Interstate 55 in Illinois


Get started East Saint Louis
End Chicago
Length 295 mi
Length 474 km
East St. LouisEdwardsville






La Grange


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.

Travel directions

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.

Lane Configuration

I-55 at Auburn, south of Springfield.

I-55 in rural Illinois.

The Stevenson Expressway in the Chicago suburbs.

I-55/70 at Collinsville.

From Unpleasant Lanes Comments
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

# destination AADT
Cahokia 111,600
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
4 Collinsville Road 48,600
6 Fairmont City 46,900
9 Collinsville, Black Lane 48,300
10 Memphis, St. Louis 53,300
11 Collinsville, Edwardsville 39,700
15 Collinsville, Maryville 41,100
17 St. Jacob, Highland 31,400
18 Troy 36,500
20 Indianapolis, Kansas City 27,900
23 Edwardsville, Marine 26,700
30 Alton, Greenville 25,900
33 Staunton, Lebanon 25,900
37 Livingston, New Douglas 25,900
41 Staunton 23,400
44 Mount Olive, Benld 24,000
52 Gillespie, Litchfield 23.100
60 carlinville 26,800
63 Raymond, Taylorville, Hillsboro 22,700
72 Farmersville, Girard 28,500
80 Divernon 28,700
82 Pawnee, Auburn 35,500
83 Glenarm 36,700
88 chatham 43,500
90 Springfield, Toronto Road 52,100
92A Springfield, 6th Street 52,100
92B Jacksonville, Quincy 52,200
94 Springfield, Stevenson Drive 53,700
96 Springfield, South Grand Avenue 53,700
98A Decatur 28,300
98B Springfield, Clear Lake Avenue 28,300
100 Springfield, Sangamon Avenue 28,300
105 Sherman 31,900
109 Williamsville, Petersburg 28,800
115 Elkheart 28,600
119 Broadwell 29,600
123 Lincoln 26.100
126 Lincoln, Mason City 26.100
127 Peoria 17,600
133 Lincoln, Lawndale 19,500
140 Atlanta, Lawndale 20,400
145 McLean, Heyworth 23,000
154 Shirley 22,500
157A Indianapolis, Decatur 40,700
157B Bloomington, Veterans Parkway 40,700
160 Bloomington, Market Street 40,700
163 Peoria 29,900
164 Rockford 29,900
165 Bloomington, Normal 29,900
167 Central Illinois Regional Airport 21,500
171 Towanda 21,600
178 Lexington 21,500
187 El Paso, Chenoa 21,100
197 Flanagan, Pontiac 18,700
201 Pontiac, Streator 14,400
209 Odell 18,700
217 Streator, Kankakee 18,200
220 Dwight, Morris 21,400
227 Gardner 21,700
233 Braidwood 28,200
236 Kankakee, Coal City 28,200
238 Braidwood 29,200
240 Lorenzo Road 34,900
241 Wilmington 34,900
244 Arsenal Road 53,800
247 Bluff Road 53,800
248 Joliet, Morris 55,600
250 Davenport, Gary 73,800
251 Shorewood 59,300
253 Joliet 75,600
257 Joliet 87,200
261 plainfield 116,000
263 Bolingbrook, Weber Road 105,800
267 Bolingbrook, Romeoville 119,900
268 Bolingbrook, Will Rogers Highway 159,400
269 western suburbs 145,000
271 Darien, Lemont Road 142,000
273 Darien, Cass Avenue 152,300
274 Willowbrook, Burr Ridge 150,800
276 Burr Ridge 163,200
277 Gary, Milwaukee 149,400
279 151,300
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
292 Milwaukee, Gary 63,000
293A Chicago, Cermak Road 92,800
293C Chicago, State Street 121.700
293D Chicago, Martin Luther King Drive 121.700
Chicago, Lake Shore Drive

Interstate 55 in Illinois

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