MORE THAN 9 million vehicles expected to travel
the ILLINOIS Tollway SYSTEM this THANKSGIVING WEEKEND
Drivers reminded to slow down in work zones and Give Then Distance when traveling

DOWNERS GROVE, IL – Anticipating increased traffic over the Thanksgiving holiday, the Illinois Tollway reminds drivers to stay focused on the road, slow down in construction work zones and “Give Them Distance” when vehicles are on the side of the road with lights flashing.

“With more than 9 million vehicles turning to the Tollway system over the extended Thanksgiving holiday weekend, we’re asking our customers to do their part to stay safe when driving,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Liz Gorman. “Construction is ongoing on parts of the Tollway as we continue our work to deliver roadway improvements to improve travel and mobility.”

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, Wednesday, November 21, through Monday, November 26, the heaviest travel is expected on Wednesday, when nearly 1.9 million vehicles are projected to use the 294-mile Tollway system. On an average day, more than 1.6 million vehicles use the Illinois Tollway.

As construction continues, prior to Thanksgiving the Tollway expects to reopen two lanes in both directions on the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88) between Illinois Route 56 in Sugar Grove and Peace Road in DeKalb. Ongoing lane reductions will be in place on the I-88 corridor from Peace Road to Illinois Route 251 in Rochelle.

In addition, the Tollway anticipates restoring Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) mainline traffic to its original configuration between Balmoral Avenue in Rosemont and Wolf Road in Franklin Park, as well as reopening the ramps connecting Irving Park Road to northbound I-294, in advance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

What’s Travel Like?
To prepare for trips short or long, drivers can check out Traveler Quick Links on the Tollway’s website to sign up for and access Tollway Trip Tweets with roadway incident information and weather conditions at Tollway Trip 90, Tollway Trip 88, Tollway Trip 355, Tollway Trip 94/294 and Tollway Trip 390.

To accommodate Thanksgiving holiday travel on the Illinois Tollway, construction activity will be restricted to better serve Tollway customers. Temporary construction and maintenance lane closures will be suspended from noon on Wednesday, November 21, through 9 a.m. on Monday, November 26. Work may continue behind barriers with long-term lane closures remaining in place to keep construction projects on schedule. Ongoing construction includes:

Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80)
·        On the Edens Spur, between Pfingsten Road and the Edens Expressway, traffic is reduced to one lane in each direction.
·        On I-294, traffic is shifted in both directions at the Cermak Road Toll Plaza.
  • At 159th Street Interchange the ramps carrying traffic from westbound 159th Street to southbound I-294 and from northbound I-294 to westbound 159th Street are closed with posted detours.

Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88)
·        Between I-290 and York Road, traffic is shifted in both directions. Westbound drivers must travel in the right lane on I-88 to access the cash side of the York Road Toll Plaza as well as the 22nd Street exit ramp.
·        On the ramp connecting eastbound I-88 to northbound I-355 one lane is closed.
·        Between Peace Road and Illinois Route 251, traffic is reduced to one lane in each direction in segments.

Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355)
·        Between Boughton Road and Butterfield Road, traffic is shifted in both directions.

While traveling this holiday weekend, whenever drivers see any vehicle on the side of the road with emergency or hazard lights flashing, they are required by law to slow down and change lanes. The Illinois Tollway, along with other transportation agencies and safety groups, is asking drivers to remember to Give Them Distance to help reduce the number of traffic deaths occurring every year in the state.

Illinois State Police Urges Safe Driving  
Illinois State Police Troopers patrolling the Illinois Tollway will help keep roadways safe by increasing patrols to enforce violations for driving under the influence, as well as enforcing violations for speeding and distracted driving. Illinois State Police is also stepping up patrols and seatbelt enforcement zones as part of the statewide “Click It or Ticket” campaign, which began on November 16 and runs through November 26.

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 294 miles of roadways 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), the Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80) and the Illinois Route 390 Tollway.


# # #
Renewable energy agreement is projected to cover 21 sites in Illinois, including Walmart Distribution Center in Sterling.

Walmart recently announced that it has reached an agreement with SunPower to have the commercial energy provider install solar systems at 19 stores and two distribution centers in Illinois.

As part of the project, a mix of rooftop and ground-mount solar systems are expected to account for 23 megawatts, with start of construction targeted for the first half of 2019. This commitment moves Walmart closer to its 2025 goal of supplying its global operations with 50 percent renewable energy. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator, the amount of anticipated annual carbon offset by this initiative will be equal to the amount of carbon sequestered by over 24,000 acres of U.S. forest in one year – the size of Elgin, Ill.

“Solar is a vital component of Walmart’s expanding renewable energy portfolio,” said Mark Vanderhelm, vice president of energy for Walmart Inc. “Walmart plans to tirelessly pursue renewable energy projects that are right for our customers, our business and the environment. These planned projects with SunPower are moving us in the right direction toward our renewable energy goals.”

Walmart is financing the solar projects through a power purchase agreement (PPA) arranged by SunPower, allowing Walmart to buy power at competitive prices and hedge against future utility rate increases with no upfront capital costs. Walmart will own the renewable energy credits associated with the system.

“We commend Walmart for its leadership in driving corporate renewable energy adoption in the United States and for partnering with SunPower to deliver high-efficiency, high-quality solar to so many of its stores and facilities,” said Nam Nguyen, SunPower Executive Vice President, Commercial Americas. “As the top U.S. commercial solar provider and with over 30 years of experience, SunPower is well positioned to help Walmart increase its renewable energy investments in a cost-effective manner.”

In Illinois, smart state policy and rising utility rates make solar a smart investment for commercial customers. These installations will represent a 25 percent increase in Illinois’ current solar capacity and will generate enough electricity to power nearly 30,000 homes.

“Illinois Solar Energy Association is committed to advancing solar locally, enabling companies like Walmart – with stores and employees across our great state – to realize the economic and environmental value of renewable energy,” said Lesley McCain, Executive Director of the Illinois Solar Energy Association. “These projects will create hundreds of jobs for Illinois’ growing solar workforce while reducing pollution across the state.”
Week in Review for week ending 11/3/18


Key

1.       Budget – October 2018 revenue
2.       Education
a.       Illinois Report Card 
b.      SAT test
3.       Fire Safety – Smoke alarms
4.       Outdoors – Deer season
5.       Seniors – Medicare
6.       Fall in Illinois – Pumpkins 
7.       Illinois 200 – U.S. Grant


BUDGET

State revenue up in October.  The monthly report from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CGFA) monitors State cash flow and economic trends.  The CGFA numbers depict continued healthy revenue numbers in October 2018.  Personal income tax receipts during the month were up by $145 million from October 2017, an increase of 9.9%.  Sales tax receipts increased by $71 million during the same time-span, a year-over-year increase of 10.7%.  The State’s sales tax numbers reflect receipts from an increasing proportion of retail sales made online to Illinois addresses.  Enforcement of Illinois sales taxes on online sales is now permissible under nationwide sales tax law.  The sales tax law change was approved by the Supreme Court earlier this year in its “South Dakota v. Wayfair” sales tax decision.  The positive numbers in Illinois’ two largest general revenue cash flow streams signaled a continued atmosphere of prosperity and low unemployment in many regions of the state.

Not all cash flow numbers were positive in October 2018.  Negative numbers were posted in several areas where special excise taxes are levied.  Net proceeds from the Illinois State Lottery dropped by $12 million as gamblers moved to new platforms.  Riverboat casino tax revenues fell by $2 million in further affirmation of the same overall trend line.  Cigarette tax receipts dropped $5 million as Illinois reduced its consumption of tobacco products.  These trends away from so-called “sin tax” proceeds are expected to continue and the overall numbers reflect Illinois’ growing dependence on personal income taxes and taxes on retail sales.  CGFA released their October 2018 report on Friday, November 2.



CURRENT EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

The following positions are currently vacant within the Tollway Human Resources will accept applications, with resumes from: November 1, 2018 through November 16, 2018

JOB QUALIFICATIONS: To be selected for a position, an applicant must (1) meet the minimum requirements of the job posting, (2) pass a written exam (if applicable), (3) satisfy a background check (which may be extensive), (4) pass an oral interview, during which the interviewer(s) will further evaluate the applicant’s qualifications and (5) provide certified transcripts, certifications, and/or license upon candidate processing and/or transfer, if the position requires a degree, certification, and/or license. Internal Applicants who are current employees must have worked in their current position long enough to pass probation to be eligible to apply for the position. In addition, applicants are also subjected to an internal investigation which includes an evaluation of their work record, safety and discipline records, their performance assessments and time and attendance records (including late starts and early quits) for the preceding 12 months. (Authorized absences will not be included for purposes of assessing whether attendance is satisfactory.)

Department Position Salary Grade

Engineering Welder $24.21/Hour NA (Various Locations)

Click the link below to view Position Description

http://agency.governmentjobs.com/illinoistollway/default.cfm?action=jobbulletin&JobID=2255193

On September 10, 2014, the Tollway began using an on-line application system to assist prospective and current employees in the job application process. This system allows users to create an individual account, create and maintain a profile of education, experience and certifications, identify job interest categories, search for open positions, and submit job applications. This system automatically notifies users of recently posted jobs based on the job interest categories chosen. For the employee to be notified of open positions and submit job applications, this system requires the user to have an email account. This could either be a personal account (i.e. Gmail, Yahoo) or getipass.com account.

To apply for a posted position, create a “Job Interest Card”, or view the Job Description for this position visit the Tollway’s website. http://www.illinoistollway.com/homepage

Completed applications may be mailed to the Tollway or dropped off in person at the agency’s Downers Grove headquarters between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. All applications must be received within the dates indicated on the job posting. If you require further information regarding open positions please contact Human Resources at 630-241-6800 extension 2333.

All applications must be received by the application deadline indicated on the qualification sheet or Internet site. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq., and the Illinois Human Rights Act, 775 ILCS 5/1-101 et seq., the Illinois Tollway actively takes steps to ensure that our employment application process is accessible to persons with disabilities. Any person with a disability who needs an accommodation for any portion of the application process is encouraged to contact the Tollway’s EEO/AA Office at (630)241-6800 extension 1011, TTY (630)241-6898, or at: bdunn@getipass.com