If you’ll be on the toll roads this holiday season, you can expect to share them with 15.4 million other drivers — a three percent increase over last year’s holiday season, according to a statement from the Illinois Tollway.
An estimated 200,000 additional cars will use the Tollway on Friday, December 23, the day of heaviest anticipated travel, compared to that of an average day of 1.4 million drivers.
In order to alleviate congestion, the Tollway is suspending temporary maintenance and construction-lane closures on both holiday weekends.
The holiday season also marks a change in toll prices.
As you ring in the New Year on January 1, toll rates for cars will increase at midnight to help fund Move Illinois, a $12 billion program to expand existing toll roads and build an all-electric Elgin-O’Hare West Bypass.
Rate increases vary between 83 and 100 percent.
- On I-90, rates at the River Road Toll Plaza will rise from $0.40 to $0.75 for cars with I-Pass and from $0.80 to $1.50 for cash.
- The Touhy Avenue plaza on the Tri-State Tollway is increasing from $0.50 to $0.95 with I-Pass and $1.00 to $1.90 for cash.
- The largest increases on I-88 are at the DeKalb and and Dixon tolls from $0.95 to $1.80 with I-Pass or $1.90 to $3.60.
On a bright note, there will be free (small) cups of coffee to help drivers stay alert on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve at the seven oases, which the Tollway said was courtesy of McDonald’s and 7-Eleven.