Illinois Tollways are built and maintained by the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority. This is a state agency that was set up in the mid 1950's to build the 3 original tollways (the Tri-State Tollway, Northwest Tollway , and the section of the East-West Tollway east of Sugar Grove).

In the early 1970's ITHA built the East-West Tollway extension west of Sugar Grove to Sterling. West of Sterling this road was continued as a freeway. This is now known as the Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway (or Expressway west of Sterling).

In the 1980's the North-South Tollway (I-355) was built from I-55 near Bolingbrook to Army Trail Road near Addison. The north end of this tollway was the south end of an existing freeway numbered IL-53. (IL-53 was partially relocated after the N-S was built.) The southern extension of I-355 was opened in 2007 and the entire road renamed as the Veterans Memorial Tollway..

In 2004 plans were announced that include converting the Illinois Tollway system to "Open Tolling" where the mainline traffic passes thru full speed I-Pass detectors and cash traffic pulls off to a cash toll booth. Cash customers pay increased tolls, I-Pass users pay the lower rates. This is intended to speed traffic flow and increase the use of the I-Pass electronic toll collection devices. As part of this project the long awaited southern extension of I-355 to I-80 was also completed.

 

Ronald Reagen Memorial Tollway

(East-West Tollway)

The East-West Tollway originally went from the Tri-State Tollway to Sugar Grove, near Aurora as Toll-US-30.
In 1966 it was changed to IL-190, since I-90 was used on the Tri-State Tollway and Eisenhower Expressway.
In 1971 it was changed again to IL-5 when I-90 was rerouted from the Ike and Tri-State to the Kennedy.
In the mid 70's the East-West was extended to near Sterling, and IL-5 was extended from there to the Quad Cities as a freeway. The section from Sugar Grove east to the current tollway was numbered IL-56 as an extension of that route, IL-56 was multiplexed onto the tollway for a few miles to connect.
In 1990 it was changed another time, this time to I-88. This was due to the federal speed laws that then only allowed 65 MPH on Interstates. This was changed a couple years later to allow 65 MPH on any highway that met certain design specifications, and then the 55/65 speed law was eliminated altogether in 1995. IL-88, a north south highway that crossed the E-W Tollway near Rock Falls was then renumbered IL-40 to avoid conflicts with 2 highways with the same number crossing each other.
The East-West Tollway is also signed as the "I-88 Technology Corridor", akin to the MA-128 area around Boston. In 2004 it was renamed as the Ronald Reagan Tollway in honor of the late president.
 

 

East West Tollway

51

York Road

53

Spring Road

55

Midwest Road

56

Highland Av.

81

Route 34 (Ogden Av. )(actually a NS Tollway plaza)

57

Naperville Rd

58

Winfield Rd

59

Farnsworth Av.

61

Aurora

63

Route 31

64

Orchard Rd

65

Peace Rd

66

DeKalb (Thru Traffic)

67

DeKalb (Exits)

69

Dixon (Thru Traffic)

70

Dixon (Exits West)

71

Dixon (Exits East)

 

 

Tri-State Tollway

 
The Tri-State Tollway was built in the mid 1950's and was once "Toll-US-41", It received the I-294/I-94 numbers in 1959. North of the former Deerfield Road Toll Plaza the Tri-State is I-94, south of Deerfield to the junction with the Bishop Ford Freeway it is I-294. The last few miles from Hazelcrest to the Bishop Ford it is also I-80.The Tri-State is the 3rd of the several bypasses around Chicago: Full plazas are at: Northbound traffic stops at "Touhy Ave." near O'Hare, while Southbound traffic stops at "Irving Park Road"There is a full plaza on the Edens Spur. Several ramps collect tolls as well.Oasis's are "Lake Forest", "O'Hare", "Hinsdale", and "Lincoln" (near IL-1)The Tri-State starts at the I-94/US-41 junction just shy of the WI line and ends at the I-94/IL-394 junction 2 miles from the IN line.The Tri-State/Edens Spur runs from the Deerfield Road Plaza to the Edens Highway between Lake Cook Road and Dundee Road (IL-68). I-94 follows the Spur. I-294 takes the Tri-State south from here.

 

 

Tri-State Tollway

21

Waukegan

20

Route 137 (Buckley Road)

22

Route 60

23

Route 22

25

Deerfield Rd (Closed)

24

Edens Spur

26

Lake Cook Rd (Closed)

27

Willow Rd

28

Route 58 (Golf Rd)

29

Touhy Av.

31

O'Hare West

32

O'Hare East

33

Route 19 (Irving Park Rd)

35

Cermak Rd

37

I-55

34

75th St.

36

82nd St.

39

83rd St.

38

95th St.

40

159th St.

41

163rd St.

43

I-80 WB

45

I-80 EB

47

Route 1 (Halsted St.)

 

 

Jane Adams Memorial Tollway

(Northwest Tollway)

The Northwest Tollway was built in the late 50's and early 60's from the O'Hare area (at the Tri-State Tollway) to the WI line north of Rockford. The route has I-90 on its entire length. From the Rockford Curve to the last exit in IL (IL-75) US-51 is also here. It was renamed in honor of the famed social worker in 2007.
Full plazas are at:
Eastbound traffic stops at "River Road", west bound at "Devon Ave." Several ramps on or off the road also collect tolls.
Oasis's are at Des Plaines and Belvidere.

 

Northwest Tollway

1

South Beloit

2

East Riverside (Rockford N)

3

Cherry Valley (Rockford S)

5

Belvidere

7

Marengo-Hampshire

8

Randall Rd

9

Elgin

11

Route 31 (Elgin E)

13

Route 25

14A

Route 59

10

Barrington Rd

12

Roselle Rd

15

Route 53/I-1290

14

Arlington Hts. Rd

17

Devon Av.

19

River Road


Veterans Memorial Tollway

(North-South Tollway)

The North-South Tollway was built in the 1980's from I-55 near Bolingbrook to Army Trail Road near Addison, along a route parallel to IL-53. It extended to the south a freeway built in the 1970's from Palatine to Addison that had been numbered IL-53.

Construction started in 1997 to extend I-355 to I-80 near New Lenox, but was halted by a court fight over environmental concerns. Opponents of the road pointed out that IDOT and the ITHA did not consider the option of not building the road when environmental impact statements were filed. This option had never been required before, but the courts forced the Tollway Authority to suspend construction anyway. In 2004 the ISTHA approved EIS plans to extend it south to I-80, construction was completed in November 2007.

There are also reports that have this road planned to be extended east from Peotone to I-65 near Lowell IN, and even a leg east of there to I-94. These are only rumors at this time, and wouldn't be built for years in any case.

There are plans for and right-of-way has been acquired for an extension of IL-53 north from the current end at Lake Cook Road (IL-53 actually splits off the freeway at IL-68, and the section north of IL-68 has no number, but everyone calls it IL-53 anyway) to near Grayslake, at IL-120, and then east to I-94 (Tri-State Tollway), and a leg west towards if not to the end of the US-12 freeway at Richmond. This is a sorely needed link for Lake County and the rest of the area. The west leg of this, when connected to the US-12 freeway in WI, will provide a great relief for interregional traffic. The mainline and I-94 link will allow some of the legendary central Lake County traffic jams to dry up.

 

North South Tollway

73

Army Trail Road

75

Route 64 (North Av.)

77

Route 38 (Roosevelt Rd)

79

Route 56 (Butterfield Rd)

81

Route 34 (Ogden Av.)

83

Maple Av.

85

63rd St.

87

75th St.

89

Boughton Rd

90

Boughton Road Ramp


Chicago Skyway

The Chicago Skyway is the only toll road in IL not built and run by the Illinois Toll Highway Authority. This was built in the late 1950's by the City of Chicago.In late 2004 the Chicago Skyway was leased to a private company, the Cintra-Macquarie Consortium, a joint Spanish and Australian venture, for 99 years, recieving 1.8 Billion dollars for the City. CMC will take over maintenance and operations of the road, collect the tolls and handle administrative functions. The City will continue to provide police patrols. Scott Kozel writes in Misc.Transport.Road on 12-23-97:
>>>The Indiana Tollroad was built to connect to the Chicago Skyway on the southeastern border of the city. The Chicago Skyway was built to extend the New York-Chicago tollroad system into the heart of Chicago, and both the Indiana and Chicago tollroads were completed by 1959, putting them (at least their funding) in the pre-Interstate era. The Dan Ryan Expressway linked the Skyway to downtown Chicago, and it was completed in the early 1960s (I'm not sure of the exact year). So I'm sure that the Dan Ryan was at least in final design, or perhaps in right-of-way acquisition, when the Skyway opened. So the Indiana Tollroad and the Chicago Skyway were deliberately built to serve the heart of Chicago.<<<
For many years the Skyway was in major disrepair, and was all but abandoned. Tolls kept going up as traffic declined. There were plans to dynamite the entire road, and reroute I-90 over other roads. During the 1980's however, the City decided to repair the road, and substantial improvements were made. Although the toll is $2.00 it is now a viable route for traffic between the Loop and points east. They have done a decent job on making the road relatively smooth. The McDonald's at the toll plaza is actually pretty good!
The Skyway is basically a long bridge, as the entire road is elevated or on fill. The massive bridge over the Calumet River can be seen for miles, and when on it affords a view never to be forgotten.
While on a brief excursion to the Northern Indiana area on August 17, 1999 I drove the Chicago Skyway both ways from the Dan Ryan to the Indiana E-W Toll Road. On ALL the I-90 signs on the Skyway EB they added a blue "TO" banner above the East I-90 signs, and all the WB signs are now "TO West I-90 I-94" with the "TO" banner above the "WEST" and the 2 Interstate shields. There were no indications of any changes either on the Ryan approach or the IN Tollroad approach. There were no "End I-90" signs anywhere.I contacted the Chicago Department of Transportation who said that they had done some research and that the Skyway was never actually approved as an Interstate Highway, and that the "To" banners were added to more correctly identify the route. The majority of travelers would not notice the change and the signs would be factually correct. Only roadgeeks like me would have noticed this.For now, at least, the Chicago Skyway is not part of I-90, and I would consider I-90 a 2 part route, with a 10 mile gap from the IN line to the Dan Ryan.

Toll Bridges

Some toll bridges still remain in IL. While most go to another state, at least one remains entirely in Illinois, (Rockford). Toll Bridges exist at:

 

Road

Location

River

Notes

Harlem Ave.

Rockford

Rock River

 

at Niota IL/Fort Madison IA

Mississippi River

Owned by the BNSF Railroad (Former ATSF) as this is a shared Road/Rail bridge.

in White Co. IL

Wabash River

Owned by the White Co. Bridge Authority. Connects to IN-62

near New Harmony IN

Wabash River

Connects to IN-68

McKinley Bridge from Venice IL to St. Louis MO Mississippi River Closed in 2001, reopened in 2007 after refurbishing. Was owned by the City of Venice, now owned by the States of Illinois and Missouri, maintenance is by IDOT.
at Rock Island Mississippi River Tolls removed in May 2003.
Burlington IA Mississippi River

The original bridge was built by the City of Burlington IA. Tolls removed when the bridge was replaced in the 1980's.

Keokuk IA

Mississippi River

Tolls removed when the bridge was replaced in the 1980's.

Route overview and markers

Updated 3-22-2008