Tollways and IDOT Expressways


I-88 (Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway, formerly East-West Tollway):

Interstate 88 was commissioned around 1990, and before that was called IL 5.  It stretches from Hillside, where it meets I-290, I-294 and IL 38 in what is known as the Hillside Strangler, all the way across the northern part of the state to Moline, IL.  IL 5 then continues as a surface-level expressway to Rock Island, IL.  All of I-88 in the Chicago area is tolled, and is currently 6 lanes with a jersey barrier, although construction started to widen it to 8 lanes in July 2004.  I can't update it regularly because I don't live there anymore.  Sad.  But I have some new pics of the construction from 2005!


I-88 WB after the York Toll Plaza in Oak Brook.  This exit is for IL 83 (Kingery Hwy.) and Cermak Rd (which is 22nd Street in DuPage County, but Cermak in Cook County).  The exit actually connects to Spring Rd., but that is unimportant in this case.  The Oak Brook Shopping Mall is at this exit. I-88 WB at Naperville Rd (DuPage CR 23).  Winfield Rd. (CR 13) is next, and it was the exit that took me to my house in Winfield.
EB I-88 at I-355 (North-South Tollway).  This is an interesting interchange, because I-355 parallels I-88 for a mile or so, so the South exit is here and the North exit is in a mile and a half.  This might help any confusion: I-88 is the nearest set of lanes, and the other set is I-355.  There is no division between the two tollways except a jersey barrier.
This is the exit from I-88 EB to I-355 NB, via the flyover ramp seen in the background of the previous picture.  Just east of the York Toll Plaza, I-290 and I-294 appear on BGSs.  I-88 will end in two miles at I-290 (Eisenhower Expy).  This is the upcoming Hillside Strangler. 
I-88 approaches its end at the Ike (I-290).  I think this is a pretty sign, so I snapped it.  You can tell how old this picture is by the fact that old IL license plates were in use, and the new ones took over in 2001. From 22nd Street in Oak Brook, this BGS has a control city or three for I-88.


I-88 WB scene just after crossing Yackley Ave.  Naperville Road is the next exit. I-88 WB at Naperville Road.  This picture should look familiar if you saw the pictures above.
Three lanes remain open at all times, but it's squishy. My old exit.
Wow, what are they doing to Route 59's ramps?  They've built new offices at this interchange since I moved. Yeah right.  It took Ricky like 15-20 minutes to get to DeKalb from here.
A pretty I-88 shield. Coming up on the Aurora toll plaza.
Since this plaza had an I-PASS express lane, it wasn't too hard to convert it to Open-Road Tolling, and thus, it is the first completed plaza.  There are brand new signs in place, so I took a picture of them. I don't think the $ symbol rubs me right.  I miss my pastels (see the I-355 page for explanation).
Just west of the toll plaza. Ruralness abounds.
Just before Orchard Road, another variable message system tells us to be alert for the next 30 miles (there is bridge work being done). IL 56 is the only state route in IL that accompanies the tollway for any length.  It runs from IL 31 in Aurora to right here, where it branches off to become its own freeway (an old leg of the tollway) to Sugar Grove and IL 47/US 30.
Speed increases to 65 m.p.h. because there's nothing out here.  It should be 70, if you ask me. The newly renovated De Kalb Oasis.
Annie Glidden Road runs past IL 23/IL 38 and goes all the way north to Wisconsin. Tolls used to be 55 cents and now are $1.10.
My destination for the weekend. A toll plaza on Annie Glidden Road.
Look at those funky shields!  Look like they are BGS shields and were just used as stand alones. De Kalb welcomes me.
Annie Glidden goes under railroad tracks before popping up into downtown De Kalb. IL 38 is known as Lincoln Hwy. in this town.  It is Roosevelt Road in Winfield, where I am from.
Huskie water tower.  


 I-355 (North-South Tollway):

I-355 is a short tollway, running from I-290 near Wooddale Mall to I-55 in Bolingbrook.  However, its new end will be further south at I-80 east of Joliet.  That's a welcome addition if you ask me, that will ease the trip to Indiana from the western burbs.  Soon we won't have to go through downtown Chicago to get to points east.  These pics were taken in 2005 courtesy of my friend Ricky's ride.

North I-355 shield. Tolls have doubled since I've been here.  Unless you have I-PASS.
We've barely been on the road and already there's a toll plaza ahead, which is under construction to make it Open-Road Tolling.  I-PASS users won't have to stop to pay tolls but everyone else will have to exit the roadway to pay. The only thing that stinks about this new project is that my pastel toll plaza signs (blue for I-PASS, purple for coins, and pink for cash) are now history.
My home county. This is an Open-Road Tolling diagram.
The toll plaza looks kinda wimpy now, but soon there will be 3 high-speed lanes on the left and this will be all coin and cash machines. Construction just north of the plaza.
NB I-355 at 75th Street. Coming up on I-88, which is the Reagan Tollway, but still says E-W Tollway.  Sigh... It'll always be the E-W Tollway to me...
Is this really pertinent information to be putting out on the highways?  Now if it were the Cubs... An I-355 shield just before the I-88 interchange.
Want to go to Aurora or Chicago?  I'll take Aurora please.  



I-294 (Tri-State Tollway):

I-294 is known as the Tri-State and is quite busy.  It is the main thoroughfare to get to O'Hare for anyone in the North, West, or South Burbs.  It runs from I-80/94 in Lansing south of the city to where I-94 usurps the Tri-State designation in Deerfield.  Pics from 2002.  

I-294 NB on the Cook-DuPage County Line on a beautiful day in Chicagoland.  I-294 is 8 lanes from O'Hare Int'l Airport southward until who knows where in the Southwest Burbs. I-294 NB approaching I-90 and I-190 near O'Hare.  I-90 is the Northwest Tollway to the west of the Tri-State and the Kennedy Expressway east into Chicago.
I-294 is off to the left, and the ramp to I-90/I-190 splits ahead.  Near O'Hare. I-294 SB at IL 19, Irving Park Rd, just south of the Irving Park Toll Plaza.  Irving Park goes from Elgin to the Lake as IL 19, one of the only remaining IL Routes still signed in the downtown part of the city.  IL 64 (North Ave.) is the other.
On a nicer day, I-294 SB at I-290 WB.  I-290 parallels I-294 sort of like I-355 does I-88 for a few miles.  It then heads east into Chicago and west out to Schaumburg.  Tri-State NB at the Stevenson Expy. (I-55) near Countryside and Burr Ridge.  The Hinsdale Oasis is just ahead, and along with the rest of them, are undergoing reconstruction in 2004.
Mileage signs for the Western Burbs' expressway system.  I-55 in 17 miles, I-88 in 23, and I-290 in 25. From the exit from I-88 EB to I-294 NB, you encounter this sign that has an exit to I-290 to Rockford.

I-90 (Chicago Skyway):

The Skyway is a 7-mile-long bridge that connects the Dan Ryan Expressway to the Indiana E-W Toll Road.  It is below interstate standard, but I-90 should be on the road.  It is really not that bad of a road and should be I-90 anyway.  It's also always under construction.  Pics from 2002.

A really old sign on the outbound (Eastbound) Ryan Expy. (I-90/94) showing the split of the two interstates.  The Ryan continues south to Calumet City and the Skyway begins here, turning into the Indiana Toll Road 7 miles ahead. This BGS is technically incorrect as it shows the Skyway as I-90.  But the Skyway is below interstate standard and is signed "To I-90" throughout.
See? Here's what the Skyway looks like.  An elevated 7-mile expressway.  The bridge ahead gives a spectacular view of the city to the left and to the right, a spectacular view of ugly industry.
Climbing the bridge.  The Skyway is in a perpetual state of construction, so this is the 2002 view.  The 2004 view has a bit more orange. The last sign bridge on the Skyway eastbound.  The Indiana line is just ahead.

I-55 (Stevenson Expressway):

The Stevenson starts somewhere between I-355 in Bolingbrook and I-294 near Countryside.  Who knows where exactly?  Not me.  It is one of the few interstates that don't end at another interstate, as I-55 ends at US 41 in Chicago near McCormick Place.  The southern end of I-55 is at I-10 near New Orleans.


Too bad this truck got in the way of the greatest city on Earth.  From the inbound Stevenson. Inbound Stevenson at the Ryan.  I-55 continues past I-90/94 for about a mile and a half before it ends at Lake Shore Drive, US 41.
Inbound Stevenson at the exit for I-90/94 West to Wisconsin.  


I came back to Chicago in October 2005, and flew into Midway, where my friend Ricky picked me up.  So here's the Stevenson in Chicago just south of the Midway exit. The Stevenson at US 12-20-45, LaGrange Road.
It says Kingery Road, but it's really Kingery Highway.  This is in DuPage County now. Cass Ave, which heads north to become Midwest Road in Oak Brook and Summit Ave. in Lombard.
Approaching I-355, which is being extended southward to I-80 as we speak. South I-55.  Is this the Stevenson Expy. here or not?  Who knows?

I-94 (Tri-State Tollway):

I-94 is mostly north-south in the state of Illinois.  It comes into Illinois from Wisconsin as the Tri-State Tollway and then splits off to the east at I-294, called the Edens Spur.  The Edens Spur is really part of the Tri-State.  But the Tri-State continues on I-294 and I-94 becomes the Edens Expy. into Chicago.  Pics from 2002.

I-94 inbound (EB) approaching I-294.  This is where the Edens Spur splits off to the left, carrying I-94 and the Tri-State continues on I-294. Notice that I-94 is signed as the Edens Expy. in the left BGS.  Lake-Cook Road is the County Line road for the two counties it is named after.
This sign is from Half Day Rd, IL 22, and shows I-94 East as I-94 South.  Technically, the sign is correct because the Tri-State is a N-S highway.  

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