The Illinois Tollway is deploying its full fleet of 196 snowplows in response to freezing rain, sleet and snow expected to move into the area early Thursday, possibly creating changing pavement conditions and scattered icy patches that could affect drivers during their morning and evening commutes. The Tollway’s Snow Operations Center is open to manage the agency’s systemwide response.
“Our crews will be working throughout this storm to keep the roads clear and our customers safe, but we are asking drivers to help us by giving plows and emergency vehicles the extra room they need to safely do their work,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director José Alvarez. “We are reminding drivers to please slow down and allow extra time to complete their trips, and to be alert for areas where blowing snow could reduce visibility.”
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.
Drivers whose vehicles become disabled should activate their hazard lights and dial *999 from a cellphone for assistance from Illinois State Police District 15. Drivers should note the roadway they are using, as well as the direction of travel and nearest milepost or crossroad. For crashes involving property damage only, drivers should report the incident to 630-241-6800 ext. 5042 and continue driving.
To receive real-time information on pavement conditions and roadway incidents, drivers should up for Tollway Trip Tweets at twitter.com from the Tollway’s website at illinoistollway.com. 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.
Before traveling, customers can access live camera feeds that offer “bird’s-eye” views from more than 20 different locations along the Tollway system. The camera feeds are easily accessible on the “Interactive Tollway Map” at illinoistollway.com.
The Illinois Tollway reminds motorists the state’s “Move Over Law” requires motorists to change lanes or to slow down and proceed with caution when passing any vehicle on the side of the road with hazard lights activated.
Drivers also should use caution when passing snowplows. 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.
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.
- Remember to always wear your safety belt and ensure children under the age of 8 are securely restrained in child safety seats.
- Clear snow from your vehicle before driving to ensure adequate visibility.
- Drop It and Drive. Don’t text or use a hand-held cellphone while driving. Both are illegal.