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|
|North end||I-94 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 Interstate 294 between Interstate 90 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.
Move Illinois Program construction
As part of the $12 billion Move Illinois capital program, ISTHA and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) are partnering to construct a new, all-electronic interchange to connect I-294 to I-57. In 2014, ISTHA completed the primary interchange connections between I-294 and I-57 and at 147th Street. The remaining ramps to complete the interchange will be completed in 2023–24.
Additionally, ISTHA will rebuild the central portion of Interstate 294 between 95th Street and Balmoral Avenue. When this portion of I-294 is rebuilt, it could be widened to five lanes in each direction, get wider shoulders for buses and get active traffic management features that are currently in use on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway as part of its rebuilding and widening project.
The entire route is in Cook County.
|Lansing||0.00||0.00||I-80 / I-94 east (US 6 east) – 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) / IL 394 south – Chicago, Danville||Southbound exit and northbound entrance; southern terminus of Tri-State Tollway|
|South Holland||0.90||1.45||Chicago Southland Lincoln Oasis|
|East Hazel Crest||2.83||4.55||2||IL 1 (Halsted Street)||Signed as exit 2A (north) and exit 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, Memphis||Northern end of I-80 concurrency|
|5.81||9.35||163rd Street Toll Plaza|
|Markham||6.48||10.43||6||US 6 (159th Street)||Signed as exit 6A (east) and exit 6B (west)|
|Blue Island||7.75||12.47||7||I-57 south – Memphis||Southbound exit to southbound I-57 and northbound entrance from northbound I-57 only; full interchange opening 2023–24|
|8.33||13.41||8||IL 83 (147th Street)||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|Alsip||12.13||19.52||12||IL 50 (Cicero Avenue / 4800 West) / IL 83 (127th Street)||Signed as exit 12A (south) and exit 12B (north) northbound|
|Hickory Hills||17.63||28.37||17||US 12 / US 20 (95th Street) / 76th Avenue||Signed as exit 17A (east) and exit 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||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 (10800 West)|
|Indian Head Park||23.20–|
|23||I-55 (Stevenson Expressway) – Chicago, St. Louis||Signed as Exit 23A (north) and Exit 23B (south) northbound; no exit number southbound; no southbound entrance from I-55 south|
|23.42||37.69||23B||Wolf Road (11200 West)||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|Western Springs||27.57||44.37||27||US 34 (Ogden Avenue) – Downers Grove, LaGrange||Signed as exits 27A (east) and 27B (west)|
I-88 / IL 110 (CKC) west (Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway) – Aurora
|Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|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 / 1200 South)||Northbound exit and southbound entrance; signed as Exit 30A (eastbound) and Exit 30B (westbound)|
I-88 / IL 110 (CKC) west (Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway) – Aurora
|Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
I-290 / IL 110 (CKC) east (Eisenhower Expressway) – Chicago
|Signed as exit 31 northbound|
|Elmhurst||33.76||54.33||33||I-290 west (Eisenhower Expressway) to US 20 (Lake Street) / IL 64 (North Avenue) – Rockford||Signed as exit 31 northbound|
I-490 north (O'Hare Western Bypass) to I-90 west / IL 390 – Rockford
|Schiller Park||37.96||61.09||O'Hare Oasis|
|38.41||61.81||38||IL 19 (Irving Park Road (4000 North))||Southbound exit and northbound entrance; signed as Exit 38B (west) and Exit 38A (east)|
|38.89||62.59||Irving Park Toll Plaza (southbound)|
|Rosemont||39.91||64.23||39||Balmoral Avenue||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|40.42||65.05||40A||I-190 west (Kennedy Expressway) / River Road – O'Hare||I-190 exit 1D; signed as exit 40 northbound.|
I-90 (Jane Addams Memorial Tollway / Kennedy Expressway) – Rockford, Chicago
|Signed as exit 40 northbound|
|Park Ridge||41.64||67.01||Touhy Avenue Toll Plaza (northbound)|
|42.28||68.04||42||Touhy Avenue||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|Des Plaines||44.32||71.33||44||US 14 (Dempster Street)||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|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 east (Edens Spur) – Chicago
I-94 west (Tri-State Tollway north) – Wisconsin
|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.
- Staff. "I-294/I-57 Interchange Fact Sheet". Illinois State Toll Highway Authority. Archived from the original on May 26, 2014. Retrieved May 17, 2014.
- Staff. "Move Illinois: Fact Sheets" (PDF). Illinois State Toll Highway Authority. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 22, 2013. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
- Wronski, Richard. "Tollway to Add 'Smart Highway' Features Too". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
- Wronski, Richard. "Tollway Working on Plan to Rebuild, Maybe Widen, Tri-State". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 12, 2014.
- 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.
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