Tollway speed limits in suburbs likely going up
Speed limits might be increasing by 5 to 10 mph this summer on several segments of the tollway that run through the suburbs.
Higher speed limits on parts of I-294, I-88 and I-355 were recommended for approval Thursday by the Illinois Tollway's customer service and planning committee.
According to the state's vehicle code, the tollway is required to conduct an engineering and traffic investigation before raising its maximum speed limits.
The investigation -- which took factors like prevailing speed, high-crash segments, access point density and the volume of traffic congestion into consideration -- determined that the 70 mph maximum that is allowed by the state is not a "safe and reasonable increase in the speed limit" for certain sections of the highway.
Instead, the following recommendations have been made. Proposed increases in the North suburbs are:
• 60 mph for all traffic on I-294 between Touhy Avenue and Deerfield Road, up from 55 mph.
• 65 mph for cars and buses on I-94 between Deerfield Road and Stearns School Road, up from 55 mph; the proposed increase for trucks on this segment is from 55 to 60 mph.
In the Western suburbs, the proposed increases include:
• 60 mph for all traffic on I-355 from I-55 to Army Trail Road, up from 55 mph.
• 60 mph for all traffic on I-88 from Route 31 to I-290, up from 55 mph.
• 65 mph for cars and buses on I-88 from Orchard Road to Route 31, up from 55 mph; the proposed increase for trucks on this segment is 55 to 60 mph.
• 65 mph for buses between the Kane/DeKalb County line and Orchard Road, up from 55 mph; the recommended increase for trucks is 60 mph, up from 55 mph; the speed limit for cars will remain at 65 mph.
The committee also recommended an increase from 55 to 60 mph for all traffic on I-294 between the I-55 and I-57 interchanges.
The full tollway board will consider the committee's recommendations March 26.
In addition, the tollway must obtain concurrence from the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Joint Commission on Administrative Rules.
Once all the necessary approvals are complete, the Illinois secretary of state can publish the updated rules and the new speed limit signs can be installed.