Tribune reported last month about an interesting investment being made
by the state of Illinois. Government officials are hoping a $45 million dollar
investment into highway technology will help decrease traffic congestion and
hopefully car accidents.
engineers are focusing initially on the Edens Expressway and the northern
stretch of U.S. Highway 41 and will begin incorporating a mix of existing and
new technology during the next two years, an undertaking that could spread to
the entire Chicago-area expressway system.
“We are trying to
fix a lot of problems with very cost-efficient solutions that can be introduced
relatively soon,” IDOT Secretary Ann Schneider said.
Those technologies include
travel-time estimates using motorists’ Bluetooth devices, bus-on-shoulder
service during rush hour, and traffic cameras along every interchange.
A major part of the
project will be a series of radar devices designed to detect wrong-way drivers
and warn other motorists about them. The problem causes more than 300
fatalities a year nationwide, according to the National Transportation Safety
The system, similar to
one already being tested in Peoria, will alert the wrong-way driver by
triggering flashing red lights, telling the driver not to enter the highway,
according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. It will also broadcast
warnings on electronic signs to warn oncoming drivers to stay in the far-right
lane to help prevent collisions, IDOT officials said.
Wrong-way drivers, the
vast majority of whom are intoxicated or older drivers, tend to steer to the
far right, which in the wrong direction of travel is the left lane for
right-way drivers, officials said.
In addition to alerting
drivers, the system could feed information to IDOT and the Illinois State
Police, said Steve Travia, IDOT’s bureau chief of Chicago-area traffic
The various projects are
in the preliminary engineering stage and construction will be done in phases, likely
starting in two years, Travia said. Schneider said she is hoping to accelerate
the schedule. Projects would be extended over time to other expressways in the
I love investments like
these made by our government. I will be interested to see what the results of these studies are and
whether more money will be invested. I would also like to see investments in studies that would provide information on how to deal with traffic congestion throughout Chicago. As we know traffic jams often arise due to car crashes and vice versa.
If you or someone you
love has been injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then
call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free legalconsultation at 312-588-3384.