Illinois Tollway Prepares for Thanksgiving Travel and Holiday Shoppers

| November 27, 2013

Approximately 10 million vehicles expected on the Tollway this Thanksgiving holiday

DOWNERS GROVE, IL – Holiday shoppers driving for discounts and motorists traveling for turkey and pumpkin pie during the Thanksgiving holiday will find that each of the four Illinois Tollway roads offers convenient access to area shopping malls, as well as grandma’s house. And, to clear the way for drivers, the Illinois Tollway will suspend construction lane closures over the Thanksgiving holiday.

 Tollway customers looking for holiday bargains can travel any Tollway to find a number of retail options, including:

  • ·        On the Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80), the new Fashion Outlets of Chicago shopping mall in Rosemont is accessible from the Balmoral Avenue exit, Gurnee Mills off the Grand Avenue Interchange or the Westfield Chicago Ridge Mall off of 95th Street.
  • ·        The Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88) offers access to the Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora, off the Farnsworth Avenue exit or Oakbrook Center at the Spring Road exit.
  • ·        The Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) features access to the CherryVale Mall near Rockford, as well as a route to the Huntley Outlet Center at the new full-access Illinois Route 47 Interchange.
  • ·        The Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355) offers access to The Promenade in Bolingbrook off the Boughton Road exit and the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg is due north on I-290/Illinois Route 53.


The Illinois Tollway anticipates approximately 10 million vehicles will travel the Tollway system this Thanksgiving holiday from Wednesday, November 27, through Monday, December 2. The most popular travel day is expected on Wednesday, November 27, when 1.7 million vehicles are projected to be on the road. On an average day, about 1.4 million vehicles use the Tollway.


“The Illinois Tollway wishes a safe and happy Thanksgiving to all of our customers,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur. “Drivers planning to take advantage of holiday sales on Thanksgiving night and the day after should give themselves extra time to get to their destinations safely, as some delays may be expected with higher than usual traffic volumes.”


Lane Closures Suspended

To accommodate increased Thanksgiving holiday travel, the Illinois Tollway is restricting construction activity and suspending all temporary construction lane closures over the long holiday weekend to better serve customers. All temporary maintenance and construction lane closures will be suspended from noon on Wednesday, November 27, through 9 a.m. on Monday, December 2. Some work may continue behind barriers to keep work on schedule, but this work will not impact traffic.


Work zone speed limits are in effect 24/7 in all construction zones where lanes are reduced, shifted or traffic is traveling on a shoulder, whether or not workers are present. The minimum penalty for speeding in a work zone is $375.

Areas where work zones will continue during the holiday include:


Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80)

  • ·        Between I-57 and Kedzie Avenue, traffic in both directions is reduced to three lanes and shifted right for construction of the new I-294/I-57 Interchange.
  • ·        At the interchange connecting I-294 and I-55, ramp reconstruction work is in place including traffic shifts and shoulder closures. All ramps and the toll plaza remain open to traffic.


Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90)

  • ·        Between I-39 in Rockford and the Elgin Toll Plaza all eastbound traffic is now traveling on new pavement on the eastbound side of I-90. Westbound traffic remains shifted to the right until mid-December. Construction is continuing and a work zone speed limit remains in place.
  • ·        Westbound traffic between Irene Road near Belvidere and I-39 is currently reduced from two lanes to one lane and an alternate route is posted.
  • ·        At the Marengo Toll Plaza eastbound traffic is shifted to the right and reduced to one open road tolling lane; an I-PASS Only lane is available in the cash plaza for I-PASS users.


Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355)

  • ·        At the I-55 Interchange, ramp work continues with a lane reduction on the ramp carrying southbound I-55 traffic to northbound I-355.


Tollway Travel Tips

The Illinois Tollway offers the following tips to enhance travel on our roadways:

  • ·        Know Before You Go – Get the latest travel information, including:

o – Construction/Planning section and Tollway Trip Calculator and real-time roadway incident information

o   1-800-TOLL-FYI – Daily lane closure information

o – Real-time travel times

o – Up-to-the-minute traffic by roadway

o – Latest traffic conditions

o – Real-time roadway incident information at Tollway Trip 90, Tollway Trip 88, Tollway Trip 355 and Tollway Trip 94/294

  • ·        Need Help?  Dial *999 – If your vehicle becomes disabled, park safely on the shoulder, raise your hood and remain in your vehicle.  Dial *999 and assistance will be dispatched to your location.


Illinois State Police District 15 Out in Force

Illinois State Police District 15 will be out in full force during the holiday week to continue to safeguard the public by strictly enforcing traffic violations related to speeding, distracted driving, improper lane usage and DUIs.

“District 15 will have additional officers on patrol and conducting details focusing on speed and alcohol-related offenses in an effort to prevent fatalities and reduce serious injury accidents,” said District 15 Commander Bob Meeder.

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 286 miles of interstate tollways 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) and the Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80).


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