CCJ Daily Dispatch, Aug. 14: Help drivers navigate around planned Chicago protests this weekend

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Updated Aug 17, 2020

Trucking news and briefs for Friday, Aug. 14, 2020:

Warn drivers to avoid Chicago protest area Saturday
The Mid-West Truckers Association is warning carriers and truck drivers of a protest rally and march that is expected to shut down portions of the Dan Ryan Expressway (I-94) in Chicago on Saturday, Aug. 15.

The group says truckers are urged to avoid I-94 in both directions within the city, and if drivers are only traveling through northeast Illinois, they are urged to take alternate routes, such as I-294.

According to the group, authorities say marchers are planning to enter the northbound lanes of the interstate around noon at the 47th Street entrance ramp and proceed to the 43rd Street exit ramp. All vehicle traffic will be diverted onto local traffic lanes. Entrance to the northbound lanes of the expressway will be restricted beginning at 63rd Street, and all traffic will be diverted off the interstate at 59th Street. Traffic on the Chicago Skyway will also be restricted at Stony Island Avenue.

There has been increased awareness among fleets and drivers since nationwide protests were sparked in late May following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which resulted in a trucker driving into a crowd of protesters on I-35 West in the city on May 31. The driver, Bogdan Vechirko, didn’t hit anyone and no one was hurt, but after he came to a stop, he was pulled out of his cab and beaten until some protesters stepped in to shield him until police arrived.

If you have drivers heading into Chicago this weekend, or in any area with protests that may spill onto a highway, keep these tips in mind to help them avoid escalating the situation.

TCA moves fall meetings online
The Truckload Carriers Association announced this week it has moved its annual Fall Business Meetings, scheduled for Sept. 22 in Washington, D.C., to a virtual format on Sept. 22-23.

TCA says restrictions in place from local leadership for travelers have “made it impossible for us to hold an in-person event in Washington, D.C.” Committee meetings are open to all TCA members.

The group also announced it has canceled its annual Call on Washington event, however, many elements of the event will be incorporated into the virtual Fall Business Meetings with presentations and question and answer sessions with members of Congress and federal agency leadership.

TCA will announce an event schedule and registration in the coming weeks.