Route 66 in Illinois


Chicago to Gardner:

The first of many, many brown signs that read: Historic Route Illinois US 66.  Picture taken the Loop. This is the famous Lou Mitchell's on Jackson Blvd. (EB Route 66).  Holy nuggets the food is good there, especially the banana pancakes I had.  Free Milk Duds to the ladies, too.  Even if you're not traveling the highway, eat breakfast here at least once in your life. 
This is what Adams looks like WB we continue to breeze through the city. After going through some questionable neighborhoods in Cicero, US 66 hits Harlem Ave near Riverside and Berwyn, where US 34 now begins.  US 34 is one of my favorite roads, and I could tell you why, but it would take too long.
The same intersection as before, but panned out.  You can see (if you look to the right side near the White Castle) that Berwyn has put up little Historic 66 flags that have the name Berwyn where there should be a state name in the old US shield. Route 66 follows IL 53 from Bolingbrook to Gardner after it hitches a ride with its replacement, I-55 (Stevenson Expy.).  It makes a left turn in Joliet, as seen in this pic.
This is from US 66/IL 53 South, Independence Blvd. just north of the downtown Joliet area.  This is the rather nice looking downtown area of Joliet, which used to be a separate little city, but now is just another suburb for the most part.
The bridge taking US 66 and IL 53 over the Des Plaines River in Joliet was being torn up, so we had to take a slight detour.  But we easily got back on track. This old, ratty BGS on Old 66 south of Joliet is interesting because it uses a control city of Gary Indiana (no comma).  Control cities for Eastbound I-80 are very inconsistent in Illinois.  The tollway consistently uses "Indiana" but you get all sorts of stuff from IDOT.
The Route 66 Speedway south of Joliet from Historic 66 and IL 53 SB.  It can get very loud in these parts with the drag races going on. South of Joliet, an old alignment just east of IL 53 exists.  It curves back around to 53 in two miles or so.
If you go straight, you end up in Nowhere, IL.  But if you take the right branch, you stick with old 66 WB (St. Louis-bound).  This is on the same old alignment as the previous pic. In Wilmington, Old 66 and IL 53 intersect IL 102 (where it ends).  This is right smack-dab downtown Wilmington.  Not too much here now.
Route 66 followed IL 129 and IL 53 south of Wilmington at some point, as IL 53 was the Business Route and IL 129 took the role of mainline.  This is at the intersection of IL 53 and IL 113.  IL 129 is immediately to the left of this picture, paralleling IL 53. There used to be a cool bridge I have only seen in pictures on IL 129.  But it was in serious disrepair and IDOT decided to demolish the bridge instead of rehab it.  So IL 129 was truncated to IL 113 and the bridge was destroyed.  I can't find my pictures of the site now, but will look for them as soon as I can and put them up.

Continue on to Gardner-Bloomington/Normal