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When I-294/I-57 link opens, drivers to get 30 days to pay missed tolls

Updated: July 17, 2014 9:08PM



When the Illinois Tollway opens the new Tri-State-Interstate 57 interchange this fall, cash-only drivers will get a temporary grace period of 30 days to pay missed tolls through the end of the year, officials said Thursday.

The interchange will be the Tollway’s first interstate-to-interstate connection without toll booths on the main roadway for customers who wish to pay tolls in cash.

This first phase of the $719 million Tri-State Tollway Interchange project is scheduled for completion in October and will create a seamless electronic-tolling-only access route from northbound I-57 to northbound Interstate 294, and from southbound I-294 to southbound I-57. It will include a new interchange at 147th Street.

Drivers who miss a toll will pay $1.50 during the grace period — up from 75 cents with an I-Pass. Missed tolls can be paid online, by mail or in person at any Tollway customer service center.

“There is always a learning curve for users of a new interchange and we want to give customers who use the I-294/I-57 ramps for the first time every opportunity to pay their tolls on time,’’ Tollway Executive Director Kristi LaFleur said in a news release. “Extending the deadline will help ensure that new customers will be successful.”

Because increased demand for I-Pass transponders is anticipated during the transition, the Tollway is opening a temporary Customer Service Center at the Secretary of State’s office at 14434 S. Pulaski Road in Midlothian from September through November.

The Tollway also will hold three I-Pass “roadshow events” to educate customers on the I-Pass process. The sessions will be held at 6 p.m. Aug. 5 at Raday Lodge, 3220 W. 145th St., Midlothian; 6 p.m. Aug. 13 at Markham City Hall, 16313 S. Kedzie Parkway, Markham; and 6 p.m Aug. 21at Posen Community Center, 14401 Campbell Ave., Posen.

After the transition, cash-paying drivers will still be able to pay in cash by getting off at I-294 at the 159th Street Toll Plaza and driving west to the I-57 Interchange, or by traveling through the 163rd Street Toll Plaza, exiting at Intersate 80 and driving west to connect to I-57. But they’ll be paying a higher toll to do so: $1.50 instead of 75 cents.

Email rrossi@suntimes.com

Twitter @rosalindrossi



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