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Traffic snarled outside Chicago area emissions facilities

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Incredibly long lines stretched nearly a mile outside a local emissions testing facility Friday. (WLS)

Incredibly long lines stretched outside Chicago area emissions testing facilities Friday as motorists with expiring license plate stickers scrambled to get their state-mandated testing.

All four lanes of the Warrenville Testing Station in Naperville were jammed, with the line stretching nearly three quarters of a mile.

With little traffic control, a chore to cross off ahead of the holiday weekend became a lot tougher. Many folks waited more than two hours.

"Part of it I think is right at the intersection," said Susan English of Aurora. "If they had someone down there to direct a little bit because you have cars coming from the opposite direction pulling through the intersection when the light is green for the oncoming and so that causes congestion."

"We thought we were the only ones who waited for the last minute," said Alandra Sanchez of Lisle. "We were really surprised and when we first got here, we thought there was like was an accident."

No accidents in Naperville or at other state emissions testing centers such as Elk Grove Village or Schaumburg, but volume expanded the lines.

Closer to downtown waits were also out of the ordinary

The rush now stems in part from a lack of notice from the state over the winter that emissions tests would be due three months later.

"The only thing we got was a late notice," said Stacy Pegues.

They were suspended for the bulk of the winter as part of the budget impasse in Springfield. As of June 1 the secretary of state will require mandated emissions tests to once again be completed before stickers can be renewed.

On its website the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency warns of the waits as the state goes back to its old rules.

"I don't think the traffic patterns are very good there," said Jill Lipien of Naperville. "There is only one lane so a lot of people are getting blocked and then I think there are a lot of people that are eager to get in so they are blocking lanes."

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