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Larry F.

Bypassing The Chicago Metro Area (i-39 & I-74)

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This is a suggestion - based on many personal trips - on how to avoid the hassles of traffic in the Chicago metro area along - primarily - I-80, I-90, I-94, and to some degree, I-88.

 

I am one who loves to travel secondary roads whenever possible, but there are times that taking 2 lane roads through towns and cities is not a viable option.

 

For folks coming from the north and / or west, I recommend taking I-39 south to I-74 at Champaign / Urbana, IL, and then taking I-74 east to Indianapolis where you meet I-65 and I-70 to continue your trip east or south.

 

Coming from the south or east, just reverse that route to go north and / or west.

 

From the Illinois / Iowa "Quad Cities" area, I-74 is a good route to go across Illinois toward Indianapolis, much better than I-80 to I-65.

 

I-39 and I-74 are both excellent roads with much less traffic, and, if one is so inclined, "flow of traffic" speeds of 75-80 mph.

 

The freeways and tollways around Chicago area almost always under construction and generally high volume, especially I-80 across the south part of the Chicago metro area all the way east to I-65 in Indiana.

Accidents often will slow - if not STOP - traffic on the Chicago area freeways, and you may be stalled in traffic for a long time.

 

There are good things to see and do in Chicago, if that's what you want to do, but if time is short and you want to avoid delays and hassles, avoid the Chicago area.

 

Unfortunately if you are headed to/from locations mostly east and / or north of Chicago, there really is no good alternative to going right through the metro area. :(

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...I recommend taking I-39 south to I-74 at Champaign / Urbana, IL, and then taking I-74 east to Indianapolis where you meet I-65 and I-70 to continue your trip east or south.

 

Correction to my own earlier post: I-39 ENDS at Bloomington / Normal (IL) where you meet up with I-74.

I-39 does not go all the way to Champaign / Urbana. :blink:

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Correction to my own earlier post: I-39 ENDS at Bloomington / Normal (IL) where you meet up with I-74.

I-39 does not go all the way to Champaign / Urbana. :blink:

 

Moving east to west (or the other way) old U S 30 thru Chicago Heights works - tho I will admit I havn't been thru there since 2001.

At that time it was 4-lane most of the way, except for 2 lane just before the IL/IN state line into IL.

Still beats I-80/I-90.

 

Hudsonly,

Alex Burr

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I just posted in another thread that we indeed have discussed taking I-39 from Bloomington-Normal north through Rockford to get to Wisconsin. We came home from southwestern Wisconsin by that route in July, spending the night in Starved Rock State Park Lodge, and found it to be much less stressful than dealing with Chicago.

 

I have driven U.S. 30 from Chicago Heights to U.S. 41 just over the Indiana state line. It is a relief from the crowded interstate, but still carries a lot of traffic and includes many stoplights.

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