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Wisconsin Department of Transportation  logo   Frozen Road Law Takes Effect Wednesday In Northern WI

Law affects log haulers, transport of road salt/sand in Zone 1

Wisconsin's frozen road law takes effect Wednesday, December 12 at 12:01 a.m. for the region designated by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) as Zone 1 which includes US-8 along with numbered state and federal highways north of US-8. The frozen road determination for other portions of the state will be made once conditions warrant.

The frozen road law allows heavier loads for trucks carrying peeled or unpeeled forest products cut crosswise (not including woodchips), and salt and sand for winter maintenance for a period of time determined by weather conditions. WisDOT and county highway personnel monitor temperature forecasts, along with frost tubes - liquid-filled devices under pavement - to help determine when roads are adequately frozen to accommodate heavier loads.

The declaration is issued once the ground under highway pavement is frozen to a depth of at least 18-inches, allowing the maximum gross weight for trucks hauling logs or salt and sand for maintaining roads in winter to go up to 98,000 pounds on vehicles with a minimum of five axles (from the normal 80,000 pounds). Special permits for hauling the increased weights are not required in Zone 1, however, vehicles must be legally licensed at 80,000 pounds to handle the increased weights. The higher weight limits do not apply to county or local roads unless authorized by the local agency having maintenance authority. Also, higher weights may not be transported on any highways or bridges specifically posted for lower weight limits.

The “Motor carrier/trucker” section of the WisDOT website contains comprehensive information impacting commercial motor vehicle operators including weight restriction programs and frozen road declaration. Customers can also check a recorded message on the Frozen Road Hotline at 608/266-8417. Haulers with specific questions can contact WisDOT’s Oversize/Overweight Permits Unit at 608/266-7320.  

12/11/2018 10:00 AM (Updated 12/15/2018 8:31 AM)

Illinois Tollway logo   Fuel Stations and Convenience Stores at Des Plaines Oasis Permanently Closing December 14 to Allow New Interchange Construction

The 7-Eleven fuel stations and convenience stores at the Des Plaines Oasis will close Friday, December 14, to allow underground fuel tanks at the site to be removed so construction can proceed in 2019 on a full interchange that will connect the new I-490 Tollway to the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90).

The ramps and the parking areas at the oasis also will close at that time.

Following the closure, 7-Eleven will remove its underground fuel tanks and perform remediation work on the site.

After that work is completed, the Illinois Tollway plans to remove the remaining structures to allow construction of the new I-490/I-90 Interchange to proceed on that site in the spring of 2019.

“This is an exciting step that allows us to continue to moving forward with the construction of the new I-490 Tollway,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Liz Gorman. “The interchange that we’re building at this site will create a new connection with I-90 that will provide easier access to the western suburbs for our customers and ultimately offer drivers western access into O’Hare International Airport.”

The new interchange will consist of four ramps, including a ramp bridge over I-90 connecting westbound I-90 to I-490, constructed west of Mount Prospect Road and will provide full access between the two Tollways.

In addition, the I-490/I-90 Interchange Project will also include construction of a new multi-span bridge that will carry I-490 over the Metropolitan Water Reclamation of Greater Chicago’s Touhy Avenue Reservoir south of I-90. The project is scheduled to be complete in 2023.

Advance work began earlier this year to prepare for construction of the new ramps and bridges that will connect I-490 to westbound I-90. That work includes construction of collector-distributor roads along I-90, retaining walls and barrier walls, as well as drainage and utility work.

To accommodate interchange construction, the inside shoulders in both directions on I-90 between Elmhurst Road and Mount Prospect Road are closed to provide a work zone to complete the center pier construction for a future bridge over I-90. This work is scheduled to be completed this month.

The outside shoulders in both directions on I-90 are closed between the Oasis and Elmhurst Road to construct the noise wall, retaining wall, drainage and bridge substructures over Higgins Creek. This work will continue through the winter.

The new I-490 Tollway, coupled with the Illinois Route 390 Tollway which was completed in 2017, will connect businesses and communities with one of the nation’s busiest airports, transit facilities, major freight transportation hubs, distribution centers and multiple interstate highways including the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) and the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294).

Designed to accommodate access into the O’Hare International Airport, the two new cashless Tollways include 17 miles of new roads with 15 new or improved interchanges. The new I-490 Tollway will be built to carry north-south traffic around the western border of O'Hare and provide access to the airport. The Illinois Route 390 Tollway currently carries east-west traffic between Lake Street (Illinois Route 20) and Illinois Route 83 and will include an interchange connection to the new I-490 Tollway. 

12/6/2018 12:22 PM (Updated 12/8/2018 8:36 AM)

Wisconsin Department of Transportation  logo   November 26 is Snowplow Driver Appreciation Day in Wisconsin

With the winter driving season getting underway, Gov. Scott Walker has proclaimed Monday, November 26, as Snowplow Driver Appreciation Day in Wisconsin.

“Snowplow drivers provide a critical public service that helps to ensure continued operations for businesses, medical services, schools – and life in general – all winter long, said WisDOT Secretary Dave Ross. “Throughout winter, every motorist has the opportunity to pay it forward for our hardworking snowplow drivers by driving carefully, giving snowplows room to work and, when possible, avoiding travel during heavy storms.”

As part of a century-old partnership, WisDOT contracts with all 72 county highway departments for winter maintenance on state roads.

Thank our Wisconsin plow drivers by staying safe on the road this winter.

  • Before traveling, call 511 or go online ( to check on road conditions and possible incidents. Consider downloading the 511 Wisconsin smartphone app. 
  • Buckle up, watch what’s happening ahead of you and allow plenty of following distance.  
  • Most traffic crashes in winter are caused by drivers going too fast for conditions. Posted speed limits apply when travel conditions are ideal. Drivers are advised to slow down when roads are slick or visibility is reduced.  
  • Stay at least 200 feet behind a working snowplow. Make sure that you can see the plow’s mirrors to ensure the driver can see you.  
  • If you must pass, be careful. Snowplows often create a cloud of snow that can obscure vision. Remember that road conditions in front of the plow will likely be worse.  
  • Don’t be over-confident if you operate a four-wheel or all-wheel-drive vehicle. They still require a considerable distance to stop on slick roadways. 
  • During major winter storms, postpone or cancel your trip. Stranded motorists and vehicles become hazards that interfere with snow removal efforts.

NOTE: View this news release online at the WisDOT Newsroom:                      

11/23/2018 10:50 AM (Updated 11/24/2018 8:37 AM)

Illinois Tollway logo   Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) Project Between Rosemont and Franklin Park Nearing Winter Configuration

Work to move traffic into its winter configuration on the northern section of the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) Project between Balmoral Avenue in Rosemont and Wolf Road in Franklin Park is scheduled to begin with a final traffic shift this week. Once the shift is complete, the ramps connecting Irving Park Road to northbound I-294 will also reopen.

Electronic message signs and construction signage will be put in place in advance to alert drivers to the traffic shift. The temporary lane closures and traffic shifts are necessary to provide a work zone and safely accommodate traffic.

Weather permitting, on Monday, November 19, traffic between Balmoral Avenue and Wolf Road is scheduled to be reduced to a single lane in both directions beginning at 10 p.m. During this time delays are expected. By 6 a.m. on Tuesday, November 20, all lanes will be reopened and shifted back into their pre-construction configuration.

The ramps connecting Irving Park Road to northbound I-294 in Schiller Park, which have been closed since July, are scheduled to reopen the evening of Tuesday, November 20.

While major advance work is complete, some shoulders will remain closed and off-peak mainline and local lane closures will be needed to wrap up median, signage and roadway lighting work. No additional traffic shifts or long-term lane reductions will be scheduled until construction on the project resumes in 2019.

Work on the Central Tri-State began earlier this year to repair, resurface and widen I-294 to five lanes between Balmoral Avenue and Wolf Road in Franklin Park, as well as to reconstruct barrier walls, medians and shoulders in this area.

Construction in this area was coordinated with the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration, Chicago Department of Aviation, Village of Schiller Park, Village of Rosemont and Village of Franklin Park, as well as local fire and police departments.

The Central Tri-State Tollway is being reconstructed to provide congestion relief, update old infrastructure to meet current and future transportation demand and address regional needs. This work is part of the Tollway’s 15-year program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future. More than 220,000 vehicles use the Central Tri-State Tollway daily.

A detailed planning and refinement process is underway to complete design and construction plans for reconstruction of the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294), including reconfiguring the I-290/I-88 Interchange at I-294, rebuilding the Mile Long Bridge and the BNSF Railway Bridge as well as integrating Flex Lanes and SmartRoad technology. The Central Tri-State Concept includes findings and draft recommendations being considered and evaluated by the Tollway as it moves forward in the reconstruction of the Central Tri-State.

Maps, construction and detour information about the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) Project is available on the Tollway’s website at via the Interactive Tollway Map and under “Projects Overview” in the Explore Projects section.

11/19/2018 10:35 AM (Updated 11/21/2018 11:24 AM)

Keep Us Alive Drive 45 logo   Keep Us Alive Drive 45

Keep Us Alive Drive 45 is our commitment to keep workers and motorists safe in work zones. Each year, many people are killed in construction zone accidents, both commuters and workers. Please abide the posted speed limit in work zones. When workers are present, it's 45 M.P.H. - It's The Law.

Join us in our pledge to increase awareness and promote safe driving in our work zones by displaying an orange ribbon. Together we can make our roadways a safer place to commute and work. With your help, we can see to it that a construction zone is not an end zone.

8/21/2006 12:00 AM (Updated 1/21/2015 10:29 AM)
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Tue Dec 18 2018 06:39:07 CST