Illinois Route 21

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Illinois Route 21 marker

Illinois Route 21
Milwaukee Avenue
Riverside Drive
Route information
Maintained by IDOT
Length: 28.13 mi[2] (45.27 km)
Existed: November 5, 1918[1] – present
Major junctions
South end: IL 43 in Niles
  US 14 in Niles
US 45 in Prospect Heights
US 45 in Lincolnshire
I-94 in Gurnee
North end: US 41 in Gurnee
Counties: Cook, Lake
Highway system
US 20 IL 22

Illinois Route 21 is an arterial north–south state highway in northeastern Illinois. It runs from Illinois Route 43 (Harlem Avenue) in Niles to U.S. Route 41 (Skokie Highway) north of Gurnee. Illinois 21 is 28.13 miles (45.27 km) long.[2]

Along most of its length, Illinois 21 is called Milwaukee Avenue. North of Gurnee, it is called Riverside Drive.

Route description[edit]

Illinois 21 was the principal route to Milwaukee, Wisconsin before the construction of both the Skokie Highway and the Tri-State Tollway (Interstate 94 and Interstate 294). The towns of Glenview, Libertyville, and Gurnee are principally located along this road. It follows the Des Plaines River for its entire length, and overlaps U.S. Route 45 between Lincolnshire and Prospect Heights.

South of Illinois 43, Milwaukee Avenue remains a major arterial road until it reaches the downtown area of Chicago, where its historical terminus at Lake Street has been moved back to Grand Avenue. It is one of the few diagonal streets in the grid street layout of Chicago.


SBI Route 21 ran from Chicago to Antioch along Milwaukee Avenue and current Illinois Routes 43, 83 and 137. In Chicago, it also ran along Elston Avenue. In 1940, the route was moved to a new route to Grayslake, and then continued to Antioch. In 1963, Illinois 21 was dropped entirely from Grayslake to Antioch, and in 1972, it was shortened further to its current southern terminus at Illinois 43. The next year, Illinois 21 was rerouted to Gurnee. Illinois 83 and 137 replaced the old Route 21 to (and through) Grayslake.[1]

Major intersections[edit]

County Location mi[3] km Destinations Notes
Cook Niles 0.0 0.0 IL 43 (Harlem Avenue)
1.9 3.1 US 14 (Dempster Street) Grade-separated interchange
3.0 4.8 IL 58 (Golf Road)
Prospect Heights 7.3 11.7 US 45 south (Des Plaines River Road) South end of US 45 overlap
7.6 12.2 Palatine Road, Willow Road Grade-separated interchange
Wheeling 10.0 16.1 IL 68 (Dundee Road)
county line
11.0 17.7 Lake Cook Road Grade-separated interchange
Lake Lincolnshire 14.2 22.9 IL 22 (Half Day Road)
14.5 23.3 US 45 north North end of US 45 overlap
Vernon Hills 17.2 27.7 IL 60 (Town Line Road)
Libertyville 20.2 32.5 IL 176 (Park Avenue)
21.8 35.1 IL 137 (Peterson Road, Buckley Road)
Gurnee 24.7 39.8 IL 120 (Belvidere Road) Grade-separated interchange
25.8 41.5 I-94 north (Tri-State Tollway)
27.0 43.5 IL 132 (Grand Avenue)
28.13 45.27 US 41 (Skokie Highway)
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b Carlson, Rick. Illinois State Highways: Routes 21 through 40. Last updated March 15, 2006. Retrieved March 22, 2006.
  2. ^ a b Illinois Technology Transfer Center. T2 GIS Data. Retrieved April 7, 2006. As documented in Wikipedia:WikiProject U.S. Roads/Lengths/Illinois.
  3. ^ Google Maps, [1]

External links[edit]

Route map: Google

KML is from Wikidata