I-294 highlighted in red
|Auxiliary route of I-94|
|Maintained by ISTHA|
|Length||53.45 mi (86.02 km)|
|History||Completed 1968|
|South end||I-80 / I-94 / IL 394 in Lansing|
I-94 / Lake Cook Road in Northbrook
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. 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.
I-294 has four of the Tri-State Tollway's six mainline barriers. These are located at:
- 163rd Street
- 82nd Street (southbound) and 83rd Street (northbound)
- Cermak Road
- Irving Park Road (IL 19; southbound) and Touhy Avenue (northbound)
The other two barriers are on I-94.
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.
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.
From 1992-1993, the central portion of I-294 between Balmoral and 95th Street was widened to eight lanes. 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.
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.
The entire route is in Cook County.
|Lansing||0.00||0.00||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)|
|161||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|
|Lansing–Thornton Township line||0|| I-94 west (Bishop Ford Freeway) – Chicago|
IL 394 south (Calumet Expressway) – Danville
|Southbound exit and northbound entrance; southern terminus of Tri-State Tollway; I-94 exit 74B|
|South Holland||0.90||1.45||Chicago Southland Lincoln Oasis|
|East Hazel Crest||2.83||4.55||2||IL 1 (Halsted Street)||Signed as exits 2A (north) and 2B (south)|
|4.33||6.97||4||Dixie Highway||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|Hazel Crest||5.26||8.47||5||I-80 west to I-57 south – Iowa||Northern end of I-80 concurrency; I-80 exit 155|
|5.81||9.35||163rd Street Toll Plaza|
|Markham||6.48||10.43||6||US 6 (159th Street)||Signed as exits 6A (east) and 6B (west)|
|Blue Island||7.75||12.47||7||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|
|8.33||13.41||8||IL 83 (147th Street / Sibley Boulevard)||I-Pass only; southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|Alsip||12.13||19.52||12||IL 50 (Cicero Avenue) / IL 83 (127th Street)||Signed as exits 12A (south) and 12B (north)|
|Hickory Hills||17.63||28.37||17||US 12 / US 20 (95th Street) / 76th Avenue||Signed as exits 17A (east) and 17B (west) southbound; no northbound signage for 76th Avenue|
|19.37||31.17||83rd Street Toll Plaza (northbound)|
|19.78||31.83||82nd Street Toll Plaza (southbound)|
|Justice||CR W30 (88th/Cork Avenue)||Future interchange|
|20.45||32.91||—||US 12 / US 20 / US 45 (La Grange Road) / IL 171 (Archer Avenue)||Southbound entrance only|
|Des Plaines River||21.20–|
|22||75th Street / Willow Springs Road|
|Indian Head Park||23.20–|
|23|| I-55 (Stevenson Expressway) – Chicago, St. Louis|
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|
|23.42||37.69||23B||Wolf Road||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|Western Springs||27.57||44.37||27||US 34 (Ogden Avenue)||Signed as exits 27A (east) and 27B (west)|
I-88 west / IL 110 (CKC) west (Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway) – Aurora
|Northbound exit and southbound entrance; I-88 exit 138|
|29.63||47.68||29||Cermak Road (22nd Street)||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|30.00||48.28||Cermak Road Toll Plaza|
|Hillside||30.64||49.31||30||IL 38 (Roosevelt Road)||Northbound exit and southbound entrance; signed as exits 30A (east) and 30B (west)|
I-88 west / IL 110 (CKC) west (Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway) – Aurora
|Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
I-290 east / IL 110 (CKC) east (Eisenhower Expressway) – Chicago
|Signed as exit 31 northbound; I-290 exit 15|
|Elmhurst||33.76||54.33||33||I-290 west to US 20 / IL 64 – Rockford||Signed as exit 31 northbound; I-290 exit 13A|
I-490 north (O'Hare Western Bypass)
|Schiller Park||37.96||61.09||O'Hare Oasis (Gas station only)|
|38.41||61.81||38||IL 19 (Irving Park Road)||Southbound exit and northbound entrance; signed as exits 38A (east) and 38B (west)|
|38.89||62.59||Irving Park Toll Plaza (southbound)|
|Rosemont||39.91||64.23||39||Balmoral Avenue||I-Pass only on northbound exit ramp; northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|40.42||65.05||40A||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|
I-90 (Jane Addams Memorial Tollway / Kennedy Expressway) – Rockford, Chicago
|Signed as exit 40 northbound; I-90 exits 77 and 78|
|Park Ridge||41.64||67.01||Touhy Avenue Toll Plaza (northbound)|
|42.28||68.04||42||Touhy Avenue||Northbound exit and southbound entrance; signed as exits 42A (east) and 42B (west)|
|Des Plaines||44.32||71.33||44||US 14 (Dempster Street)||Northbound exit and southbound entrance; signed as exits 44A (east) and 44B (west)|
|45.34||72.97||45||IL 58 (Golf Road)||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|Northbrook||52.75||84.89||52||Lake Cook Road||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
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|
- Illinois Technology Transfer Center (2006). "T2 GIS Data". Retrieved November 8, 2007.
- P. Davis Szymczak (September 27, 1991). "Widening of Tri-State could begin in October". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 18, 2010.
- "I-294/I-57 Interchange Project - Phase 2". Retrieved 12 August 2020.
- "Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) Project". Retrieved 12 August 2020.
- Illinois State Toll Highway Authority. System Map (Map). Downers Grove: Illinois State Toll Highway Authority. Archived from the original on January 24, 2009. Retrieved January 23, 2009.
- "Toll Rates by Plaza (For Years 2009+)" (PDF). Illinois State Toll Highway Authority. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 12, 2009. Retrieved January 23, 2009.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Interstate 294.|