Boasting 23 highways, 13 of which carry traffic into neighboring states and a total of almost 2,200 miles of road, Illinois has the third largest interstate system in the country behind Texas and California. Chicago has always been an important facet of the national transportation system and has served as a hub for transportation companies to link shipments for decades. As a result, Illinois has been making history on its roads for over five decades now.
Ottawa Test Program Used To Monitor Trucking Traffic On The Illinois Interstates Across The Country
In the 1950s, the American Association of State Highway Officials required a test track that would allow research to be performed that was instrumental to creating the standards of all interstates across the nation. The eight mile test track was located where I80 exists now and was used to test the strength of bridge constructions and how trucks reacted under certain road and weather conditions. I80 now connects Illinois to Iowa in the west and travels all the way through the state into Indiana. Many trucks headed from one coast to another pass through Illinois using I80 if they are not meant to stop in Chicago.
Emergency Traffic Patrol System Used To Divert Highway Traffic After A Serious Accident
Illinois was also the pioneer of the emergency traffic patrol system, which is designed to clear roads of congestion and eliminate hazards by offering help to stranded motorists whose vehicles have broken down. The patrol also works to clear the roads during times of potential congestion such as during a winter storm. To date, the program boasts that it has helped over 3.3 million motorists since its inception in 1960.
Illinois Highways: Major Thoroughfares For Trucks Of All Types
In order for a highway to qualify for interstate status, it must be a controlled access road and meet certain speed and design requirements. Illinois has 23 interstate highways and 13 of them connect Illinois to neighboring states while the others provide bypasses around Chicago and St. Louis or link two or more highways together. Most of Illinois’ interstates run east and west, linking the state to Iowa, Wisconsin or Indiana, but there are several important highways that run north and south, such as I55, which runs all the way from Chicago down to St. Louis.
I57 is the longest running interstate in Illinois that travels north to south and it exits Illinois at its southernmost point while ending in Chicago up north. I70, I72 and I80 are major east and westbound highways that travel across the state at different locations. They are useful for traveling through the state while avoiding the congestion near the city. The busiest road in all of Illinois is I90/94, which travels from Indiana to Wisconsin, heading into the heart of Chicago on the way.
Over 60% of the traffic that travels on the Illinois Interstate System is trucks while only 29% of highway traffic in Illinois is made up of privately owned vehicles. Illinois is the crossroads of the nation for transportation and many companies have large hubs in Chicago or its suburbs even if they are not based in Illinois. Because Chicago is also home to a major railroad hub, many shipments reach the city by train where they are offloaded and transported by truck to their destinations in the Midwest.
As long as Illinois continues to be at the center of the transportation industry, truck accidents will remain commonplace due to the high volume of trucks traveling through the state. Even though technology is allowing vehicles to be made safer and truckers to be held accountable, some accidents will remain unpreventable in the state. Those accidents which cannot be preventable must be investigated and the parties responsible held accountable in order to encourage others to keep our roads safe.