|Look for the ILLINOIS interstate signs on Congress at Michigan|
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Highway number: Interstate 290
Direction: West from downtown Chicago to western suburbs, and northwest to Schaumburg
Length: 32 miles
Original name: Congress Street expressway
Renamed: 1964 to honor President and WWI veteran Eisenhower
Driving time, offpeak: 35 minutes inbound and outbound, 15-18 mins outbound to Mannheim
Driving time, peak: 50-60 minutes outbound, 60-70 minutes inbound. 35 mins outbound to Mannheim
Best Alternates: 22nd Street (Cermak), Roosevelt Road, Harrison from Austin to Harlem
Other Alternates: Madison, Ogden (too slow), Stevenson Expressway (I-55, currently under construction). For travels on the Ike Extension, Rt. 83 (Kingery Highway, evolved from the 80/94 version of Kingery) is a good option. Rt. 83 is a highway with limited traffic signals.
My alternates are based on exiting the Ike at Laramie (5200W) or Austin (6000W) on an outbound trip, or entering the Ike at Harlem (7200W) or Austin on an inbound trip
The Ike is a very congested route. Depending on your direction inbound/outbound, you may spend most of the trip driving less than 20 mph.
This is the road for those who live in the western burbs (Oak Park, Oak Brook, Naperville, Aurora) and work downtown, or vice versa. The Ike feeds into 1-88 (East-West Tollway).
The infamous "Hillside Strangler"
The point at which I-290, I-88, I-294, and an entrance ramp from Roosevelt merge is commonly known as the "Ike bottleneck" or the "Hillside Strangler". The latter name is because the section of road is located in the suburb Hillside. It is the 13th worst bottleneck in the U.S.
Illinois Governor George Ryan made "untangling the Hillside Strangler" a top priority while he was running for office. The Ike construction plan, which will begin in 2000 and finish in 2001, calls for access lanes along Mannheim Road and Roosevelt Road, which will make exiting at Mannheim easier for eastbound traffic. Access roads will also be added between Mannheim and 25th Avenue. The improvements include lengthening the eastbound Ike entrance at Mannheim, which is currently a flash-speed acceleration session, a game of "Beat the Trucks".
For more information about the project, visit this page:
If you want to know more about the real "Hillside Stranglers", the serial killers, visit the Bueno and Bianchi page on the Serial Killers website.