The Illinois Department of Transportation will be hosting an open house informational meeting for the public to learn and provide their input about proposed improvements to MacArthur Boulevard from Wabash/Stanford Avenue to South Grand Avenue. Funding of up to $30 million has been approved for this project.
The Illinois Department of Transportation will be hosting an open house informational meeting for the public to learn and provide their input about the Planning and Environment Linkages Study for IL-57 from Broadway Street to I-172 in Quincy.
The event will be held:
Thursday, August 12
The Atrium Hotel on Third
201 S. 3rd St.
Quincy, IL 62301
The public is invited to stop by at any time during the meeting to review the draft Purpose and Need statement, view exhibits, and watch an informational video, which will run continuously throughout the event. IDOT staff and project team members will be available to discuss the study and answer questions. The meeting will be conducted on an informal basis; no formal presentation is planned.
“This is the first step towards evaluating the needs for motorists and pedestrians along the IL-57 corridor and to identify what improvements would be feasible,” said Jeff Myers, IDOT Region Four Engineer. “I encourage anyone interested in learning more about the work IDOT is doing to improve this corridor to attend this meeting.”
Comments on this study can be submitted at the meeting, mailed in after the meeting or submitted through the project website at www.IL57Quincy.org. If you are unable to attend the meeting, all materials will be posted to the project website.
Over the next six years, IDOT is planning to improve more than 3,300 miles of highway and 8.4 million square feet of bridge deck as part of the Rebuild Illinois capital program, which is investing $33.2 billion into all modes of transportation. Year One included approximately $2.7 billion of improvements statewide on 1,706 miles of highway, 128 bridges and 228 additional safety improvements.
The Illinois Department of Transportation is inviting the public to participate in the final public outreach for proposed improvements to Harlem Avenue (IL-43), from 63rd Street to 65th Street, in Chicago, Summit and Bedford Park, through a virtual public forum, from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 4.
NOTICE OF PUBLIC MEETING
The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) will hold two public information meetings and one virtual meeting:
- Wednesday, July 28, 2021, starting at 5:00 pm at the 21st Century Charter School, 556 Washington Street, Gary, IN 46402.
- Thursday, July 29, 2021, starting at 5:00 pm at the Purdue Northwest Campus, Alumni Hall, Student Union Library Building, Room 360, 2233 173rd Street, Hammond, IN 46323.
- Tuesday, August 3, 2021, starting at 6:00 pm via WebEx; please register in advance here: https://bit.ly/3w2rRTb
For each in-person meeting, the doors will open at 5:00 pm; a presentation will be held at 6:00 pm. Displays and representatives will be available prior to and following the presentation. The same information will be presented at all of the meetings. Note all times are Central Standard Time.
The purpose of the information sessions is to offer all interested parties an opportunity to comment on the I-80/I-94 corridor between Illinois 394 in Cook County, IL and I-65 in Lake County, Indiana. A variety of Transportation System Management Operations (TSMO) strategies are under consideration including temporary use of shoulders, variable speed limits and ramp metering. The project is in the planning phase and is being developed through the Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL) process. Detailed environmental studies would be completed during preliminary design if the project moves forward.
Project information may be viewed by visiting www.indianaflexroad.com
Persons with limited internet access may request project information be mailed. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and with advance notice, INDOT will coordinate accommodations for persons with disabilities requiring auxiliary aids including, but not limited to sign language interpretation, alternative format documents and other ADA supportive services. In addition, and in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, INDOT will coordinate accommodation for persons of Limited English Proficiency (LEP) requiring auxiliary aids and/or supportive services including, but not limited to alternative format documents and other services as needed. Should accommodation be required please contact Alex Lee of Parsons, firstname.lastname@example.org, 101 West Ohio Street, Suite 2121, Indianapolis, IN, (317) 616-1011.
The Illinois Department of Transportation announced today that the Lincoln Service, Carl Sandburg/Illinois Zephyr and Illini/Saluki state-supported Amtrak trains will resume full service effective July 19. Service levels had been reduced by half due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the resumption of a full schedule, there will be five daily roundtrips between Chicago and St. Louis (including the Amtrak national Texas Eagle), two daily roundtrips between Chicago and Quincy, and three daily roundtrips between Chicago and Carbondale (including the Amtrak national City of New Orleans).
The following service will be fully restored:
- Lincoln Service, between Chicago and St. Louis, with intermediate stops, including Normal and Springfield
Trains 301 and 305 departing from Chicago
Trains 302 and 304 departing from St. Louis
- Carl Sandburg/Illinois Zephyr, between Chicago and Quincy, with intermediate stops, including Macomb and Galesburg
Trains 381 departing from Chicago and 382 departing from Quincy
- Illini/Saluki Line, between Chicago and Carbondale, with intermediate stops, including Champaign
Trains 391 departing from Chicago and 392 departing from Carbondale
Tickets for Amtrak trains can be purchased at amtrak.com/midwest for travel beginning July 19.
The Mackinac Bridge Authority (MBA) board today enthusiastically confirmed that the annual Mackinac Bridge Walk will go on as scheduled this Labor Day, Sept. 6.
Board members welcomed the end of pandemic restrictions that will allow the event, citing its importance to the Straits area economy and the eagerly anticipated return of a beloved Michigan tradition. The board heard an update from staff today about ongoing preparations for the walk during its regular meeting at Mackinac Island City Hall.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was among the first to celebrate the news.
"The Bridge Walk is back!" said Whitmer. "I am thrilled that the Mackinac Bridge Authority has enabled the Labor Day Bridge Walk, a cherished tradition, to move forward this year. After the year we have all had, I know how excited we are to get back to activities and attending events that we all love. Michigan is putting one foot in front of the other as we continue our economic jumpstart, and I am so glad that we can enjoy this great tradition to close out a Pure Michigan summer."
The news was welcomed locally as well by Kelly Vieau, administrator of the Greater Mackinaw City Chamber of Commerce (GMCCC).
"The GMCCC is excited for the return of the Annual Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk! For more than 60 years it has been a holiday tradition for many people, young and old," Vieau said. "The GMCCC business owners and residents are thankful it will continue on this year and hopefully for more years to come."
Based on the success of the 2018 and 2019 events, the MBA will again start the 2021 Annual Bridge Walk from both St. Ignace and Mackinaw City, which eliminates the need for busing and offers additional options for participants. The bridge walk was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A video, posted on the MBA website at www.MackinacBridge.org/Walk, explains the bridge walk schedule and the choices people will have whether they start from the north or south ends of the bridge.
Walkers essentially have three main options, outlined in the video:
- Starting from either end of the bridge and walking toward the center, turning around at the midpoint and returning to the city they started from, where their transportation is located. The turnaround points will move toward the ends of the bridge beginning at 10 a.m., but walkers can walk at least a portion of the bridge if they start by 11:30 a.m. Walkers must be on the side of the bridge they wish to return to before 10 a.m.
- Walking the entire length of the bridge starting from either end. Those who choose this option must reach the midpoint before 10 a.m. or they will be turned back. Anyone who walks the entire bridge must arrange their own transportation back to the side they started once the bridge reopens to public traffic at noon.
- Crossing the bridge, starting from either end, and then turning around and walking back to the side they started from. In this option, walkers will need to cross the midpoint on their return trip by 10 a.m. or they will be turned back and need to find their own transportation back across the bridge after it reopens at noon.
The bridge will again be closed to public traffic during the 2021 walk, from 6:30 a.m. to noon on Labor Day, Sept. 6, based on recommendations from the Michigan State Police and U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Emergency vehicles will still be permitted to cross the bridge, but no public vehicles will be allowed until the walk concludes and participants are off the bridge.
The bridge walk has been an annual event since 1958, with the exception of 2020. The 2021 walk will be the 63rd event. Between 25,000 and 30,000 people have participated in recent years.
The Illinois Department of Transportation (today announced that more than 30 Alternative Fuels Corridor signs have been posted on interstates statewide, with another 20 going up this summer. The signs further Gov. JB Pritzker’s goal of expanding the adoption of electric vehicles across the state and are part of a national effort to promote alternative fuels.
“At IDOT, we take great pride in working with our federal partners to benefit Illinois communities at the local level,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “These signs not only further our mission under Gov. Pritzker to clean transportation options but provide an economic boost to cities and towns that rely on interstate travel.”
The Federal Highway Administration has designated 145,000 miles of interstate for promoting alternative fuels, including along Interstates 39, 55, 70, 74, 80, 90 and 94 in Illinois. The signs are posted or will be installed at the following locations, alerting drivers that they are traveling in areas with opportunities to refuel:
Westbound I-80/94 near Indiana state line
Southbound I-55 near Lake Shore Drive
Northbound I-55 at I-355 interchange
Northbound I-55 at I-80 interchange
Eastbound I-94 near Wisconsin state line
Eastbound I-90 near Wisconsin state line
Eastbound I-80 near Iowa state line
Eastbound I-74 near Iowa state line
Eastbound I-80 at Illinois 47 interchange
Westbound I-74 near Indiana state line
Northbound I-39 at I-55 interchange
Eastbound I-70 east of Effingham
Westbound I-70 near Indiana state line
Northbound I-55 at I-70/270
In conjunction with IDOT’s blue sign program, additional signs will be installed later approaching exit ramps, providing directional information to specific stations that offer alternative fuels. In Illinois, the first signs will focus on electric charging stations, but additional ones in the future will point out locations for compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, hydrogen and propane fueling stations.
Gov. Pritzker is targeting 100% renewable energy in the state before 2050, with a goal of putting 1 million electric vehicles on the roads in Illinois by 2030.
More information on federal alternative fuel corridors can be found here.
WisDOT podcast explores how work zones are evolving for safety
Envision a work zone in Wisconsin and you’ll likely picture orange barrels, heavy equipment and workers in hard hats. Technology may not come to mind, but it is playing an increasingly important role in keeping motorists and workers safe. In the latest episode of Transportation Connects Us, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) podcast, WisDOT engineers discuss the safety benefits of work zone technology, including:
Queue Warning Systems
Dynamic Late Merge System (zipper merge)
Modern work zone inspection equipment
Engineers also clarify common work zone driving questions and misconceptions
Statewide work zone operations engineer Erin Schwark explains why the state employs the Dynamic Late Merge System (zipper merge) in many work zones with lane closures and heavy congestion.
“I think we've all driven in work zones where you see the sign ahead that the left lane is closing and everyone merges to the right, and then you have cars flying by you in that adjacent lane. We're trying to reduce those speeds, those erratic maneuvers, and basically telling people that you can use both lanes up to that merge,” said Schwark.
Statewide work zone engineer Mike Seifert talks about the cameras and digital technology inspectors use to help keep work zones operating similarly across Wisconsin.
“We want to make sure that the work zones are consistent throughout the state. So that way, if a driver were to drive in a work zone in one part of the state and then they drive through a work zone in a different part of the state, they're going to know what to expect,” said Seifert.
The podcast ends with the engineers answering common work zone safety questions that every driver should know, like “Why do you close off a long stretch of roadway, when work is only being done in a short section?” You’ll have to listen to the podcast for the answer.
Transportation Connect Us is a podcast series produced by WisDOT which focuses on transportation safety, engineering, transportation investments and DMV topics. Download or subscribe wherever you find your podcasts.
The Illinois Department of Transportation announced today that new signs will start appearing along interstate corridors, guiding motorists to charging stations for electric vehicles. The signs are part of a national effort to promote alternative fuels that will also spark economic activity in Illinois communities and follow Gov. JB Pritzker’s commitment to have 750,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2030.
“My administration is committed to making Illinois a leader in a clean energy and economic opportunity, and I’m proud to take another step toward fulfilling that mission,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “These new signs will allow electric vehicle owners to easily determine the location of the closest charging station, furthering the state’s mission to reduce air pollutants by expanding the use of low-emission vehicles.”
Nationwide, the Federal Highway Administration has designated 145,000 miles of interstate for promoting alternative fuels. In Illinois, Interstates 39, 55, 70, 74, 80, 90 and 94 were identified to take part. In the coming weeks, blue “Alternative Fuels Corridor” signs will be installed along each corridor.
Additional signs will be installed later in conjunction with IDOT’s blue sign program on exit ramps, providing directional information to charging stations as well as nearby gas stations, restaurants, hotels and tourist attractions.
“Under the governor’s leadership, IDOT is working with federal, state and local partners to keep Illinois infrastructure ahead of the curve while making travel more efficient and environmentally friendly,” said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “These signs will not only make longer trips easier and more convenient, but also give a boost to the many towns and businesses along our interstates.”
The first signs will show electric charging locations, but additional ones in the future will point out locations for compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, hydrogen and propane fueling stations. More information on the federal effort to create alternative fuel corridors can be found here.
As warmer weather approaches, motorcycles are becoming a common sight. In an effort to advocate for a safe riding season, the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois State Police have joined forces to kick off the latest “Ride Smart” safety campaign, reminding motorcyclists to have their bikes safety-checked to make sure they’re in proper running condition, prepare their high-visibility clothing and take advantage of the free motorcycle training classes throughout the state.
“Motorcycles are on the road for just part of the year yet account for 15 percent of all traffic fatalities, said Cynthia Watters, IDOT’s bureau chief of Safety Programs and Engineering. “To keep everyone safe, we urge drivers and motorcyclists to share the road, be alert, and to always ride sober. Motorcyclists are at an increased risk of injury or death when involved in a crash, so it is imperative that all riders ‘Ride Smart’ this riding season.”
Motorcyclists need an M-Class endorsement and a valid driver’s license to legally ride in Illinois. Successful graduates of an IDOT training course (age 18 or over) are issued a completion card, waiving the M-Class testing requirement at an Illinois Secretary of State licensing facility.
To protect themselves, riders should always:
- Wear personal protective gear on every ride, including high-visibility (Hi-Viz) clothing.
- Use eye protection, gloves, jackets, pants, boots and a U.S. DOT-approved helmet
- Remember to “Don’t Drink & Ride”
Illinois has offered free motorcycle training of all skill and experience levels since the Cycle Rider Safety Training Program began in 1976. The program is funded through license and registration fees. For more information, visit StartSeeingMotorcycles.org.
“As more and more riders are getting ready for the season, we encourage riders to perform a thorough safety inspection on their motorcycle, often referred to as a T-CLOCKS inspection,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “After the bike is roadworthy, it’s time to dust off the rider skill set with a quality rider training. And once riders head out, it’s important everyone share the roadway and make good choices behind the wheel and handlebar as they interact with each other in traffic.”
Employee innovation recognized at IDOT
George Tapas brings more than 33 years of transportation experience to his role as IDOT’s Engineer of Local Roads and Streets. He has had the privilege of leading and managing some of the most critical infrastructure builds in the United States and Canada, including highways, toll roads, heavy rail, transit and airports.
“The most unique and interesting aspect of these experiences were gained in delivering cutting-edge procurements via design/build and, more importantly, public-private partnerships,” Tapas said. “In accomplishing this work, I was able to get involved with the differences and similarities in how other DOTs plan, program, procure, implement and complete projects.”
At IDOT, Tapas leads the Bureau of Local Roads and Streets, which coordinates with local governments in all matters pertaining to highway transportation. The bureau assists those governments with planning, finance, design, construction and maintenance of local transportation systems and promotes the coordination and cooperation of counties, townships and municipalities in the development of transportation systems.
Read more about Tapas’ thoughts about his job at IDOT.
Construction is underway in District 3 for an extension of Eldamain Road in Yorkville from River Road south to Illinois 71. This $34.5 million local construction project is led by Kendall County with oversight and funding by IDOT. The extension is 4.57 miles long and includes a new, eight-span, 1,557-foot steel girder bridge over the Fox River.
Dirt work and road construction are underway at the south end of the project. Included in this project are a new roundabout at Eldamain and Fox roads, new traffic signals and lighting as well as improvements to River Road, Fox Road, Fox Court, Budd Road, Illinois 71 and West Highpoint Road.
In District 1, a $9.7 million project is underway to reconstruct and convert the 5-point intersection of U.S. 20 (Grant Highway) and South Union, Beck and Marengo roads in McHenry County into a modern roundabout. In addition, U.S. 20 will be widened at Coral Road and at West Union Road to accommodate new center turn lanes.
Work is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Click here to learn more about navigating roundabouts.
In District 9, IDOT’s Region 5 Communications Outreach Liaison Dawn Johnson and the Adopt-A-Highway Coordinator Joe Schatteman joined local partners and volunteer groups in May at the official kickoff of the Clean SOIL’s (Southern Illinois) annual regional anti-litter campaign at Veterans Memorial Airport in Marion. Attendees received a brief overview of Adopt-A-Highway program’s benefits and customer-friendly improvements that have been made — the biggest allowing applicants to easily access online what roads are available for adoption in throughout Illinois.
The Clean SOIL initiative was created in response to how IDOT spends $6 million in taxpayer dollars each year to clean up trash along the state's highways. . Clean SOIL leaders will work with IDOT, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Shawnee National Forest, Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, labor leaders, businesses, environmental organizations and others to plan events to bring awareness to the problem of litter and support clean-up efforts.
Learn more about this project here.
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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.