Interstate 55 in Illinois
|Maintained by IDOT|
|Length:||293.08 mi (471.67 km)|
|South end:||I-55 / I-64 / US 40 in East St. Louis|
| I-64 / I-70 / IL 3 in East St. Louis
I-255 in Collinsville
I-70 / I-270 in Troy
I-72 / US 36 in Springfield
I-155 near Lincoln
I-74 in Bloomington
I-39 / US 51 in Normal
I-80 in Joliet
I-355 in Bolingbrook
I-294 in Indian Head Park
I-90 / I-94 in Chicago
|North end:||US 41 in Chicago|
In the U.S. state of Illinois, Interstate 55 is a major north–south Interstate Highway that connects the St. Louis, Missouri and Chicago metropolitan areas. It runs from the Poplar Street Bridge in East St. Louis to U.S. Route 41 (Lake Shore Drive) near downtown Chicago. This is a distance of 294.38 miles (473.75 km).
Route description 
Interstate 55 within Illinois carries heavy traffic, with an average of more than 20,000 vehicles per day for most of its length. Significant portions of Interstate 55 contain six lanes (3 lanes in each direction) and are heavily used by commuters. I-55 in Illinois begins in East Saint Louis on the Poplar Street Bridge over the Mississippi River at the Missouri-Illinois state line. and runs southwest to northeast through the state, ending in Chicago at US Route 41 Lake Shore Drive. Along the way, it goes through four metropolitan areas in the state: the Illinois portion of the St. Louis metropolitan area, the Springfield metropolitan area, the Bloomington-Normal metropolitan area, and the Chicago metropolitan area (also known as Chicagoland).
I-55 enters Chicago as the Stevenson Expressway, and provides easy access to downtown Chicago via the I-90/I-94 (Dan Ryan Expressway) interchange, and via US 41 Lake Shore Drive at the northern terminus of I-55.
Interstate 55 in Illinois is the fourth road to connect St. Louis and Chicago. The first was the Pontiac Trail in 1915. This was largely improved and paved as the new Illinois Route 4 by 1924. In 1926, IL 4 was designated as the route of the new US Route 66, and a new section of US 66 was built to bypass slower sections of IL 4 south of Springfield by 1930. Through the 1950s US 66 was continually widened, straightened, and improved to handle its growing traffic, until its entire length was four lanes wide by 1957.
The roots of Interstate 55 could be traced back to the need of a national highway system. President Dwight D. Eisenhower saw the need of a national network of highways that would help with the mobilization of the army. He had been impressed with the autobahn he saw in Germany during World War II. In 1956 he signed the Federal Aid Highway Act into existence. Although the act provided for a highway replacing Route 66, it was spared destruction for a while because of it being more modern than other routes at the time. Illinois would build its first new Interstate highways on other routes such as Interstate 80, Interstate 57, and Interstate 70, before turning its attention once again to the St. Louis to Chicago route.
However during the 1970s, Route 66 was finally replaced by Interstate 55 as the fourth St. Louis to Chicago highway, serving most of the same communities along the way as the original Pontiac Trail. It was built in sections across Illinois, often on the original Route 66 roadbed. A common construction tactic where Route 66 was already four lanes wide, was to build new southbound lanes for I-55 west of the original road, then rebuild the original southbound lanes of US 66 to be the new northbound lanes for I-55, leaving the original northbound lanes of old US 66 as a two-way service road. One can find many signs posted for Historic Route 66, especially where it deviates from I-55.
The earliest stretch of I-55 was a portion of US 66 which had already been built as a freeway between Gardner and Interstate 294 (Tri-State Tollway) in Indian Head Park, and which was added to the Interstate system by simply erecting new signs in 1960. Later portions of the highway were built in the 1960s between East St. Louis and Hamel, as bypasses of Springfield and Bloomington-Normal, and as the Stevenson Expressway into Downtown Chicago. The rest of the road was completed in the 1970s.
Recent Upgrades and Current Construction 
Because of the heavy traffic on Interstate 55 mentioned above, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) must spend millions per year maintaining the roadway, adding lanes, and replacing bridges to increase the capacity of the highway.
In northeastern Illinois near Joliet, a widening project that expanded I-55 from two to three lanes in each direction between I-80 (exit 250) and Weber Road (exit 263) was completed on October 29, 2008.
In the 2000s decade, the Damen Avenue (Exit 290) and Pulaski Road (Exit 287) interchanges were rebuilt in the Single-Point Urban Interchange (SPUI) configuration, and as of 2013 the Central Avenue (Exit 285) interchange was also under reconstruction as a SPUI. The Arsenal Road (Exit 245) interchange was under complete rebuilding and reconfiguration as of 2012, and the deteriorated overpass at Illinois Route 129 (Exit 238) was removed in 2012 in anticipation of future construction of a full interchange, temporarily leaving the IL 129 interchange with only a northbound exit and northbound entrance.
Exit list 
||This section contains a table that is missing mileposts for one or more junctions. Please help by|
|St. Clair||East St. Louis||Poplar Street Bridge over the Mississippi River (Missouri–Illinois state line)|
|IL 3 south / Great River Road south – Cahokia||South end of IL 3/GRR overlap|
|13th Street, Tudor Avenue|
|1||Fourth Street – East St. Louis Business District||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|2A||Third Street – Eads Bridge||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|2BC||Martin Luther King Bridge – Downtown St. Louis||Southbound exit and northbound entrance; left exit is signed as exit 2B and right exit as 2C|
|2||I-64 east / I-70 west (St. Clair Avenue) / IL 3 north – Louisville, St.Louis||North end of I-64/IL 3 overlap|
|3||Exchange Avenue||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|4||IL 203 / Collinsville Road – Fairmont City, Granite City||Signed as exits 4A (south) and 4B (north) southbound|
|Madison||Fairmont City||6||IL 111 / Great River Road north – Wood River, Washington Park||North end of GRR overlap|
|Collinsville||9||Black Lane||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|10||I-255 to I-270 – Memphis|
|11||IL 157 – Collinsville, Edwardsville|
|Maryville||15||IL 159 – Collinsville, Maryville||Signed as exits 15A (south) and 15B (north)|
|17||US 40 east – St. Jacob, Highland||North end of US 40 overlap|
|Troy||18||IL 162 – Troy|
|20A||I-70 east – Indianapolis||North end of I-70 overlap|
|20B||I-270 west – Kansas City|
|23||IL 143 – Edwardsville, Marine|
|Rest area available both directions between exit 23 and 30; full handicap facilities, phone, picnic tables, trash cans, vending, pet area|
|Hamel||30||IL 140 – Alton, Greenville|
|33||IL 4 – Staunton, Lebanon|
|Livingston||37||Livingston, New Douglas|
|White City||44||IL 138 – Mount Olive, Benld|
|Montgomery||Litchfield||52||IL 16 – Gillespie, Litchfield|
|60||IL 108 – Carlinville|
|Rest area available both directions between exits 60 and 63; full handicap facilities, phone, picnic tables, trash cans, vending, pet area|
|63||IL 48 / IL 127 – Raymond, Taylorville, Hillsboro|
|82||IL 104 – Pawnee, Auburn|
|Springfield||88||East Lake Drive – Chatham|
|92A||I-55 Bus. north (6th Street)|
|92B||I-72 west / US 36 west – Jacksonville||South end of I-72/US 36 overlap|
|94||Stevenson Drive, East Lake Drive|
|96||IL 29 (South Grand Avenue) – Taylorville||Signed as exits 96A (south) and 96B (north)|
|98A||I-72 east / US 36 east – Decatur||North end of I-72/US 36 overlap|
|98B||IL 97 west (Clear Lake Avenue)|
|100||IL 54 east (Sangamon Avenue) – Clinton||Signed as exits 100A (east) and 100B (west)|
|Southbound Rest Area between exits 105 and 100; full handicap facilities, phone, picnic tables, trash cans, vending, pet area|
|Northbound Rest Area between exits 100 and 105; full handicap facilities, phone, picnic tables, trash cans, vending, pet area|
|105||Sherman||I-55 Bus. south – Springfield, Sherman|
|Williamsville||109||Williamsville (IL 123)|
|123||I-55 Bus. north – Lincoln|
|Lincoln||126||IL 10 / IL 121 – Lincoln, Mason City|
|127||I-155 north – Peoria, Hartsburg|
|133||I-55 Bus. south – Lincoln, Lawndale|
|McLean||145||US 136 – McLean, Heyworth|
|Rest area available both directions; full handicap facilities, phone, picnic tables, trash cans, vending, pet area|
|157A||I-74 east / US 51 south – Indianapolis, Decatur||South end of I-74/US 51 overlap|
|Bloomington||157B||I-55 Bus. north (Veterans Parkway)||Signed as exit 134B (north) southbound|
|160||US 150 / IL 9 (Market Street) – Pekin|
|163||I-74 west – Peoria||North end of I-74 overlap|
|164||I-39 north / US 51 north – Rockford||North end of US 51 overlap|
US 51 Bus. – Bloomington-Normal
|Signed as exits 165A (south) and 165B (north) northbound|
|167||I-55 Bus. south (Veterans Parkway) – Central Illinois Regional Airport|
|Chenoa||187||US 24 – El Paso, Chenoa|
|Livingston||Pontiac||Rest area available both directions between exits 187 and 197; full handicap facilities, phone, picnic tables, trash cans, vending, pet area|
|197||IL 116 – Flanagan, Pontiac|
|201||IL 23 – Pontiac, Streator|
|217||IL 17 – Streator, Kankakee||Exits in Dwight|
|Grundy||220||IL 47 – Dwight, Morris|
|227||IL 53 – Gardner|
|233||Reed Road – Braidwood|
|236||IL 113 – Kankakee, Coal City|
|238||IL 129 south – Braidwood||Northbound exit and northbound entrance|
|Channahon||248||US 6 – Joliet, Morris|
|250||I-80 – Iowa, Indiana||Signed as exits 250A (east) and 250B (west)|
|Shorewood||251||IL 59 – Shorewood, Plainfield||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|253||US 52 – Joliet, Shorewood|
|257||US 30 – Aurora, Joliet|
|Plainfield||261||IL 126 west – Plainfield||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|267||IL 53 – Bolingbrook, Romeoville|
|268||Historic US 66 west (Joliet Road)||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|269||I-355 (Veterans Memorial Tollway) – Northwest Suburbs, Southwest Suburbs|
|DuPage||Darien||271||Lemont Road||Signed as exits 271A (south) and 271B (north)|
|273||Cass Avenue||Signed as exits 273A (south) and 273B (north)|
|Willowbrook||274||IL 83 (Kingery Road)|
|276||County Line Road||Signed as exits 276A (south) and 276B (north)|
|Indian Head Park||276C||Historic US 66 east (Joliet Road)||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|277||I-294 (Tri-State Tollway) – Indiana, Wisconsin||Signed as exits 277A (north) and 277B (south); southbound exit to I-294 south is via exit 279A|
|279||US 12 / US 20 / US 45 (La Grange Road)||Signed as exits 279A (east/south) and 279B (west/north)|
|Summit||282||IL 171 (1st Avenue)||Signed as exits 282A (south) and 282B (north) northbound|
|283||IL 43 (Harlem Avenue (7200 West))|
|285||Central Avenue (5600 West)|
|286||IL 50 (Cicero Avenue (4800 West)) – Chicago Midway Airport|
|287||Pulaski Road (4000 West)|
|288||Kedzie Avenue (3200 West)||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|289||California Avenue (2800 West)||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|290||Damen Avenue (2000 West)|
|290||Ashland Avenue (1600 West)||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|292||I-90 / I-94 (Dan Ryan Expressway) – Indiana, Wisconsin||Signed as exits 292A (west) and 292B (east) northbound, and as exits 292 (west) and 293B (east) southbound|
|293A||Cermak Road – Chinatown (2200 South)||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|293C||State Street (0 East/West)||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|293D||Martin L. King Drive (400 East)||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|294.38||US 41 (Lake Shore Drive)||Freeway Begins/Ends; Northbound exit to and southbound exit from Lake Shore Drive North/South|
|Beginning of I-55 Southbound to I-10, end of I-55 Northbound. Roadway continues north to Ft. Wilkins State Park, Michigan via Lake Shore Drive.|
Related routes 
Springfield business loop 
Interstate 55 Business
Business Loop 55 refers to a major arterial surface street that serves downtown Springfield, Illinois. It runs north from the intersection of Interstates 55 and Interstate 72 through downtown to Illinois Route 4 (Veterans' Parkway). It then runs northeast to Sherman.
All of Business Loop 55 was part of U.S. Route 66 at some point.
The entire route is in Sangamon County.
|I-55 / I-72 / US 36 – Jacksonville, Decatur, Chicago, St. Louis||Exit 92A (I-55), Exit 97B (I-72)|
|4.9||7.9||IL 97 north (Jefferson Street)|
|5.0||8.0||IL 97 south (Madison Street)|
|7.0||11.3||IL 29 (Sangamon Avenue)||Southern end of IL 29 concurrency|
|8.0||12.9||IL 4 south / IL 29 north (Veterans Parkway) – Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport||Northern end of IL 29 concurrency, northern terminus of IL 4|
|Sherman||12.1||19.5||IL 124 west (Andrew Road) – Andrew, Athens||Eastern terminus of IL 124|
|12.7||20.4||I-55 south – Springfield||Exit 105 (I-55), no access to I-55 northbound from this point|
|Williams Township||13.9||22.4||I-55 north – Chicago||Only access to I-55 northbound|
Lincoln business loop 
Interstate 55 Business
|This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (December 2011)|
Bloomington–Normal business loop 
Interstate 55 Business
|This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (December 2011)|
- Federal Highway Administration (2002-10-31). "FHWA Route Log and Finder List: Table 1". Retrieved 2007-03-28.
- Microsoft MapPoint 2002.
- Insert http://www.dot.il.gov/trafficmaps/ADT_statewide.pdf
- "Illinois Highway Ends - I-55". Highwayexplorer.com. Retrieved 2013-01-28.
- 1924 Illinois Road Map
- 1957 Illinois Official Highway Map
- 1960 Illinois Official Highway Map
- 1969 Illinois Official Highway Map
- http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=HN&p_theme=hn&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0F41C0475E12DBFB&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM. Missing or empty
- http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=HN&p_theme=hn&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=109FC52A97C57606&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM. Missing or empty
- "Southbound I-55 Ramp Closure in Wilmington". Illinois Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
- "I-55 Wilmington Study". Illinois Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
- "New Bridge May Mean Tolls On All Mississippi Bridges Here Making Motorists Pay Is A Last Resort But A Possibility, Officials Say". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 1999-10-06.
- Illinois Department of Transportation (February 20, 2009). General Highway Map - Sangamon County, Illinois (Map). http://www.dot.il.gov/maps/county/sangamon.pdf. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
- Google Inc. Google Maps – Interstate 55 Business (Springfield) (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=I-55+N&daddr=39.7818586,-89.644669+to:39.8279884,-89.6389541+to:I-55+N&hl=en&ll=39.832268,-89.584579&spn=0.215662,0.445976&sll=39.804382,-89.629126&sspn=0.053937,0.111494&geocode=FXJQXgId7SSo-g%3BFeIFXwIdgyGo-ilHVcZuojl1iDEpfwSmOWLS6g%3BFRS6XwId1jeo-ikBamGZRDd1iDF-jugZIKSlQQ%3BFTQWYQIdFRSp-g&mra=dpe&mrsp=2&sz=14&via=1,2&t=m&z=12. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
- Media related to Interstate 55 in Illinois at Wikimedia Commons