ISP increases presence in construction zones

By WEEK Producer

May 15, 2014 Updated May 15, 2014 at 6:51 PM CDT

TAZEWELL COUNTY, Ill. -- Every year it seems like there's more and more construction to contend with. As soon as drivers get used to a traffic pattern, it changes. That's about to happen in the construction zone on I-74 near Morton.

"Depending on where the crews are going to be we'll put up the barrier wall there and that's when you'll see the traffic get shifted over," said IDOT spokesman Brian Williamsen. "All the more reason why we put up those work zone speed limits."

Those lane shifts can create confusion. Especially the first time motorists drive through after a change.

Construction of a new bridge on Route-116 near Ten Mile Creek Road and the expansion of Route-91 in Dunlap will also require drivers to proceed with caution.

Motorists who've recently come through the Morton construction zone on I-74 have probably noticed an increased police presence. That will continue.

At least one driver came through so fast they wound up spending their weekends in jail.

"We had some people with some outrageous speeds," said Sgt. Dustin Pierce of the Illinois State Police. "We had people that were arrested for going up to 96 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone."

For that reason the Illinois State Police is planning more frequent, but less visible patrols in that area.

"We're using spotters that people can't see," explained Pierce. "They may even be dressed as a construction worker or be on a piece of equipment. And they're calling out the violation to other troopers that are waiting."

All the more reason to put on the brakes.