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Illinois Route 72 is an east–west state road in northern Illinois. It runs from the intersection with Illinois Route 73 north of Lanark east to Illinois Route 43 (Harlem Avenue) in Chicago. This is a distance of 110.71 miles (178.2 km).[2]

Illinois Route 72 marker

Illinois Route 72
Higgins Road
Touhy Avenue
Route information
Maintained by IDOT and CDOT
Length110.71 mi[2] (178.17 km)
Major junctions
West end IL 73 in Lanark
  I-39 / US 51 in Monroe Center
US 20 / IL 47 in Hampshire
I-290 / IL 53 in Schaumburg

I-90 in Des Plaines
US 12 / US 45 in Des Plaines

I-90 in Rosemont
East end IL 43 in Chicago
CountiesCarroll, Ogle, DeKalb, Kane, Cook
Highway system
I-72IL 73

Route descriptionEdit

Looking east at Illinois Route 72 just west of Illinois Route 43 (Harlem Avenue). Due to a lack of right-of-way, the western lanes are routed onto a two-lane bridge over the eastbound exit ramp from Interstate 90 (Kennedy Expressway) to Harlem Avenue.

Illinois 72 is called Higgins Road for most of its length in the Chicago area, and has been redirected in parts of the area to accommodate for new features. Near Rosemont, the road has been shifted to make way for O'Hare International Airport — further east, parts of the road have been moved to make room for the Northwest Tollway (Interstate 90). The road serves as a major six-lane thoroughfare for several western suburbs, including Schaumburg, Elk Grove Village, and Hoffman Estates.

Illinois 72 runs concurrently for one block with Illinois Route 83 in Elk Grove Township, and Illinois Route 47 and U.S. Highway 20 by Starks, an unincorporated village approximately 60 miles (97 km) from Chicago. The latter is a Wrong-way concurrency, where one can be driving both west on Illinois 72 and east on U.S. 20 at the same time. West from Chicago, Illinois 72 largely parallels Interstate 90 until Starks, crossing over and under the highway six times without an intersection. On a larger scale, it is the main east–west artery to Chicago between Interstate 90 and Illinois Route 64.

It serves the towns and cities of, from west to east, Lanark, Shannon, Forreston, Leaf River, Byron, Stillman Valley, Kirkland, Kingston, Genoa, Hampshire, Gilberts, Sleepy Hollow, West Dundee, East Dundee, South Barrington, Hoffman Estates, Schaumburg, Elk Grove Village, Des Plaines, Rosemont, and Chicago. Higgins Road/Higgins Avenue continues east-southeast from Harlem Avenue in Chicago to Milwaukee Avenue near Lawrence Avenue.

Route 72 is one of seven state roads to enter the city of Chicago. It was once part of the Galena-Chicago Stagecoach Trail.


SBI Route 72 originally ran from Lanark to Starks. It was extended east in 1937 and 1938 to East Dundee, and then to Chicago. In 1968, the designation of IL 72 was truncated back to IL 43 (Harlem Avenue), lopping off 10.5 miles (16.9 km).[3] In 1982, it was shortened again, this time to Illinois Route 73.[1]

The crash site of American Airlines Flight 191 is located along the road as Touhy Avenue, just north of the road and north of O'Hare International Airport near a trailer park.

Major intersectionsEdit

CarrollLanark0.000.00  IL 73 – Lanark, Pearl City, GeorgetownWestern terminus of IL 72
OgleForreston10.016.1  IL 26 north – FreeportBegin/end concurrency with IL 26
13.922.4  IL 26 south (First Avenue) – PoloBegin/end concurrency with IL 26
Byron29.647.6  IL 2 south – OregonBegin/end concurrency with IL 2
30.949.7  IL 2 north (East Blackhawk Drive) – RockfordBegin/end concurrency with IL 2
Davis Junction40.865.7  IL 251 – Rochelle, Rockford
Monroe Center43.570.0   I-39 / US 51 – LaSalle, Peru, RockfordExit 111 (I-39/US 51)
DeKalbGenoa61.799.3  IL 23 south (Sycamore Road) – SycamoreBegin/end concurrency with IL 23
63.6102.4  IL 23 north – Riley, MarengoBegin/end concurrency with IL 23
Pingree Grove73.7118.6   US 20 east (Grant Highway) / IL 47 south – Elgin, Lily LakeBegin/end concurrency with US 20/IL 47
Starks74.2119.4   US 20 west (Grant Highway) / IL 47 north – Marengo, HuntleyBegin/end concurrency with US 20/IL 47
KaneWest Dundee83.2133.9  IL 31 (8th Street) – Elgin, Algonquin
East Dundee84.1135.3  IL 68 east (Penny Avenue) – Barrington
84.8136.5  IL 25 (Dundee Avenue) – Elgin, Carpentersville
   IL 59 (Sutton Road) to I-90 – Streamwood, Barrington
Hoffman Estates91.1146.6 
  To I-90 (Jane Addams Memorial Tollway) via Barrington Road
Exit 62 (I-90)
Hoffman EstatesSchaumburg
village line
93.8151.0  IL 58 (West Golf Road) – Streamwood, Des Plaines
      I-290 / IL 53 (Eisenhower Expressway) to I-90 / I-355 / IL 58 – Chicago
Elk Grove Village101.2162.9  IL 83 south (Busse Road) – Villa ParkBegin/end concurrency with IL 83
101.2162.9  IL 83 north (West Oakton Street) – Mount ProspectBegin/end concurrency with IL 83
Des Plaines105.2169.3 
  I-90 east (Jane Addams Memorial Tollway) – Chicago
Exit 76 (I-90)
106.0170.6  US 45 (Mannheim Road) – Franklin Park, Des Plaines
  I-90 west (Jane Addams Memorial Tollway) – Rockford
Chicago108.7174.9  IL 171 south (Cumberland Avenue) – River GroveNorthern terminus of IL 171
109.4176.1  I-90 east (Kennedy Expressway) – RockfordExit 80 (I-90)
110.5177.8  I-90 east (Kennedy Expressway) – ChicagoExit 81A (I-90)
110.71178.17  IL 43 (Harlem Avenue) – Forest Park, NilesEastern terminus of IL 72
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Carlson, Rick. Illinois State Highways Page: Routes 61 thru 80. 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. ^ "Irving Park Road Gets Route Change". The Chicago Tribune. March 28, 1968. p. N3.
  4. ^ Google (February 22, 2017). "Overview Map of IL 72" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved February 22, 2017.

External linksEdit