Illinois Route 72

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Illinois Route 72 marker

Illinois Route 72
Higgins Road
Route information
Maintained by IDOT
Length: 110.71 mi[2] (178.17 km)
Existed: 1924[1] – present
Major junctions
West end: IL 73 in Lanark
  I-39 / US 51 in Monroe Center
US 20 / IL 47 in Hampshire
I-290 / IL 53 in Schaumburg
I-90 in Des Plaines
US 12 / US 45 in Des Plaines
I-90 in Rosemont
East end: IL 43 in Chicago
Counties: Carroll, Ogle, DeKalb, Kane, Cook
Highway system
I-72 IL 73

Illinois Route 72 is an east–west state road in northern Illinois. It runs from the intersection with Illinois Route 73 north of Lanark east to Illinois Route 43 (Harlem Avenue) in Chicago. This is a distance of 110.71 miles (178.2 km).[2]

Route description[edit]

Looking east at Illinois Route 72 just west of Illinois Route 43 (Harlem Avenue). Due to a lack of right-of-way, the western lanes are routed onto a two-lane bridge over the eastbound exit ramp from Interstate 90 (Kennedy Expressway) to Harlem Avenue.

Illinois 72 is called Higgins Road for most of its length in the Chicago area, and has been redirected in parts of the area to accommodate for new features. Near Rosemont, the road has been shifted to make way for O'Hare International Airport — further east, parts of the road have been moved to make room for the Northwest Tollway (Interstate 90). The road serves as a major six-lane thoroughfare for several western suburbs, including Schaumburg, Elk Grove Village, and Hoffman Estates.

Illinois 72 runs concurrently for one block with Illinois Route 83 in Elk Grove Township, and Illinois Route 47 and U.S. Highway 20 by Starks, an unincorporated village approximately 60 miles (97 km) from Chicago. The latter is a Wrong-way concurrency, where one can be driving both west on Illinois 72 and east on U.S. 20 at the same time. West from Chicago, Illinois 72 largely parallels Interstate 90 until Starks, crossing over and under the highway six times without an intersection. On a larger scale, it is the main east–west artery to Chicago between Interstate 90 and Illinois Route 64.

It serves the towns and cities of, from west to east, Lanark, Shannon, Forreston, Leaf River, Byron, Stillman Valley, Kirkland, Kingston, Genoa, Hampshire, Gilberts, Sleepy Hollow, West Dundee, East Dundee, South Barrington, Hoffman Estates, Schaumburg, Elk Grove Village, Des Plaines, Rosemont, and Chicago. Higgins Road/Higgins Avenue continues east-southeast from Harlem Avenue in Chicago to Milwaukee Avenue near Lawrence Avenue.

Route 72 is one of seven state roads to enter the city of Chicago.


SBI Route 72 originally ran from Lanark to Starks. It was extended east in 1937 and 1938 to East Dundee, and then to Chicago. In 1968, the designation of IL 72 was truncated back to IL 43 (Harlem Avenue), lopping off 10.5 miles (16.9 km).[3] In 1982, it was shortened again, this time to Illinois Route 73.[1]

The crash site of American Airlines Flight 191 is located along the road as Higgins Road, just south of the road and north of O'Hare International Airport.

Major intersections[edit]

County Location mi km Destinations Notes
Carroll Lanark 0.00 0.00 IL 73 – Lanark, Pearl City, Georgetown Western terminus of IL 72
Ogle Forreston IL 26 north – Freeport Begin/end concurrency with IL 26
IL 26 south (First Avenue) – Polo Begin/end concurrency with IL 26
Byron IL 2 south – Oregon Begin/end concurrency with IL 2
IL 2 north (East Blackhawk Drive) – Rockford Begin/end concurrency with IL 2
Davis Junction IL 251 – Rochelle, Rockford
Monroe Center I-39 / US 51 – LaSalle, Peru, Rockford Exit 111 (I-39/US 51)
DeKalb Genoa IL 23 south (Sycamore Road) – Sycamore Begin/end concurrency with IL 23
IL 23 north – Riley, Marengo Begin/end concurrency with IL 23
Starks US 20 east / IL 47 south – Elgin, Lily Lake Begin/end concurrency with US 20/IL 47
US 20 west / IL 47 north – Marengo, Huntley Begin/end concurrency with US 20/IL 47
Kane West Dundee IL 31 (Eighth Street) – Elgin, Algonquin
East Dundee IL 68 east (Penny Avenue) – Barrington
IL 25 (Dundee Avenue) – Elgin, Carpentersville
Cook Sutton IL 59 (New Sutton Road) to I-90 (Jane Addams Memorial Tollway) – Streamwood, Barrington
Hoffman Estates To I-90 (Jane Addams Memorial Tollway) via Barrington Road Exit 62 (I-90)
Hoffman EstatesSchaumburg
village line
IL 58 (West Golf Road) – Streamwood, Des Plaines
Schaumburg I-290 (Dwight D. Eisenhower Expressway) – Chicago
Elk Grove Village IL 83 south (Busse Road) – Villa Park Begin/end concurrency with IL 83
IL 83 north (West Oakton Street) – Mount Prospect Begin/end concurrency with IL 83
Des Plaines I-90 east (Jane Addams Memorial Tollway) – Chicago Exit 75 (I-90)
US 45 (Mannheim Road) – Franklin Park, Des Plaines
I-90 west (Jane Addams Memorial Tollway) – Rockford Exit 77-78 (I-90)
Chicago IL 171 south (Cumberland Avenue) – River Grove Northern terminus of IL 171
I-90 east (Kennedy Expressway) – Rockford Exit 80 (I-90)
I-90 east (Kennedy Expressway) – Chicago Exit 81A (I-90)
IL 43 (Harlem Avenue) – Forest Park, Niles Eastern terminus of IL 72
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Carlson, Rick. Illinois State Highways Page: Routes 61 thru 80. Last updated March 15, 2006. Retrieved March 24, 2006.
  2. ^ a b Illinois Technology Transfer Center (2007). "T2 GIS Data". Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  3. ^ "Irving Park Road Gets Route Change". The Chicago Tribune. March 28, 1968. p. N3.