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Chicago expressways - North and Northwest


Route number: Interstate 90/94 from Chicago downtown to Foster Ave. The road splits into I-94 (northbound) Edens Expy. and I-90 (Kennedy Expy.)

Direction: Northwest from downtown Chicago to O'Hare International Airport

Length: 16 miles

Opened: 1960

Original name: Northwest Expressway

Renamed: 1963 to honor President Kennedy

Alternate routes: Elston Ave., Milwaukee Ave., Higgins Rd., Northwest Highway.

Trivia Bits: On November 29, 1963, the Chicago City Council unanimously voted to change the name of the Northwest Expressway to the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Expressway. The act came at 12:37 p.m., one week almost to the minute from the time that President Kennedy had been struck down by an assassin's bullets in Dallas.

The Kennedy's route number was originally IL-194. It has held the I-90 designation since 1973.

The Kennedy also has two reversible lanes in its center. Automated gates control the traffic access so that the extra lane is available for inbound traffic in the morning and outbound traffic in the afternoon.



Route number: I-94

Direction: North from the Kennedy to Northbrook and the Tri-State Tollway

Alternate routes: Cicero/Skokie Blvd.



Route number: I-90

Direction: Northwest from O'Hare Airport to Schaumburg, Rockford, and the Wisconsin state line

Alternate routes: Higgins Rd., Golf Rd.



Route number: none (yet)

Direction: West from the Eisenhower Extension (I-290, Rt. 53) to Lake St.

Length: 5 miles

Opened: 1993

Alternate route: Consider Irving Park Rd., or Lake St.



Route number: I-190

Direction: West from the Kennedy Expressway into O'Hare Airport.

Length: 3 miles

Trivia Bits: I-190 is the shortest interstate in Illinois.


Route number: US 41

Direction: Along Chicago's lakefront - south from Hollywood St. to 67th St. Route 41 designation begins at Foster Ave.

Alternate routes: Sheridan Rd., "Inner" Lake Shore Drive - the street, Cannon Drive. South L.S.D: Drexel Blvd, Lake Park, or even the Dan Ryan Expressway.


* Exit guides are from Brandon Gorte's site. The links open in a new browser window.

Sources: Chicago Public Library, the Illinois Highways Page, and the Chicago Area Interstates Page.

Note: Length refers to total Illinois length. Direction is specific to the Chicago area.

Expressways are grouped by general direction from the Loop:  
North and Northwest, West, South, Southeast and Southwest,  and Perimeter/Outlying.


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