New legislation aimed at road construction safety in Illinois

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Chicago Construction News staff writer

State Senator Chapin Rose and State Representative Adam Niemerg are unveiling proposed legislation this week, aiming to improve safety during road construction and closures.

Citing concerns over recent incidents during winter construction on I-70, Rose and Niemerg say there is a need for better communication between the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), local law enforcement, city officials, and state authorities.

“Our legislation addresses a crucial issue,” Senator Rose said in a statement. “First, we ensure that IDOT never diverts Interstate construction through another construction zone, a situation that led to severe disruptions. IDOT has committed to collaborating with affected local counties to prevent such incidents in the future.

“We want to address the problem of GPS systems rerouting drivers into areas they shouldn’t be during accidents. Our legislation requires GPS navigation providers operating in Illinois to maintain direct communication with IDOT. This enables them to upload preferred detour routes and, in emergencies, redirect traffic away from potential danger zones.”

The proposed legislation would prohibit concurrent construction on primary and secondary routes, except in emergencies and direct IDOT “to avoid initiating construction on a primary route and a parallel secondary route simultaneously, a decision that locals know resulted in chaos.”

The legislation, to be introduced during the upcoming fall veto session, also mandates IDOT to compensate local governments for any damage their roads incur due to IDOT-mandated detours.

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