Dan Ryan Expressway

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Interstate 90 marker Interstate 94 marker

Dan Ryan Expressway
South Route Expressway
Route information
Maintained by IDOT
Length: 11.47 mi[1] (18.46 km)
Existed: 1961 – present
Major junctions
North end:
I-90 / I-94 / I-290 / IL 110 (CKC) in Chicago

I-55 in Chicago

I-90 / Chicago Skyway in Chicago

US 12 / US 20 in Chicago
South end: I-57 / I-94 in Chicago
Highway system
The Dan Ryan Expressway West Leg (now more commonly referred to as I-57) at Genoa Road in 1970

The Dan Ryan Expressway is a freeway in the city of Chicago that runs from the Circle Interchange with I-290 near downtown Chicago through the South Side of the city. It is designated as both Interstate 94 and Interstate 90 south to 66th Street, a distance of 7.44 miles (11.97 km). It then becomes just Interstate 94 at the split with the Chicago Skyway (which leads to Interstate 90), with a remaining distance of 4.03 miles (6.49 km). This is a total distance of 11.47 miles (18.5 km).[1] The freeway was named for Dan Ryan, Jr., a former president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners.

Route description[edit]

On an average day, up to 307,100 vehicles use a portion of the Dan Ryan (2005 data).[1] The Dan Ryan, and its North Side counterpart the Kennedy Expressway, are the busiest roads in the entire state of Illinois. Utilizing an express-local system, the Dan Ryan has fourteen lanes of traffic; seven in each direction, with four of those as express lanes and the other three providing access for exit and on-ramps. Despite its width, the Dan Ryan is prone to traffic jams.

The posted directions on the Dan Ryan are different from the actual compass direction of the expressway, which may cause confusion to many travelers. The Dan Ryan for its entire 12-mile (19 km) length runs north–south. However, the Dan Ryan is a part of the larger Interstates 90 and 94, which both run east–west through the United States. Therefore, one who is traveling "west" on I-90/94 is actually driving north on the Dan Ryan as it passes through Chicago; I-90 continues northwest from the Kennedy split, while I-94 runs north-south until the Marquette Interchange in Milwaukee. Similarly, "east" on 90 and 94 on the entire system is really south through Chicago; the interstates will continue on an easterly path outside of the city. Chicagoans also typically refer to the direction of travel as either "inbound" or "outbound" from the downtown area.

Four miles of continuous high-rise housing projects (Stateway Gardens and the Robert Taylor Homes) formerly ran parallel to the expressway on its eastern side from Cermak Road south to Garfield Boulevard. However, nearly all of these buildings have been demolished as part of the CHA's transformation plan.

The Red Line runs in the median of the Dan Ryan. This section of the Chicago 'L' opened on September 28, 1969. Chicago pioneered the location of rapid transit line in expressway medians, a practice that has since been followed in several other cities, such as Toronto, Pasadena, CA and Charlotte.[2]

The control cities for the Dan Ryan Expressway are Indiana and Chicago Loop.


The first segment of the Dan Ryan, opened on December 12, 1961 and ran between U.S. 12/20, 95th Street north to 71st in the Chicago's Grand Crossing neighborhood. It was named after the recently deceased Dan Ryan Jr., who was President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners who had worked to accelerate construction of Chicago-area expressways. A year later on December 15, 1962, the 8 mile stretch of the Dan Ryan between 71st Street and Interstate 90/Eisenhower Expressway (now signed as 290) opened to the public as well as a 0.2 mile stretch that connected it to the Bishop Ford Freeway. During the planning stages it was also known as the South Route Expressway.[3]

Northbound Dan Ryan Expressway near 51st Street
Expressway at night
View looking north towards the Chicago Loop from the Dan Ryan Expressway. 'L' tracks can be seen in the median.
Heavy traffic in 1973. Photo by John H. White.

In 1988-1989, the northern three miles (5 km) of the Dan Ryan, known as the Elevated Bridge, were completely reconstructed.[4]

In 2006 and 2007, the Illinois Department of Transportation reconstructed the entire length of the Dan Ryan Expressway, including the addition of a travel lane from 47th Street to 95th Street. The project was the largest expressway reconstruction plan in Chicago history. The total cost of the project was US$975 million, nearly twice the US$550 million original estimate for the project.[5][6]

Exit list[edit]

The entire route is in Chicago, Cook County.

mi km Exit Destinations Notes
I-90 west / I-94 west (Kennedy Expressway) – Wisconsin Continuation beyond I-290
51.8 83.4 51H
I-290 / IL 110 (CKC) west (Eisenhower Expressway) – West Suburbs
No exit number westbound
51.8 83.4 51I Congress Parkway (500 South) – Chicago Loop Signed as 51H eastbound
52.1 83.8 52A Taylor Street (1000 South), Roosevelt Road (1200 South) Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
52.3 84.2 52B Roosevelt Road (1200 South), Taylor Street (1000 South) Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
52.9 85.1 52C 18th Street Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
53.0 85.3 53A Canalport Avenue, Cermak Road (2200 South) Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
53.3 85.8 53 I-55 (Stevenson Expressway) – St. Louis, Lake Shore Drive Signed as exits 53B (south) and 53C (north) westbound
Western end of express lanes
53.8 86.6 53C Cermak Road (2200 South) Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
54.7 88.0 54 31st Street (3100 south)
55.2 88.8 55A 35th Street Guaranteed Rate Field, Illinois Institute of Technology
55.7 89.6 55B Pershing Road (3900 South)
56.2 90.4 56A 43rd Street
56.7 91.2 56B 47th Street (4700 south)
57.7 92.9 57 Garfield Boulevard (5500 South)
58.2 93.7 58A 59th Street Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
58.7 94.5 58B 63rd Street (6300 south) Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
59.0 95.0 59A I-90 east / Chicago Skyway to Indiana Toll Road Eastern end of I-90 concurrency; eastbound exit and westbound entrance
59.3 95.4 59B Marquette Road, 67th Street (6700 South) Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
Eastern end of express lanes
59.8 96.2 59C 71st Street (7100 south)
60.3 97.0 60A 75th Street Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
60.4 97.2 60B 76th Street Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
60.8 97.8 60C 79th Street (7900 south)
61.3 98.7 61A 83rd Street Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
61.8 99.5 61B 87th Street (8700 south)
62.8 101.1 62 US 12 / US 20 (95th Street) Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
63.17 101.66 63 I-57 south – Memphis Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
I-94 east (Bishop Ford Freeway) – Indiana Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b c Illinois Technology Transfer Center (2006). "T2 GIS Data". Archived from the original on August 10, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  2. ^ Thomas Buck (September 28, 1969). "Ryan rail service starts today". Chicago Tribune. 
  3. ^ "Daniel Ryan (obituary)". Cook County Highways: 3. April 1961. 
  4. ^ Hilkevitch, John. Buckle up, it looks like a long ride. Chicago Tribune. Published March 26, 2006. Retrieved March 26, 2006.
  5. ^ Haggerty, Ryan (2007-10-26). "All lanes will be open on the Dan Ryan". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2007-10-26. 
  6. ^ Tridgell, Guy (2007-10-18). "Falling gas prices won't stay". Daily Southtown. Retrieved 2007-10-25. [dead link]

External links[edit]

Route map: Google

KML is from Wikidata