Reversible toll lanes open on Chicago Skyway

Roz Varon Image
Friday, July 1, 2016
Chicago Skyway to open reversible lanes
Three center toll lanes will flow into Chicago during the morning hours. At about noon, they will reverse and flow eastbound into Indiana.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Just in time for the holiday weekend, new reversible toll lanes on the Chicago Skyway opened for commuters on Friday.

The Chicago Skyway is the first toll road in the state to have reversible toll lanes.

"About a month and a half ago, we decided, after the McDonalds was eliminated, to use this to have a larger capacity of vehicles at our plaza," said Mike Lowrey, chief operating officer of the Skyway Concession Co.

The three center toll lanes will flow westbound into Chicago during the morning hours. At about noon, they will reverse to flow eastbound into Indiana during the afternoon and evening hours.

Only I-PASS and E-ZPass users will be allowed in the reversible toll lanes - no cash and no trucks.

The biggest problem Skyway officials see is people not properly mounting their transponders, waving them around, setting them on the seat or on the dashboard. The proper placement is center, behind the rear view mirror so the antennas can pick them up.

"We also ask motorists that have a problem out in the lanes. Do not back up out of the lanes, but to hit the button on the booth there and our control room will take care of them and assist them to get out of the lanes," Lowrey said.

For the first couple weeks, extra personal will be on site to help with the transition. The extra lanes will help with summer travel, but the reversible option will be short lived.

"After Labor Day, these reversible lanes will be closed to start our Kingston Road bridge project, which is the rehabilitation of the Kingston Road bridge," Lowrey said.

The bridge project will be done by Memorial Day 2017 and there will be six new toll lanes - three in each direction of travel.