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updated: 7/21/2014 5:40 PM

Learning curve at all-electronic interchange with Tri-State and I-57

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  • Like the Balmoral Avenue exit on the northbound Tri-State Tollway, the new I-57 and Tri-State interchange is I-PASS only.

       Like the Balmoral Avenue exit on the northbound Tri-State Tollway, the new I-57 and Tri-State interchange is I-PASS only.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer, August 2012

 
 

Illini fans and other drivers who jump on the Illinois tollway's new interchange between the Tri-State (I-294) and I-57 when it opens this fall are advised to pack an I-PASS.

The interchange is all-electronic, meaning there won't be any collectors or machines to throw coins into.

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It's the first location connecting two interstates on the tollway system that doesn't offer travelers a chance to pay in cash. As a result, the agency is giving drivers without transponders 30 days to pay for missing tolls at the interchange.

The offer lasts until Dec. 31, when the policy reverts to seven days, the norm elsewhere on the system to pay for missed tolls. The I-294/I-57 interchange is 75 cents with I-PASS but $1.50 without.

The project will be 75 percent complete in October and includes ramps from northbound I-57 to northbound I-294 and from southbound I-294 to southbound I-57.

"There always is a learning curve for users of a new interchange," Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur said in a statement. "Extending the deadline will help ensure that new customers will be successful."

The agency also will open a temporary customer service center in the Midlothian secretary of state offices from September through November.

Other all-electronic interchanges include the Tri-State and Balmoral Avenue, Eola Road and the Reagan Memorial Tollway, and Route 47 and the Jane Addams Tollway.

The interchange costs $719 million and is being funded through a toll increase instituted in 2012.

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