Interstate 294

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Interstate 294
Tri-State Tollway
Interstate 294
I-294 highlighted in red
Route information
Auxiliary route of I-94
Maintained by ISTHA
Length53.45 mi [1] (86.02 km)
Existed1958 [2] –present
HistoryCompleted December 23, 1958 [3]
Major junctions
South endI-80.svgI-94.svgIllinois 394.svg I-80 / I-94 / IL 394 in Lansing
North endToll plate yellow.svg
I-94.svg I-94 / Lake Cook Road in Northbrook
Counties Cook
Highway system
I-290.svg I-290 IL 336 Illinois 336.svg

Interstate 294 (I-294) is a tolled auxiliary Interstate Highway in northeastern Illinois. It forms the southern portion of the Tri-State Tollway in Illinois. I-294 runs from South Holland at I-80/I-94, and Illinois Route 394 (IL 394) to Northbrook at I-94. I-294 is 53.42 miles (85.97 km) long; 5.32 miles (8.56 km) are shared with I-80. [1] It serves as a bypass around the city of Chicago. I-294 is also the longest auxiliary route of I-94, at 10 miles (16 km) longer than I-494 in Minneapolis–Saint Paul. In addition the tollway is the longest auxiliary Interstate Highway in Illinois.


Route description

I-294 begins at the interchange between I-94, I-80, and IL 394 in Lansing. I-94 splits off toward Chicago while I-80/I-294 heads west as an eight-lane tollway and crosses above a railroad track and Thorn Creek in Thornton. The highway crosses under the Chicago Southland Lincoln Oasis, Chicago Road, another railroad track, and State Street through residential areas. I-80/I-294 is between the Thornton Quarry on an elevated area before crossing the quarry on a bridge and passing under another railroad track. The highway then enters East Hazel Crest and has a cloverleaf interchange with IL 1 (Halsted Street) and widens to ten lanes. Then I-80/I-294 reenters the residential areas and center cross over Center Avenue, the Canadian National Chicago Subdivision, the Metra Electric Line, and the Dixie Highway. After crossing under 171st Street, I-80 splits off and heads toward Des Moines, Iowa, and I-294 narrows to eight lanes in Hazel Crest. [4]

After the I-80 split, I-294 heads north and enters Markham. It crosses under 167th Street and goes through the 163rd Street toll plaza. I-294 has a cloverleaf interchange with US 6 (159th Street) and turns northwest toward a incomplete interchange with I-57. I-294 then enters Posen and has a partial interchange with IL 83 (147th Street). I-294 turns west to cross the Metra Rock Island District and Kedzie Avenue. I-294 turns northwest, and enters Midlothian. It crosses over South Claire Boulevard, Pulaski Road, the Midlothian Turnpike, 135th Street, and the Calumet River. I-294 has an interchange with IL 50 and IL 83 (Cicero Avenue) with a northbound exit and southbound entrance via 127th Street in Alsip. It then passes by warehouses and crosses over Ridgeland Avenue, 115th Street, 111th Street, 107th Street, another Metra Line, Southwest Highway, Stony Creek, all while entering Worth, Chicago ridge, Bridgeview. The tollway enters Justice, and has another interchange with US 12/US 20 (95th Street) and IL 43 (Harlem Avenue). I-294 then crosses over 87th Street and Roberts Road. It then goes through the 82nd/83rd street toll plaza. It crosses over 88th Avenue, has an interchange with IL 171 (Archer Avenue), US 45, US 12 and US 20 (La Grange Road). I-294 then crosses the Canadian National Railway Illinois and Michigan Canal, the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, the Des Plaines River, the BNSF Railway, Santa Fe Drive, and an access road on the Mile-Long Bridge. I-294 then enters Indian Head Park and has an interchange with I-55 and Joliet Road and turns north. [4]

I-294 northbound approaching the Cermak Road toll plaza and Hillside Strangler I-294 North Exit 30AB - IL38 (40888182472).jpg
I-294 northbound approaching the Cermak Road toll plaza and Hillside Strangler

I-294 then passes under Plainfield Road, crosses a small creek, crosses under the Hinsdale Oasis, and enters Hinsdale. I-294 passes under 55th Street, 47th Street, the BNSF Railway, and a trail. I-294 then has a cloverleaf interchange with US 34 and enters Oak Brook. I-294 crosses under 31st Street and Cermak Road. I-294 goes through the Cermak Road toll plaza and the Hillside Strangler. It crosses over IL 38 (Roosevelt Road) after the plaza. It enters Hillside, and crosses over I-88, and I-290. It then crosses under Saint Charles Road, enters Berkeley and crosses the Union Pacific Railroad. I-294 enters Northlake, and crosses over US 20 (Lake Street), IL 64 (North Avenue), and Grand Avenue. It then take the Grand Avenue Curve, turning northeast. I-294 crosses over the Union Pacific Railroad, Wolf Road, briefly enters Bensenville, crosses over the Besenville Rail Yard and Canadian Pacific Railway, and US 12 & US 45 (Mannheim Road), enters Schiller Park, crosses under the former O'Hare Oasis, and passes by the Irving Park toll plaza (for southbound lanes). It enters the Chicago Panhandle, which connects O'Hare International Airport to the rest of the city. It then enters Rosemont, crossing under Balmoral Avenue, I-190 and crossing over I-90 having an interchange with each of the three previously mentioned roadways. [4]

I-294 enters Des Plaines, passing by the Touhy Avenue toll plaza (for northbound lanes), and crosses over River Road. It then has a partial interchange with Touhy Avenue. I-294 crossesthe Des Plaines River, and the Union Pacific Railroad, and enters Park Ridge. I-294 has a partial interchange with US 14 (Dempster Street), enters Glenview, crosses over Northwest Highway, and Ballard Road. It has another partial interchange with IL 58, and crosses over the Union Pacific Railroad, Central Avenue, IL 21 (Milwaukee Avenue), and Lake Avenue. It has a diamond interchange with Willow Road, and enters Northbrook. It crosses under Sanders Road, IL 68 (Dundee Road), crosses over Sanders Road. It enters Deerfield and terminates at a partial interchange with I-94 just south of Lake-Cook Road, the county line, to which I-294 has full access. [4]


I-294 southbound, at the intersection with I-90 near O'Hare Airport Southbound, Tri-State Tollway, Interstate 294, Chicago, Illinois (9181919778).jpg
I-294 southbound, at the intersection with I-90 near O'Hare Airport

The portion of the Borman Expressway that was completed from Gary westward and the Kingery Expressway were originally designated as I-80, I-90, and I-294 from shortly after the Interstate Highway program was enacted until about 1965, when the connection between the Borman and the Indiana Toll Road was completed, and I-90 was swapped with I-94 west of that junction (and east of where those routes share the same road in Chicago), cutting back I-294 to its current south terminus (eliminating the Indiana part of I-294). Indiana later proposed to extend I-294 east on the current Borman Expressway to Indiana State Route 912, before having it turn north at that point, west at U.S. Route 12, and then back to I-94, most likely somewhere on the Bishop Ford Freeway near 130th Street. The request was denied.[ citation needed ]

I-294 was built largely before the growth and maturation of the suburbs that run along the corridor. As a result, the vast majority of the interchanges are partial, or were configured to have entrance ramps feeding the toll plazas. Gaps between exit ramps are common, the 6.5-mile (10.5 km) gap between Cicero Avenue (IL 50/IL 83) and 95th Street (US 12/US 20) being one of the more notable ones. Partial interchanges are located at Roosevelt Road (IL 38; northbound exit, southbound entrance), Irving Park Road (IL 19) (southbound exit, northbound entrance), Touhy Avenue (northbound exit, southbound entrance), Dempster Street (US 14; northbound exit, southbound entrance), and Golf Road (IL 58; southbound exit, northbound entrance). Several former partial interchanges have been converted to full interchanges, with automated toll collection facilities on the new ramps, such as at 159th Street (US 6; northbound on and southbound off added) and 95th Street (US 12/US 20; southbound on and northbound off added). The 79th Street exit was moved to 75th Street/Willow Springs Road, and made a complete interchange in the same manner.[ citation needed ]

From 1992-1993, the central portion of I-294 between Balmoral and 95th Street was widened to eight lanes. [5] Between 2006-2009, the southern and northern portions of I-294 (IL-394 to 95th Street and I-90 to Lake Cook Road respectively) were fully reconstructed and expanded, bringing the entire highway up to eight lanes.

ISTHA and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) are partnering to construct a new interchange to connect I-294 to I-57. The primary interchange connections between I-294 and I-57 were completed in 2014, while the remaining ramps will be completed in 2022. [6]

The central portion of I-294 between Balmoral Avenue and 95th Street is currently being reconstructed and widened to a five/six lane cross section, with the inside shoulder being a flex lane that can be used during emergencies or heavy congestion. The work also includes reconfiguring the interchange with I-88/290. The entire project is scheduled to be completed in 2026. [7]

Exit list

The entire route is in Cook County.

Locationmi [1] [8] kmExit [9] DestinationsNotes
Lansing 0.000.00I-80.svgI-94.svg I-80 east / I-94 east / US 6 east (Kingery Expressway) Indiana Southern terminus; southern end of I-80 concurrency; southern end of US 6 concurrency (NB lanes only)
161US 6.svgIllinois 83.svg US 6 west / IL 83 (Torrence Avenue)Exit number follows I-80; no southbound entrance; northern end of US 6 concurrency (NB lanes only); only free exit northbound
LansingThornton Township line0I-94.svg I-94 west (Bishop Ford Freeway) Chicago
Illinois 394.svg IL 394 south (Calumet Expressway) Danville
Southbound exit and northbound entrance; southern terminus of Tri-State Tollway; I-94 exit 74B
South Holland 0.901.45Chicago Southland Lincoln Oasis
East Hazel Crest 2.834.552Illinois 1.svg IL 1 (Halsted Street)Signed as exits 2A (north) and 2B (south)
4.336.974 Dixie Highway Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Hazel Crest 5.268.475I-80.svgI-57.svg I-80 west to I-57 south Iowa Northern end of I-80 concurrency; I-80 exit 155
5.819.35163rd Street Toll Plaza
Markham 6.4810.436US 6.svg US 6 (159th Street)Signed as exits 6A (east) and 6B (west)
Blue Island 7.7512.477I-57.svgI-80.svg I-57 south to I-80 west Memphis I-Pass only; southbound exit and northbound entrance; full interchange opening 2023–24; I-57 exit 349
8.3313.418Illinois 83.svg IL 83 (147th Street / Sibley Boulevard)I-Pass only; southbound exit and northbound entrance
Alsip 12.1319.5212Illinois 50.svgIllinois 83.svg IL 50 (Cicero Avenue) / IL 83 (127th Street)Signed as exits 12A (south) and 12B (north)
Hickory Hills 17.6328.3717US 12.svgUS 20.svg US 12 / US 20 (95th Street) / 76th AvenueSigned as exits 17A (east) and 17B (west) southbound; no northbound signage for 76th Avenue
19.3731.1783rd Street Toll Plaza (northbound)
19.7831.8382nd Street Toll Plaza (southbound)
Justice CR W30 jct.svg CR W30 (88th/Cork Avenue)Future interchange
20.4532.91US 12.svgUS 20.svgUS 45.svgIllinois 171.svg US 12 / US 20 / US 45 (La Grange Road) / IL 171 (Archer Avenue)Southbound entrance only
Des Plaines River 21.20–
Mile-Long Bridge
Hodgkins 22.04–
2275th Street / Willow Springs Road
Indian Head Park 23.20–
23I-55.svg I-55 (Stevenson Expressway) Chicago, St. Louis
US 66 (historic).svg Historic US 66 (Joliet Road)
Signed as Exit 23A (north) and Exit 23B (south) northbound; no exit number southbound; no southbound entrance from I-55 south. (Access from I-55 South to I-294 South is via US 12-20-45 La Grange Rd. and is signed as such on I-55.); I-55 exit 277; southbound exit and northbound entrance provide access from and to Joliet Road
23.4237.6923BWolf RoadNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
Hinsdale 25.1340.44Hinsdale Oasis
Western Springs 27.5744.3727US 34.svg US 34 (Ogden Avenue)Signed as exits 27A (east) and 27B (west)
Oak Brook 29.4047.3129Toll plate yellow.svgCKC plate.svg
I-88.svgIllinois 110.svg I-88 west / IL 110 (CKC) west (Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway) Aurora
Northbound exit and southbound entrance; I-88 exit 138
29.6347.6829 Cermak Road (22nd Street)Southbound exit and northbound entrance
30.0048.28Cermak Road Toll Plaza
Hillside 30.6449.3130Illinois 38.svg IL 38 (Roosevelt Road)Northbound exit and southbound entrance; signed as exits 30A (east) and 30B (west)
31.1550.1331AToll plate yellow.svgCKC plate.svg
I-88.svgIllinois 110.svg I-88 west / IL 110 (CKC) west (Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway) Aurora
Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Berkeley 31.7451.0831BNo image wide.svgCKC plate.svg
I-290.svgIllinois 110.svg I-290 east / IL 110 (CKC) east (Eisenhower Expressway) Chicago
Signed as exit 31 northbound; I-290 exit 15
Elmhurst 33.7654.3333I-290.svgUS 20.svgIllinois 64.svg I-290 west to US 20 / IL 64  Rockford Signed as exit 31 northbound; I-290 exit 13A
Franklin Park No image.svgToll plate yellow.svgNo image.svg
I-490.svg I-490 north (O'Hare Western Bypass)
Future interchange
Schiller Park 37.9661.09O'Hare Oasis (Gas station only)
38.4161.8138Illinois 19.svg IL 19 (Irving Park Road)Southbound exit and northbound entrance; signed as exits 38A (east) and 38B (west)
38.8962.59Irving Park Toll Plaza (southbound)
Rosemont 39.9164.2339Balmoral AvenueI-Pass only on northbound exit ramp; northbound exit and southbound entrance
40.4265.0540AI-190.svgAirport Sign.svg I-190 west (Kennedy Expressway) / River Road O'Hare Signed as exit 40 northbound; I-190 exits 1C-D; northbound exit to River Road only
40.8865.7940BToll plate yellow.svg
I-90.svg I-90 (Jane Addams Memorial Tollway / Kennedy Expressway) Rockford, Chicago
Signed as exit 40 northbound; I-90 exits 77 and 78
Park Ridge 41.6467.01 Touhy Avenue Toll Plaza (northbound)
42.2868.0442 Touhy Avenue Northbound exit and southbound entrance; signed as exits 42A (east) and 42B (west)
Des Plaines 44.3271.3344US 14.svg US 14 (Dempster Street)Northbound exit and southbound entrance; signed as exits 44A (east) and 44B (west)
45.3472.9745Illinois 58.svg IL 58 (Golf Road)Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Glenview 49.0278.8948Willow Road
Northbrook 52.7584.8952 Lake Cook Road Northbound exit and southbound entrance
Toll plate yellow.svg
I-94.svg I-94 west (Tri-State Tollway north) Wisconsin
Northern terminus; northbound exit and southbound entrance; I-94 exit 25B
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

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