WTHR News explored a study that is being conducted by several states, including Illinois, to expand a popular interstate. The move is being spurred by those interested in driver safety following a rash of fatal truck accidents involving big-rigs and smaller vehicles.
Interstate 70 is increasing in use, particularly among drivers of large tractor-trailers. Trucking use of the interstate is growing at a much faster clip than among four-wheel vehicles like cars and SUVs. The feasibility study is considering the practicality of buying land, prepping it for construction, and building an extra lane to the highway. The new lane would likely be dedicated to big rigs only, separating them from regular traffic.
As one department of transportation official explained, the safety of the move would be a big motivator. Many devastating Illinois truck accidents have occurred on the interstate recently, often between trucks and smaller vehicles. Blog readers are well versed in the scope of damage that typically arises in accidents involved these 16-wheeled machines and much smaller cars.
The feasibility examiners are considering whether tolls would need to be required to expand. If popular, the increased freight traffic may be an economic boon to states that provide the trucks-only passage. Yet, with the added lane only in the study phase, actual construction is years in the future.
Our Chicago truck crash lawyers at Levin & Perconti understand the need to consider all possible ideas that have improved road safety as their goal. While major infrastructure changes always require large up-front investments by the public, the ultimate benefit to local communities is beyond calculation. Lives are saved and possible economic benefit is reaped over a long period of time. As stories of families forced to suffer the consequences of death on the road continue, these efforts to minimize the suffering should be given a full and close examination.
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