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Interstate 90 in Illinois

Interstate 90 (I-90) in the U.S. state of Illinois runs roughly northwest-to-southeast through the northern part of the state. From the Wisconsin state line at South Beloit, it heads south to Rockford before heading east-southeast to the Indiana state line at Chicago. I-90 traverses 108 miles (174 km) through a variety of settings, from farmland west of the Fox River Valley through the medium-density suburbs west of O'Hare International Airport, through downtown Chicago, and through the heart of the industrial southeast side of Chicago before entering Indiana.

Interstate 90 marker

Interstate 90
I-90 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by ISTHA, IDOT, and SCC
Length107.82 mi[1] (173.52 km)
Major junctions
West end I-39 / I-90 at Wisconsin state line
East end I-90 / Indiana Toll Road at Indiana state line
CountiesWinnebago, Boone, McHenry, Kane, Cook
Highway system
IL 89IL 90

I-90 comprises several named highways. The Interstate runs along the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway from South Beloit to O'Hare Airport, the Kennedy Expressway runs from O'Hare to the Chicago Loop, the Dan Ryan Expressway from the Loop to the Chicago Skyway, and the Skyway to the Indiana state line. The Jane Addams and Chicago Skyway are toll roads maintained by the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority (ISTHA) and Skyway Concession Company (SCC), respectively. The remainder of the highway is maintained by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).

The Chicago Skyway, also known as Chicago Skyway Toll Bridge System, is a 7.8-mile-long (12.6 km) toll road in Chicago carrying I-90 from the Indiana Toll Road to the Dan Ryan Expressway on Chicago's South Side. The main feature of the Skyway is a 12-mile-long (0.80 km) steel truss bridge, known as the "High Bridge". The toll bridge spans the Calumet River and Calumet Harbor, a major harbor for industrial ships. The main span is 650 feet (200 m) long, provides for 125 feet (38 m) of vertical clearance, and is the highest road in Chicago.

The Jane Addams Tollway was built in the late 1950s and early 1960s as the Northwest Tollway. It was renamed in 2007 after Jane Addams, the Nobel laureate and founder of the Settlement House movement in the United States. Between 2001 and 2004, authorities spent $250 million to rebuild much of the Chicago Skyway.


Route descriptionEdit

The Jane Addams Tollway in Schaumburg prior to the 2015-16 rebuild and widening

I-90 enters from Beloit, Wisconsin with I-39. At the Rockton Road exit, I-39/I-90 becomes the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway. The two Interstates run concurrently south to Rockford, where I-39 continues as a freeway south to BloomingtonNormal. I-90 continues east-southeast to Belvidere and Elgin on the way through the Chicago area. In Schaumburg, I-90 meets the western end of I-290, the only loop from I-90 in Illinois.[citation needed]

I-90 passes north of O'Hare International Airport, where I-190 branches west to the airport terminals. I-90 also meets I-294 at this junction with I-190. I-90 continues southeast as the Kennedy Expressway and is later joined with eastbound I-94; westbound I-94 runs on the Edens Expressway. I-90 and I-94 then head toward the Loop, intersecting the eastern end of I-290. South of I-290, the highway is given the name of the Dan Ryan Expressway.[citation needed]

On Chicago's South Side, the Dan Ryan passes I-55 before I-90 splits off from I-94 just south of 63rd Street, and becomes the Chicago Skyway, again becoming a toll road. I-90 then runs directly southeast to the Indiana state line, and becomes the Indiana Toll Road at the state line.[citation needed]


Toll plaza along the Chicago Skyway

Along the Jane Addams Tollway, there are four mainline toll barriers in each direction—two split plazas and two full plazas. The barriers are located around the O'Hare International Airport area (River Road eastbound and Devon Avenue westbound), in Elgin, near Marengo (eastbound), in Belvidere (westbound), and in South Beloit. I-39 travelers exiting or entering at Rockford paid at the Cherry Valley toll plaza, but that toll plaza has been decommissioned southbound in 2003 and northbound in 2004 due to traffic congestion.[2]

In February 2006, the Marengo westbound and the Belvidere eastbound toll plazas were removed. Two two-toll plazas near O'Hare and the one in Elgin each charge cash tolls of $1.50 (as of January 1, 2012) and I-Pass tolls of 75 cents for a two-axle passenger vehicle. The South Beloit toll plaza near the Illinois and Wisconsin state line is $1.90 and 95 cents for I-Pass users (formerly $1.00 and 50¢ before 2012). Eastbound traffic does not pay a toll at Belvidere because of the removal of the eastbound Belvidere plaza, but pays $3.00 at Marengo (I-Pass users pay $1.50). On the other hand, westbound traffic pays no toll at Marengo but pays $3.00 at Belvidere (I-Pass users pay $1.50). This change was done to accommodate open road tolling construction. Originally, a ticket system was used to compute tolls on the segment between Beloit and Elgin with each driver receiving a Hollerith card upon entering and paying upon exiting, but it was replaced with a cash barrier system in the late 1970s. It was the only portion of the Illinois Tollways to use a ticket system.[citation needed]

The current rate for passenger cars and other two-axle vehicles on the Chicago Skyway is $5.20; vehicles with more axles pay higher rates. A discount is given during the overnight hours for vehicles with three or more axles.[3]

Historically, the Chicago Skyway was signed as, and was widely considered to be part of, I-90 from the mid-1960s forward (after I-90 in this area had been swapped with I-94). However, around 1999, the City of Chicago realized they had never received official approval to designate the Skyway as I-90. The city subsequently replaced most of the "I-90" signage with "TO I-90/I-94" signage. However, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has always and continues to report the Skyway as part of the Interstate Highway System, and the Federal Highway Administration also considers the Chicago Skyway an official part of I-90.[4]

The Skyway's official name, referring to it as a "toll bridge" rather than a "toll road", is the result of a legal quirk. At the time of its construction, the city charter of Chicago did not provide the authority to construct a toll road. However, the city could build toll bridges, and it was found that there was no limit to the length of the approaches to the bridge. Therefore, the Skyway is technically a toll bridge with a six-mile-long (9.7 km) approach. This also is part of the reason that there are no exits available until after one has crossed the bridge and paid the toll.[5]

The Jane Addams Memorial Tollway features a Illinois Tollway oasis in Belvidere, an over-highway oasis. This unique rest stop provides several vendors and allows tollway travelers to rest, refuel, and eat without having to exit the tollway. Another oasis was previously sited in Des Plaines near O'Hare, but it was closed and demolished in 2014 to make room for the widening of I-90 and the O'Hare West Bypass.[6]


Jane Addams Memorial TollwayEdit

The 76-mile (122 km) Northwest Tollway portion of I-90 opened on August 20, 1958.[7] Prior to the opening, the first vehicle to officially travel the new roadway was a covered wagon navigated by local resident John Madsen who took 5 days to make the journey.[8]

On September 7, 2007, the Northwest Tollway was renamed the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway after Jane Addams, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder of the Settlement House movement in the United States.[9][10]

The Illinois Tollway's 2005–2012 Congestion-Relief Program provided $644.1 million in improvements to the I-90 corridor.[11] The most prominent projects were the reconstruction of the I-90/I-39 interchange to improve traffic flow and reconstructing and widening the tollway to six lanes between I-39 and Rockton Road. This construction started in 2008 and was completed by the end of 2009.[12]

As part of the Tollway's $12 billion capital program, Move Illinois, over US$2 billion will be spent on improving the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90). Projects include rebuilding and widening the roadway to six lanes between I-39 and Randall Road, and eight lanes between Randall Road and the Kennedy Expressway. The inside shoulders will be widened for future transit opportunities, and active traffic management will be incorporated into the corridor.[13][14] In addition, almost all of the crossroad bridges will be rebuilt and several interchanges will be reconfigured/expanded.[15]

Chicago SkywayEdit

Chicago Skyway in 1999

The Chicago Skyway was originally known as the Calumet Skyway.[16] It cost $101 million (1958, $791 million in 2011) to construct and took about 34 months (nearly 3 years) to build. Nearly 8 miles (13 km) of elevated roadway, the Chicago Skyway was originally built as a shortcut from State Street, a major north-south street on Chicago's South Side that serves the Loop, to the steel mills on the Southeast to the Indiana state line where the Indiana Toll Road begins. Later, when the Dan Ryan Expressway opened, the Chicago Skyway was extended west to connect to it. There are only two eastbound exits east of the toll barrier, whereas there are four westbound exits west of the toll barrier (so that no exits are available until one has crossed the bridge and paid the toll). The Chicago Skyway opened to traffic on April 16, 1958.[16][17]

In the 1960s, the newly constructed Dan Ryan Expressway and the neighboring Calumet Expressway, Kingery Expressway and Borman Expressway provided free alternatives to the tollway, and the Skyway became much less used. As a result, from the 1970s through the early 1990s, the Skyway was unable to repay revenue bonds used in its construction.[18]

Traffic volumes have rebounded in recent years, (to 47,700 vehicles per day)[19] partially because of the construction of casinos in Northwest Indiana, along with re-construction of the Dan Ryan, Kingery and Borman Expressways. The city of Chicago claims a record number of motorists used the Skyway in 2002.[citation needed]

In 2003 and 2004, the city of Chicago initiated a $250 million project to rehabilitate and widen the Skyway. The project involved extensive work on the cantilever span and its approaches that included replacing the bridge's structural steel, rebuilding the piers that support the structure, and reconstructing the bridge deck. Because the city of Chicago required the Skyway to remain open during construction, engineers had to construct temporary bridge piers that would bear the load of the bridge and its traffic while new piers were built. The bridge was lifted up onto the temporary piers using 600 ton hydraulic jacks, the old piers were removed, and new ones were built. Crews also devised innovative methods for replacing the bridge's structural steel, replacing steel members one at a time. This process involved installing hydraulic chords around the component to be replaced. The bridge load was then transferred to the hydraulic chord, the steel member was removed and a new steel member was then installed.[20]

In June 2005, the Skyway became compatible with electronic toll collection, with users now able to pay tolls using I-PASS or E-ZPass transponders. There is no discount for using a transponder.[citation needed]

The city of Chicago's Department of Streets and Sanitation formerly maintained the Chicago Skyway Toll Bridge System. A transaction that gave the city of Chicago a $1.83 billion cash infusion leased the Skyway to the Skyway Concession Company (SCC), a joint-venture between the Australian Macquarie Infrastructure Group and Spanish Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte S.A., which assumed operations on the Skyway on a 99–year operating lease. SCC will be responsible for all operating and maintenance costs of the Skyway but has the right to all toll and concession revenue. The Triple-A bond insurer Financial Security Assurance Inc. (FSA) has guaranteed $1.4 billion of senior bonds to provide long-term funding for the privately operated Chicago Skyway. On June 30, 2006, this same joint-venture assumed responsibility for operating and maintaining the adjacent Indiana East–West Toll Road for $3.8 billion. The agreement between SCC and the city of Chicago marked the first time an existing toll road was moved from public to private operation in the United States.[21]

The SCC has been owned by a consortium of Canadian pension funds (Borealis Infrastructure, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, and CPP Investment Board) since February 2016.[22]

Exit listEdit

WinnebagoSouth Beloit0.000.00   I-39 north / I-90 west – MadisonContinuation into Wisconsin
0.290.471   US 51 north / IL 75 – South BeloitWestern end of US 51 overlap
Rockton2.714.363  CR 9 (Rockton Road) – RoscoeNorthwestern end of Jane Addams Memorial Tollway
3.605.79South Beloit Toll Plaza
Rockford8.9414.399  IL 173 (West Lane Road) – Machesney Park
12.4720.0712East Riverside Boulevard – Loves Park
  US 20 Bus. (State Street)
17.4028.0017    I-39 south / US 51 south to US 20 – BloomingtonEastern end of I-39 / US 51 overlap. To Chicago Rockford International Airport via US 20 West
BooneBelvidere20.4032.8321Irene Road
22.9336.90Belvidere Toll Plaza (westbound)
23.5137.84Belvidere Oasis
24.6239.6225Belvidere–Genoa Road – Belvidere
McHenryRiley37.3960.17Marengo Toll Plaza (eastbound)
KaneHampshire41.5466.8542  US 20 – Marengo, Hampshire
Huntley46.0274.0647  IL 47 – Huntley, Woodstock, ElburnI-PASS only
Elgin51.7883.3352  CR 34 (Randall Road)
53.4285.97Elgin Toll Plaza
54.2287.2654  IL 31 (State Street, 8th Street) – Elgin, Carpentersville, St. Charles, Geneva
county line
55.9590.0456  IL 25 (Dundee Avenue)
CookHoffman Estates57.7792.9758Beverly RoadWestbound exit and eastbound entrance only
59.3195.4559  IL 59 (Sutton Road) – Barrington, Hoffman Estates, Streamwood, Bartlett
61.8199.4762Barrington Road – Barrington, Hoffman Estates, Streamwood, Hanover Park
Schaumburg65.19104.9165Roselle Road – Schaumburg, Palatine, Roselle, Hoffman EstatesWestbound entrance ramp via Central Road
66.93107.7167Meacham RoadI-PASS only; westbound exit and entrance only, no access from I-290 and IL 53 ramp
Rolling Meadows67.84109.1868   I-290 east (Eisenhower Expressway) / IL 53 – Chicago, West Suburbs, Northwest SuburbsSigned as exits 68A (I-290) and 68B (IL 53); to I-355 (Veterans Memorial Tollway); to IL 390 (formerly the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway)
Arlington Heights70.47113.4170Arlington Heights Road – Arlington Heights, Elk Grove, Rolling MeadowsToll on eastbound exit and westbound entrance ramps
Des Plaines73.25117.8873  Elmhurst Road to (IL 83) – Des Plaines, Mount Prospect, Elk Grove Village, BensenvilleI-PASS only on eastbound exit and westbound entrance ramps
75.80121.9976  IL 72 (Lee Street)Westbound exit and eastbound entrance only
Rosemont76.75123.52Devon Avenue Toll Plaza (westbound)
77.03123.97  IL 72 / Devon AvenueWestbound entrance only
77/78   I-190 west (Kennedy Expressway) – O'Hare Airport
  I-294 (Tri-State Tollway) – Indiana, Milwaukee
Signed as exits 77A (I-294 south/I-190 west) and 77B (I-294 north) eastbound; signed as exits 77 (I-294 north) and 78 (I-294 south/I-190 west) westbound
78.20125.85River Road Toll Plaza (eastbound)
Chicago78.49126.32Southeastern end of Jane Addams Memorial Tollway
Northwestern end of Kennedy Expressway
79.28127.5979  IL 171 south (Cumberland Avenue)Signed as exits 79A (south) and 79B (north)
79.99128.7380Canfield RoadWestbound exit and eastbound entrance only
80.84130.1081A  IL 43 (Harlem Avenue)
81.14130.5881BSayre AvenueWestbound exit and eastbound entrance only
81.85131.7282ANagle AvenueNo westbound exit
82.09132.1182BBryn Mawr AvenueWestbound exit only
82.31132.4782CAustin AvenueEastbound exit only
82.79133.2483AFoster AvenueNo eastbound exit
83.01133.5983BCentral AvenueWestbound exit and eastbound entrance only
83.71134.7284Lawrence AvenueEastbound To I-94
  I-94 west (Edens Expressway) – MilwaukeeWestern end of I-94 overlap; westbound exit and eastbound entrance only; western end of reversible express lanes
84.77136.4243CMontrose AvenueWestbound exit and eastbound entrance only
85.03136.8443DKostner AvenueWestbound exit only
44A  IL 19 (Irving Park Road) / Keeler AvenueNo westbound exit
44B  IL 19 (Irving Park Road) / Pulaski RoadWestbound exit and eastbound entrance only
86.34138.9545AAddison Street
86.77139.6445BKimball Avenue
87.08140.1445CBelmont AvenueWestbound exit and eastbound entrance only
87.64141.04Sacramento AvenueEastbound entrance only
87.79141.2846ACalifornia AvenueEastbound exit and westbound entrance only
87.96141.5646BDiversey AvenueWestbound exit and eastbound entrance only
47AWestern Avenue, Fullerton AvenueWestbound exit and eastbound entrance from Western Avenue
89.08143.3647BDamen AvenueWestbound exit and eastbound entrance only
89.52144.0748AArmitage AvenueEastbound traffic uses Armitage Avenue to Ashland Avenue
90.10145.0048B  IL 64 (North Avenue)Westbound traffic uses North Avenues to Ashland Avenue
90.66145.9049ADivision Street
90.91146.3149BAugusta Boulevard, Milwaukee AvenueWestbound exit and eastbound entrance only
91.40147.0950AOgden AvenueEastbound exit and westbound entrance only
91.62147.4550BOhio StreetEastern end of reversible express lanes
92.19148.3751ALake StreetWestbound exit and eastbound entrance only
92.27148.4951BRandolph Street west
92.34148.6151CWashington Boulevard eastExits only; no entrances
92.44148.7751DMadison Street
92.53148.9151EMonroe StreetEastbound exit only
92.62149.0651FAdams Street westEastbound exit and westbound entrance only
92.71149.2051GJackson Boulevard eastEastbound exit and westbound entrance only
   I-290 / IL 110 (CKC) west (Eisenhower Expressway) – West Suburbs
Congress Parkway – Chicago Loop
Circle Interchange; signed as exits 51H (west) and 51I (east); southeastern end of Kennedy Expressway and northern end of Dan Ryan Expressway
93.42150.3452ATaylor Street, Roosevelt RoadEastbound exit and westbound entrance only
93.57150.5952BRoosevelt Road, Taylor StreetWestbound exit and eastbound entrance only
94.22151.6352C18th StreetEastbound exit and westbound entrance only
  I-55 south (Stevenson Expressway) – St. Louis
  I-55 north (Stevenson Expressway) / Lake Shore Drive, Cermak Road – Chinatown
Signed as exits 53B (south) and 53C (north) westbound; Cermak Road access from westbound only; western end of express lanes
94.48152.0553ACanalport Avenue, Cermak RoadWestbound exit and eastbound entrance only; Chinatown exit
96.16154.755431st Street
96.45155.2255A35th StreetU.S. Cellular Field, Illinois Institute of Technology
96.98156.0755BPershing Road
97.44156.8156A43rd Street
97.97157.6756B47th Street
98.88159.1357Garfield Boulevard
99.50160.1358A59th StreetWestbound exit and eastbound entrance only
100.00160.9358B63rd StreetEastbound exit and westbound entrance only
  I-94 east (Dan Ryan Expressway) – IndianaEastern end of I-94 overlap; eastern end of express lanes; western end of Chicago Skyway
100.33161.47100State StreetWestbound exit and eastbound entrance only
101.42163.22101St. Lawrence AvenueWestbound exit and eastbound entrance only
101.78163.8010273rd StreetWestbound exit and eastbound entrance only
103Stony Island Avenue to Lake Shore DriveWestbound exit and eastbound entrance only
103.93167.26Jeffery Boulevard, 84th StreetEastbound entrance only
104.28167.8210487th StreetWestbound exit
104.67168.45Chicago Skyway Toll Plaza
105.26169.40105Anthony Avenue, 92nd StreetEastbound exit and westbound entrance only
Chicago Skyway Toll Bridge
107.82173.52107    US 12 / US 20 / US 41 (Indianapolis Boulevard)Eastbound exit and westbound entrance only
      I-90 east / Indiana Toll Road east to I-80 / I-65 / I-94 – Toledo, OhioContinuation into Indiana; eastern end of Chicago Skyway
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Related routesEdit

  • I-190 - a spur into O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. Also known as the Kennedy Expressway O'Hare Extension or the O'Hare Expressway.
  • I-290 - a southwest dogleg left route accessing the west suburbs and heading east into downtown Chicago. Also known as the Dwight D. Eisenhower Expressway.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Illinois Technology Transfer Center (2011). "GIS Data". Illinois Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (ESRI shapefile) on June 26, 2013. Retrieved February 18, 2013.
  2. ^ "Cherry Valley Interchange Press Release". November 12, 2009. Retrieved November 13, 2009.
  3. ^ "Toll Information - Chicago Skyway". Skyway Concession Company. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
  4. ^ Samuel, Peter (June 29, 2005). "Skyway Is Interstate 90 Unless State Withdraws Reports: Feds". TollRoadsNews. Retrieved January 3, 2010.
  5. ^ Mayer, Harold M.; Wade, Richard C. (1969). Chicago: Growth of a Metropolis. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 442. ISBN 0-226-51274-6.
  6. ^ "Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90)". Illinois State Toll Highway Authority. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  7. ^ "N. W. Tollway Opens Aug. 20 at Ceremony". Chicago Daily Tribune. June 30, 1958. Retrieved April 18, 2010.
  8. ^ "First tollway vehicle to be covered wagon". The Milwaukee Journal. August 11, 1958. Retrieved April 18, 2010.
  9. ^ Ryan, Joseph (September 7, 2007). "Northwest Tollway renamed for reformer Addams". Retrieved September 8, 2007.
  10. ^ Illinois General Assembly (May 22, 2007). "Full text of HJR0019". Retrieved September 8, 2007.
  11. ^ Illinois State Toll Highway Authority (2011). Congestion Relief Program: 2011 Update (PDF) (Report). Illinois State Toll Highway Authority. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
  12. ^ Illinois State Toll Highway Authority. "Cherry Valley Interchange (I-90/39) Reconstruction and Reconfiguration" (PDF). Illinois State Toll Highway Authority. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
  13. ^ "Transit on I-90" (PDF). Jane Addams Memorial Tollway Rebuilding and Widening Project. Illinois State Toll Highway Authority. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
  14. ^ "A Smart, State-of-the-Art, 21st Century Corridor" (PDF). Jane Addams Memorial Tollway Rebuilding and Widening Project. Illinois State Toll Highway Authority. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
  15. ^ "New and Improved Interchanges" (PDF). Jane Addams Memorial Tollway Rebuilding and Widening Project. Illinois State Toll Highway Authority. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
  16. ^ a b Foust, Hal (April 17, 1958). "A Great Day For Chicago! Skyway Open". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved June 21, 2010.(subscription required)
  17. ^ Chicago Area Transportation Study. "System Facilities". Chicago Area Transportation Study. Archived from the original on June 18, 2007. Retrieved July 7, 2007.
  18. ^ McClendon, Dennis (2005). "Skyway". Encyclopedia of Chicago. Retrieved July 7, 2007.
  19. ^ Illinois Department of Transportation (2005). "Getting Around Illinois". Illinois Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 7, 2007.
  20. ^ Enerpac Company. "Chicago Skyway Rehab: Hydraulics Boost Productivity". Enerpac Company. Retrieved July 7, 2007.
  21. ^ "Chicago privatizes Skyway toll road in $1.8 billion deal". Southern Illinoisian. Carbondale, IL. Associated Press. October 17, 2004. Retrieved March 4, 2008.
  22. ^ Skyway Concession Company (n.d.). "About the Skyway". Skyway Concession Company. Retrieved May 20, 2017. In February 2016, Skyway was purchased by three Canadian Pension Funds—Borealis Infrastructure, CPP Investment Board, and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

External linksEdit