The Illinois Tollway is deploying its entire fleet of snowplows to clear roads in response to the latest winter storm bringing snow and sleet across the area.
Another snowstorm is hitting the Chicago area Thursday, with the entire region under a winter weather advisory warning with up to 5 inches of snow possible in some areas.
In response to the winter weather, the Illinois Tollway deployed its full fleet of 196 snowplows in an effort to clear the snow and sleet that may affect drivers during their evening commutes and overnight travels.
Following the snow, Illinois Tollway officials will launch around-the-clock Zero Weather Road Patrols to aid drivers during the dangerously cold temperatures forecasted Friday.
“We’re prepared for these challenging winter conditions and will take whatever actions are needed to keep our roads clear and our customers safe,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director José Alvarez. “We’ll have full crews out plowing and spreading salt during the storm and after that work is completed, we’ll shift gears and focus on running additional road patrols to safeguard customers who need assistance during the extreme cold weather expected to continue into next week.”
The 24-hour Zero Weather Road Patrols search for stranded drivers and respond to emergency calls made to the *999 motorist assistance line, Illinois tollway dispatch or Illinois State Police District 15.
Tollway officials urge motorists to follow the state’s ‘Move Over Law’ that requires drivers to change lanes or slow down while passing a pulled-over vehicle with hazard lights activated and to follow the tips below for traveling in winter weather:
- Be sure your cell phone is fully charged before heading out.
- Be sure tires are properly inflated during cold weather. Tires lose a pound of pressure for every 10 degrees the temperature drops.
- Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up and ensure that you have extra to account for additional driving time if the weather is unfavorable.
- Keep a cold weather safety kit in your car that includes gloves, boots, blankets, road flares, water and a flashlight with fresh batteries.
- Stranded motorists should turn on their emergency lights and remain in their vehicles until help arrives.
- Cell phone users should call *999 motorist assistance for roadway assistance and note the roadway and direction of travel and nearest milepost or crossroad.