For most commuters, tollways are a necessary part of the day. Many drivers take for granted the safety and ease they are afforded by our members who maintain these thoroughfares, regardless of conditions. They not only work in the sweltering heat of summer, but also in the perilous snow and ice of winter.
This is why the American Public Works Association (APWA) has awarded the 2021 Excellence in Snow and Ice Control Award to the Illinois Tollway. This honor is given once a year to public works and transportation agencies that show sustained proficiency in clearing ice and snow. Our Tollway was one of only three agencies in North America to receive the award.
Teamsters Local 700 Business Agent Geoff Daniels has seen their commitment first hand. “On top of a brutal winter, the fact that these men and women still show up in the middle of a pandemic to do a dangerous and physically demanding job speaks volumes. Their value to the Tollway – and the state of Illinois as a whole – cannot be overstated. It’s great to see them recognized.”
It takes a lot to prepare for winter on the tollway. Snow prep begins as early as July, servicing a fleet of almost 200 plows. Before winter storms hit the area, roads are pre-treated to tame snow and ice buildup. Our members, who currently number over 400, have demonstrated their dedication to the job.
“I think it’s awesome. It’s pretty impressive to be recognized,” says Equipment Operator Sean Mc Clafferty, who is in his 16th year with the Tollway. “But we do a good job. We keep it as clear as possible.”
A virtual ceremony will be held on April 20 at the APWA’s 2021 Virtual North American Snow Conference. Details TBD.