Interstate 55 in Illinois
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Interstate 55 in Illinois

Interstate 55 marker

Interstate 55
I-55 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by IDOT
Length294.38 mi[1] (473.76 km)
Major junctions
South end / / at East St. Louis
 
North end in Chicago
Location
CountiesSt. Clair, Madison, Macoupin, Montgomery, Sangamon, Logan, McLean, Livingston, Grundy, Will, DuPage, Cook
Highway system
->

Interstate 55 (I-55) is a major north-south Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Illinois that connects the St. Louis, Missouri, and Chicago metropolitan areas. It enters the state from Missouri on the Poplar Street Bridge near East St. Louis and runs to U.S. Route 41 (US 41, Lake Shore Drive) near downtown Chicago where the highway ends, a distance of 294.38 miles (473.76 km).[2] The Road also runs through the cities of Springfield, Bloomington, and Joliet. The section in DuPage County is officially named Joliet Freeway or Will Rogers Freeway and in Cook County is officially named the Stevenson Expressway.

Route description

I-55 within Illinois carries heavy traffic, with an average of more than 20,000 vehicles per day for most of its length.[3] Significant portions of I-55 contain six lanes (three lanes in each direction) and are heavily used by commuters.[4] I-55 in Illinois begins in East St. Louis on the Poplar Street Bridge over the Mississippi River at the Missouri-Illinois state line[4] and runs southwest to northeast through the state, ending in Chicago at US 41 (Lake Shore Drive). Along the way, it goes through four metropolitan areas in the state: the Illinois portion of the St. Louis metropolitan area, the Springfield metropolitan area, the Bloomington-Normal metropolitan area, and the Chicago metropolitan area (also known as Chicagoland).[4]

I-55 enters the Chicago metro area as the Stevenson Expressway and provides easy access to downtown Chicago via both the I-90/I-94 (Dan Ryan Expressway) interchange and US 41 (Lake Shore Drive) at the northern terminus of I-55, near Cermak Road and the lakefront.

History

I-55 in Illinois is the fourth road to connect St. Louis and Chicago. The first was the Pontiac Trail in 1915. This was largely improved and paved as the new Illinois Route 4 (IL 4) by 1924.[5] In 1926, IL 4 was designated as the route of the new U.S 66, and a new section of US 66 was built to bypass slower sections of IL 4 south of Springfield by 1930. Through the 1950s US 66 was continually widened, straightened, and improved to handle its growing traffic, until its entire length was four lanes wide by 1957.[6]

The roots of I-55 could be traced back to the need of a national highway system.[7] President Dwight D. Eisenhower saw the need of a national network of highways that would help with the mobilization of the army. He had been impressed with the autobahn he saw in Germany during World War II. In 1956 he signed the Federal Aid Highway Act into existence.[7] Although the act provided for a highway replacing Route 66, it was spared destruction for a while because of it being more modern than other routes at the time.[7] Illinois would build its first new Interstate highways on other routes such as I-80, I-57, and I-70, before turning its attention once again to the St. Louis-to-Chicago route.

However, during the 1970s, Route 66 was finally replaced by I-55 as the fourth St. Louis-to-Chicago highway, serving most of the same communities along the way as the original Pontiac Trail. It was built in sections across Illinois, often on the original Route 66 roadbed. A common construction tactic where Route 66 was already four lanes wide, was to build new southbound lanes for I-55 west of the original road, then rebuild the original southbound lanes of US 66 to be the new northbound lanes for I-55, leaving the original northbound lanes of old US 66 as a two-way frontage road.[7] One can find many signs posted for Historic US 66, especially where it deviates from I-55.

The earliest stretch of I-55 was a portion of US 66 which had already been built as a freeway between Gardner and I-294 (Tri-State Tollway) in Indian Head Park, and which was added to the Interstate system by simply erecting new signs in 1960.[8] Later portions of the highway were built in the 1960s between East St. Louis and Hamel, as bypasses of Springfield and Bloomington-Normal.[9] The rest of the road was completed in the 1970s.

The Stevenson Expressway near Countryside, heading southwest

The Stevenson Expressway opened on October 24, 1964 as the Southwest Expressway. It was renamed after Adlai Stevenson,[10] the former governor of Illinois, on September 1, 1965, a month and a half after his death. The Stevenson's original termini were US 66 in DuPage County to the west, and the Dan Ryan Expressway to the east.

In 1999-2000, the expressway was completely rebuilt from Central Avenue north to Lake Shore Drive, including the ramps to the Dan Ryan. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) was criticized at the time for not adding a fourth lane in each direction to the highway.[11]

In 2017, the Illinois General Assembly voted to rename approximately 70 miles (110 km) of I-55 from the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) to Pontiac in honor of Barack Obama.[12][13]

Upgrades and current construction

Because of the heavy traffic on I-55, IDOT spends millions of dollars per year maintaining the roadway, adding lanes, and replacing bridges to increase the capacity of the highway.[14][15]

In northeastern Illinois near Joliet, a widening project that expanded I-55 from two to three lanes in each direction between I-80 (exit 250) and Weber Road (exit 263) was completed on October 29, 2008.[16]

In the 2000s decade, the Damen Avenue (exit 290) and Pulaski Road (exit 287) interchanges were rebuilt as a single-point urban interchange (SPUI) configuration; in 2014 reconstruction as a SPUI was completed for the Central Avenue (exit 285) interchange. The Arsenal Road (exit 245) interchange was under complete rebuilding and reconfiguration as of 2012, and the deteriorated overpass at IL 129 (exit 238) was removed in 2012 in anticipation of future construction of a full interchange, temporarily leaving the IL 129 interchange with only a northbound exit and northbound entrance.[17][18]

At St. Louis, the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge carrying I-70 across the Mississippi River, and costing $667 million, was completed in 2014 to relieve congestion on I-55's Poplar Street Bridge.[19][20]

Future

Governor Bruce Rauner, in early 2016, made a proposal to explore expanding the Stevenson Expressway portion of I-55 by adding an additional lane in each direction to ease congestion. Under his proposal, toll lanes would be constructed and operated through a potential private-public partnership.[21]

Exit list

CountyLocationmi[22]kmExitDestinationsNotes
Mississippi River0.000.00 south / west / west - Kansas City, Memphis, TulsaContinuation into Missouri
Poplar Street Bridge
St. ClairEast St. Louis0.631.01 south / south - Cahokia, SaugetSouthern end of IL 3/GRR concurrency
0.901.45Tudor Avenue
1.302.091 (Barack Obama Avenue) / 13th Street, Tudor Avenue - East St. Louis Business DistrictNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
1.802.902AThird Street - Eads BridgeSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
1.913.072BCMartin Luther King Bridge - Downtown St. LouisSouthbound exit and northbound entrance; left exit is signed as exit 2B and right exit as 2C
2.674.303A east / north to St. Clair Avenue - LouisvilleNorthern end of I-64/IL 3 concurrency
2.884.633B west - St. Louis, Kansas CitySouthern end of I-70 concurrency; southbound exit and northbound entrance
2.984.803CExchange AvenueSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
Madison3.996.424 / Collinsville Road - Fairmont City, Granite City, MadisonSigned as exits 4A (south) and 4B (north) southbound
Fairmont City6.3210.176 / north - Wood River, Washington ParkNorthern end of GRR concurrency
Collinsville8.8414.239Black LaneNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
9.8615.8710 to  - Memphis
11.0017.7011 /  - Collinsville, Edwardsville
Maryville14.5523.4215 - Collinsville, Maryville, Glen Carbon, EdwardsvilleSigned as exits 15A (south) and 15B (north)
Troy16.9127.2117 east - St. Jacob, HighlandNorthern end of US 40 concurrency
17.9128.8218 - Troy
19.0830.7120A east - IndianapolisNorthern end of I-70 concurrency
19.3231.0920B west /  - Kansas City
Edwardsville22.3936.0323 - Edwardsville, Marine
Hamel29.5747.5930 - Alton, Greenville, Hamel
33.1553.3533 /  - Staunton, Lebanon, Worden
Livingston36.7159.0837Livingston, New Douglas
Macoupin40.4765.1341Staunton
White City44.0570.8944 - Mount Olive, Benld, White City
MontgomeryLitchfield52.3584.2552 - Gillespie, Litchfield, Hillsboro, Mattoon
59.9896.5360 - Carlinville
63.02101.4263 /  - Raymond, Taylorville, Hillsboro, Waggoner, Morrisonville
Farmersville71.51115.0872Farmersville, Girard, Waggoner, Morrisonville
SangamonDivernon80.00128.7580 - Divernon
81.53131.2182 /  - Pawnee, Auburn
83.35134.1483Glenarm
Springfield88.26142.0488 (East Lake Drive) - Chatham
90.16145.1090Toronto Road
91.84147.8092A / north (6th Street) - Springfield
92.28148.5192B west / west - JacksonvilleSouthern end of I-72/US 36 concurrency
94.42151.9594Stevenson Drive, East Lake Drive
96.37155.0996 (South Grand Avenue) - Taylorville, RochesterSigned as exits 96A (south) and 96B (north)
97.47156.8698A east / east - Decatur, Champaign, UrbanaNorthern end of I-72/US 36 concurrency
98B west (Clear Lake Avenue)
99.53160.18100 east (Sangamon Avenue) - ClintonSigned as exits 100A (IL 54 east) and 100B (Sangamon Avenue)
Sherman104.50168.18105 / south to (Veterans Parkway) - Springfield, Sherman
Williamsville109.13175.63109 /  - Williamsville, Petersburg
LoganElkhart114.56184.37115Elkhart, Mount Pulaski
119.42192.19119Broadwell
122.51197.16123 / north - Lincoln
Lincoln125.78202.42126 /  - Lincoln, Mason City, Decatur
127.04204.45127 north - Peoria, HartsburgSouthern end of I-155, exit 0
132.21212.77133 / south - Lincoln, Lawndale
139.81225.00140Atlanta, Lawndale
McLean144.68232.84145 - McLean, Heyworth, Funks Grove
153.74247.42154Shirley, Funks Grove
156.38-
156.85
251.67-
252.43
157A east / south - Indianapolis, DecaturSouthern end of I-74/US 51 concurrency
Bloomington157B / north (Veterans Parkway)Signed as exit 134B (north) southbound
159.69257.00160 / (Market Street) - Pekin
163.32262.84163 west - PeoriaNorthern end of I-74 concurrency
164.48264.70164 north / north - RockfordNorthern end of US 51 concurrency; southern terminus of I-39
Normal164.81265.24165
 - Bloomington, Normal
Signed as exits 165A (south) and 165B (north) northbound
167.36269.34167 / south (Veterans Parkway) - Central Illinois Regional Airport
170.99275.18171Towanda
Lexington178.29286.93178Lexington
Chenoa186.60300.30187 - El Paso, Chenoa
Livingston196.62316.43197 - Flanagan, Pontiac
200.46322.61201 - Pontiac, Streator
209.03336.40209Odell
Dwight217.02349.26217 - Streator, Kankakee, Dwight
Grundy219.91353.91220 - Dwight, Morris
226.88365.13227 /  - Gardner
Grundy-Will
county line
233.42375.65233Reed Road - Braidwood
Will235.63379.21236 to  - Kankakee, Coal City, Braidwood
238.32383.54238 south (Will Rogers Highway) - BraidwoodNorthbound exit and entrance; northern terminus of IL 129
240.41386.90240Lorenzo Road
240.97387.80241North River Road - Wilmington
243.91392.54244 CR 17 east (Arsenal Road)
246.67396.98247 CR 77 west (Bluff Road)
Channahon248.15399.36248 - Joliet, Morris
250.25402.74250 - Iowa, IndianaI-80 exit 126; signed as exits 250A (east) & 250B (west)
Shorewood251.40404.59251 north (Cottage Street) / alt. (Will Rogers Highway) - Shorewood, PlainfieldNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
Shorewood-Joliet
city line
252.79406.83253 (Jefferson Street) - Joliet, Shorewood
Joliet-Plainfield
city line
257.41414.26257 / (Plainfield Road) - Aurora, Joliet
Plainfield261.08420.17261 west (Will Rogers Highway, Main Street) / alt. - PlainfieldSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
Romeoville-Bolingbrook
city line
263.43423.95263 CR 88 (Weber Road) - Romeoville
Bolingbrook267.02429.73267 (Bolingbrook Drive) - Bolingbrook, Romeoville
268.73432.48268 west (Will Rogers Highway, Joliet Road) - RomeovilleSouthbound exit and northbound entrance; Southern terminus of Joliet Freeway
269.34433.46269
(Veterans Memorial Tollway) - Northwest Suburbs, Southwest Suburbs
I-355 exit 12
DuPageDarien270.85435.89271 CR 9 (Lemont Road)Signed as exits 271A (south) and 271B (north)
272.86439.13273 CR 15 (Cass Avenue)Signed as exits 273A (south) and 273B (north)
Willowbrook-Burr Ridge
city line
274.50441.76274 (Kingery Highway)
DuPage-Cook
county line
Burr Ridge276.33444.71276County Line RoadSigned as exits 276A (south) and 276B (north)
CookIndian Head Park276.80445.47276C east (Will Rogers Highway/Joliet Road)Northbound exit and southbound entrance; Northeastern terminus of Joliet Freeway; Southwestern terminus of Stevenson Expressway
Indian Head Park-Countryside
city line
277.57446.71277
(Tri-State Tollway) - Indiana, Wisconsin
Signed as exits 277A (north) and 277B (south); no southbound exit to I-294 south
Countryside-Hodgkins
city line
278.87448.80279 / / (La Grange Road)Signed as exits 279A (east/south) and 279B (west/north)
Summit282.29454.30282 (1st Avenue)Signed as exits 282A (south) and 282B (north) northbound
Summit-Chicago
city line
283.40456.09283 (Harlem Avenue (7200 West))
Chicago285.57459.58285Central Avenue (5600 West)
286.67461.35286 (Cicero Avenue (4800 West)) - Chicago Midway Airport
287.74463.07287Pulaski Road (4000 West)
288.83464.83288Kedzie Avenue (3200 West)Southbound exit and northbound entrance
289.37465.70289California Avenue (2800 West)Northbound exit and southbound entrance
290.44467.42290Damen Avenue (2000 West)
290.96468.25290Ashland Avenue (1600 West)Northbound exit and southbound entrance
292.34470.48292 / (Dan Ryan Expressway) - Indiana, WisconsinSigned as exits 292A (west) and 292B (east) northbound, and as exits 292 (west) and 293B (east) southbound
292.91471.39293ACermak Road - Chinatown (2200 South)Northbound exit and southbound entrance
293.13471.75293CState Street (0 East/West)Southbound exit and northbound entrance
293.61472.52293DMartin L. King Drive (400 East)Northbound exit and southbound entrance
293.88472.95-- / (Lake Shore Drive)Northern end of freeway; Northeastern terminus of Stevenson Expressway; northbound exit to and southbound exit from Lake Shore Drive
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Related routes

Auxiliary routes

I-55 has three auxiliary routes in Illinois:

  • : A spur from I-55 in Lincoln to I-74 just east of Peoria.
  • : The eastern third of the beltway around the St. Louis Metro Area (with I-270 forming the other two-thirds)
  • : The Veterans Memorial Tollway, serving the western and southwestern suburbs of Chicago, running from I-80 in New Lenox to I-290 in Addison

Springfield business loop

Interstate 55 Business
LocationSpringfield

Business Loop 55 refers to a major arterial surface street that serves downtown Springfield, Illinois. It runs north from the intersection of Interstates 55 and Interstate 72 through downtown to Illinois Route 4 (Veterans' Parkway). It then runs northeast to Sherman.[23]

All of Business Loop 55 was part of U.S. Route 66 at some point.

Major junctions
The entire route is in Sangamon County.

Locationmi[24]kmDestinationsNotes
Springfield0.0-
0.7
0.0-
1.1
I-55 / /  - Jacksonville, Decatur, Chicago, St. LouisExit 92A (I-55), Exit 97B (I-72)
4.97.9 north (Jefferson Street)
5.08.0 south (Madison Street)
7.011.3 (Sangamon Avenue)Southern end of IL 29 concurrency
8.012.9 south / north (Veterans Parkway) - Abraham Lincoln Capital AirportNorthern end of IL 29 concurrency, northern terminus of IL 4
Sherman12.119.5 west (Andrew Road) - Andrew, AthensEastern terminus of IL 124
12.720.4 I-55 south - SpringfieldExit 105 (I-55), no access to I-55 northbound from this point
Williams Township13.922.4 I-55 north - ChicagoOnly access to I-55 northbound
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Lincoln business loop

Interstate 55 Business
LocationLincoln

The Lincoln business route services the downtown of Lincoln, Illinois. It begins southwest of Lincoln and follows the former US 66 to Fifth Street. It then turns east on Fifth Street, southeast on Clinton Street, and northeast on Kickapoo Street at the city's center. The route continues northeast to rejoin the former routing of US 66 northeast of town near the Logan County Airport, at which point it continues along that route to end at I-55 further northeast of Lincoln.

Bloomington-Normal business loop

Interstate 55 Business
LocationBloomington-Normal

The routing of the Bloomington-Normal business loop is known for its entire length as Veterans Parkway. It is a divided, limited-access highway bypassing the Bloomington-Normal area to the south and east. The route's north-south portion largely passes through a retail core, including Eastland Mall and The Shoppes at College Hills.

Major junctions
The entire route is in McLean County.

LocationmikmDestinationsNotes
Bloomington I-55 / /  - Springfield, Decatur, Champaign, Rockford, Joliet, PeoriaExit 157 on I-55; exit 134 on westbound I-74
west (Hamilton Road)Western end of Historic Route 66 concurrency

(Main Street) / east
Diamond interchange, eastern end of Historic US 66 concurrency
(Empire Street) - Pekin, Gibson City
Normal (Shelbourne Drive) - NormalSouthbound exit only
I-55 - Joliet, SpringfieldI-55 exit 167; road continues to the north as Pipeline Road
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References

  1. ^ Adderly, Kevin (October 31, 2002). "Table 1: Main Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System Of Interstate and Defense Highways as of October 31, 2002". Route Log and Finder List. Federal Highway Administration. OCLC 47914009. Retrieved 2013.
  2. ^ MapPoint (Map). Microsoft. 2002.
  3. ^ 2011 Average Daily Total Traffic (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Cartography by Office of Planning and Programming. Illinois Department of Transportation. 2011. Retrieved 2013.
  4. ^ a b c "I-55". Illinois Highway Ends. Self-published. Retrieved 2013.[unreliable source]
  5. ^ Illinois Official Auto Trails Map (Map). c. 1:950,000 and c. 1:1,110,000. Illinois Automobile Department. 1924. Retrieved 2013.
  6. ^ Illinois Official Highway Map (Map). 1:805,000. Cartography by H.M. Gousha. Illinois Division of Highways. 1957. Retrieved 2013.
  7. ^ a b c d Stork, Peter (2008). "History: Alignments and Bypasses". Digital Route 66. Archived from the original on May 11, 2008.[unreliable source?]
  8. ^ Illinois Official Highway Map (Map). 1:790,000. Cartography by H.M. Gousha. Illinois Division of Highways. 1960. Retrieved 2013.
  9. ^ Illinois Official Highway Map (Map). 1:772,500. Cartography by Rand McNally. Illinois Division of Highways. 1969. Retrieved 2013.
  10. ^ Municipal Reference Collection (August 1997). "1964 Southwest Expressway Opened September 1, 1965--Renamed Adlai E. Stevenson Expressway". Chicago Public Library. Archived from the original on December 13, 2007.
  11. ^ Hilkevitch, John (March 26, 2006). "Buckle Up, It Looks like a Long Ride". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2006.
  12. ^ "Section of I-55 to Be Named After Former President Obama". Chicago: WLS-TV. July 4, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  13. ^ Malagon, Elvia (July 3, 2018). "Why There Was No Pomp, Circumstance or Former President When Obama Expressway Signs Went Up on I-55". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2018.
  14. ^ "I-55 Resurfacing Work". The Herald News. Joliet, IL. May 24, 2002.
  15. ^ Cain, Cindy Wojdyla (April 22, 2005). "Interstate Overhaul 55 and 80: 'Tight Cloverleaf' to Be Redone Starting in May". The Herald News. Joliet, IL.
  16. ^ "Governor Blagojevich Announces Completion of Interstate 55 Widening Project: I-55 Corridor Improvement Project Added One Lane in Each Direction from Weber Rd to I-80; Goal Is to Increase Safety and Reduce Congestion" (Press release). Office of the Governor. October 29, 2008. Retrieved 2013.
  17. ^ "Southbound I-55 Ramp Closure in Wilmington" (PDF) (Press release). Illinois Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2013.
  18. ^ "I-55 Wilmington Study". Illinois Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on June 4, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  19. ^ "New Bridge May Mean Tolls on All Mississippi Bridges Here Making Motorists Pay Is a Last Resort But a Possibility, Officials Say". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. October 6, 1999.
  20. ^ "New Mississippi River Bridge Opens to Traffic". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. February 9, 2014.
  21. ^ "Gov. Rauner Pushes to Develop Toll Lanes on I-55". Chicago: WMAQ-TV. February 4, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  22. ^ Illinois Technology Transfer Center (2006). "T2 GIS Data". Illinois Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2007.
  23. ^ General Highway Map: Sangamon County, Illinois (PDF) (Map). Illinois Department of Transportation. February 20, 2009. Retrieved 2013.
  24. ^ Google (January 2, 2013). "Interstate 55 Business (Springfield)" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 2013.

External links

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata
Interstate 55
Previous state:
Missouri
Illinois Next state:
Terminus

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Interstate_55_in_Illinois
 



 



 
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