Regulations, Rules and Policies
The Illinois Tollway is required to comply with internal regulations and directives, as well as state and federal government policies.
The Toll Highway Act is the state law that established the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority and granted the agency authority to provide for the construction, operation, regulation and maintenance of the system of toll highways in Illinois.
The Toll Highway Act, 605 ILCS 10/ is available for viewing on the Illinois General Assembly website.
Government Electronic Records Act
(20 ILCS 35/5)
Sec. 5. Policy. It is the policy of the State of Illinois to support efforts to reduce government's use of our natural resources and to look for ways to implement efficiencies. Government agencies should look for ways to employ practices that allow for either or both of the following: (1) electronic storage of documents and (2) electronic transfer of documents. These environmentally friendly practices will reduce the State's reliance on paper and may ultimately save the State money. (Source: P.A. 961363, eff. 72810.)
Public Act 096-1363
Read more about the Government Electronic Records Act.
The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules lists the administrative code on the State of Illinois website.
Title 92: Transportation
Chapter IV: Illinois State Toll Highway Authority
Part 2520 State Toll Highway Rules
Read more about the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.
Interchange and Roadway Cost Sharing Policy
The Tollway receives numerous requests for new interchange and roadway projects.
In 2007, in an effort to respond in a clear and consistent manner, the Tollway Board adopted an interchange and roadway cost sharing policy to address these requests. In 2012 the Tollway updated the Policy.
The Tollway has established a fair land acquisition policy.
As part of its capital planning process, the Illinois Tollway often seeks to acquire real estate needed for various public purposes, including the construction or expansion of the Tollway system. Land to be purchased by the Tollway is often referred to as right-of-way. The Tollway has adopted policies that provide fair and equitable procedures for the acquisition process.
The value of your property is established by appraisal.
When a property is identified as being impacted by a Tollway project, the owner is advised in writing that the property may be needed for Tollway purposes. After the property is surveyed, an appraiser is assigned. The appraiser will visit the property and review recent comparable real estate sales in the area to establish the fair market value. Once the appraisal is completed, it is reviewed by an independent licensed appraiser. All appraisers used by the Tollway are Illinois Certified General Appraisers.
Property owners are invited to participate in the valuation process.
Property owners are always encouraged to accompany the appraiser during the inspection of the property. The owner may provide to the Tollway any information the owner has relative to the value of the property.
The Tollway will make a formal offer and will allow time for negotiation.
After the appraisal is approved, the Tollway will make a formal written offer to the owner, identifying the needed property. The offer will not be less than the value determined by the appraisal. A negotiator for the Tollway will, if possible, meet personally with the owner to explain the offer and receive any relevant information from the owner. Once the offer has been made, there is a 60-day period for the owner and the Tollway to negotiate an agreed price. If no agreement has been reached during this negotiation period, the Tollway can file a condemnation suit to acquire the property.
Relocation assistance and benefits to those who qualify.
When it is necessary to acquire an occupied residence or business property the Tollway will offer relocation assistance to those displaced persons who apply for and qualify for benefits. Such benefits may include counseling in locating a replacement dwelling or business building, payment of moving expenses and costs, mortgage or rent assistance, and other financial assistance to offset the actual costs of relocating to a functionally equivalent space. The property owner will be given at least 90 days notice from the time of the Tollway's offer to purchase. A displaced person should not execute any sales contract or lease agreement until the relocation counselor has inspected and approved the replacement dwelling to assure it meets basic standards. Failure to have replacement property inspected jeopardizes benefit awards.
Even in a condemnation suit, your rights are protected.
When the parties cannot reach agreement during the negotiating period, the Attorney General can and will, if necessary, file an eminent domain (condemnation) lawsuit to have the court vest title to the Tollway. The owner has the right to exchange documents and appraisals with the Tollway. The owner also has the right to appear in court, present witnesses and relevant information as to the value of the property, and have the jury decide fair market value. Even where the Tollway uses its "quick-take" powers to acquire title immediately after filing suit, the owner may appear and present evidence before the judge at the time the preliminary compensation is decided, and still reserve the right to have a full jury trial later to establish the final amount which is paid for the property.
This policy establishes a framework for ensuring environmental quality, social responsibility and economic sustainability for Illinois Tollway customers, contractors, consultants and employees.
The Illinois Tollway is committed to the safe and efficient planning, design, construction, maintenance and operation of its 294-mile roadway system which spans 12 counties in Northern Illinois. The Tollway adheres to existing manuals and procedures designed to protect the environment and guide its decision-making processes.
This policy serves as a broad environmental commitment that extends to all Tollway departments and disciplines. The Tollway's environmental vision is outlined below to remind the agency and its consultants and contractors to think regionally, act responsibly, demonstrate stewardship and incorporate flexibility with changing regulation, technology and agency priorities. The Tollway's overall focus for construction and operations is on the triple bottomline approach to sustainability targeting environmental quality, social responsibility and the economy.
The Illinois Tollway's vision includes:
- Develop, maintain and update environmental manuals, policies and protocols that reflect regulatory requirements, as well as the agency's mission.
- Adopt agencywide operating procedures to reduce energy, fuel and waste.
- Invest in scientific research and use the results to guide decision-making.
- Create an energy efficient transportation system with the goal of reducing emissions, documenting consumption and establishing goals for conservation and efficiency.
- Promote policies that support or create economic development while also investing in long-term environmental stewardship.
- Support and coordinate with the regional land use, planning and environmental recommendations of regional metropolitan planning organizations, the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Regional Transportation Authority, other governmental entities, advocacy groups and non-profit organizations regarding energy and land conservation, waste management, sustainable design and use of Tollway land, transit accommodations, construction, maintenance and environmental procurement.
- Bring owners, operators, maintainers, planners, engineers, advocates and contractors together to evaluate and address environmental aspects and impacts of construction activities during all project stages and operational actions.
- Share expertise with federal, state and local governmental entities, the communities served by the Tollway, customers and employees.
- Meet or exceed all applicable laws, standards and regulations as they relate to construction and operations.
This policy will be formally reviewed biennially. However, if substantial changes occur in legislation, organization and/or other business drivers, changes may be made on an interim basis. Additionally, progress made as part of the sustainability plan will be documented within an annual sustainability report. The Tollway will provide managerial support and dedicated resources to advance this policy, the accompanying sustainability plan, as well as the overall the environmental and energy vision.
This policy is to be displayed prominently in all Illinois Tollway permanent offices, on the Tollway's website and incorporated in human resource materials.
Traffic Noise Study And Abatement Policy
The Illinois Tollway's (Tollway's) Traffic Noise Study and Abatement Policy update provides an opportunity to evaluate traffic noise throughout the implementation of projects proposed as part of the Tollway's capital improvement programs.
The Tollway's current policy addresses guidelines and procedures for initiating traffic noise studies and considering traffic noise abatement. The policy first establishes the eligibility requirements for a Traffic Noise Study. The policy then establishes the requirements for considering the construction of traffic noise abatement structures and when traffic noise abatement is feasible and reasonable.
The traffic noise analysis guidance provided in this policy is based largely on the regulatory material found in Title 23 Code of Federal Regulations Part 772 (23 CFR Part 772) entitled "Procedures for Abatement of Highway Traffic Noise and Construction Noise."
If initial traffic noise impact screening assessments indicate the possibility of future traffic noise impacts, then a Traffic Noise Study will be performed. A detailed technical memorandum will be prepared to document the assumption, data, procedures, results and traffic noise abatement considerations and recommendations from the Traffic Noise Study.
Tree Removal and Trimming Policy
A permit must be obtained to remove trees, vegetation or perform trimming and pruning within the Tollway right-of-way.
The Tollway Permit Section will receive permit application requests for selective tree removals and vegetation trimming that is located within the Tollway property. To be considered, abutting landowners must submit requests through, or provide written support from, the local governing municipality or local governmental entity of the location requested. Requests from utility agencies may be submitted directly to the Permit Section.
Tree replacements will be required for removal of significant trees and will be determined on an individual site basis. Typically, replacement will be required when removal of live and desirable trees is approved for reasons other than utility interference or safety purposes. Replacement of trees will be coordinated with the Tollway Landscape Architect and occur within the same maintenance service area of the removals.
Tree removals or trimming will not be allowed solely for visibility of nonconforming advertising signage. Removals or trimming are typically considered when any of the following conditions exist:
- Where the tree and shrub, its excess foliage or limbs poses a reasonable risk of harm to persons or property and/or otherwise creates a hazard and/or is in the best interest of public safety, and where there is no reasonable mitigation alternative.
- Where upon taking into account the tree size, species, condition and surrounding factors, it is determined and agreed upon by the Tollway Landscape Architect an unreasonable hardship is present to the property owner/applicant.
- When the tree is dead or damaged by storm events or after evaluation by the Tollway Landscape Architect, determination has been made that the tree is, unhealthy, diseased, undesirable or require other appropriate management.
Agreement requests for aesthetic enhancements that include tree removal may also be considered once the applicant prepares and provides the Tollway with an acceptable landscape plan that includes a replacement, restoration and long-term maintenance component. Landscape plan preparation, removal/installation of vegetation and long-term maintenance costs must be fully borne by the applicant.
To initiate the permit application process the following information should be submitted for Tollway review:
- REQUEST LETTER – request for permit should be submitted to the Tollway Permit Section on letterhead and include, location, reason and description for removal or trimming, and contact information.
- EXISTING CONDITIONS MAP – an 11" x 17" drawing(s) or map(s) of the area (3 sets) that includes locations, estimated sizes, types and condition of the existing trees proposed for removal. The map should include any other pertinent information such as, proposed access, existing structures, utilities or grade changes.
- PROPOSED LANDSCAPE AND RESTORATION PLAN – an 11" x 17" plan(s) (3 sets) indicating limits of the requested work zone, identify the location and methods of any removals and/or trimming, indicate manner of tree protection and preservation for remaining vegetation near the work zone. Final site restoration methods and materials. The plan(s) should also identify a list of suggested replacement planting types and sizes (when a tree replacement alternative compliance fee is applicable the conditions will be reviewed by the Tollway on an individual project basis).
- SCHEDULE – provide a schedule of the requested work indicating start and completion of key components. When tree replacements are required they should be completed within the same or following planting season and before substantial acceptance of work.
- CONTRACTOR LIST – list of all contractors and nurseries or other parties that will be used to perform or provide any part of the work must be submitted for review. A licensed and insured Arborist must be used for any tree removal or trimming work. Tree trimming requests should provide the proposed pruning techniques to be used, for Tollway review.
- Upon providing the information for permit application you will receive the following from the Tollway:
- Letter assigning the permit number
- Three (3) applications for permit
- General requirements for working on Tollway
- Insurance Requirements
- Bond form and security requirements
- Other information, permit fees or specific project work requirements.
The permit number identifies your job and should be included on the Certificate of Insurance and all correspondence relating to the project.
If the permit application is acceptable, a letter will be sent confirming approval by the Tollway along with any other information that will be needed before a Notice to Proceed (NTP) notification can be issued to begin the permit work.
After all the requirements are satisfied an authorization letter to begin the work (NTP) will be sent along with the procedure for locating Tollway facilities and work may begin only when facilities are located and a pre-construction meeting has be held. Depending on the nature of the work, special requirements or information such as, instructions for the maintenance of traffic, fees or replacement requirements may also be included.
Tree replacements for removal of live desirable trees will be based on the ratio outlined in the Tollway Guidance for Removal and Replacement of Trees. New plant material quality shall meet the Standard Specification requirements and current ANLA standards. A security fee may be required in the amount sufficient to secure the plant care and replacements for a predetermined establishment period until any required replacement trees are healthy and in satisfactory condition. A final inspection will be conducted at the completion of permit work to determine compliance. If replacement fees are applicable, tree value will be determined by evaluating tree size, species, condition and surrounding factors.
Fines for damage to facilities or vegetation outside the permitted work area may be assessed if needed to mitigate for any loss, replacement, repair or establishment.
Project requests to add new plantings or increase upkeep for aesthetic enhancement purposes may require a long-term maintenance agreement through the local intergovernmental agency to ensure that vegetation has adequate care and maintained in a manner that is consistent with the submitted landscape plan and desired presence.
Applicable Tollway controlling reference documents include but are not limited to:
- Standard and Supplemental Specifications
- Roadway Traffic Control and Communications Guidelines
- Guidance for Removal and Replacement of Trees (see Appendix 10 of the Erosion and Sediment Control, Landscape Design Criteria Manual)
The Tollway is seeking comment on proposed policies to ensure that the interests of those impacted by Tollway decisions have been considered.Public comment is sought through email, mail or in-person comments at committee meetings.
Policy Review and Comment Process
When a policy is introduced at one of the four Tollway committees – Executive, Finance Administration and Operations, Customer Service and Planning or Audit – it will be posted on the Tollway's website and included in the committee agenda which is posted at least 48 hours prior to the meeting. Following introduction, members of the general public will have a minimum of 21 days to comment on the policy by email or by mailing comments to the Tollway. Individuals may also attend a committee meeting to offer in-person comments.
The comments will be posted on the Tollway's website within five business days of the conclusion of the public comment period. The Tollway Board of Directors will review the comments, post their responses online after five business days and then revise the proposed policy, as necessary. The revised policy will be included in the agenda for the next committee meeting and individuals may make additional comments at that meeting. Formal adoption of the policy will then be voted on by the Directors.
Note: This process is for committees that generally meet every other month.
No policies are currently under review.
We reserve the right to redact or exclude comments from the public record that are off-topic or feature personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity or profanity.
To submit your comments by mail:
2700 Ogden Avenue
Downers Grove, IL 60515