About the Skyway
Built by the City of Chicago in 1958, the Chicago Skyway Toll Bridge (also known as the “Skyway”) is a 7.8-mile-long toll road that connects the Indiana Toll Road to the Dan Ryan Expressway on Chicago's South Side. The main feature of the Skyway is a 1⁄2-mile-long steel truss bridge, known as the "High Bridge". The bridge itself spans the Calumet River and Calumet Harbor, a major harbor for industrial ships – its main span extends 650 feet long and provides for 125 feet of vertical clearance.
The Skyway was operated and maintained by the City of Chicago until January 2005 when Skyway Concession Company, LLC assumed its operations under a 99-year operating lease. The lease agreement between Skyway and the City of Chicago was the first privatization of an existing toll road in the United States.
In February 2016, Skyway was purchased by three Canadian Pension Funds - OMERS Infrastructure, CPP Investment Board, and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP). Atlas Arteria Group, a worldwide toll road operator based in Australia, acquired 66.67 percent interest in the Skyway in December 2022, with OTPP retaining the remaining 33.33%.
Welcome to the Chicago Skyway!
Our mission here is simple - provide the safest, fastest, most convenient, and most reliable route to and through Chicago. For over six decades, the Skyway has provided millions of travelers with an efficient transportation option, served as a key employer in the region, and participated as an active partner to the community.
In the last several years, we have invested over $130 million in key infrastructure improvements to ensure our roadway is in a state of good repair for users. Throughout these improvements, our focus has been on making environmentally friendly upgrades, including the installation of LED light fixtures and “smart” motion sensors to reduce our electricity consumption.
Additionally, we have also made it a priority to stay engaged and give back to our neighbors in the surrounding communities. From supporting veterans’ groups, food pantries, and schools, we have made an effort to give back to those around us. Education is a big focus for us; that’s why we have donated hundreds of backpacks and school supplies, as well as tens of thousands of dollars, to local schools and neighborhoods to help Chicago’s youth excel.
At the Skyway, safety is our top priority. We value having a strong safety culture and, in 2022 alone, conducted over 830 hours of safety training to keep our employees and travelers safe. Our employees are the cornerstone of our success, and I am proud to have them as part of the Skyway team.
Whether you are a first-time customer or a regular commuter, thank you for choosing to travel with us. On behalf of the Chicago Skyway, have a safe and pleasant trip!
Kristi Lafleur, Chief Executive Officer
Toll Road 101
Navigating the Toll Plaza
Skyway accepts three forms of payment, Cash, Credit Cards or E-ZPass/ I-PASS. Knowing the basic layout of the toll plaza will help guide you to the best available toll lane for your preferred payment type every time you travel the Skyway. We want your travel through the plaza to be as safe and efficient as possible!
As you approach the Skyway toll plaza, you will see signs overhead informing you of its general layout by payment type. This should allow you time to changes lanes so you are in the correct general area for your preferred payment type by the time you reach the plaza. Remember, E-ZPass/I-PASS customers can use ANY toll lane.
Once you are in the plaza area, signs above the toll lanes themselves will tell you whether that particular lane is open or closed and, if open, what form of payment is accepted in that lane. While specific lane configuration will change slightly with the demand of traffic, you can always expect the same basic layout:
- CASH to the RIGHT
- Credit Cards in the CENTER
- E-ZPass/I-PASS ONLY to the LEFT
Please keep in mind, Skyway is a GATED TOLL ROAD. Approach the lane at a maximum speed of 5mph. Once in a toll lane, watch for the green signal indicator and wait for the gate to open before proceeding through the toll lane.
Cash lanes will always be available and will be located on the RIGHT side of the toll plaza, regardless of whether you are traveling eastbound or westbound. Lanes designated for CASH payment are the ONLY lanes that accept CASH payments.
Credit Card lanes will be in the CENTER lanes of the plaza.
While E-ZPass/I-PASS electronic transponders with valid accounts are accepted in ALL lanes, the LEFT side of the plaza will have dedicated lanes that are ONLY for E-ZPass/I-PASS customers. See an open Cash lane? Take it! You can pay via E-ZPass/I-PASS in ANY lane.
Stuck in a Toll Lane?
Sometimes our customers get stuck in a toll lane – it happens. Is your E-ZPass/I-PASS transponder not working? Did you get in the wrong lane on accident? Is your credit card not working? DO NOT REVERSE – CALL FOR HELP! Each lane is equipped with a ‘Help Button’ with a 24-hour Control Room Operator available for assistance. Please do not reverse in the lanes, it’s dangerous for you and other motorists.
What is an E-ZPass/I-PASS transponder?
E-ZPass transponders allow you to pay tolls electronically from a pre-authorized account. “I-PASS” is the Illinois Tollway’s brand for the same E-ZPass transponder/system – you can use I-PASS on any E-ZPass road or bridge and you can use E-ZPass transponders on the Illinois Tollway.
How do I get an E-ZPass/I-PASS transponder? Do I need a separate transponder for each toll road?
You can get your E-ZPass/I-PASS transponder from any member of the E-ZPass network. The E-ZPass members located closest to the Skyway are the Illinois Tollway, the Indiana Toll Road and Skyway.
You only have to sign up with one agency in order to experience the convenience of using E‑ZPass anywhere E‑ZPass is accepted. Certain agencies offer discount programs to frequent customers.
What if my E-ZPass/I-PASS isn’t working? Can I replace the battery?
If your transponder needs to be replaced or you have other account problems:
If your transponder does not work, most likely it is for one of these three reasons: 1) because the transponder is not mounted properly in your vehicle, 2) your account is new and has not been fully activated, or 3) your existing account does not have available funds. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is your E-ZPass/I-PASS mounted properly?
- Did you open your account within the last 24 hours? New E-ZPass/I-PASS accounts take up to 24 hours once activated before the related transponder is valid for travel on Skyway.
- Did the credit card/debit card associated with your account expire? Did you opt for auto-replenishment to ensure funds are always available? If you don’t opt for auto-replenishment, it may take up to 24 hours for processing every time you add funds to your account before they are available. Make sure you have funds!
The standard E-ZPass transponder battery has about a 10-year life under normal usage conditions. There are no user replaceable components in your E-Zpass transponder.
If your transponder needs to be replaced or you have other account problems:
- Contact your E-ZPass account manager for help.
- If you have I-PASS, click here.
- If you have an E-ZPass transponder through the Indiana Toll Road, click here.
- If you have an E-ZPass transponder through Skyway, click here.
Where should I mount my E-ZPass transponder?
A crucial step to making sure your transponder reads properly is correctly mounting it in your vehicle. If you don’t have your transponder mounted in the right place, the E-ZPass reader may not be able to capture its signal. You don’t want to be stuck in the toll lane holding up traffic, do you? Worse, in open tolling systems, you may not even know that there was a problem until you receive a ticket in the mail! Here are instructions to make sure your transponder is mounted correctly - it’s as easy as 1-2-3!
- Ensure the inside of your windshield is clean and dry
- Align the transponder on the windshield behind the rearview mirror at least one inch below the roofline and one inch to the right or left of the mirror post
- Remove the plastic backing tape and firmly press the transponder against the glass for 10 seconds
Remember, pulling your E-ZPass or I-PASS transponder out of your glovebox (or wherever) at the last minute does not work! Have you seen people frantically waving transponders while stopped in a lane? They are slowing you (and everyone else) down -- don’t be a “waver”!
Current Travel Times
To Dan Ryan: