Illinois Roads - I-294

I-294, Tri-State Tollway


For some reason, Illinois' tollways don't have exit numbers, and that includes both I-294 (Tri-State Tollway) and I-80 (upon its joining I-294 in a multiplex, which you'll see below). Poke around all of my Illinois pages and see if you can guess which highways have tolls.


Poorly designed and narrow shields on 127th St. WB in Alsip, and beautiful button copy (not to mention an exceedingly rare Illinois state-name shield) on Lake Cook Rd. WB at I-294's north end. "South" and "North" should have a larger first letter, and "Toll" should not.
Southbound

All daytime photos are courtesy Scott Colbert in this direction. All nighttime photos or pieces thereof are courtesy Doug Kerr.


I-294 runs right next to I-290 for just over a mile, allowing their interchange to be spread out (with an extra exit in the middle on I-290) and taking I-290 down far enough to interact with I-88. I-88 ends at I-290 just east of 294.


As you can see from all this button copy, I-294 loves using AHEAD as its destination, akin to the NJ Turnpike's "THRU TRAFFIC". It also likes including road names, which isn't FHWA standard, but then again, neither are the parentheses around the alternate road name.


The left sign isn't button copy, but 11 miles is a bit long to name the exit - heck, even 5 miles is, unless it's a major freeway or the end of the road. "NEXT EXIT 5 MILES" would work fine, followed by as much as a 2-mile advance.


Two mysteries. 1: How did a button-copy end up on an otherwise relflective-lettered sign? 2: What is missing from the space on the right of the US 12/20 sign?


Answering one of those questions, the sign was fabricated to have EAST on it, but like a good advance sign, decided to allow both directions to stay. Note that the original US 12/20 shields on the WEST sign remain.


Button copy, finishing up with a state name shield that's a bit smaller than usual (but it looks intentional, strangely). The sign on the right hides a treasure that you must click on to discover. It's groooovy. (Note, what you see by clicking is missing arrows over a left merge from express I-Pass toll lanes.)


I-294 SB turns east to match I-80's direction as they run together to bring 294 back to parent I-94. Outer photos are courtesy Scott Colbert, and the center one is courtesy Doug Kerr.
Northbound


Button copy photographed from I-55. Even the small text has reflectors! "Oasis" is ISTHA's way of saying "service plaza." An interesting feature of most Oases is that the parking is on either side, but the building spans the highway. Nothing like eating food over live traffic, and I mean that in a complimentary way.

All other photos are courtesy Doug Kerr.


I guess when Illinois mentions Exact Coin, it's the one with a giant $ on it. This is just north of I-90.


When you see the street direction encapsulated like this, you know the sign is button copy. Illinois never did it for routes with numbers, though.


And that's it; eventually I-294 will return to its parent, which then continues the name of the Tri-State Tollway almost to the Wisconsin border.
Onto IL 1
Onto I-80
To I-57
To I-94
Onto US 6
To IL 83
Onto US 12
Onto US 20
Onto I-55
Onto US 34
Onto I-88
Onto I-290
Onto US 14
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