Illinois Route 255

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Illinois Route 255 marker

Illinois Route 255
Route information
Maintained by IDOT
Length: 23.30 mi[2] (37.50 km)
Existed: October 1998[1] – present
Major junctions
South end: I-255 / I-270 in Pontoon Beach
North end: US 67 in Godfrey
Counties: Madison
Highway system
I-255 IL 267

Illinois Route 255, also referred to as the Alton Bypass, is a northwesterly extension of Interstate 255 in southwestern Illinois. Illinois 255 starts at I-270 in Pontoon Beach and ends at U.S. 67 north of Godfrey near its junction with Illinois Routes 267 and 111 (at a distance of approximately 23.3 miles (37.50 km)).

Route description[edit]

Illinois 255 is a four-lane, limited-access freeway for its entire length. It serves as an important circumferential artery for the northeastern portion of the St. Louis, Missouri metropolitan area. The final segment was completed on November 23, 2012 and runs 4.3 mi (7 km) from Seminary Road to U.S. 67 north of Godfrey near its junction with Illinois Routes 267 and 111. The highway passes just to the west of the St. Louis Regional Airport.

Although Illinois 255 was designed to federal interstate-highway standards, it was built by the Illinois Department of Transportation using state-provided funds.


Described as "The Road to Prosperity" by business leaders and government officials who initially proposed it in the late 1970s, Illinois 255 was part of a region-wide effort to create a high-speed alternative to U.S. Route 67 over the Clark Bridge through the city-center of Alton, and to two congested local routes (Illinois Routes 3 and 111) that roughly parallel the Illinois 255 corridor. Although it was part of the much larger Corridor 413 plan,[3] the local politicians focused mostly on the segment from Interstate 270 to what was then Illinois Route 267 north of the Godfrey "Y" intersection. At that time, the Berm Highway, the Beltline extension, and the Madison Avenue connector were not built and both Illinois Routes 3 and 111 were over capacity between Alton and Interstate 270. In 1975, a six-month detour related with the closing of the Old Clark Bridge exposed the need for the Alton Bypass along with the other three routes. However, until 1985, the Alton Bypass was a low priority,[4] as other local road projects in the area were considered more important.

The first 6.5 mi (10 km) segment of Illinois 255, from Interstate 270 to Illinois 143, was completed in October 1998 at the cost of $40 million (excluding land acquisition).[5]

The second segment (a 7.2 mi (12 km) extension from IL-143 in Roxana to Fosterburg Road) was opened on October 20, 2006, approximately one year behind schedule, owing to the 2005 collapse of the Wisconsin-based construction company that held the contracts for that portion of the roadway. The second segment was completed at a cost of approximately $78.1 million.[6]

The third segment of Illinois 255 from Fosterburg Road to Seminary Road in rural northeast Alton opened on August 22, 2008. Construction costs for this portion of the roadway totaled $25.1 million.[7]

The fourth and penultimate segment of the highway from Seminary Road in Alton to Humbert Road in Godfrey opened on October 26, 2012.[8]

The fifth and final segment of the highway runs 4.3 mi (7 km) from Seminary Road to U.S. 67 north of Godfrey near its junction with Illinois Routes 267 and 111 at a cost of $22 million.[9]

The Future[edit]

Now complete, the IL-255 route may or may not be redesignated as an Interstate Route. If the corridor were to be signed as an extension of the current I-255 bypass, all exits north of I-270 would have to be renumbered. As a standalone spur route, IL-255 numbered as I-255 would violate the AASHTO scheme for interstate numbering that requires an odd-number first digit (although as part of the larger I-255 bypass the route is not technically a spur even though it extends past the segment of I-55 that it bypasses). The entire corridor from Godfrey, IL to Mehlville, MO (comprising both I-255 and IL-255) could also carry secondary signage as U.S. 67 Bypass, since it would be a true bypass of US-67 (that passes through the St. Louis urban agglomeration) actually connecting with US-67 at both endpoints.

Construction of a new expressway route for US-67 between Jacksonville and Alton is planned to follow the corridor through White Hall, Carrollton, and Jerseyville. It will end in Godfrey near the Illinois 255 extension.

Exit list[edit]

Information on future interchanges comes from the appendix ([1] to a corridor study done by The River Bend Growth Association ([2]), the Chamber of Commerce, and economic development organization to communities north of St. Louis.

The entire route is in Madison County.

Location Mile[10] km Exit Destinations Notes
Pontoon Beach 0.00 0.00 30 I-255 (Exit 30) / I-270 (Exit 7A-B) – Memphis, Kansas City, Indianapolis Southern terminus; I-255 continues south
Poag 1.10 1.77 2 Gateway Commerce Center Drive East
2.98 4.80 3 New Poag Road
South Roxana 5.23 8.42 5 Madison Avenue
Roxana 6.50 10.46 6 IL 143 – Edwardsville, Wood River
Wood River 8.04 12.94 8 IL 111 (Vaughn Road, Bellwood Drive) Control cities change in the southbound direction.
Bethalto 10.31 16.59 10 IL 111 / IL 140 (MacArthur Drive) SPUI interchange
Fosterburg 13.49 21.71 13 Fosterburg Road
Alton 16.41 26.41 16 Seminary Road
Godfrey 19 North Humbert Road
20 IL 111 / IL 267 (Montclaire Avenue)
21 US 67 Final northern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi



  1. ^ "Illinois Highways Page: Routes 203 and up". Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  2. ^ Illinois Technology Transfer Center (2006). "T2 GIS Data". Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  3. ^ Illinois Supplemental Freeway 1978
  4. ^ "Alton interstate tie-in revived" Alton Telegraph, February 7, 1985
  5. ^ Kim Harvey's St. Louis Highway Page. Illinois 255: The Alton Bypass. Last updated October 14, 1998. Retrieved June 2, 2006
  6. ^ Schmidt, Sanford J. "The Telegraph—New stretch of Illinois 255 opens." October 21, 2006. Retrieved October 25, 2008.
  7. ^ Illinois Department of Transportation. "News Release–Alton Bypass" August 22, 2008. Retrieved October 25, 2008.
  8. ^ Schmidt, Sanford J. "The Telegraph - Illinois 255 Segment Opens" October 26, 2012. Retrieved October 26, 2012.
  9. ^ "Final Stretch of Highway 255 Now Open" November 23, 2012. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  10. ^ "Illinois Technology Transfer Center". Illinois Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 29, 2012.