Heading west into the sunset around the Quad Cities. MO-IL 110 was recently designated as an alternate route from Kansas City to Chicago, avoiding the clogged combination of I-70 to I-55. It also avoids a lot of freeway, taking US 36 across Missouri and IL 336, US 136, and US 67. Although this is I-80 West, it's actually the CKC (Chicago-Kansas City Expwy.) East, as the I-74/I-80 combo runs due north from 67 to I-88, which IL 110 then follows to Chicago. Less traffic, perhaps, and quite possibly faster through Missouri, but the Illinois routing is laughable in its contrived attempt to avoid any mileage on 55. It would be shorter and faster to just stay on I-72 to I-57.
WB at the Quad Cities beltway in 1976, courtesy Michael Summa. I-80 and I-74 bounce off each other here, with I-80 comprising the north and east of the beltway, and I-74 ultimately running up the middle of the four cities (between Moline and East Moline, between Davenport and Bettendorf). The rest of the beltway is I-280.
More westbound Michael Summa photos from 1976, then continuing south on IL 26 from Exit 56 in 1978, also courtesy Michael Summa.
EB through construction at Brisbin Rd., to become Exit 116 (since opened). There's nothing out there, but the exit helps keep traffic from the heavy industry to the southeast out of Minooka, and the hope is that more development will come. The last photo is where the future EB onramp crosses Collins Run.
The future Brisbin Rd., heading north from US 6 to I-80. There was formerly just a narrow 2-lane bridge here.
The future I-80 EB offramp.
The future I-80 EB onramp.
The Joliet Road Meet tour stopped at the edge of I-80 and looked across at the opposite abutment, then left and right at the future WB onramp and offramp, respectively.
How signs are made.
Heading back south to the cars parked at US 6. At no point did we operate the plethora of heavy machinery, but at no point were we not tempted.
Inside the EB rest area east of what's now Exit 116.
EB across the Des Plaines River in Joliet. I hate clearview enough when used properly, but the "EXIT 25 MPH" is egregiously improper, and ruins the vertical spacing for the rest of the sign.
Back west across the river. "Iowa" is a silly control city; it should be "Moline" or "Quad Cities."
I liked it so much, I drove it again (on the Joliet Road Meet). Click to play an eastbound video.
The first WB photo may be from 1976 (courtesy Michael Summa), but the remainder are button copy, so who wins?
I win, because I found two more eastbound.
EB on the I-80/I-294 multiplex at the IL 1 cloverleaf, center photo courtesy Doug Kerr and the other two courtesy Scott Colbert. 294 changes from north-south to match I-80 for their brief marriage. The concurrency is pretty unnecessary, since I-294 ends when I-94 joins I-80 in a multiplex into Indiana, but Illinois wanted the 294 number to link to I-94 on both ends. Besides, I-80 is known as the Tri-State Tollway for that multiplex, and the one-road one-number principle supports keeping 294 on the Tollway.
I-80/I-94 EB, but those shields are down the road from this afterthought.