Illinois Department of Transportation, Erica Borggren, Acting Secretary
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Patrick J. Quinn, Governor
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  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 8, 2014

CONTACT:
Paris Ervin 217.782.5025
Jae Miller 312.814.4693

Roadway Conditions Improve Statewide; Winter Weather Crews Begin Clean-Up Process

All State Roads are Open; Crews Prepare for More Snowfall in Illinois

CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced today that road conditions have improved statewide, however, some roadways are still snow and ice covered, mostly eastern Illinois. Currently, all state-maintained roadways are open. IDOT winter weather crews will continue to plow and salt to ensure that roads are clear and safe for motorists.

“We have made significant progress with the slightly warmer temperatures and we are starting to see major road improvements throughout the state, but roadway segments are still dangerous in some areas,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider. “IDOT winter weather crews are completing work on primary state routes, moving to secondary routes and starting the clean-up process to prepare for the next anticipated precipitation. Due to blowing and drifting snow and scattered slick spots, motorists should continue to use extreme caution when traveling as those isolated slick spots tend to sneak up on drivers.”

The National Weather Service forecasts light snow and a chance of rain and freezing drizzle in areas statewide as the week progresses. A slight potential for flooding exists in some areas this weekend, due to increasing temperatures, melting snow and expected rainfall.

For those who must travel, check www.gettingaroundillinois.com for the latest winter road conditions and road closures. Current closures, as of Wednesday afternoon, include the Fairmont Avenue Bridge over I-55/70 in Collinsville, the Brussels and Kampsville Ferries and the Homestead rest area (NB).

Currently, IDOT has 1,755 trucks assigned to snow duty across the state, and nearly 3,700 full- and part-time employees available to help ensure roads are clear and passable. IDOT will continue to monitor the weather and plan accordingly.

Drivers are reminded to exercise caution when snow and ice affect roadways, and IDOT advises travel only when absolutely necessary during winter storms or when temperatures are extremely low. During the severely cold weather expected, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security advises that Illinois residents limit exposure to cold temperatures, dress in layers, check in on others who may need additional assistance, keep vehicles in good repair, and bring pets indoors. For a list of warming centers in Illinois, visit http://www2.illinois.gov/KeepWarm/Pages/warmingcenter.aspx

Other safety tips to remember:

  • Don’t crowd the plow – a snow plow operator’s field of vision is restricted. You may see them, but they may not see you.

  • Allow extra time for travel during the winter months.

  • Watch out for black ice on roads that appear clear but can be treacherous. Take it slow when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges and shady areas - all are prone to black ice, which is often invisible.

  • Always keep your gas tank at least two-thirds full to help prevent the vehicle’s fuel line from freezing.

  • Do not travel during bad weather unless absolutely necessary - if you do have to make a trip, check the forecast and make sure someone is aware of your travel route.

  • Always carry an emergency car care kit that contains jumper cables, flares or reflectors, windshield washer fluid, a small ice scraper, traction material, blankets, non-perishable food and a first aid kit.

  • Carry a cell phone and dial *999 for roadway assistance.

  • Always wear a safety belt.

  • Motorists are urged to check travel conditions before any trip. You can get road condition information by calling 1-800-452-IDOT (4368), Illinois Tollway information by calling 1-800-TOLL-FYI or online at www.gettingaroundillinois.com and click on the “winter road conditions” icon.
     

 

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