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Interstate 294 (I-294) is a tolled Interstate Highway in northeastern Illinoismarker, U.S.A.marker. It forms the southern portion of the Tri-State Tollway in Illinois. I-294 runs from South Hollandmarker at Interstates 80 and 94, and Illinois Route 394 to Deerfieldmarker at I-94. Interstate 294 is long; are shared with I-80. It serves as a bypass around the city of Chicagomarker.

Route description

Interstate 294 has four of the Tri-State Tollway's five mainline barriers. These are located at:
  • 163rd Street
  • 82nd Street (Southbound)/83rd Street (Northbound)
  • Cermak Road
  • Irving Park Road (Illinois Route 19) (Southbound)/ Touhy Ave. (Northbound)


The fifth is on I-94 near Waukegan.

Interstate 294 is generally 6 lanes wide with some parts now at 8 between I-94 at Deerfield and I-90 by O'Hare the rest to be at 8. From O'Hare to 95th Street, U.S. 12/U.S. 20, the road is 8 lanes wide. The Illinois Tollway Authority is currently expanding the tollway from 6 to 8 lanes from 95th Street to the end of the tollway, to be completed in early 2009 and from Dempster Street to Deerfield by 2009 / 2010.

History

The portion of the Borman Expressway that was completed from Gary westward and the Kingery Expressway were designated as I-80, 90, and 294, from some time 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, cutting back I-294 to its current south terminus. Later, Indianamarker wanted to extend Interstate 294 east on the current Borman Expressway to Indiana State Route 912, before having it turn north at that point, west at U.S. Highway 12, and then back to I-94, most likely somewhere on the Bishop Ford Expressway near 130th Street. The request was denied.

The I-80, I-294 portion of the Tollway is being widened in conjunction with similar projects on the Borman and Kingery.

Interstate 294 was built largely before the growth and maturation of the suburbs that run along Interstate 294. 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 9.5 mile (15.3 kilometer) gap between Cicero Avenue (Illinois 50/83) and 95th Street (U.S. 12/20) being one of the more notable ones. Partial interchanges are located at Roosevelt Road (Illinois Route 38) (southbound exit, northbound entrance), Irving Park Road (Illinois 19) (southbound exit, northbound entrance), Touhy Avenue (northbound exit, southbound entrance), Dempster Street (U.S. 14) (northbound exit, southbound entrance), and Golf Road (Illinois 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 (U.S. 6) (northbound on and southbound off added), and 95th Street (U.S. 12/20) (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.

Future

, Interstate 294 has no interchange on Interstate 57, although one is being considered. This is one of the only places that two Interstate Highways cross but do not feature connecting ramps. Plans for the interchange are currently at PE 1, or preliminary engineering, but have been repeatedly put on hold due to insufficient funding since 1993. In 2006, a consortium of south suburbs again pushed the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Tollway Authority to construct the interchange, whose construction costs are now estimated at between $235 million and $250 million USD.
Interstate 294 northbound in Indian Head Park, IL one half-mile south of the Hinsdale Oasis.


Exit list

County Location Plaza
#
Mile

Destinations Notes
Cookmarker South Hollandmarker 0  – Indianamarker Southbound exit and northbound entrance
0 Southbound exit and northbound entrance
1 Chicago Southland Lincoln Oasis
East Hazel Crestmarker 47 3
4 Dixie Highway Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Hazel Crestmarker 43-45 5  – Iowamarker North end of I-80 overlap
41 6 163rd Street Toll Plaza
Markhammarker 40 6.5
Alsipmarker 12
Hickory Hillsmarker 38 17.5
39 19.5 83rd Street Toll Plaza (northbound)
36 20 82nd Street Toll Plaza (southbound)
Justicemarker 21 Southbound entrance only
Mile-Long Bridge over Des Plaines River
Hodgkinsmarker 34 22 75th Street, Willow Springs Road (10800 West)
Indian Head Parkmarker 37 23 , St. Louismarker No southbound entrance from I-55 south
24 Wolf Road (11200 West) Northbound exit and southbound entrance
Hinsdale 25 Hinsdale Oasis
Western Springsmarker 28
Hillsidemarker 29 Northbound exit and southbound entrance
29.5 Cermak Road, 22nd Street Southbound exit and northbound entrance
35 30 Cermak Road Toll Plaza
30.5 Northbound exit and southbound entrance
31 Southbound exit and northbound entrance
32
Berkeleymarker 34
Franklin Parkmarker 38 O'Hare Oasis
38.5 Southbound exit and northbound entrance
33 39 Irving Park Toll Plaza (southbound)
Rosemontmarker 32 40
31 41


References



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