Illinois Tollway Prepared for Overnight Winter Storm
Drivers reminded to slow down, allow extra room for plows and emergency vehicles.
The Illinois Tollway is mobilizing its full fleet of 196 snowplows in response to sleet and snow moving into the area tonight and continuing through Wednesday, possibly causing variable pavement conditions in some areas 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 to the storm.
“We’re focused on keeping our customers safe throughout this storm by quickly removing snow and ice from our roads and by rapidly responding to any drivers who need assistance,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director José Alvarez. “We’re asking drivers to please help us by slowing down, allowing extra time to safely reach their destinations and by giving our snowplows the extra room they need to keep the roads clear.”
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.
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.
Winter Weather Travel Tips
The Tollway offers the following travel tips to keep safe during dangerously cold weather:
• Be sure your cell phone is fully charged before heading out.
• Be sure tires are properly inflated during cold weather. Tires lose a pound of pressure for every 10 degrees the temperature drops.
• Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up and ensure that you have extra to account for additional driving time if the weather is unfavorable.
• Keep a cold weather safety kit in your car that includes gloves, boots, blankets, road flares, water and a flashlight with fresh batteries.
• Stranded motorists should turn on their emergency lights and remain in their vehicles until help arrives.
• Cell phone users should call *999 motorist assistance for roadway assistance and note the roadway and direction of travel and nearest milepost or crossroad.
About the Illinois Tollway
The Illinois Tollway is a user-fee system that receives no state or federal funds for maintenance and operations. The agency maintains and operates 294 miles of roadways in 12 counties in Northern Illinois, including the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88), the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355), the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90), the Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80) and the Illinois Route 390 Tollway.