Excerpts from the DailyHerald.com:
The rebuilt Jane Addams Tollway (I-90) brought new lanes, modernized interchanges, and an unwelcome surprise for Schaumburg firefighters — a longer response time for crashes.
Previously, firefighters responding to an incident would enter westbound I-90 at Route 53, but a concrete barrier now divides the westbound I-90 local and express lanes for a mile or so between Route 53 and just west of Meacham Road.
“This makes it increasingly difficult for emergency vehicles to access many parts of I-90,” said Fire Chief Chief David A. Schumann. “It’s a public safety issue.”
The tollway was a good partner during the I-90 construction, keeping the village in the loop about the project, Schumann said.
Schaumburg typically covers 911 calls on westbound I-90 between Route 53 and Barrington Road.
As a temporary solution, Schaumburg firefighters now enter I-90 at Arlington Heights Road, which gives them access to all lanes, but the reroute is longer and costs precious time. There’s going to be delayed responses of up to 15 minutes, Schumann estimated. The Schaumburg is talking with Arlington Heights and Hoffman Estates on a Plan B.
The toll agency “works with local communities to ensure that the impacts of improvements made to our roadway system will continue to allow full access to emergency service providers,” spokesman Dan Rozek said. “While designing and building the Meacham Road Interchange, the tollway worked closely with the village of Schaumburg to ensure the new interchange was appropriately designed to meet the needs of emergency responders.”
For Hoffman Estates, new ramps to and from the west at I-90 and Roselle Road will “mean a world of difference getting someone to the hospital quickly,” Fire Chief Jeffrey Jorian said.