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POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Road Construction


There is an old saying that there are two seasons in Illinois – winter and road construction. Just like death and taxes are unavoidable facts of life, road construction and reroutes are unavoidable facts of cycling. We have neither run a cycling event, nor participated in any one run by another organization, where some sort of road construction hasn't been affected the ride in some way.

Although we won't know when, where or how, we can almost guarantee you that our plans will change in response to road construction. The best thing for our participants to do is be open-minded and mentally ready for these situations.

We cannot completely eliminate road construction on our route, but we do minimize the amount we have to deal with. About two to three weeks before the start of the event we paint our directional signage directly on our route, and make any necessary route changes due to existing road construction. Unfortunately, this still leaves two to three weeks when road construction can still occur. Because of the chance of rain, we cannot paint the route immediately before the start of the event, and time is needed to change our route documentation (cue sheets, maps, GPS dataset files, etc.) as necessary.

As much as we would like to know about and be able to avoid any road construction, this is not logistically possible considering the myriad of separate federal, state, county, township, road district, and municipal transportation authorities we would have to contact about our routes. It is much more effective and efficient to reactively respond to any new road construction during the event itself than to try to avoid it beforehand.

  • Click Here for more information about reroutes around adverse road conditions.

Construction Conundrums
The below situations happened during previous events, and hopefully will give you an idea of what can (or cannot) be expected in terms of road construction - and also a little snicker as well. We apologize in advance if you're a road construction worker - you guys do a remarkable job - but road construction can be a real nuisance during our events!

Conundrum #1
During and event, we received word from a few participants that we had supposedly "missed" painting directional signage marks at one of our turns. We found it odd that two members of our staff would both miss a mark since the turns are painted before the start of the event and also double-checked during the event itself, but hey - no one's perfect!

The staff member who scouted the route quickly drove back to that location to fix the situation. The marks were in fact missing, but the reason was not because we had missed a turn, but because a road construction crew had laid down fresh pavement on top of our markings! This had to have happened after the time our staff member had gone through in the morning, but before all the riders had arrived there. At least it was fresh pavement for us!

Conundrum #2
It was approximately 7:00 in the morning when our scout came up on a road construction worker stopping traffic on a part of our Northbound route that went for about a mile and a half. They were resurfacing half of the road at a time and had luckily started repaving the Southbound side first instead of the Northbound side. The scout informed the road construction worker that a number of cyclists would soon be coming through, and asked him when they would begin resurfacing the Northbound lanes. THe worker said he thought maybe around 11:00 am but couldn't make any guarantees.

The scout immediately phoned ahead to all the previous rest stop attendants who would then inform our participants. Our participants would have to ride at a faster pace and not waste time so they could make it through the road construction zone before the Northbound side got repaved. Thankfully, everyone made it through in time, and we were lucky no one got stuck in fresh pavement!

 

As you can see, we encounter some completely unpredictable construction situations, but at the end of the day we are happy our participants have arrived safely and it always makes for a great story!

P.O. Box 8454 • Chicago, IL 60680 • (877) TOUR-ILL [868-7455]
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