Friday, June 27, 2014

Spurs, Bypasses and Beltways: Illinois

Looking southbound onto Interstate 355 from th...
Looking southbound onto Interstate 355 from the Illinois Prairie Path. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Illinois has ten auxiliary highways for the the various interstates that cross it. The Chicago area has many interstates traveling through it. Interstate 355 is 32.5 miles long and links I-80 near New Lenox with I-290 at Exit 7. This highway runs in a north-south direction to the west of I-294 and is also known as the Veterans Memorial Highway. Interstate 190 is just three miles long and connects I-90 to the Chicago O'Hare International Airport. Next is Interstate 290 which is 30 miles long and provides a southern option to travel on I-90. I-290 begins near Rolling Meadows and travels south through Bloomingdale. This highway then turns to the east through Elmhurst and Maywood before joining I-90/I-94 near Lake Michigan. Finally, Interstate 294 leaves I-94 and journeys south for 53.42 miles to I-94 in Deerfield, Illinois.

Interstate 155 departs I-74 at Morton and travels south for just over 32 miles to join I-55 at Lincoln. Forming part of the St. Louis bypass route is Interstate 255 which begins at I-270 and runs south to the east of the Mississippi River. After turning west and crossing the river into Missouri,  this highway ends its trek of 31 miles at I-270/I-55. Providing an alternate route north of St. Louis is Interstate 270. When I-70 turns south to travel through St. Louis, I-270 continues the western path that originally belonged to I-70. It crosses the Mississippi River into Missouri north of St. Louis and rejoins I-70. Travelers who are heading west and do not want to see St. Louis should use I-270. For those wanting to use the I-44 route to I-40, use I-255 during rush hour time. If going through the city at a slow traffic time, use I-70 since it is more direct and gives the view of the Arch.

In Peoria is Interstate 474 which is 15 miles long and links I-74 in Peoria with I-74 in Morton. It runs from Exit 87 to Exit 94. Next is Interstate 180 which leaves I-80 at Exit 61 near Princeton and travels south for 13 miles to Hennepin. Finally, while I-80 provides the eastern and northern route around the Quad Cities, Interstate 280 provides the southern and western one.  It leaves I-80 near Colona, Illinois and travels 27 miles to rejoin I-80 in Davenport, Iowa.

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