Elgin Bypass

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U.S. Route 20 marker

Elgin Bypass
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Highway
Route information
Maintained by IDOT
Length: 5 mi (8 km)
Existed: 1962[1] – present
Major junctions
West end: Weld Road in Elgin
East end: Villa Street in Elgin
Highway system

The Elgin Bypass or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Highway[2] is the common name for a four-lane freeway that carries U.S. Highway 20 around the city of Elgin in northeast Illinois. The highway forms a southern border to the Elgin street grid. The state-ownership of the land on the south edge of town for hospital and highway maintenance purposes eased the right-of-way acquisition. The highway is approximately 5 miles (8 km) long.

Route description[edit]

The bypass is not Interstate-standard, having narrower shoulders and shorter exit ramps than other Interstate Highways in the state of Illinois.


Construction of the Golf Road (Illinois Route 58) extension to Summit Street in Elgin was completed in 1932. In 1958, I-90 was built through the north side of Elgin extending east to Devon Ave, and on to Chicago by 1960. In 1935, concerned about increasing numbers of traffic, residents of Elgin laid plans to build a bypass. U.S. 20 had been routed down Villa Street, Highland Avenue and Larkin Avenue through downtown Elgin. 27 years later, a section of freeway opened south of Elgin as the Elgin Bypass.[3]

The segment of the Elgin Bypass between McLean Boulevard and Grace Street (Illinois Route 25), including the Fox River bridge, was opened first. Later, the outer segments of the bypass — to Randall Road on the west, and Bluff City Boulevard on the east — were opened. On November 30, 1962, Governor Otto Kerner dedicated the Elgin Bypass.[1]

From 1962 until 1984, the old route was designated Business U.S. 20.[4]

Exit list[edit]

All exits are unnumbered.

County Location Mile km Destinations Notes
Kane Elgin Randall Road Western terminus of Elgin Bypass 1/2 mile (0.7 km) west at Weld Road/Longcommon Parkway.
Larkin Avenue Eastbound exit (left-side ramp), westbound entrance
McLean Boulevard
IL 31 (State Street)
Fox River
IL 25 Eastbound, there is one exit to IL-25 via Grace Street, terminating at Bluff City Blvd. Traffic then travels two blocks east on Bluff City Blvd to southbound IL-25 (St. Charles St), and one block further to northbound IL-25 (S Liberty St). There are two eastbound entrance ramps from Bluff City Blvd; one in Grace St, the other 5 blocks east on Lavoie Ave. Westbound, there are separate exits for northbound and southbound IL-25. Northbound traffic exits on a ramp at Illinois Ave, then proceeds one block west on Dwight St to northbound IL-25 (S Liberty St). Southbound traffic exits at Grace St, travels one block east on Dwight St to St. Charles St, then one block south to IL-25 at Bluff City Blvd. There is one entrance ramp westbound on Grace St, accessed via Dwight St.
Cook Villa Street Westbound exit, eastbound entrance, both left-side rather than right-side. Eastern terminus of Elgin Bypass at Bluff City Boulevard/Shales Parkway.
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b "Elgin Bypass Dedicated by Gov. Kerner". Chicago Tribune. 1962-12-01. p. 10. 
  2. ^ Bill Status of HR1214 95th General Assembly
  3. ^ Gathman, David (2007-09-09). "Inroads, dead ends for woes in Fox Valley Targeting rush hour". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  4. ^ Carlson, Rich (2006-03-15). "Illinois State Highways Page: Routes 1 thru 20". Retrieved 2006-09-18. 

Route map: Google / Bing