Illinois Route 336
|Thomas A. Oakley Memorial Highway
Chicago-Kansas City Expressway
|Maintained by IDOT|
|Length:||80 mi (130 km)|
I-172 / US 24 / IL 110 (CKC) in Bloomfield
| IL 61 in Mendon
IL 61 near Loraine
IL 94 near Bowen
US 136 / IL 94 in Carthage
IL 61 near Tennessee
US 136 in Tennessee
US 136 / IL 110 (CKC) in Macomb
|Counties:||Adams, Hancock, McDonough|
Illinois Route 336 (IL 336, also known as the Thomas A. Oakley Memorial Highway) is a four-lane freeway/expressway combination that serves western Illinois. It is also used by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) as a part of Federal-Aid Primary Highway 315 (FAP315) to refer to a future project connecting the cities of Quincy and Peoria via underserved Macomb.
As of early 2017, the highway extends north from its starting point in Fowler (near Quincy) where U.S. Route 24 (US 24) and Interstate 172 (I-172) intersect, to US 136 just west of Macomb. IL 336 is 80 miles (129 km) long.
For its entire length, IL 336 is a four-lane divided expressway without property access, but has many at-grade intersections with sideroads. The only interchanges currently built on IL 336 are with US 136/IL 94/Hancock County Road 1500 in Carthage and IL 61 at Mendon.
IL 336 overlaps IL 61 from south of Mendon to south of Loraine. These two roads serve the Adams County Fairgrounds. Further north, IL 336 overlaps IL 94 about seven miles (11 km) past Loraine, and continues until IL 336 intersects with US 136 in Carthage. (IL 94 continues north to near the Quad Cities.)
IL 336 bypasses Carthage to the south and east, with a full interchange (US 136) east of Carthage. The highway turns east and overlaps US 136 east of Carthage toward Macomb. Highway bridges over two branches of the LaMoine River as well as an overpass for the BNSF Railway and IL 61 carry the highway east with new alignments south of both Tennessee and Colchester.
IL 61 has an at-grade T-intersection with the highway at the same location as the alignment of US 136. The two highways are concurrent to the point west of BNSF Railway overpass, where US 136 splits off to its former alignment through Tennessee and Colchester. IL 336 continues east and turns north to Macomb. There is an underpass under BNSF Railway and then two ramps which end in T-intersections with US 136.
The route ends west of Macomb, awaiting state and federal funding for an eventual bypass northwest of Macomb [WIU side of city]. At this point, IL 336 ends temporarily until further construction is completed.
North of Macomb along US 67, there will be a full interchange that will connect with the northern portion of the recently completed IL 336 west of Macomb. This segment was scheduled to be completed in 2008 or 2009, but delayed because of Illinois and federal funding issues. Road grading and bridge work started in middle of 2013. The projection is still $20 million underfunded. Construction on the Macomb bypass started in 2016, with the first phase of project expected to be completed by October 2017. 
The Peoria-to-Macomb corridor being studied closely parallels US 136 to Marietta, and then IL 95 to Cuba, along Hickory Road (old strip mining area) to Canton, north on IL 78 to Farmington, then turning east along IL 116 to the Peoria area. The existing interchange (exit 3 on I-474) at West Farmington Road would serve as the logical eastern terminus. There are four proposed routes within the corridor between these two points that are being considered. This Fulton County corridor is not currently funded.
The Quincy inspired highway was vigorously opposed by State Representative Bill Edley, (D-Macomb). Edley considered the four-lane project a waste of taxpayer money compared to other west-central Illinois highway priorities, such as constructing a four-lane US67 highway from the Quad-Cities through Macomb to Alton and St. Louis; connecting the Macomb region to Peoria, and maintaining the region’s farm-to-market highways.
Edley successfully placed an amendment on 1993 IDOT transportation funding legislation (HB1246) reducing to $1.00 Quincy project’s state funding, but funding was later restored.
“There is little benefit to Illinois taxpayers in spending $300 million for a four-lane highway connecting Macomb, a community of 20,000 , to Quincy, a community of 40,000,” Edley said at the time. “Our region has been called “Forgottonia” because we don’t have modern highway connections to major markets, such as St. Louis, Peoria, and Quad-Cities. Connecting two small communities within our region only maintains our isolation.”
Earlier, Edley had been successful in funding the $100M Quad-City US67 four-lane link from Monmouth to Macomb. Illinois Democrats lost their House majority in the 1994 GOP landslide election, and Edley was defeated as well.
Twenty-two years later neither the Corridor US 67 to St. Louis, or access to the Peoria and Chicago markets have been built or funded.
In the mid-1990s, the road west from Springfield to south of Quincy, US 36, was cosigned I-72. As a result of this change, IL 336 from Fall Creek at the current junction with I-72, north to Fowler, was renamed from I-72/IL 336 to simply I-172. The upgrade of US 36 to Interstate standards provided Quincy with a much needed regional freeway. I-172 is a non-chargeable Interstate Highway, inasmuch it was built entirely with state funds designated as the original IL 336, until it received its I-172 designation.
The completion of I-72 left only one other area in the state without regional freeway access—the area between Galesburg and Quincy. Specifically, Macomb and Western Illinois University are currently an hour and a half from the nearest Interstate Highways between the Illinois and Mississippi rivers in Illinois, I-74 to the north and I-72 to the south.
IDOT launched a series of studies to help facilitate access to west central Illinois, colloquially named Forgottonia for the lack of highways through the region. Currently in progress are upgrades (to a four-lane expressway) of US 67 from US 34 in Monmouth (near Galesburg) south to Macomb, and US 67 from Macomb south to Alton, near St. Louis, Missouri. Also under way is a similar upgrade of IL 336 from Quincy to Macomb.
The Peoria-to-Macomb study involves an eastern link from Macomb to Peoria alongside existing US 136. The corridor being studied runs from US 67 east to I-474, and has been studied since the 1950s by Illinois and federal agencies as a potential link between Chicago and Kansas City, Missouri, the Chicago-Kansas City Expressway. As of May 2006, the corridor study had identified two alternatives for IL 336. The route would be a limited-access freeway for a few miles outside of Macomb to Bardolph, and again for a few miles outside of Peoria, east of Hanna City. For either alternative, IL 336 would be constructed as an expressway between Hanna City and Bardolph. In Illinois, an expressway allows partial access to the highway, with direct access to the expressway from private residences and fields, while retaining interchanges and frontage roads for businesses and arterial state routes.
The completion of IL 336 would also relieve congestion on US 24, currently the only direct route between Peoria and Quincy. It would also allow Peoria-to-Quincy traffic to avoid the alternate route—I-155 south to I-55 through Springfield, to I-72 west. This combination of highways is currently the fastest route between Peoria and Quincy. IL 336 would shave at least 50 miles (80 km) and up to an hour off the trip. Currently, both US 24 and the I-155/I-55/I-72 routes require upwards of 3.25 hours of travel.
This route would also provide a faster route from Peoria to reach cities such as Kansas City and Denver.
I-172 south / US 24 / IL 110 (CKC) west – Mount Sterling, Quincy, Hannibal
|Interchange; southern end of IL 110 concurrency; signed as exit 19|
|||6.6||10.6||IL 61 south – Mendon, Ursa||Interchange; southern end of IL 61 concurrency|
|||11.0||17.7||IL 61 north||Northern end of IL 61 concurrency|
|Hancock||||21.3||34.3||IL 94 south (400 North) – West Point, Bowen||Southern end of IL 94 concurrency|
|||32.5||52.3||US 136 west / IL 94 north – Carthage, Keokuk, Macomb||Interchange; northern end of IL 94 concurrency|
|McDonough||||44.7||71.9||IL 61 south||Northern terminus of IL 61|
|||46.5||74.8||US 136 east – Macomb||East end of US 136 overlap|
|||54.7||88.0||US 136 – Carthage, Adair||West end of US 136 overlap; current north end of IL 110 overlap|
US 67 / IL 110 (CKC) – Chicago
|Expected to open in October 2017; proposed South end of US 67 overlap; proposed future east end of IL 110 Overlap|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Illinois Route 336.|
- Peoria to Macomb Study: FAP 315 (IL 336)
- 336 Coalition
- IL 336 at Highways of Illinois
- Illinois Route 336 at Illinois Highway Ends