|Maintained by IDOT|
|Length||294.38 mi (473.76 km)|
|South end||I-55 / I-64 / US 40 at East St. Louis|
|North end||US 41 in Chicago|
|Counties||St. Clair, Madison, Macoupin, Montgomery, Sangamon, Logan, McLean, Livingston, Grundy, Will, DuPage, Cook|
Interstate 55 (I-55) is a major north–south Interstate Highway in the US state of Illinois that connects St. Louis, Missouri, to the Chicago metropolitan area. It enters the state from Missouri near East St. Louis, Illinois, and runs to U.S. Route 41 (US 41, Lake Shore Drive) near Downtown Chicago, where the highway ends, a distance of 294.38 miles (473.76 km). The road also runs through the Illinois cities of Springfield, Bloomington, and Joliet. The section in Cook County is officially named the Stevenson Expressway, and in DuPage County its officially named the Joliet Freeway or the Will Rogers Freeway. The section from the south suburbs of Chicago to the area near Pontiac is officially named the Barack Obama Presidential Expressway after the 44th President, Barack Obama, who launched his political career from Illinois.
I-55 within Illinois carries heavy traffic, with an average of more than 20,000 vehicles per day for most of its length. Significant portions of I-55 contain six lanes (three lanes in each direction) and are heavily used by commuters. I-55 in Illinois begins in East St. Louis on the Poplar Street Bridge over the Mississippi River at the Missouri state line and runs southwest to northeast through the state, ending in Chicago at US 41 (Lake Shore Drive). Along the way, it goes through four metropolitan areas in the state: the Illinois portion of the St. Louis metropolitan area, the Springfield metropolitan area, the Bloomington–Normal metropolitan area, and the Chicago metropolitan area (also known as Chicagoland).
I-55 enters Illinois on the Poplar Street Bridge from Missouri, running concurrently with I-64 and US 40. The highway meets Illinois Route 3 (IL 3) at a series of complex interchanges. IL 3 joins I-55/I-64/US 40 for approximately two miles (3.2 km). Still in East St. Louis, I-64 and IL 3 leave I-55/US 40, while the current routing of I-70 joins the pair. The three routes continue north-northeast, intersecting the southern terminus of IL 203 near Granite City, IL 111 near Fairmont Park, I-255 and IL 157 in Collinsville, and IL 159 in Maryville.
Approximately two miles (3.2 km) after the IL 159 interchange, US 40 leaves I-55/I-70. After an interchange with IL 162 in Troy, I-70 heads east toward Effingham. At the same interchange, I-270 intersects I-55 and ends. On its way further north, I-55 intersects IL 143 near Edwardsville, IL 140 in Hamel, IL 4 south of Livingston, local roads that connect to Livingston and Staunton, and IL 138 near White City. About eight miles (13 km) further north, I-55 intersects IL 16 at a larger interchange to the west of Litchfield. It then goes another eight miles (13 km) before meeting the eastern terminus of IL 108 to the east of Carlinville. Continuing along, it meets the southern and northern termini of IL 48 and IL 127 west of Raymond, local roads to Farmersville and Divernon, IL 104 near Auburn, and two local roads to Glenarm and Chatham. At the East Lake Drive interchange, I-55 crosses over Lake Springfield into Springfield proper.
I-55 enters Springfield at an interchange with Toronto Road. About two miles (3.2 km) further north, it meets I-72 and US 36 to form a six-mile (9.7 km) concurrency that skirts the southern and eastern edges of the city. At the same interchange, it meets the southern end of I-55 Business (I-55 Bus.). I-55/I-72/US 36 has two interchanges while on the concurrency: Stevenson Drive/East Lake Drive and IL 29. Two miles (3.2 km) north, I-72 and US 36 head east toward Decatur and Champaign. At this interchange, I-55 intersects IL 97, which leads to downtown Springfield. I-55 then crosses the western terminus of IL 54 (old US 54). Five miles (8.0 km) further north, it meets the northern terminus of I-55 Bus., effectively leaving Springfield.
From Springfield to Chicago, I-55 follows a northeast–southwest path. In Williamsville, it meets IL 123 near its eastern terminus. It crosses two local roads, providing access to Elkhart and Broadwell before heading north into Lincoln. In Lincoln, I-55 meets the southern terminus of the second I-55 Bus. It then heads due north to intersect IL 10 and the northern terminus of IL 121. One mile (1.6 km) north, it meets the southern terminus of I-155. At this interchange, it heads due east to meet the northern terminus of I-55 Bus. before resuming its northeasterly–southwesterly course through northern Illinois. I-55 meets an interchange with a local road leading to Atlanta, US 136 in McLean, and another local road near Shirley before entering the Bloomington–Normal area.
Once entering Bloomington, I-55 forms a complex interchange with the southern terminus of the final I-55 Bus. to the north and I-74/US 51 to the east. At this interchange, I-74 and US 51 overlap I-55 around the western edge of the cities. The highway has one interchange at US 150 and IL 9. I-74 splits from I-55/US 51 three miles (4.8 km) further north to head toward Peoria and the Moline–Rock Island area. Less than one mile (1.6 km) east, US 51 splits from I-55 to follow I-39 toward the LaSalle–Peru area and toward Rockford. Before leaving Bloomington–Normal, I-55 has two more interchanges with US 51 Business (US 51 Bus.) and I-55 Bus.
From Bloomington to Joliet, I-55 continues its northeasterly–southwesterly trek while skirting the western edges of various towns along the way. It meets local roads connecting Towanda and Lexington, US 24 in Chenoa, IL 116 and IL 23 in Pontiac, a local road to Odell, IL 17 and IL 47 in Dwight, and IL 53 in Gardner.
I-55 starts showing hints of entering the Chicago metropolitan area after the IL 53 interchange. It passes through Forest Preserve areas between Gardner and Joliet. After IL 53, I-55 intersects a local road and IL 113 near Braidwood and meets a partial interchange at IL 129; drivers who want to access IL 129 from southbound I-55 can connect via IL 113. Continuing north, I-55 intersects local roads in industrial areas before entering Channahon. It has two interchanges with Bluff Road and US 6. Two miles (3.2 km) north, it meets I-80, which forms the boundary of Channahon and Joliet.
From I-80, I-55 enters the Joliet area by means of Shorewood, with a partial interchange at IL 59 and a full interchange with US 52. It enters Joliet proper with an interchange at US 30. It then connects with IL 126 near Plainfield, forming a partial interchange, then enters the Bolingbrook–Romeoville area, meeting interchanges at Weber Road and IL 53 again.
On the border of Romeoville and Lemont, I-55 meets I-355 and a former routing of US 66 at a large, complex interchange. It then meets Lemont Road near Lemont, Cass Avenue and IL 83 near Darien, and County Line Road in Burr Ridge. It enters another large, complex interchange with I-294 and another former routing of US 66 in Indian Head Park. Further east, it meets a large interchange with US 12/US 20/US 45 south of Countryside. About three miles (4.8 km) northeast, it meets a rather large interchange with IL 171 and an interchange with IL 43, both near Summit. After the IL 43 interchange, I-55 enters Chicago.
From IL 43, I-55 meets various city streets (also including one interchange with IL 50, which leads to Midway International Airport) before reaching I-90/I-94 (also known locally as the Dan Ryan Expressway) approximately a mile (1.6 km) west of its terminus. North of I-90/I-94, I-55 intersects various city streets at partial interchanges before reaching its national northern terminus at US 41 (Lake Shore Drive).
I-55 in Illinois is the fourth road to connect St. Louis and Chicago. The first was the Pontiac Trail in 1915. This was largely improved and paved as the new IL 4 by 1924. In 1926, IL 4 was designated as the route of the new US 66, and a new section of US 66 was built to bypass slower sections of IL 4 south of Springfield by 1930. Through the 1950s, US 66 was continually widened, straightened, and improved to handle its growing traffic, until its entire length was four lanes wide by 1957.
The roots of I-55 could be traced back to the need of a national highway system. President Dwight D. Eisenhower saw the need of a national network of highways that would help with the mobilization of the army. He had been impressed with the autobahn he saw in Germany during World War II. In 1956, he signed the Federal Aid Highway Act into existence. Although the act provided for a highway replacing US 66, it was spared destruction for a while because of it being more modern than other routes at the time. Illinois would build its first new Interstate Highways on other routes, such as I-80, I-57, and I-70, before turning its attention once again to the St. Louis–Chicago route.
However, during the 1970s, US 66 was finally replaced by I-55 as the fourth St. Louis–Chicago highway, serving most of the same communities along the way as the original Pontiac Trail. It was built in sections across Illinois, often on the original US 66 roadbed. A common construction tactic, where US 66 was already four lanes wide, was to build new southbound lanes for I-55 west of the original road, then rebuild the original southbound lanes of US 66 to be the new northbound lanes for I-55, leaving the original northbound lanes of old US 66 as a two-way frontage road. One can find many signs posted for Historic US 66, especially where it deviates from I-55.
The earliest stretch of I-55 was a portion of US 66 which had already been built as a freeway between Gardner and I-294 (Tri-State Tollway) in Indian Head Park, and which was added to the Interstate System by simply erecting new signs in 1960. Later portions of the highway were built in the 1960s between East St. Louis and Hamel, as bypasses of Springfield and Bloomington-Normal. The rest of the road was completed in the 1970s.
The Stevenson Expressway opened on October 24, 1964, as the Southwest Expressway. It was renamed after Adlai Stevenson II, the former governor of Illinois, on September 1, 1965, a month and a half after his death. The Stevenson's original termini were US 66 in DuPage County to the west and the Dan Ryan Expressway to the east.
In 1999–2000, the expressway was completely rebuilt from Central Avenue north to Lake Shore Drive, including the ramps to the Dan Ryan. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) was criticized at the time for not adding a fourth lane in each direction to the highway.
In 2017, the Illinois General Assembly voted to rename approximately 70 miles (110 km) of I-55 from the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) to Pontiac in honor of Barack Obama.
Because of the heavy traffic on I-55, IDOT spends millions of dollars per year maintaining the roadway, adding lanes, and replacing bridges to increase the capacity of the highway.
In northeastern Illinois near Joliet, a widening project that expanded I-55 from two to three lanes in each direction between I-80 (exit 250) and Weber Road (exit 263) was completed on October 29, 2008.
In the 2000s, the Damen Avenue (exit 290) and Pulaski Road (exit 287) interchanges were rebuilt as a single-point urban interchange (SPUI) configuration; in 2014, reconstruction as a SPUI was completed for the Central Avenue (exit 285) interchange. In November 2011, IDOT started a two-year pilot project, allowing Pace bus routes 755 and 855 to ride on the dedicated shoulder lanes in a given time. This bus on shoulder service consisted of three sections: from I-355 to County Line Road, I-294 to IL 50, and IL 50 to Kedzie Avenue. In the latter half of 2014, then-Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill which made the I-55 bus on shoulder service permanent. It also allow Pace to expand its bus on shoulder service within and outside I-55. The Arsenal Road (exit 245) interchange was under complete rebuilding and reconfiguration as of 2012[update], and the deteriorated overpass at IL 129 (exit 238) was removed in 2012 in anticipation of future construction of a full interchange, temporarily leaving the IL 129 interchange with only a northbound exit and northbound entrance.
At St. Louis, the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge carrying I-70 across the Mississippi River, and costing $667 million (equivalent to $731 million in 2020), was completed in 2014 to relieve congestion on I-55's Poplar Street Bridge.
Between late 2015 and late 2017, the US 41 (Lake Shore Drive) interchange was being reconstructed to widen two I-55 offramps and its interchange approach.
In early 2016, Governor Bruce Rauner, as well as IDOT, made a proposal to explore expanding a portion of I-55 (from I-355 to I-90/I-94) by adding an additional lane in each direction to ease congestion. Under their proposal, toll lanes would be constructed and operated through a potential public–private partnership. Noise walls would also be constructed as part of the project.
I-55 south / I-64 west / US 40 west – St. Louis
|Continuation into Missouri|
|Poplar Street Bridge|
|St. Clair||East St. Louis||0.6||0.97||1|
IL 3 south / Great River Road – Cahokia
|Southern end of IL 3/GRR concurrency; exit includes direct exit ramp onto 13th Street / Tudor Avenue|
|0.9||1.4||2A||Third Street – Eads Bridge, Casino Queen||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|1.3||2.1||2B-C||Martin Luther King Bridge – Downtown St. Louis||Signed as exits 2B (left exit) and 2C (right exit); no northbound exits|
I-64 east / IL 3 north (St. Clair Avenue) – Louisville
|Northern end of I-64/IL 3 concurrency; I-64 exit 3A|
I-70 west – Kansas City
|Southern end of I-70 concurrency; southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|2.98||4.80||3C||Southbound exit and northbound entrance; access to Emerson Park MetroLink station|
|Fairmont City||3.99||6.42||4||IL 203 (Collinsville Road) – Fairmont City, Granite City, Madison||Signed as exits 4A (south) & 4B (north) southbound; access to Gateway Motorsports Park|
IL 111 / Great River Road north – Wood River, Washington Park, Pontoon Beach, Fairmont City
|Northern end of GRR concurrency; access to Horseshoe Lake State Park and Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site|
|Collinsville||8.84||14.23||9||Black Lane||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|9.86||15.87||10||I-255 – Interstate 270, Memphis||I-255 exit 25; access Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, Fairmount Race Track, and Our Lady of the Snows Shrine|
|11.00||17.70||11||IL 157 (Bluff Road) – Collinsville, Edwardsville, Glen Carbon||Access to Illinois State District 11 Headquarters, Convention Center, and Our Lady of the Snows Shrine|
|Maryville||14.55||23.42||15||IL 159 – Collinsville, Maryville||Signed as exits 15A (south) & 15B (north)|
US 40 east – St. Jacob, Highland
|Northern end of US 40 concurrency|
|17.91||28.82||18||IL 162 – Troy|
|Pin Oak Township||19.08||30.71||20A|
I-70 east – Indianapolis
|Northern end of I-70 concurrency|
I-270 west – Kansas City
|I-270 exit 15|
|Edwardsville||22.39||36.03||23||IL 143 – Edwardsville, Marine|
|Hamel||29.57||47.59||30||IL 140 – Alton, Greenville, Hamel|
|Olive Township||33.15||53.35||33||IL 4 – Staunton, Lebanon, Worden|
|Livingston||36.71||59.08||37||New Douglas Road / Nicholls Street – Livingston, New Douglas|
|White City||44.05||70.89||44||IL 138 – Mount Olive, Benld, White City|
|Montgomery||Litchfield||52.35||84.25||52||IL 16 – Gillespie, Litchfield, Hillsboro, Mattoon|
IL 108 west – Carlinville
|Eastern terminus of IL 108|
|63.02||101.42||63||IL 48 / IL 127 – Raymond, Taylorville, Hillsboro||Western terminus of IL 48/IL 127|
|Bois D'Arc Township||71.51||115.08||72||Farmersville, Girard (CR 17)|
|Divernon Township||81.53||131.21||82||IL 104 – Pawnee, Auburn|
|Ball Township||83.35||134.14||83||Glenarm||Former Historic US 66|
|Springfield||88.26||142.04||88||East Lake Shore Drive – Chatham|
Historic US 66 east / I-55 BL north (6th Street)
|Left exit northbound|
I-72 / US 36 west – Jacksonville, Quincy
|Southern end of I-72/US 36 concurrency; left exit northbound|
|94.42||151.95||94||Stevenson Drive / East Lake Shore Drive|
IL 29 south – Taylorville
IL 29 north (South Grand Avenue)
I-72 / US 36 east – Decatur, Champaign, Urbana
|Northern end of I-72/US 36 concurrency|
IL 97 west (Clear Lake Avenue)
IL 54 east / Sangamon Avenue – Clinton
|Cloverleaf interchange; signed as exits 100A (IL 54) & 100B (Sangamon Ave.); former US 54; serves Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport|
I-55 BL south / Historic US 66 west – Sherman
|Southern end of Historic US 66 concurrency; access to Wolf Creek Road and Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport|
IL 123 west / Historic US 66 east – Williamsville, Petersburg
|Northern end of Historic US 66 concurrency|
|Logan||Elkhart||114.56||184.37||115||Elkhart (CR 10)|
|Broadwell Township||119.42||192.19||119||Broadwell (CR 22)|
I-55 BL north (Lincoln Parkway) – Lincoln
|West Lincoln Township||125.78||202.42||126|
IL 121 south / IL 10 – Lincoln, Mason City
|Northern terminus of IL 121; serves Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital|
I-155 north – Peoria, Hartsburg
|Left exit and entrance northbound; southern terminus of I-155; I-155 exit 0|
|East Lincoln Township||132.21||212.77||133|
I-55 BL south (Historic US 66) – Lincoln, Lawndale
|Atlanta Township||139.81||225.00||140||Atlanta, Lawndale|
|McLean||McLean||144.68||232.84||145||US 136 – McLean, Heyworth, Funks Grove|
I-74 east / US 51 south – Decatur, Indianapolis
I-55 BL north (Veterans Parkway)
|Left exit and entrance southbound; signed as exits 157A (I-74/US 51) and 157B (I-55 BL) northbound, no exit number southbound; southern end of I-74/US 51 concurrency|
|159.69||257.00||160||US 150 / IL 9 (Market Street) – Pekin|
I-74 west – Peoria
|Northern end of I-74 concurrency; I-74 exit 127|
I-39 north / US 51 north – Rockford
|Northern end of US 51 concurrency; southern terminus of I-39|
US 51 Bus. – Bloomington, Normal
|Signed as exits 165A (south) & 165B (north) northbound|
I-55 BL south (Veterans Parkway) – Central Illinois Regional Airport
|Towanda||170.99||275.18||171||Towanda (CR 29)|
|Lexington||178.29||286.93||178||Lexington (CR 8)|
|Chenoa||186.60||300.30||187||US 24 – Chenoa, El Paso|
|Livingston||Pontiac||196.62||316.43||197||IL 116 – Flanagan, Pontiac|
|200.46||322.61||201||IL 23 – Pontiac, Streator||To IL 170|
|Odell Township||209.03||336.40||209||Odell (CR 1)|
|Dwight Township||217.02||349.26||217||IL 17 (Mazon Avenue) – Streator, Kankakee|
|Grundy||Goodfarm Township||219.91||353.91||220||IL 47 (Union Street) – Dwight, Morris|
IL 53 north – Gardner
|Southern terminus of IL 53|
|Braidwood||233.42||375.65||233||Reed Road – Braidwood|
|Will||Braidwood–Diamond line||235.63||379.21||236||IL 113 – Coal City, Kankakee|
IL 129 south – Braidwood, Wilmington
|Northbound exit and entrance; northern terminus of IL 129|
|240.97||387.80||241||N. River Road (CR 44 east)|
|Channahon Township||243.91||392.54||244||Arsenal Road||Chicagoland Speedway|
|Channahon||246.67||396.98||247||Bluff Road (CR 77 west)|
|248.15||399.36||248||US 6 (Eames Street) – Joliet, Morris|
|250.25||402.74||250||I-80 – Iowa, Indiana||Signed as exits 250A (east) & 250B (west); I-80 exit 126|
IL 59 north (Cottage Street) – Shorewood, Plainfield
|Northbound exit and southbound entrance; southern terminus of IL 59|
|Shorewood–Joliet line||252.79||406.83||253||US 52 (Jefferson Street) – Joliet, Shorewood|
|Joliet–Plainfield line||257.41||414.26||257||US 30 / Lincoln Highway (Plainfield Road) – Aurora, Joliet|
IL 126 west (Main Street) – Plainfield
|Southbound exit and northbound entrance; eastern terminus of IL 126|
|Romeoville–Bolingbrook line||263.43||423.95||263||Weber Road (CR 88)|
|Bolingbrook||267.02||429.73||267||IL 53 (Bolingbrook Drive) – Bolingbrook, Romeoville|
|Bolingbrook–Woodridge line||268.73||432.48||268||Joliet Road south (Historic US 66 west)||Southbound exit and northbound entrance; southern end of Historic US 66 concurrency|
I-355 Toll (Veterans Memorial Tollway) – Southwest Suburbs, Northwest Suburbs
|I-355 exit 12|
|DuPage||Darien||270.85||435.89||271||Lemont Road (CR 9)||Signed as exits 271A (south) & 271B (north)|
|272.86||439.13||273||Cass Avenue (CR 15)||Signed as exits 273A (south) & 273B (north); serves Argonne National Laboratory|
|Willowbrook–Burr Ridge line||274.50||441.76||274||IL 83 (Kingery Highway)|
|Burr Ridge||276.33||444.71||276A-B||County Line Road||Signed as exits 276A (south) & 276B (north)|
|Cook||Indian Head Park||276.80||445.47||276C||Joliet Road (Historic US 66 east)||Northbound exit and southbound entrance; northern end of Historic US 66 concurrency; south end of Stevenson Expressway|
|Indian Head Park–Countryside line||277.57||446.71||277|
I-294 Toll (Tri-State Tollway) – Wisconsin, Indiana
|Signed as exits 277A (north) & 277B (south); I-294 exit 23; no southbound exit to I-294 south|
US 12 / US 20 / US 45 (La Grange Road) to I-294 Toll south
|Signed as exits 279A (east/south) & 279B (west/north)|
|Summit||282.29||454.30||282||IL 171 (1st Avenue)||Signed as exits 282A (south) & 282B (north) northbound; Brookfield Zoo|
|Summit–Forest View line||283.40||456.09||283||IL 43 (Harlem Avenue)|
|Stickney–Chicago line||285.57||459.58||285||Central Avenue (5600 West)|
|Chicago||286.67||461.35||286||IL 50 (Cicero Avenue, 4800 West) – Chicago Midway Airport|
|287.74||463.07||287||Pulaski Road (4000 West)|
|288.83||464.83||288||Kedzie Avenue (3200 West)||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|289.37||465.70||289||California Avenue (2800 West)||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|290||Damen Avenue (2000 West) / Ashland Avenue (1600 West)||Ashland Ave. not signed southbound|
|292.34||470.48||292||I-90 / I-94 (Dan Ryan Expressway) – Indiana, Wisconsin||Signed as exits 292A (west) & 292B (east) northbound, and as exits 292 (west) & 293B (east) southbound|
|292.91||471.39||293A||Cermak Road – Chinatown||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|293.13||471.75||293C||State Street||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|293.61||472.52||293D||Martin L. King Drive – McCormick Place||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|293.88||472.95||—||US 41 / LMCT (Lake Shore Drive)||Northern terminus of I-55/Stevenson Expressway; all trucks must exit onto US 41 south|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
I-55 has three auxiliary routes in Illinois: