

Viewing Tips

As always, you should never look directly at the sun, especially during an eclipse. To safely view the eclipse, consider:

  • Eclipse glasses:

    These special shades are similar to 3D glasses but are certified eclipse-safe for direct viewing. Regular sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe to view the eclipse.
  • Solar filters:

    If you want to use a telescope, binoculars or camera, do not use them unprotected even if you have safe eclipse glasses. Consult the manufacturer for a proper filter to attach to your device.
  • Pinhole viewer:

    This is a simple, inexpensive way to indirectly view the eclipse. Just take two sheets of white paper (card stock is better) and poke a hole in the middle of one sheet. With your back to the sun, hold the sheet with the hole over the other sheet and adjust them until you see a dot of light. That’s the sun! As the moon travels across the sun, a crescent will appear. 

Resources 

SIU  Carbondale

Souther IL Eclipse Committee

 

 

Illinois DNR

NASA

7/26/2017 12:35 PM (Updated 7/30/2017 1:14 PM)

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   IDOT to Host Public Outreach Meeting on the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program

The Illinois Department of Transportation will host a public outreach meeting to discuss the development of the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) and District Eight's Multi-Year Highway Improvement Program (MYP) on Wednesday, August 23, 2017, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the IDOT District 8 Office, 1102 Eastport Plaza Dr., Collinsville, Illinois.
 
The public will have an opportunity to review and comment on the STIP, MYP, current programming procedures, as well as other information presented. All persons interested are invited to attend.
 
The meeting will be held in an open-house format. Representatives from IDOT will be available to answer questions.

For IDOT District 8 updates on Twitter, follow us at http://twitter.com/IDOTDistrict8.

8/14/2017 4:32 PM (Updated 8/15/2017 10:14 AM)

Wisconsin Department of Transportation  logo   Public Meeting for Upcoming I-39/90 Work in Janesville Area

 The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is preparing to reconstruct and expand approximately 12 miles of Interstate 39/90 from Hart Road near Beloit north to the I-39/90 and US 14 interchange (Exit 171B) in Janesville. Work is tentatively scheduled to start in September and will be completed in spring of 2020 (weather-permitting).
 
Throughout construction, I-39/90 will remain open with two lanes of traffic in each direction. Work will begin on the northbound Interstate lanes and northbound traffic will be shifted over to temporary lanes onto the southbound side of I-39/90 during construction. When the I-39/90 northbound expansion is complete within these limits, both northbound and southbound motorists will be shifted to the new northbound pavement as crews reconstruct and expand the existing I-39/90 southbound lanes.
 
During construction, local roadways under I-39/90 in Janesville may be temporarily closed for bridge work. Advanced notice of these temporary closures will be announced to the media and on the project’s website.
 
You are invited to attend a Public Meeting to learn more about this project, including the planned construction staging and schedule, and how to stay informed during the operations. Exhibits showing the planned improvements will also be on display. WisDOT representatives will be available to discuss the project on an individual basis.

  • What: Public meeting for I-39/90 expansion, from Hart Road near Beloit to the US 14 interchange in Janesville
  • When: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 – 5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
    • Brief presentation scheduled for 5:15 p.m. Stop by at your convenience.
  • Where: Holiday Inn Express, Conference Center 3100 Wellington Place, Janesville, WI 53546

A separate meeting for business owners will be held earlier at the same location (4 p.m. to 5 p.m. with a brief presentation at 4:15 p.m.). Business owners, within or near the construction area limits, are encouraged to attend.

Also, reconstruction work on the WIS 26 (Milton Avenue) and US 14 (Humes Road) interchanges is currently scheduled to occur from fall 2019 to fall 2021. Learn more about that portion of the project.

Forward this email to family, friends and co-workers and encourage them to attend the meeting, as well as register for project email updates.

8/10/2017 12:58 PM (Updated 8/12/2017 8:52 AM)

Michigan Department of Transportation   Mackinac Bridge to be Closed to Public Traffic During Annual Bridge Walk

Citing safety and security recommendations by the Michigan State Police (MSP) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Mackinac Bridge Authority (MBA) will close the bridge to most vehicle traffic during the 2017 Annual Bridge Walk on Labor Day.

Unlike in prior years, only buses used to transport walkers to the starting point for the walk and emergency services vehicles will be allowed on the bridge during the event. All other vehicle traffic will be stopped from 6:30 a.m. to noon while event participants are on the bridge.

“This was not a decision the Mackinac Bridge Authority makes lightly. We understand this change will be an inconvenience to our customers traveling Labor Day morning,” said MBA Chairman William Gnodtke. “Our board felt this choice strikes the best balance of keeping this 60-year tradition going for the tens of thousands of visitors who walk the bridge each year and keeping them safe.”

“While there are no known threats to this annual tradition, recent terrorist-related attacks carried out around the globe serve as a reminder to remain alert and vigilant,” stated Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of MSP and state director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. “Since 9/11, Michigan has made great strides enhancing the state’s homeland security framework to protect critical infrastructure, key resources and our residents.”

Each year, between 30,000 and 60,000 people from several states and countries come to the Mackinac Bridge for the Annual Bridge Walk, which has taken place since 1958, the year after the bridge opened to traffic.
Roughly 9,000 vehicles cross the bridge during the event hours, with many of them carrying participants in the walk. As before, the two eastern lanes of the bridge will be closed to vehicle traffic before the walk starts. The western two lanes will be open to the buses transporting walkers between Mackinaw City and St. Ignace, as well as emergency vehicles.  The event will begin at 6:40 a.m. with the start of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness Jog, followed by a greeting from Gov. Rick Snyder at 6:55 a.m. Walkers will begin across the bridge at 7 a.m.

No walkers will be permitted to begin the walk after 10 a.m., as it takes roughly one-and-a-half hours to complete the crossing. Buses will begin picking up any remaining walkers on the bridge at 11:30 a.m. to ensure the bridge is clear and can reopen to traffic promptly at noon.

Buses will again shuttle participants between Mackinaw City and St. Ignace for the start of the walk, and then back to St. Ignace if needed, starting at 4:30 a.m. The MBA plans to secure additional buses to make sure all
participants can get to the starting area prior to 10 a.m.

Northbound I-75 traffic will be stopped at Exit 337 on the south end of the bridge; southbound US-2 and I-75 traffic will be stopped at Exit 344 on the north side.

The MBA intends to alert motorists of this change through media releases, postings on the MBA website (www.mackinacbridge.org), messages on the Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) dynamic message sign system, the Mi Drive travel information website (www.michigan.gov/drive), and notifications to customers at the bridge. The MBA will work with MSP to help inform the public and direct traffic the day of the event.

8/9/2017 10:47 AM (Updated 8/12/2017 9:07 AM)

Illinois Department of Transportation logo   Public Meeting Aug. 17 for Pulaski Road, Ford City Drive Improvements

The Illinois Department of Transportation will be hosting a public hearing Aug. 17 regarding the proposed improvements to Pulaski Road at Ford City Drive.

The public meeting will be in open-house format at the following time and location:

August 17, 2017
4 – 7 p.m.
Richard J. Daley College
7500 S. Pulaski Road
Chicago, Ill.

The purpose of the hearing is to present the proposed scope of work and obtain public input. The scope of the project consists of removing the Ford City bridge that carries Keller Drive over Crawford Avenue. The current bridge, listed in the Illinois Historic Bridge Structures List, will be available for donation, per federal regulations.

Exhibits will be on display and an audio-visual presentation will be shown continuously during the hearing. Staff will be present to discuss the project and answer questions. A public forum will begin at 6 p.m., where the public will be invited to make a statement to a court reporter. Written comments can be accepted at the hearing, mailed afterward or submitted via email to DOT.D1.PulaskiAtFordCity@illinois.gov.  Comments received by Oct. 27 will become part of the official hearing record.

This hearing will be accessible to people with disabilities. Anyone needing special assistance should contact Amruta Mate at (847) 705-4330. Persons who need a sign language interpreter or similar accommodations should notify IDOT's TTY/TTD number, (800) 526-0844 or 711; TTY users (Spanish), (800) 501-0864 or 711; and Telebraille, (877) 526-6670, at least five days prior to the hearing.

7/25/2017 5:06 PM (Updated 8/12/2017 9:19 AM)

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

Beginning the week of August 8, construction of new pedestrian ramps will begin at the following locations. Daily lane closures will be necessary when construction activities are taking place.

  • IL-25 at Long Avenue in North Auro
  • IL-56 at Laurel Drive in North Aurora
  • IL-56 at Banbury Road in North Aurora
  • IL-31 at Marvo Street in North Aurora
  • IL-31 at John Street in North Aurora
  • IL-31 at Airport Road in North Aurora
  • US-30 at Gordon Road in Montgomery

Additional locations will be announced as construction progresses. The overall project will be completed in Fall 2017.

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 7/30/2017 12:58 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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Wed Aug 16 2017 12:35:14 CDT