Illinois Route 251

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Illinois Route 251 marker

Illinois Route 251
Route information
Maintained by IDOT
Length: 135.32 mi[2] (217.78 km)
Existed: Early 1970s[1] – present
Major junctions
South end: I-39 / US 51 in Hudson
  US 24 in El Paso
I-39 / US 51 in LaSalle
US 6 in Peru
I-80 in Peru
US 52 in Troy Grove
US 34 in Mendota
US 52 in Mendota
US 30 in Compton

I-88 / IL 110 (CKC) in Rochelle
US 20 in Rockford
North end: US 51 / IL 75 in South Beloit
Highway system
IL 250 I-255

Illinois Route 251 is a north–south state road that runs on the former alignment of U.S. Route 51 before Interstate 39 was built in central Illinois. It runs from U.S. 51 at the border with Wisconsin to I-39 and U.S. 51 south of Kappa. Illinois 251 is 135.32 miles (217.78 km) long.[2]

Route description[edit]

Illinois 251 runs parallel to Interstate 39 and U.S. 51 for most of the length of I-39 in Illinois. Like Illinois Route 351, it can be considered a spur, loop or alternate of its parent route, U.S. 51. Illinois 251 terminates about 8 mi (13 km) north of the southern terminus of I-39.

The road parallels the east bank of the Rock River through Rockford, where the highway goes north on Eleventh Street, west on Harrison, north on Kishwaukee, west on Walnut then split between northbound Third and southbound Second through downtown Rockford. After donwtown, both directions take the southbound lanes' Second Street name as a divided urban expressway (also badged as Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Drive) for a couple of miles north of downtown Rockford. It stays Second Street through Loves Park, Machesney Park and Roscoe until its north endpoint at US 51 and Illinois 75 in South Beloit


Illinois 251 was established in 1982 when first segment of I-39 opened between Rockford and Bloomington. In 1992, the final segment of I-39 opened north of Bloomington. The remaining stretch of Former U.S. 51 became Illinois 251.[3] The initial designation of I-39 was U.S. Route 51 until 1992.

Major intersections[edit]

County Location mi km Destinations Notes
McLean I-39 / US 51 – Bloomington–Normal, Rockford
Woodford El Paso US 24 (West Main Street)
IL 116 west South end of IL 116 overlap
IL 116 east North end of IL 116 overlap
Marshall IL 17 west South end of IL 17 overlap
Wenona IL 17 east (Elm Street) North end of IL 17 overlap
LaSalle IL 18 (North 13th Road)
Tonica CR 54 (Ray Richardson Road, Ed Lambert Road)
IL 71 / IL 351 north
I-39 / US 51 – Bloomington–Normal, Rockford
Illinois River Peru Bridge
Peru US 6 – LaSalle, Spring Valley Interchange
I-80 – Moline, Rock Island, Joliet
CR 33 (North 33rd Road)
US 52 east (North 37th Road) South end of US 52 overlap
Mendota US 34 (Washington Street, Walter Payton Memorial Highway)
US 52 west North end of US 52 overlap
Lee US 30
I-88 / IL 110 (CKC) (Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway)
Rochelle IL 38 west / Lincoln Highway (Lincoln Avenue) South end of IL 38 overlap
IL 38 east / Lincoln Highway (May Mart Drive) North end of IL 38 overlap
IL 64
Davis Junction IL 72 (Chicago Avenue)
Winnebago Rockford US 20 (Rockford Bypass) – Freeport, Belvidere Interchange

US 20 Bus. (1st Avenue, Jefferson Street)
Whitman Street Bridge Interchange
Auburn Road, Spring Creek Road Interchange
Forest Hills Road Northbound exit and southbound entrance
Machesney Park IL 173 east (West Lane Road)
Roscoe CR 76 (Prairie Hill Road)
Rockton CR 9 (Rockton Road) Interchange
South Beloit US 51 / IL 75 (Gardner Street)
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Carlson, Rich. Illinois Highways Page: Routes 200 thru end. Last updated April 15, 2005. Retrieved May 12, 2006.
  2. ^ a b Illinois Technology Transfer Center (2006). "T2 GIS Data". Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  3. ^ AARoads. Interstate 39 @