Illinois Tollway and other transportation agencies remind drivers to focus on safety in roadway work zones


The Illinois Tollway is joined with other transportation and safety agencies, the construction industry and labor groups this week to urge drivers to take extra precautions to protect workers and themselves as they travel through roadway work zones this construction season. 

To mark Work Zone Safety Awareness Week in Illinois, the Tollway is asking drivers to play an active role in reducing work zone crashes by following simple safety measures when they get behind the wheel.

“We’re continuously working across our system to improve our traffic operations and construction practices to better protect the workers who build and maintain our roads, as well as the drivers who travel on them,”  said Illinois Tollway Executive Director José Alvarez. “But ultimately we need drivers to assist us by slowing down and staying alert for workers and construction equipment whenever they enter a work zone. Since we all share the same goal, we’re asking everyone to Drive Save, Work Safe and Save Lives.”

More than 6,400 vehicle crashes on average occur annually in Illinois work zones, resulting in more than 1,700 injuries. Last year, 37 people died in work zone crashes statewide, including two workers.

Work zones will be plentiful on the 294-mile Tollway system this season as the agency invests about $1.5 billion in roadway construction and improvements during the 10th year of its 15-year, $14 billion Move Illinois capital program.

Much of this work will be occurring along the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294), where the agency is rebuilding and widening 22 miles of roadway between Balmoral Avenue in Rosemont and 95th Street in Oak Lawn to relieve traffic congestion and improve access to local communities.

Other work will be occurring on the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88), the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355), and on the South Tri-State Tollway, where construction is continuing on the second phase of the I-294/I-57 Interchange Project, which will complete the connection between the two interstates.

While safety measures are in place at Tollway work zones, it’s still critical that drivers entering these areas slow down, eliminate any distractions—including using cellphones or other electronic devices—and focus on safety.

By making safety their top priority, drivers can protect themselves and everyone who uses or works on the roads.