DOWNERS GROVE, IL—The Illinois Tollway will spend nearly $609 million in 2012 to repair and rebuild roadways, kicking off the agency's 15-year, $12 billion capital program. Toll increases to pay for the projects go into effect at midnight Jan. 1; tolls at most locations will go from 40 cents to 75 cents for cars with an I-Pass.
According to a press release from the Tollway, the new 2012 projects will include:
- A new, all-electronic I-294/I-57 interchange, which is currently one of only two places in the nation where two interstates cross but do not connect. $29.6 million is budgeted to construct new embankments and bridge piers, and lengthen I-294 bridges over 147th Street. Ramps to and from Champaign are expected to open in fall 2014. These ramps will provide 75 percent of the benefits of the new interchange and will help stimulate the slow economy of the Chicago Southland area.
- $47.2 million to begin construction of the new Illinois Route 47 interchange on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90), including construction of new ramps, all-electronic toll collection and bridge reconstruction. The project will feature several green initiatives, including a geothermal water piping system that makes use of the earth's natural heating and cooling abilities to help heat and cool nearby plaza buildings, reflective roofs and trellised vegetation for plaza buildings to further reduce heating and cooling costs, as well as ramp shoulder pavement that will allow water to seep through and reduce stormwater runoff.
- More than $137 million will be spent on Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294) roadway resurfacing and ramp and bridge repairs, including work from 95th Street to Balmoral Avenue and from the Edens Spur to Half Day Road.
- $90.5 million will be used on the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88) to rebuild and widen a section of roadway from Deerpath Road to Illinois Route 56 in North Aurora, for roadway resurfacing from Illinois Route 56 to Illinois Route 251 in Rochelle and for bridge and ramp repairs along the corridor.
- An additional $23.7 million has been set aside for ramp and lighting repairs throughout the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355).
- An estimated $98.8 million will be spent for the reconstruction and widening of bridges throughout the I-90 corridor from the Kennedy Expressway to I-39 in Rockford and for shoulder improvements from Randall Road in Elgin to Mill Road in Rockford to prepare for upcoming reconstruction and widening of I-90.
- In addition, $14.9 million will be used to fund bridge design on the existing portion of the Elgin O'Hare Expressway between U.S. Route 20 and Rohlwing Road to prepare for bridge and roadway rehabilitation and widening.
Tollway customers will see the first construction projects begin in early spring on the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) and Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88), with other projects starting at various times from spring through fall.
To inform customers about the new toll rates, signage has been posted on all toll booths and automatic coin baskets, and information has been shared with customers via electronic message signs, e-newsletters, television and radio advertisements, and posters and brochures at toll plazas and Tollway oases.
According to the Tollway, 75 percent of customers have not seen a toll rate increase since 1983. After the new rates take effect, the Illinois Tollway will rank 29 among all 41 toll road agencies in the U.S. in terms of rates, still in the bottom third and an average of 6 cents per mile, the Tollway said.
I-PASS customers will continue to pay 50 percent less than customers who pay cash. To get an I-PASS:
- Visit an Illinois Tollway Customer Service Center, open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Visit any Jewel-Osco
- Go online or call 1-800-UC-IPASS (800-824-7277)