Nearly 19 million expected to hit roads for holidays

CHICAGO (STMW)- The year 2015 will go out with a bang for the Illinois Tollway as about 18.9 million drivers are expected to hit the road for their winter holiday travels.

Tuesday’s mix of regular commuter traffic and holiday migration had it pegged as the busiest single-day of travel between Dec. 21 and Jan. 3, with nearly 1.7 million sets of tires meeting pavement, according to the tollway.

The average day will see about 1.5 million vehicles on the road during the yuletide period. It’s an uptick of almost 6 percent over the same time last year, officials said.

To help ease congestion, most construction and lane closures will be put on hold for the holiday. Weary travelers can also stop at tollway oases for a little pick-me-up with free cups of coffee.

“We want our customers to be safe as they travel the Tollway this holiday season,” Illinois Tollway Executive Director Greg Bedalov said in a statement. “Before they dash off to enjoy holiday festivities with family and friends, drivers should put away their cellphones or other distractions and make sure everyone in their vehicle is buckled up properly.”

Grab your complimentary small cup of joe from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Christmas and New Year’s Eve:

— Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) at the Des Plaines Oasis (7-Eleven) and the Belvidere Oasis;

— Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80) at the Lake Forest Oasis, the O’Hare Oasis (McDonald’s or 7-Eleven), the Hinsdale Oasis and the Chicago Southland Lincoln Oasis (McDonald’s or 7-Eleven);

— Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88) at the DeKalb Oasis.

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