Friday, Dec. 22

IDOT gives motorists a break during Christmas holiday          Send a link to a friend

Drivers reminded about travel tips and Scott's Law

[DEC. 22, 2006]  CHICAGO -- Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Timothy W. Martin and Illinois State Police Director Larry Trent are urging motorists to drive responsibly this holiday season. The Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois State Police are working together on stepped-up campaigns to get impaired drivers off the road, as well as reminding motorists about Scott's Law, which is intended to keep emergency and highway maintenance personnel safe. The Department of Transportation is also opening up lanes wherever possible as thousands of families hit the road for the Christmas and New Year's holiday.

"The roads are packed this time of year with drivers traveling to visit family and friends for the holidays," said Martin. "We want to make their trip as smooth as possible by halting construction and opening lanes. We are also working closely with the Illinois State Police to make sure that everyone on the road is safe this holiday season."

In the greater Chicagoland area, all lanes on the Edens, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Stevenson, Dan Ryan and Bishop Ford expressways, as well as interstates 80 and 57 will be open wherever possible.

The Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois State Police also remind drivers of Scott's Law, which was designed to protect emergency response personnel and highway workers from unsafe drivers who are a risk to public servants.

"Scott's Law was enacted to protect the people who put their lives at risk on Illinois roadways," said Trent. "The men and women who work to make our roadways safe deserve to get home safely at the end of the day. We want to ensure we are doing what we can to make this a happy and safe holiday for everyone."

Scott's Law requires motorists to yield to moving emergency vehicles, including highway maintenance vehicles, that are displaying oscillating, rotating or flashing lights. In addition, Scott's Law requires drivers to change lanes, if safe to do so, or reduce speed and proceed with caution when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle displaying flashing warning lights.

Scott's Law was enacted in 2002 in memory of Lt. Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department, who was struck and killed by an intoxicated driver on the Dan Ryan Expressway while assisting at a crash scene.

Motorists are advised to check www.illinoisroads.info for information regarding road conditions and updates on road construction. Interstate road condition information is also available by calling 1-800-452-IDOT (4368).

Various construction zones will be open for the Christmas holiday from 3 p.m. Friday through midnight Tuesday and again from 3 p.m. Dec. 29 through midnight Jan. 2. However, due to the nature of some projects, there will be construction zones throughout the state that will continue to operate. The Department of Transportation is urging motorists to slow down and drive with caution through these work zones. Holiday travelers are reminded that work zone speed limits are still in effect.

Areas that will continue to have lane closures are as follows:

Clay County

  • U.S. Route 45 north of Louisville -- Widening and resurfacing project. Detour road two miles north of Louisville. Both lanes open.

Coles County

  • I-57 milepost 192 -- New interchange work. Inside median shoulders closed.

Cook County

  • Oak Park Avenue -- Widening and resurfacing in Oak Forest. Southbound Oak Park Avenue closed between Ridgeland Avenue and 151st Street. Justamere Road closed from 143rd Street to 147th Street. Local traffic only.

  • Bishop Ford -- Reconstruction in South Holland. Two lanes each direction from 159th to I-80. Ramp from southbound Ford to eastbound Kingery reduced to one lane. Ramp from southbound Ford and eastbound I-94 to westbound I-80 and northbound I-294, the Tri-State Tollway, closed with detour posted. Ramp from eastbound 159th Street to eastbound I-94 closed with detour posted.

  • Illinois 394 -- Reconstruction in Thornton and Lansing. One lane in each direction between Glenwood-Lansing Road and I-80. Ramp from westbound I-80 to southbound Illinois 394 will be closed with detour posted.

  • Kingery -- Reconstruction in Lansing, Thornton, South Holland, Hammond and Munster. Two lanes in each direction with some narrow lanes and lane shifts from U.S. 41 and Calumet Avenue in Indiana to I-94. Ramp from eastbound I-80 and southbound I-294 to westbound I-94 and Bishop Ford closed with detour posted. Ramp from westbound I-80 to southbound Illinois 394 will be closed with detour posted.

Grundy County

  • Ashley Road over I-80 near Morris -- Road closed for structure removal and beam erection.

  • Seneca interchange at I-80 milepost 105 -- Closed to all traffic except eastbound entrance ramp.

Kane County

  • U.S. 20 and Lake Street over the Fox River -- Bridge repair in Elgin. One lane in each direction.

  • North Avenue and Illinois 64 at Randall Road Widening and resurfacing in St. Charles. One lane in each direction.

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Lake County

  • Illinois 22 and Half Day Road from Illinois 83 and Mundelein Road to U.S. 45 and 21 -- Roadway reconstruction in Buffalo Grove, Long Grove and Lincolnshire. One lane in each direction with turn lanes at intersections. Tight right-turn radius at Prairie Road and Main Street on Illinois 22. Ninety percent of the project has been placed on new pavement, and the last 10 percent will be switched in late December. Motorists should be aware of new lane configurations.

  • Illinois 22 west of U.S. 12 to Buesching Road -- Roadway widening and reconstruction in Lake Zurich. All lanes now open. Daytime lane closures only east of Ela Road. Daytime lane closures on Illinois 22 west of Ela and on U.S. 12 held off until after the holidays.

  • Illinois 22 from Beusching to Quentin Road -- Roadway widening and reconstruction in Lake Zurich. One lane in each direction with turn lanes at intersections. Traffic on new pavement west of Quentin Road to east project limits. Traffic switch to new pavement from west of Quentin to Buesching Road scheduled week of Dec. 18.

  • Illinois 83 over the Wisconsin Central Ltd. Railroad and Elgin, Joliet and Eastern New bridge deck in Lake Villa, Loon Lake and Antioch. All lanes currently open. Ongoing construction activity beneath and adjacent to bridge. Daytime lane closures only when needed.

Madison County

  • Motorists will encounter staged construction with temporary traffic signals along Illinois Route 143 just west of I-70. This lane restriction is necessary to replace the existing bridge beams on the structure carrying Illinois Route 143 over Sugar Creek. The project is expected to be completed by the summer of 2007.

Marion County

  • Motorists will encounter staged construction with temporary traffic signals on U.S. Route 50 approximately two miles and three miles west of the Clay County line. These lane restrictions are necessary to replace the bridges over Skillet Fork and Dums Creek. Work on these structures is expected to be completed by the summer of 2007.

Saline County

  • Illinois 34 1.7 miles north of Harrisburg -- Temporary traffic signals. One lane open. Traffic is controlled by signals.

  • Illinois 34 at north edge of Harrisburg -- Temporary traffic signals. One lane open. Traffic is controlled by signals.

St. Clair County

  • Eastbound I-55-70-64 ramp to southbound Tudor Avenue is closed for deck repairs. Motorists traveling eastbound on I-55-70-64 and wanting to travel southbound to Tudor Avenue should follow the marked detour to Fourth Street in East St. Louis. This ramp is scheduled to be completed and opened by Dec. 29.

  • Staged construction along Route Illinois 157 near I-64 has been reducing the number of lanes from two to one lane in the southbound direction.

  • Motorists will encounter construction along Illinois Route 161 just south of Lincoln Trail in Fairview Heights. Southbound traffic will be shifted into the northbound lane, restricting traffic to one lane in each direction. Concrete barrier wall will be used to separate the north and southbound traffic across the existing bridge.

  • Motorists will encounter staged construction with temporary traffic signals along Illinois Route 158-177 just east of North Green Mount Road near Belleville. This lane restriction is necessary to replace the existing structure carrying Illinois Route 158-177 over Loop Creek. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2007.

White County

  • Illinois 14 3.3 miles east of Crossville -- Temporary traffic signals. One lane open. Traffic is controlled by signals.

  • U.S. 45 1.5 miles south of Mill Shoals -- Temporary traffic signals. One lane open. Traffic is controlled by signals.

Will County

  • U.S. 30 from Essington to Larkin -- Reconstruction in Crest Hill and Joliet. One lane in each direction.

  • 159th Street and U.S. Route 6 under Canadian National Railroad bridge -- Bridge reconstruction in Harvey. Road closed between Park Avenue and Center Street.

  • I-55 from I-80 to Weber Road -- Bridge and interchange reconstruction in Troy Township. Occasional nighttime lane closure for sign truss work.

[Illinois Department of Transportation news release]

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