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 1973 and 1982, Illinois 72 was shortened to its current length, first west to Illinois Route 43, and north 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.

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.