DOWNERS GROVE, IL â€“ The Illinois Tollway announced it is opening a temporary Customer Service Center in Midlothian to provide Chicago Southland residents with a convenient location to obtain I-PASS or receive other assistance as the new, all-electronic Tri-State Tollway (I-294)/I-57 Interchange opens nearby this fall.
The Tollway is opening a three-month satellite center at the Secretary of State Office in Midlothian from September 2 through November 26, 2014. The office at 14434 S. Pulaski Road, will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday.
â€œWe are making it easier for Southland community residents to sign up for I-PASS so they can more conveniently and affordably use the new, all-electronic I-294/I-57 Interchange opening this fall,â€ said Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur. â€œThis neighborhood center means residents wonâ€™t have to drive far to get I-PASS transponders, which will enable them to travel safely across our system and even through other states while saving time and money.â€
â€œWeâ€™re pleased to work with the Illinois Tollway in this unique partnership that will benefit Southland residents who want to take full advantage of this important new highway connection opening in their community,â€ said Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. â€œThis effort demonstrates how much we canÂ accomplish when we work together to assist our residents.â€
The new $719 million I-294/I-57 Interchange, the fourth all-electronic interchange on the Tollway system, is part of the Tollwayâ€™s 15-year, $12 billion capital program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future. The interchange will create a long-sought connection between two major interstates in the Chicago Southland that will relieve congestion on local routes, enhance economic development and improve overall transportation throughout the region.
This is the first interstate-to-interstate connection on the Tollway system where there is no toll collection point on the mainline roadway for customers who wish to pay cash. Tollway customers who would like to pay cash to travel between I-294 and I-57 will still be able to do so at the 159th Street Ramp Toll Plaza or via the 163rd Street Toll Plaza. These are the routes currently being used today.
The regular toll will be $1.50 for customers who pay their unpaid tolls online, with a discounted I-PASS rate of 75 cents.Â Truck rates will range from $1.50 to $4.00 during daytime hours, with overnight discounts offered.
This fall, customers who use the I-294/I-57 Interchange without I-PASS will have 30 days from the date of their unpaid toll to pay online â€“ up from seven days on all other parts of the Tollway system. This extended, limited-time offer will expire on December 31, 2014. Beginning January 1, 2015, customers without I-PASS who use the I-294/I-57 Interchange will have seven days to pay their unpaid tolls.
The new Customer Service Center will provide a full range of services, including:
- Allowing customers to open a new I-PASS account
- Obtain, replace or add I-PASS transponders
- Resolve toll violation notices
- Add funds to I-PASS accounts
- Merge multiple I-PASS accounts
- Update or manage I-PASS accounts
- Test transponder batteries
- Purchase I-PASS gift cards
Besides using the temporary Customer Service Center, drivers have several options to obtain an I-PASS transponder, including online via the Tollwayâ€™s website at www.illinoistollway.com, by calling 800-UCI-PASS (800-824-7277) on weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or in person at one of the Illinois Tollwayâ€™s Customer Service Centers or at one of nearly 200 Jewel-Osco store locations in Illinois.
To assist income-eligible drivers, the Tollway has designed the I-PASS Assist program that allows customers to open an account with $20, including a $10 deposit and $10 in prepaid tolls. The standard upfront cost of I-PASS is $50.
I-PASS Assist can be obtained at the Tollwayâ€™s Customer Service Centers, including the temporary satellite center in Midlothian.
The Illinois Tollway operates the nation’s largest electronic tolling system, with more than 87 percent of all toll transactions paid electronically through I-PASS or E-ZPass. There are currently more than five million active I-PASS transponders and nearly 3.6 million active I-PASS accounts nationwide.
About the I-294/I-57 Interchange
The $719 million Tri-State Tollway (I-294)/I-57 Interchange Project is a joint effort of the Illinois Tollway and the Illinois Department of Transportation to create a long-sought connection between two major interstates in the Chicago Southland that will relieve congestion on local routes, enhance economic development and improve overall transportation throughout the region. The first phase, scheduled for completion in 2014, will create access from northbound I-57 to northbound I-294 and southbound I-294 to southbound I-57, including a new interchange at 147th Street, delivering 75 percent of the projectâ€™s benefits to the traveling public. The full interchange is expected to be completed in 2024.
The interchange is expected to serve more than 76,000 vehicles per day and provide direct freight access to Chicagoâ€™s south suburbs â€“ saving drivers $4 million annually in fuel. Tri-State Tollway drivers currently using I-80 to get to I-57 will save 25 travel hours per year using the new interchange.
For more information about the Tri-State (I-294)/ I-57 project with complete details and maps, please visit â€œProject By Roadwayâ€ in the Construction/Planning section on the Tollwayâ€™s website www.illinoistollway.com.
About Move Illinois
The Illinois Tollwayâ€™s $12 billion capital program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future, will improve mobility, relieve congestion, reduce pollution, create as many as 120,000 jobs and link economies across the Midwest region. Move Illinois will address the remaining needs of the existing Tollway system; rebuild and widen the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) as a state-of-the-art 21st century corridor; construct a new interchange to connect the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) to I-57; build a new, all-electronic Elgin Oâ€™Hare Western Access and fund planning studies for the Illinois Route 53/120 Extension and the Illiana Expressway.
About the Illinois Tollway
The Illinois Tollway is a user-fee system that receives no state or federal funds for maintenance and operations. The agency maintains and operates 286 miles of interstate tollways in 12 counties in Northern Illinois, including the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88), the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355), the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) and the Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80).