Interstate 55 in Illinois
|Get started||East Saint Louis|
Interstate 55 or I -55 is an Interstate Highway in the US state of Illinois. The highway forms a north-south route in the state between St. Louis and Chicago. The highway also passes by the Illinois capital; Springfield. The route in Illinois is 474 kilometers long.
- Topschoolsoflaw: State overview and brief history of Illinois, including its geography and popular cities.
I-55 in East St. Louis.
I-55 at the interchange with I-355 in Bolingbrook.
At East St. Louis, Interstate 55 in Missouri crosses the Mississippi River via the Poplar Street Bridge, which is also the state border between Missouri and Illinois. The highway here is double numbered with Interstate 64. In East St. Louis, I-64 exits east to Evansville and Louisville. The route then continues through the eastern suburbs of Saint Louis. At Collinsville, one crosses Interstate 255, which forms a ring road around Saint Louis. Further on, at Troy, one crosses Interstate 270, and then exits onto I-70 eastwards to Terre Haute and Indianapolis in the state of Indiana. The highway begins its long journey to Chicago here. The landscape consists of meadows with sporadic trees.
No US Highway parallels the Interstate on this portion of I-55, as I-55 replaces US 66, the famous Route 66. The scenery from here is pretty monotonous, Illinois is a pretty boring state to drive through. South of Springfield, the highway runs straight north for 30 miles. On the south side of Springfield, it crosses Interstate 72, which runs to Quincy in the west of the state. Springfield is the capital of Illinois and has a population of 116,000. The highway runs east of the city, crossing Interstate 72, which runs to Decatur and Champaign-Urbana. They quickly leave the city behind and head northeast. At the town of Lincoln one crosses the Interstate 155, which connects to Peoria and Moline. On the south side of Bloomington, Interstate 74 exits toward Indianapolis and Cincinnati. After this, I-74 is briefly double-numbered to the north side of Bloomington, where the highway exits toward Peoria and Moline. A mile away, at Normal, Interstate 39 turns north to Rockford and Madison. Traffic heading north or Milwaukee can use this, without having to cross Chicago.
At Chenoa you cross US 24, which runs straight from Peoria to Fort Wayne. In this part of Illinois there is a strong grid pattern in the local road network, and the landscape is very flat with only pastures. The 140 kilometers between Normal and Joliet are very boring. On the west side of Joliet, one intersects with Interstate 80, which runs from Moline to Gary, south of Chicago. Here the highway is called the Tri State Parkway. North of Joliet, the highway widens to 2×3 lanes and has the Frontage Roads highway. At Bolingbrook, one crosses Interstate 355, which leads south to I-80, and to Interstate 88 andInterstate 90 to the north, forming Chicago’s westernmost perimeter highway. One passes through even more suburbs, where almost all connections are designed as cloverleaf.
At Burr Ridge, one crosses Interstate 294, a toll highway that bypasses Chicago. After this, the highway runs along a large industrial area. In Chicago, the highway is called the Adlai E Stevenson Expressway. Chicago is also a lot more built-up than the suburbs, with detached houses, but close together. In the middle of the residential areas is a huge shunting yard. Towards the center, the residential areas are built up more and more, and Interstate 90, which is double-numbered with Interstate 94, is crossed. I-55 eventually ends at South Lake Shore Drive at McCormick Place, on Lake Michigan.
- thembaprograms: Geography information of Illinois, including animals and plants. Also covers brief history and major cities of the state.
In 1956 the Interstate Highway system was developed, which also provided for an upgrade of the old Route 66. In Illinois this became Interstate 55 between St. Louis and Chicago. The road was built in the 1960s and 1970s and was one of the first Interstates in Illinois to be completed. As early as 1958, US 66 between East St. Louis and Springfield had already had a number of grade separated intersections. There were also some grade-separated intersections around Bloomington. The route was further north, especially between Gardner and Plainfield, already partly grade separated. On September 1, 1964, the Stevenson Expressway in the Chicago area opened to traffic. Much of the route is an upgrade of the old US 66.
In 1968, the following routes had already been converted to I-55:
- East St. Louis – Edwardsville
- Springfield Bypass
- Bloomington – Normal Bypass
- Gardner – Plainfield
The following additional routes were completed in 1973:
- Missouri state line – East St. Louis
- Raymond – Springfield
Nearly all of I-55 was completed in 1977, the latest project being the Dwight bypass, which opened in the late 1970s.
On October 28, 2008, a widening project was completed in the southwest Chicago metropolitan area, between I-80 in Joliet and Weber Road in Bolingbrook. With 90,000 vehicles per 24 hours, this road section had reached its capacity. The highway has been widened to 2×3 lanes here, so that the entire section through the Chicago metropolitan area has 2×3 lanes.
In 2014, the triple-numbering of I-55/64/70 in East St. Louis was canceled because I-70 was rerouted on a more northerly route.
I-55 at Auburn, south of Springfield.
I-55 in rural Illinois.
The Stevenson Expressway in the Chicago suburbs.
I-55/70 at Collinsville.
|exit 0||Exit 2||2×4||St. Louis|
|Exit 2||Exit 10||2×3|
|Exit 10||exit 80||2×2|
|exit 80||Exit 92||2×3|
|Exit 92||Exit 157||2×2|
|Exit 157||Exit 163||2×3||Bloomington|
|Exit 163||Exit 250||2×2|
|Exit 250||Exit 294||2×3||Chicago|
Outside the metropolitan area of Chicago, congestion is rare, for a major interurban connection between St. Louis and Chicago, I-55 is very light, with mostly less than 25,000 vehicles per day outside the cities. Congestion is most common on the Chicago portion, specifically from Joliet to the freeway terminus at Lake Shore Drive. Traffic jams are the order of the day here.
Connections & traffic intensities
|–||East St. Louis, Tudor Avenue||57,400|
|1||East St. Louis, Barack Obama Avenue||57,400|
|2A||East St. Louis, 3rd Street||101,500|
|2B||East St. Louis, MLK Bridge||127,600|
|2||Louisville, Kansas City||58,900|
|3||East St. Louis, Exchange Avenue||48,600|
|9||Collinsville, Black Lane||48,300|
|10||Memphis, St. Louis||53,300|
|17||St. Jacob, Highland||31,400|
|20||Indianapolis, Kansas City||27,900|
|37||Livingston, New Douglas||25,900|
|44||Mount Olive, Benld||24,000|
|63||Raymond, Taylorville, Hillsboro||22,700|
|90||Springfield, Toronto Road||52,100|
|92A||Springfield, 6th Street||52,100|
|94||Springfield, Stevenson Drive||53,700|
|96||Springfield, South Grand Avenue||53,700|
|98B||Springfield, Clear Lake Avenue||28,300|
|100||Springfield, Sangamon Avenue||28,300|
|126||Lincoln, Mason City||26.100|
|157B||Bloomington, Veterans Parkway||40,700|
|160||Bloomington, Market Street||40,700|
|167||Central Illinois Regional Airport||21,500|
|187||El Paso, Chenoa||21,100|
|236||Kankakee, Coal City||28,200|
|263||Bolingbrook, Weber Road||105,800|
|268||Bolingbrook, Will Rogers Highway||159,400|
|271||Darien, Lemont Road||142,000|
|273||Darien, Cass Avenue||152,300|
|274||Willowbrook, Burr Ridge||150,800|
|282||Summit, 1st Avenue||142,200|
|283||Summit, Harlem Avenue||129,700|
|285||Chicago, Central Avenue||161,300|
|286||Chicago Midway Airport||158,800|
|287||Chicago, Pulaski Road||177,500|
|288||Chicago, Kedzie Avenue||178,800|
|289||Chicago, California Avenue||167,400|
|290||Chicago, Damen Avenue||146,900|
|290||Chicago, Ashland Avenue||148,900|
|293A||Chicago, Cermak Road||92,800|
|293C||Chicago, State Street||121.700|
|293D||Chicago, Martin Luther King Drive||121.700|
|–||Chicago, Lake Shore Drive||–|