The Illinois State Toll Highway Authority is preparing its full fleet of 183 snowplows for the snowfall expected to begin today and continue into Saturday morning. The Illinois Tollway is in charge of a 286-mile system of roads serving 12 counties in northern Illinois.
"The Illinois Tollway is ready to put our snow removal plans into action as soon as the snow hits the pavement," said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur. "The safety of our customers is our top priority, and we are well prepared to respond to the snowfall expected throughout the day tomorrow."
The Illinois Tollway's Snow Operations Center was scheduled to open in the early hours on Friday morning, Jan. 20, and the Tollway will have a full complement of more than 200 staff and supervisors per shift to ensure that roadways are kept clear of snow and ice. To help with snow removal efforts, the Tollway has canceled all temporary lane closures from 7 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 20, to 7 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21.
"We want to make sure that our roads are clear so that customers arrive at their destinations safely," said Lafleur. "Drivers can do their part by being patient, keeping a safe distance from other vehicles and reducing their speed."
In addition to working to keep roads free of snow and ice, the Illinois Tollway also is helping to provide drivers with additional information to help them reach their destinations safely during winter weather events.
Illinois Tollway operates a toll-free telephone line to keep customers up to date about weather conditions on its roadways. Customers can call 1-800-TOLL-FYI (800.865.5394) to get recorded information that is updated every two hours or as conditions require during winter storms.
In addition, the Tollway's Traffic and Incident Management System (TIMS) provides real-time travel times and roadway conditions via the Illinois Tollway's website (www.illinoistollway.com) and on over-the-road electronic message signs throughout the Tollway.