Smart tech to come to I-90

Congested roads and traffic accidents are to be expected on heavily traveled roads like the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway, but smart technology is coming to the rescue.

The tollway is adding smart technology road signs along a 16-mile section of Interstate 90 between Barrington Road and the Kennedy Expressway, according to Dan Rozek, spokesperson for the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority.

The signs will alert drivers of traffic accidents 2 to 3 miles in advance, giving them the opportunity to avoid getting stuck, Rozek said.

“If there is congestion up ahead, they can choose an alternate route, take an exit, or take a different road to get there,” Rozek said.

There will be a lane designated for Pace bus services.

“We’re very excited about integrating transit,” Rozek said. “That’s something we’ve never done before. It brings more options to our customers.”

That’s not the only new feature drivers can expect. The tollway also is preparing for the future of transportation by laying the groundwork for driverless cars using smart technology.

“The fiber optics that will likely power these systems when they become available has already been built into this section of roadway, so as the technology advances we’re not going to have to tear up I-90 and rebuild it to accommodate future technology,” Rozek said.

The smart road technology will cost $33 million, which will paid for by tollway users.

“We think it is a very reasonable investment,” he said. “[It is ] very cost effective for the benefits it’s going to provide our customers. We’re still testing the electronics and the technology, but we expect the system to be up and running by this summer.”

Illinois News Network

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