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Monday, 14 April 2014 10:32

Work Zone Safety A Priority In Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois transportation officials say they're adding extra safety precautions to work zones around the state after the speed limit was increased on some rural highways.
 
The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports motorists are being warned of construction projects with extra signs, including speed indicators. The signs are also being placed further away from work zones to give drivers an earlier warning.
 
The Illinois Department of Transportation opposed legislation raising he speed limit from 65 mph to 70 mph on some roads. The higher speed limit went into effect in January.
   
Priscilla Tobias is the department's state safety engineer. She says it takes drivers 470 feet to come to a safe spot if they're traveling 70 mph. The speed limit is lower in work zones.
Published in Local News
 
   Freezing rain is taking it's toll on area roadways.  Icy conditions caused dozens of crashes Monday morning.
   Icy conditions are blamed for four accidents in a five-mile stretch of Interstate 55 before 7:00 a.m.  Police say two people were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries after a three-car crash at I-55 and Lindbergh.  Police also say a car slid on the ice and struck an emergency vehicle working that accident.  
   Police say most of the accidents were caused by drivers going too fast for the slick road conditions.
   MoDOT District Engineer Becky Allmeroth says crews began pretreating area roads at midnight. Allmeroth says if motorists in these areas can delay travel until late morning it will help.  
   MoDOT crews are using a combination of salt brine, rock salt and beet juice to improve areas roadways during this storm.
   With warmer weather on the horizon, St. Louis City Streets Director Todd Waelterman says crews will have to be ready to switch gears, literally overnight.  Waeltermann tells Fox 2 News that today's winter weather will quickly be replaced by Pothole season. 
   "You know the roads have opened up considerably, and with the warmer weather, you're going to see a lot of movement of this pavement," Waelterman said.  "So it is going to be pothole week."
 
Published in Local News

   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois Department of Transportation is announcing two webinars for the public to weigh in on the agency's next five-year transit plan.

   Secretary of Transportation Ann Schneider said Wednesday the online meetings will take place on Oct. 28 and Oct. 29. Each is from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

   They will address plans for building or repairing highways, bridges, airports and train routes for 2015 to 2020.

   IDOT engineers will host the webinars designed to give residents and businesses a chance to better understand and discuss project priorities.

   The webinars are in addition to 16 informational meetings and feedback sessions IDOT hosted earlier this year throughout the state.

   Participating in the webinars requires reserving space online.

   ---

   Online: Multiyear transportation planning: http://tinyurl.com/pwthj5p

 
Published in Local News

   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Construction work on Illinois highways will be suspended for the Labor Day weekend to improve the flow of traffic and increase safety.

   That's the word from the Illinois Department of Transportation, which announced its plans Tuesday. IDOT officials hope that by opening up as many traffic lanes as possible they will reduce congestion and make the holiday weekend more enjoyable for travelers.

   Work will be put on hold starting at 3 p.m. Friday and will continue through midnight Monday.

   The Department of Transportation reminds motorists that work zone speed limits remain in effect when they are posted, even if no workers are on site.

 

Published in Local News

   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois has suspended non-emergency roadwork to help keep traffic moving over the July Fourth holiday weekend, the most heavily traveled summer holiday.

   The Illinois Department of Transportation says the halt to construction began Wednesday afternoon and will continue through Sunday.

   Thousands of motorists are expected to travel on state roadways during the holiday period.

   Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider says the construction freeze will also improve safety.

   Motorists planning their trips will be able to see a list of construction-related lane closures on the department's website.

   It is also reminding drivers that work zone speed limits remain in effect even when workers are not present.

 
Published in Local News
Friday, 07 June 2013 12:09

IDOT postpones work on McKinley Bridge

Flooding is forcing the Illinois Department of Transportation to postpone planned work on the McKinley Bridge.

The original closure was scheduled to start tonight and run through the weekend, but the water is to high to complete the work safely. IDOT says the new start date is June 28, weather permitting.

 

Published in Local News

   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois transportation officials say they're gearing up for busy roadways this Memorial Day weekend and have a plan to reduce congestion.

   The Illinois Department of Transportation announced Thursday that non-emergency roadwork will be suspended to improve traffic flow at the unofficial start of summer.

   Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider says the move helps ensure safety with the increase of motorists expected on the roads.

   The suspension starts 3 p.m. on Friday through midnight Monday.

   Transportation officials are urging motorists to obey posted speed limits and that posted limits are still in effect for construction zones even if there's no construction in the works.

 
Published in Local News

   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Legislation increasing the speed limit on interstate highways in Illinois to 70 mph is headed to Gov. Pat Quinn.

   The House approved the bill 85-30 Wednesday. The current maximum speed limit is 65 mph.

   Sponsoring Rep. Jerry Costello II says the bill is good for business. The Smithton Democrat says it will allow companies to move their wares more quickly.

   Gov. Pat Quinn's Transportation Department opposes the increase. But spokeswoman Brooke Anderson says Quinn will review the bill.

   House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie says studies show increased speeds result in more crashes and deaths.

   But a Jacksonville Republican Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer says motorists heading south avoid Illinois, meaning fewer stops for fuel and food.

 
Published in Local News
CHICAGO (AP) - State officials have announced nearly $500 million in construction projects slated to begin soon.

The Illinois Department of Transportation released a list Monday of nearly 200 road and bridge projects. They include an interchange project on Chicago's Far South Side off Interstate 94. The state is investing $43 million in the project, which will repair, reconstruct and replace seven bridges. It will be completed in 2014.

Gov. Pat Quinn, Congressman Bobby Rush and state Sen. Donne Trotter were among the public officials who announced the projects Monday on the city's South Side.

The money comes from a capital construction program, Illinois Jobs Now!, and a supplemental appropriation lawmakers approved earlier this year.

The other projects include pedestrian structures, lots road resurfacing, bridge repair and road widening.
Published in Local News

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