U.S. Route 51 in Illinois

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U.S. Route 51 marker

U.S. Route 51
Route information
Maintained by IDOT
Length: 415.95 mi[1] (669.41 km)
Length may include both directions of route where it is routed along one-way streets.
Major junctions
South end: US 51 / US 60 / US 62 near Wickliffe, KY
 

I-57 near Cairo
I-64 near Richview
I-70 at Vandalia
I-72 at Decatur
I-39 / I-55 / I-74 at Bloomington/Normal
I-80 at La Salle
I-88 at Rochelle
I-90 at Rockford

I-39 / I-90 at South Beloit
North end: US 51 at the Wisconsin state line in South Beloit
Highway system
IL 50 US 52

U.S. Route 51 (US 51) in the U.S. state of Illinois, is a main north–south artery that runs from the Ohio River north to the Wisconsin border, a distance of 415.95 miles (669.41 km).[1]

Route description[edit]

U.S. Route 51 enters Illinois from Kentucky at the town of Cairo. The route heads northbound to a village near Cairo called Mounds, and begins to overlap I-57, following it for 24 miles (39 km) to Dongola, before splitting and heading north. The route remains two lanes from Dongola to Assumption with the exception of a 10-mile (16 km) section between Centralia and I-64.

Past Assumption, US 51 becomes an expressway to Decatur. In Decatur, US 51 follows I-72 to bypass town. US 51 leaves I-72 after eight miles (13 km), and heads north to BloomingtonNormal as an expressway. At Bloomington–Normal, US 51 follows I-74 for a mile, then I-55 for seven miles (11 km), before following I-39 for 140 miles (230 km).

US 51 follows I-39, intersecting I-80 and I-88 along the way. The highway also follows US 20 south of Rockford (while still following I-39). I-39/US 51 joins I-90, making US 51 of the only toll roads in Illinois that is a U.S. Highway. US 51 exits I-39/I-90 just a mile south of the Wisconsin state line. US 51 follows Illinois Route 75 (IL 75) west to the intersection of IL 251, then turns north through South Beloit to enter Wisconsin.

History[edit]

US 51 was established in Illinois in the 1920s. Over the years, it became a heavily traveled road, often experiencing many accidents, particularly in the northern half of the state. The road gained the reputation "Killer 51". As a result of these impacts, Illinois pushed for a new four lane highway along the corridor. One was proposed in the 1960s and 1970s as part of a proposed supplemental freeway system, but only the area between Rockford and Decatur was prioritized.[2]

In the 1980s and early 1990s, US 51 was built to Interstate Highway standards between Rockford and BloomingtonNormal on a new alignment. This new road became Interstate 39, and US 51 was re-routed onto the new highway. Additionally, north of Rockford, it was re-routed onto the existing Interstate 90 tollway segment between South Beloit and Cherry Valley. Most of the old alignment became Illinois Route 251.

South of Bloomington–Normal to Decatur, US 51 remained largely on the original alignment and was expanded to an expressway. Further continuation of the expressway occurred in the 2000s, when the highway was upgraded south from Decatur to Assumption.

Future[edit]

Plans are underway to continue the US 51 expressway south of Assumption to Centralia.[3] An environmental impact statement is currently being prepared. However, construction funding remains elusive.

Major intersections[edit]

County Location mi[4] km Exit Destinations Notes
Alexander Cairo 0.0 0.0 US 51 south / US 60 east / US 62 east – Wickliffe US 51/US 60/US 62 continue into Kentucky
0.2 0.32 US 60 west / US 62 west – Charleston Northern end of US 60/US 62 concurrency
4.5 7.2 IL 37 north – Mound City Southern terminus of IL 37
5.3 8.5 1 I-57 south / IL 3 north – Olive Branch, Memphis Southern end of I-57 concurrency; southern terminus of IL 3
Pulaski 11.4 18.3 8 Mounds Road
21.4 34.4 18 Ullin Road
Union Dongola 28.2 45.4 24 Dongola Road
28.8 46.3 25 I-57 north – Chicago Northern end of I-57 concurrency; northbound exit and southbound entrance
Anna 36.0 57.9 IL 146 – Jonesboro, Vienna
Jackson Carbondale 55.0 88.5 IL 13 – Murphysboro, Marion
De Soto 61.3 98.7 IL 149 – Murphysboro, Hurst
Perry Du Quoin 72.4 116.5 IL 14 east – Christopher Western terminus of IL 14
75.5 121.5 IL 152 west – Pyatts Eastern terminus of IL 152
Sunfield 80.4 129.4 IL 154 – Red Bud, Sesser
Washington Ashley 98.0 157.7 IL 15 west – East St. Louis Western end of IL 15 concurrency
100.9 162.4 IL 15 east – Mount Vernon Eastern end of IL 15 concurrency
Richview 105.7 170.1 I-64 – St. Louis, Louisville Exit 61 on I-64
Irvington 109.6 176.4 IL 177 west – Belleville Western terminus of IL 177
Marion Centralia 116.2 187.0 IL 161 – New Baden, Kell
Sandoval 122.7 197.5 US 50 west – Carlyle Western end of US 50 concurrency
123.0 197.9 US 50 east – Salem Eastern end of US 50 concurrency
Fayette Vandalia 146.9 236.4 US 40 east / IL 185 east – Bluff City Eastern end of US 40/IL 185 concurrency
148.5 239.0 US 40 west / IL 185 west – Taylor Springs, Mulberry Grove Western end of US 40/IL 185 concurrency
148.7 239.3 I-70 – St. Louis, Indianapolis Exit 63 on I-70
Christian Pana 178.1 286.6 IL 16 west Western end of IL 16 concurrency
178.6 287.4 IL 29 north Southern terminus of IL 29
180.2 290.0 IL 16 east Eastern end of IL 16 concurrency
Macon 207.3 333.6
US 51 Bus. north
211.2 339.9 IL 48
Harristown 214.7 345.5 133 I-72 west / US 36 – Springfield, Tuscola Southern end of I-72 concurrency; signed as exits 133A (east) and 133B (south)
Decatur 219.2 352.8 138 IL 121 – Decatur, Lincoln
222.2 357.6 141
I-72 east / US 51 Bus. south – Champaign, Urbana, Decatur
Northern end of I-72 concurrency
DeWitt Clinton 237.9 382.9
US 51 Bus. north – Clinton
239.5 385.4 IL 54
240.0 386.2 IL 10
242.0 389.5
US 51 Bus. south – Clinton
McLean Heyworth 251.9 405.4 US 136 – McLean, Rantoul
260.5 419.2 135
I-74 east / US 51 Bus. north (Main Street) – Indianapolis, Bloomington
Southern end of I-74 concurrency
262.2 422.0 157A I-55 south – St. Louis Southern end of I-55 concurrency
Bloomington 262.4 422.3 157B I-55 Bus. north (Veterans Parkway) Signed as exit 134B (north) southbound
265.5 427.3 160 US 150 / IL 9 (Market Street) – Pekin
269.1 433.1 163 I-74 west – Peoria Northern end of I-74 concurrency
270.3 435.0 164 I-39 north / I-55 north – Chicago Northern end of I-55 concurrency; southern end of I-39 concurrency; southern terminus of I-39
272.1 437.9 2
US 51 Bus. south – Bloomington, Normal
Hudson 275.2 442.9 5 Hudson
278.3 447.9 8 IL 251 (Lake Bloomington Road)
Woodford El Paso 284.9 458.5 14 US 24 – El Paso, Peoria
Woodford 292.9 471.4 22 IL 116 – Peoria, Pontiac
Minonk 297.5 478.8 27 Minonk
Marshall Wenona 305.6 491.8 35 IL 17 – Lacon, Wenona
LaSalle Lostant 312.2 502.4 41 IL 18 – Henry, Streator
Tonica 319.2 513.7 48 Tonica
322.3 518.7 51 IL 71 – Hennepin, Oglesby
323.0 519.8 52 IL 251 – Peru, LaSalle
Oglesby 324.4 522.1 54 Oglesby
Illinois River 326.5 525.5 Abraham Lincoln Memorial Bridge
La Salle 327.3 526.7 57 US 6 – LaSalle, Peru, Ottawa
329.6 530.4 59 I-80 – LaSalle, Peru, Chicago, Des Moines Signed as exits 59A (east) and 59B (west)
Troy Grove 336.8 542.0 66 US 52 – Troy Grove
Mendota 342.7 551.5 72 US 34 – Mendota, Earlville
Lee Paw Paw 353.1 568.3 82 Paw Paw
357.9 576.0 87 US 30 – Sterling, Rock Falls, Aurora
Steward 363.9 585.6 93 Steward
Ogle Rochelle 368.0 592.2 97 I-88 / IL 110 (Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway) – Moline, Rock Island, Chicago Signed as exits 97A (east) and 97B (west)
370.1 595.6 99 IL 38 – DeKalb, Rochelle
375.1 603.7 104 IL 64 – Sycamore, Oregon
Monroe Center 381.6 614.1 111 IL 72 – Genoa, Byron
Winnebago 386.1 621.4 115 Baxter Road
Rockford 390.2 628.0 US 20 west – Freeport, Rockford Southern end of US 20 concurrency, I-39/US 51 southbound exits US 20 via exit 97
Cherry Valley 392.7 632.0 122A US 20 east – Belvidere Northern end of US 20 concurrency
392.7 632.0 122B Harrison Avenue
393.4 633.1 17 I-90 east (Jane Addams Memorial Tollway) – Chicago Southern end of I-90 concurrency; I-39/US 51 uses I-90's exit numbers from here north
Rockford 395.1 635.9 15
US 20 Bus. (State Street)
Last free exit northbound
398.4 641.2 12 Riverside Boulevard Toll on northbound exit and southbound entrance
Machesney Park 401.9 646.8 9 IL 173 (West Lane Road) Toll on northbound exit and southbound entrance
Rockton 407.3 655.5 South Beloit Toll Plaza
South Beloit 408.1 656.8 3 Rockton Road (CR 9) Last free exit southbound
414.0 666.3 1 I-39 north / I-90 west / IL 75 east – South Beloit, Madison Northern end of I-39/I-90 concurrency; eastern end of IL 75 concurrency
415.6 668.8 IL 75 west / IL 251 south – Freeport, Rockford Western end of IL 75 concurrency; northern terminus of IL 251
415.95 669.41 US 51 north – Beloit Continuation into Wisconsin
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Illinois Technology Transfer Center (2007). "T2 GIS Data". Illinois Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 8, 2007. 
  2. ^ "Illinois Supplemental Freeway system proposal" (PDF). Retrieved February 17, 2015. 
  3. ^ "US 51 Environmental Impact Statement". Illinois Department of Transportation. Retrieved February 17, 2015. 
  4. ^ Google (March 19, 2017). "Overview Map of US 51" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved March 19, 2017. 

External links[edit]


U.S. Route 51
Previous state:
Kentucky
Illinois Next state:
Wisconsin