Illinois State Police Issue Warning Message to Truckers About Expressway Shutdown
Chicago, IL – Less than 24 hours before thousands of social justice protesters will take over a stretch of a major interstate in Chicago, the Illinois State Police (ISP) is warning truckers to steer clear of the area.
In an exclusive statement to Transportation Nation Network (TNN) on Friday, ISP Sergeant Delila Garcia implored truckers to avoid the Dan Ryan Expressway on Saturday during mid-day.
“The ISP would urge the motoring public, including truck drivers, to avoid the Dan Ryan Expressway in both directions within the city of Chicago during the proposed date and time of the planned protest,” Sgt. Garcia said. “We would ask that your audience consider using alternate routes to travel through northeast Illinois, such as the I-290 to I-55 or I-294.”
Many in the trucking community expressed frustration and anger after TNN first reported the planned protest late last month.
Then, those feelings intensified earlier this week when TNN broke the news that Chicago city officials reached an agreement with the protest organizers to aid in shutting down the Dan Ryan Expressway.
Sgt. Garcia directly addressed those concerns on Friday.
“Working with local law enforcement including the Chicago Police Department (CPD), ISP has facilitated and managed peaceful gatherings throughout the state this summer and to make sure these First Amendment activities are safe for all involved,” she said. “This is standard operating procedure, and this effort is always in consultation with local law enforcement.”
In fact, Sgt. Garcia indicated state and local leaders are dedicating a large number of public resources to the demonstration.
“The ISP will also be partnering with the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Office of Emergency Management and Communications, the Cook County Sheriff’s Department, the Illinois Department of Corrections and the Chicago Fire Department to ensure public safety this weekend,” she advised.
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Sgt. Garcia also left open the possibility that circumstances may arise which could cause a change in the current plans.
“We will continue to keep an open dialogue with all involved and adjust as each situation requires. Safety of the public and our officers is paramount,” she said.
In addition to the ISP, the Illinois Trucking Association, Mid-West Truckers Association and the Small Business in Transportation Coalition are urging truckers to simply avoid the area if at all possible.
Chicago Traffic Alert: ITA has confirmed that protesters plan to march onto the Dan Ryan Expressway (I-90/I-94) on Saturday, August 15 at noon. Please avoid the area on Saturday. #iltrucking #trucking pic.twitter.com/slZUVBnSJf
— Illinois Trucking (@iltrucking) August 14, 2020
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