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Illinois Route 4 is a long state road that runs south from the Interstate 55 business loop around the state capital of Springfield, south to Illinois Route 13 just north of Murphysboro. This is a distance of 170.44 miles (274.30 km).[2]

Illinois Route 4 marker

Illinois Route 4
Route information
Maintained by IDOT
Length170.44 mi[2] (274.30 km)
ExistedNovember 5, 1918[1]–present
Major junctions
South end IL 13 / IL 127 in Vergennes
  I-64 in Lebanon
US 50 in Lebanon
US 40 in St. Jacob
I-70 in Marine
I-55 in Livingston
I-72 / US 36 in Springfield
North end I-55 Bus. / IL 29 in Springfield
CountiesJackson, Perry, Randolph, Washington, St. Clair, Madison, Macoupin, Sangamon
Highway system
IL 3IL 5


Route descriptionEdit

Illinois Route 4 starts at Illinois 13 and Illinois 127 at a point about eight miles (13 km) north of Murphysboro. It zigzags through small southern towns such as Steeleville, Sparta, and Marissa, before straightening out near Mascoutah. IL Route 4 is an important road in St. Clair and Madison counties as it connects many suburbs and exurbs on the eastern edge of St. Louis, including Mascoutah, Lebanon, Troy, Highland, Edwardsville, Hamel, Staunton, Benld, and Gillespie. From Carlinville northwards the route is important since it connects many medium-sized rural towns and bedroom communities in Macoupin and Sangamon counties, such as Girard, Virden, Auburn, and Chatham, with Springfield. The road passes directly through Chatham, a fast-growing city that has transformed into a southern suburb and bedroom community for Springfield, which directly abuts the north edge of Chatham.

Within the City of Springfield, IL Route 4 is known as Veterans Parkway. It completes the western loop around the city, and is a divided four-lane highway that serves the major commercial area centered around the intersection of Veterans Parkway and Wabash Avenue, which includes White Oaks Mall.

It is also worth noting that the northbound lane of IL 4 is in Washington County for less than one mile (1.6 km), on its southwest corner near the unincorporated town of Clarmin where it runs concurrently with IL 13.


Illinois State Bond Issue Route 4 was the first numbered through route between Chicago and St. Louis, as shown on the 1924 Illinois Road Map.[3] As such it was the forerunner of more famous routes US 66 and Interstate 55.

In 1926, a new alignment for Route 4 was opened between Joliet and Lyons, on the north side of the Des Plaines River. The old alignment on the east and south sides of the curving river through Lemont was renamed Illinois Route 4A[4] and then renamed again in 1967 as Illinois Route 171.[5] Illinois Route 4A generally followed Archer Avenue from the Chicago city limits to Lemont.

When U.S. Route 66 was first designated in 1926, it coincided with IL 4 for its entire length; however, the earliest state map in 1927 erroneously showed Route 66 coinciding with IL 4A through the near Chicago suburbs instead of IL 4. Also, the section of IL 4 from just south of Staunton to Springfield was originally shown only as "Temporary U.S. Route 66,"[6] whereas the permanent routing of Route 66 was shown as proposed or under construction on a more eastern route, away from IL 4 through Litchfield. The new path of U.S. Route 66 was completed as SBI 16 and SBI 126 in 1930, and the Route 66 designation was then removed from IL 4 between Staunton and Springfield.[7] Illinois Route 4 and U.S. Route 66 remained as coincident, co-signed routes between the Mississippi River and Staunton and between Springfield and Chicago until 1935, when the IL 4 designation was dropped from portions where it overlapped with Route 66, leaving only the portion from Staunton to Springfield as IL 4.[8] This left IL 4A as an orphan alternate route of IL 4 from Lyons to Joliet, until it was renumbered as IL 171 in 1967.

The section of modern IL 4 from Staunton to its southern end near Murphysboro was originally IL 43. In 1964, IL 4 was extended on this highway, and the number IL 43 was eventually reused in the Chicago metro area to mark parts of Waukegan Road and Harlem Avenue.[9]

Historical designationEdit

A bypassed portion of old route 4 north of Auburn is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as "Illinois Route 4-North of Auburn". It was added in 1998 as structure #98000979 and consists of two c.1920 bridges over Little Panther Creek and portions of Curran and Snell roads. One section is a c.1932 1.53 mile long brick road and the other is a c.1921 Portland cement road 16 feet (4.9 m) wide and 1,277 ft (389 m) long.[10]

Major intersectionsEdit

Jackson0.00.0   IL 13 / IL 127 / Truax Traer Road – Pinckneyville, Murphysboro
Ava10.817.4   IL 151 south (Keller Street) to IL 3 – Johnson Creek Recreation Area, Lake Kinkaid, Business District
county line
21.734.9  IL 150 east – Cutlersouth end of IL 150 overlap
Randolph28.045.1  IL 150 west – Chesternorth end of IL 150 overlap
Sparta35.757.5  IL 154 (Broadway Street) – Red Bud, Pinckneyville
41.867.3  IL 13 east (Butler Street) – Tilden, Pinckneyvillesouth end of IL 13 overlap
St. ClairMarissa45.372.9  IL 13 west (Lyons Street) – Bellevillenorth end of IL 13 overlap
St. Libory53.786.4  IL 15 east (Church Street) – Mount Vernonsouth end of IL 15 overlap
Fayetteville58.393.8  IL 15 west (Main Avenue) – East St. Louis, Bellevillenorth end of IL 15 overlap
Mascoutah66.2106.5  IL 177 (Main Street)
68.7110.6  IL 161 – Belleville, Centralia
70.7113.8  I-64 – East St. Louis, Mount VernonI-64 exit 23
Lebanon73.7118.6  US 50 west – East St. Louissouth end of US 50 overlap
74.3119.6  US 50 east – Carlyle, McKendree University, Arts Centernorth end of US 50 overlap
Madison  Historic National Road east – St. Jacobsouth end of National Road overlap; former US 40 east; state maintained
82.2132.3   US 40 / Historic National Road west – East St. Louis, Highlandinterchange; north end of National Road overlap
85.4137.4  I-70 – East St. Louis, EffinghamI-70 exit 21
87.1140.2  IL 143 – Edwardsville, Marine, Highland
94.1151.4  IL 140 – Alton, Greenville
97.1156.3  I-55 – East St. Louis, SpringfieldI-55 exit 33
97.3156.6  Historic US 66 west (Worden Road / Frontage Road) – Wordensouth end of Historic US 66 overlap; state maintained
Livingston Drive - Livingstonstate maintained
99.1159.5  Historic US 66 east (Old Route 16) – Williamsonnorth end of Historic US 66 overlap; south end of Historic US 66 (1926-30) overlap; state maintained
MacoupinStaunton  To I-55 / Main Streetstate maintained (outside Staunton)
Benld109.1175.6  IL 138 east – Mount Olive, Business Districtsouth end of IL 138 overlap
109.2175.7  Historic US 66 (1926-30) east (North Hardroad)north end of Historic US 66 (1926-30) overlap
109.7176.5   IL 138 west / Historic US 66 (1926-30) west (North Hard Road) – Mount Clare, Wilsonvillenorth end of IL 138 overlap; south end of Historic US 66 (1926-30) overlap
Gillespie112.0180.2  IL 16 west – Jerseyville, Gillespie Lakessouth end of IL 16 overlap
112.5181.1  IL 16 east – Litchfieldnorth end of IL 16 overlap
Carlinville124.0199.6   IL 108 east to I-55south end of IL 108 overlap
124.7200.7  IL 108 west – Carrollton, Beaver Dam State Parknorth end of IL 108 overlap; traffic circle around town square
SangamonAuburn149.5240.6  IL 104 – Jacksonville, Taylorville
Springfield159.7257.0   CR 23 / Historic US 66 (1926-30) east (Spaulding Orchard Road / Woodside Road)north end of Historic US 66 (1926-30) overlap
161.2259.4    I-72 / US 36 to I-55 – Jacksonville, Decatur, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and MuseumI-72 exit 93
Wabash Avenue - Robert Morris Universityformer US 36; state maintained
166.3267.6  IL 97 (Jefferson Street) – Petersburg, Springfield
168.7271.5   IL 29 north (J. David Jones Parkway) – Mason City, Springfield, Airport, Illinois State Military Museumsouth end of IL 29 overlap
Springfield170.44274.30    I-55 Bus. / IL 29 south / Historic US 66 (Peoria Road) – State Fairgroundsnorth end of IL 29 overlap
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

External linksEdit


  1. ^ Carlson, Rick. Illinois State Highways Page: Routes 1 thru 20. Last updated March 15, 2006. Retrieved March 24, 2006.
  2. ^ a b Illinois Technology Transfer Center (2007). "T2 GIS Data". Retrieved 2007-11-08.
  3. ^ "1924 Illinois Road Map".
  4. ^ "1926 Illinois: Official Auto Road Map".
  5. ^ "1967 Illinois: Official Highway Map".
  6. ^ "1928 Illinois: Official Auto Road Map".
  7. ^ "1931 Official Illinois Highway Map".
  8. ^ "1935 Illinois Official Road Map".
  9. ^ "1964 Illinois: Official Highway Map".
  10. ^
  11. ^ Google (2010-12-21). "Overview map of Route 4 Between Jackson County and Interstate 55" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 2010-12-21.
  12. ^ Google (2010-12-21). "Overview map of Route 4 Between Interstate 55 and Springfield" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 2010-12-21.