Illinois Tollway Goes Downstate to Highlight Results of its Investments

Illinois Tollway Goes Downstate to Highlight Results of its Investments

The Illinois Tollway recognizes the value of investing for the future, whether it’s building new roads or bridges to improve mobility or adopting new technologies to better manage traffic. 

Such investments were highlighted at the 71st Annual Illinois Traffic and Engineering Safety Conference hosted by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. 

The annual TES conference is considered the premier meeting in the Midwest for transportation and safety professionals to discuss ideas and issues, gain job-related knowledge and network with other like-minded professionals from the ranks of local, state, and federal agencies, consulting and contracting firms and university faculty and students attend this conference. 

Illinois Tollway Executive Director Cassaundra Rouse provided an update on the agency’s Move Illinois capital program, detailing how the new Tri-State Tollway (I-294)/I-57 Interchange is stimulating economic development in the Chicago Southland. She detailed the numerous commercial developments – new warehouses, logistics centers and manufacturing firms – that have come to communities including Markham, Harvey, Posen and Midlothian. 

Rouse showed how the Tollway’s investments in transportation infrastructure over the past 11 years have had a similar effect on communities throughout the Tollway system. She pointed to companies like Amazon, Ace Hardware and Zekelman Industries that have purchased and leased properties along the Tollway system, building new opportunities, revitalizing local communities and creating jobs. 

Tollway staff provided presentations on how the agency continues to invest in technology to improve traffic management, building upon the agency’s well-established track record of adapting new technologies to improve mobility and provide safe, efficient travel for motorists. 

General Manager of Traffic and Incident Management Steve Mednis outlined how the Tollway is using third-party data to improve mobility. Third-party data, which is simply information collected by other companies, is now being used by the Tollway to more cost-effectively help traffic operations staff make better-informed decisions that lead to safer, more reliable travel for Tollway customers. Third-party data has proven to be highly accurate without the added expense of hardware and easily integrated into the Tollway’s traffic operations systems. 

In addition, ITS Manager Rob Glaz and ITS consultant Jeff Hochmuth discussed how the Tollway has been looking at ways to integrate data gathered from connected vehicle to deliver improvements to our operations. Connected vehicles offer a wealth of data that the Tollway can tap into to identify and respond to incidents faster and more efficiently, reduce crashes and better communicate roadway safety information to our customers. Short-term, the Tollway will continue to use its Connected Vehicle Pilot Program to learn more about its potential applications while, long-term, looking at additional ways to use connected vehicle data to detect incidents, provide traveler information and communicate more with motorists 

Read more about Tollway Traffic and Roadway Operations here