History Of Chicago Highway Names
Chicago Expressway Name and Interstate number
Welcome to Chicago, where we refer to the highways by the names rather than the numbers. Planning a move to Chicago, or if you are a recent transplant to the city, many of the new Chicago residents often have trouble understanding the difference between the expressway name and the Interstate Highway number, and are not able to find the directions of the expressway properly. The names of the highways (not the numbers) are used for all the traffic reports, so you better get familiar with them.
Chicago Expressway and Interstate Directions
Travelers are often confused when the road signage indicates that the north-south Dan Ryan Expressway is the westbound I-94. The interstate highway system I-90 and I-94 traverse the country from east to west generally north of Chicago. Despite this, both Interstates move north-south from Chicago for the crossing of Lake Michigan. The I-94 route from Detroit to Michigan then through Lake Michigan and then connects in Illinois and Westbound I-80.
What are the highways in Chicago called?
Chicago Skyway, Dan Ryan Expressway, Kennedy Expressway, Jane Addams Memorial Tollway, and the Eisenhower.
Why is 94 called the Edens?
The William G Edens Expressway (originally called Eden Parkway or Edens Superhighway) is the main major expressway from downtown Chicago to Northbrook and Highland Park. The Edens was the first expressway with three lanes in either direction and opened December 20, 1951. William Grant Edens (1863-1957) sponsored Illinois's first highway bond issue in 1918. The Edens (I-94) generally runs north-south throughout the northeastern portion of Illinois through Lake County and Cook County, but it's signed as east-west in alignment with the rest of the highway across other states.
Why is it called Dan Ryan?
The Dan Ryan is an expressway that runs from the circle exchange near downtown Chicago through the South Side. It's designated as both I-90 and I-94 south to 66th street, then referred to as the Chicago Skyway. The Dan Ryan and it's North Side counterpart, the Kennedy Expressway are the busiest roads in the state of Illinois with fourteen lanes of traffic.
What is the Kennedy Expressway?
The John F. Kennedy Expressway, also known as "the Kennedy," is an almost 18 mile long (29KM) highway in Chicago that runs southeast-northwest between the West Loop and O'Hare. Portions of the freeway carry I-190, I-90, and I-94. The Kennedy merges with the Edens Expressway at Montrose Avenue. The Kennedy Expressway opened on November 5, 1960 and was originally called the Northwest Expressway, but later renamed after president John F. Kennedy.
What is the Eisenhower Expressway?
Interstate Highway System 290 (I-290) is the highway that runs westward from the Chicago Loop. The portion of I-290 from I-294 to it's east end is called the Dwight D Eisenhower expressway (the Ike) and connects with the Jane Addams Memorial tollway in Rolling Meadows.
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