Illinois Tollway Reminds Drivers Traveling During Fourth of July Holiday To Travel Safely By Avoiding Distracted Driving

Illinois Tollway Reminds Drivers Traveling During Fourth of July Holiday To Travel Safely By Avoiding Distracted Driving

The Illinois Tollway is urging drivers to avoid distracted driving by putting away cellphones and other electronic devices when they get behind the wheel this Fourth of July holiday. 

The Illinois Tollway expects nearly 9.3 million vehicles to travel the system over the six-day Fourth of July holiday weekend between Wednesday, July 3, and Monday, July 8. The heaviest travel is expected on Wednesday, July 3, when 1.9 million vehicles are projected to use the 294-mile Tollway system. Traffic volume is expected to be lighter than average on Thursday, July 4, and again on Saturday and Sunday. On an average day, almost 1.6 million vehicles use the Illinois Tollway.

“Our roads will be busy as customers take advantage of the long weekend to attend holiday gatherings or visit family and friends, so it’s essential that drivers to put down their phones and stay focused on the road to prevent crashes and save lives,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Cassaundra Rouse. “We’re reminding drivers that they can take a break at one of our oases when they want to safely make phone calls or send text messages.”

When it comes to cellphones, drivers are required to Drop It and Drive because it is illegal in Illinois to use a hand-held device when driving. Sending or receiving a text can take a driver’s eyes off the road for 5 seconds – traveling at 55 miles an hour that’s like traveling farther than the length of football field with your eyes closed. 
Holiday Work Zones
To accommodate holiday travel on the Illinois Tollway, construction activity will be restricted to better serve Tollway customers. Most temporary maintenance and construction lane closures will be suspended from noon on Wednesday, July 3, through 9 a.m. on Monday, July 8. Some work may continue behind barriers to keep work on schedule. All work is weather-dependent. 
Areas where ongoing work zones may impact traffic include: 
Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80) 

  • Between St. Charles Road and Butterfield Road, southbound traffic shifts into a split configuration with two left lanes continuing on the I-294 mainline and two right lanes on auxiliary lanes providing access to exit ramps for eastbound I-290 and for westbound I-88 before reconnecting with the southbound I-294 mainline.
  • Between I-55 and Wolf Road, traffic is shifted in both directions with northbound counterflow lanes between Roosevelt Road and Wolf Road. Watch for signage indicating changing traffic patterns.
  • Closures and detours are in place on the ramps connecting westbound I-290 to northbound I-294 and westbound Roosevelt Road to southbound I-294.
  • Between 159th Street and I-80, traffic is shifted in both directions with a split configuration on the southbound side. Southbound traffic exiting to I-80 must be in the far-right lane before the split.

Dial *999 for Roadway Assistance
Drivers should call *999 to get help from Tollway roadway maintenance crews who patrol the Tollway system 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, the Highway Emergency Lane Patrol (H.E.L.P.) supported by GEICO is also available to assist drivers 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Tollway’s motorist aid patrols stand ready to help stranded customers change tires, jump-start batteries, add coolant, dispense fuel, transport customers, move vehicles away from traffic and call for a tow truck. 

Official Illinois Tollway App
To make traveling over the holiday weekend easier, drivers can use the new trip planning feature added to the Official Illinois Tollway App to map out the best routes and plan for tolls before they hit the road. The app aids drivers traveling on the Tollway system and toll roads in other states by showing all toll plazas, toll rates and payment options on the way to their destinations. 
The Official Illinois Tollway App also allows drivers to safely and securely manage I-PASS accounts or Pay By Plate service directly from their smartphone.
Illinois Tollway drivers continue to have the option to pay tolls with I-PASS, E-ZPass or pay online with the Tollway’s Pay By Plate service. And for those in need of assistance, the Tollway has enhanced its I-PASS Assist program. In addition, I-PASS can be used to pay tolls in 19 states and within more than 35 tolling agencies that accept E-ZPass.
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.