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Interstate 57

 

Routing

Interstate 57 is one of two major north-south Interstates serving downstate Illinois. It follows the U.S. 45 and Illinois 1 corridors for much of its journey across the state, and it provides an alternative to Interstate 55 between Sisketon and Chicago by avoiding St. Louis. In Chicago, Interstate 57 is one of the few freeways that is referred to by its number rather than an expressway name.

Northbound Interstate 57 crosses the Mississippi River on this bridge, a steel through arch bridge that was built in 1978. About mid-way across the bridge, Interstate 57 leaves Missouri and enters Illinois. Photo taken by Steve Hanudel (08/19/05).

Future Aspirations

According to Missouri's Department of Transportation, Interstate 57 is proposed to be extended from Charleston, Missouri, southwest to Little Rock, Arkansas, via U.S. 60 and U.S. 67. However, some in Arkansas have assumed that Interstate 30 will be extended over that route. It remains to be seen which designation, if any, will be used for the U.S. 67 corridor in Arkansas and Missouri.

Widening of Interstate 57 is underway at both Mount Vernon and Effingham, and a $10.6-million project broke ground on July 16, 2013 to expand the freeway to six lanes between Marion and Johnston City, Illinois. The Marion area project runs through December 2014. Related work includes a conversion of the interchang with Illinois 13 to a single point urban interchange (SPUI).2

The Effingham project involves the cosigned stretch of Interstates 57 & 70. Work broke ground on October 5, 2010 to widen the freeway to six lanes, replace the Little Wabash River bridge on Interstate 70, and reconstruct the interchange with Fayette Avenue. The $125-million project runs through 2016.3

Construction at Mount Vernon involves the overlap with Interstate 64. Started in July 2011, this project widens 4.7 miles of Interstate 57 to six overall lanes through Mount Vernon, with working underway to December 1, 2013.4 The Mount Vernon widening is the first of the overall I-57 Corridor plan to expand the freeway to six lanes southward to Marion and Interstate 24.

Parallel/Historic U.S. Routes

Interstate 57 follows U.S. 60-62 from Sisketon to Charleston, then meets U.S. 51 at Cairo. Interstate 57 and U.S. 51 are paired until Dongola. Interstate 57 splits from U.S. 51 and angles northeast to meet U.S. 45 at Effingham. Between Dongola and Effingham, Interstate 57 parallels Illinois 37. From Effingham to Kankakee, Interstate 57 parallels U.S. 45. North of Kankakee, Interstate 57 replaced former U.S. 54 (now Illinois 50 and Illinois 1).

History

In Chicago, Interstate 57 follows the Dan Ryan Extension, which extends from the Interstate 94 split southwest toward Kankakee. The first portion of I-57 to open in Chicago was a 1.1 mile stretch leading west from the Dan Ryan and Calumet (Bishop Ford Freeway) Expressway exchange to Halsted Street on November 6, 1963.5 The remaining urban segments of Interstate 57 in Chicago opened to traffic in phases between 1967 and 1970.1

The Interstate 57 Mississippi River bridge was dedicated on June 23, 1978. Constructed over the course of six years and at a cost of $25.4-million, the bridge opened as part of a $50-million 11-mile link between Charleston, MO and U.S. 51 outside Cairo. This section was the last to open of the overall Interstate 57 corridor.6

Southern Terminus - Interstate 55 - Sisketon, Missouri
Perspective from Interstate 57 south
The first of several mileage signs on Interstate 57 southbound as the freeway turns from a north-south orientation to that of an east-west one. This particular assembly reveals the final 12 miles of Interstate 57 and is situated just west of Exit 12 with U.S. 60-62 near Charleston. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/18/03).
Beyond the second Charleston interchange (Exit 10 with Missouri 102), ten miles now remain of Interstate 57 before the terminus at Interstate 55. Route B is the last mainline interchange, representing Exit 4 near Bertrand. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/18/03).
West of Missouri Trunk B, four miles remain of Interstate 57 between Bertrand and Interstate 55. U.S. 60, overlapped with Interstate 57 since Exit 12, continues westward of the terminus. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/18/03).
Two-mile guide sign for Exits 1A/B of Interstate 55 on Interstate 57 south/U.S. 60 westbound. The control cities are Saint Louis for northbound and Memphis for southbound. These are the same control cities for the western terminus of Interstate 155, 49 miles to the south. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/18/03).
Entering the final mile of Interstate 57 southbound. Saint Louis is a 140 mile drive to the north via Interstate 55. Meanwhile 138 miles to the south, Interstate 55 crosses the Mississippi River, entering the city limits of Memphis, Tennessee. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/18/03).
Interstate 57 ends 0.75 miles guide sign. These types of end signs are becoming more common along the Interstate highway system. See the south end of Interstate 270 and the termini of Interstate 170 at Saint Louis for other examples. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/18/03).
Interstate 57 south/U.S. 60 westbound at Exit 1B/Interstate 55 north. Just one mile to the north Interstate 55 encounters U.S. 62. This federal highway has paralleled Interstate 57 since Exit 12. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/18/03).
Freeway ends advisory sign within the Exit 1 interchange of Interstate 55. This sign is for the transition of U.S. 60 from Interstate 57 to a divided surface highway through Sikeston. The town at the junction of U.S. 61-62 is three miles to the west. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/18/03).
The Exit 1A departure of the Interstate 55 southbound cloverleaf ramp. The next interchange encountered in this direction is Exit 58 with Missouri 80 near Matthews. A mileage sign featured on Interstate 55 southbound near here features Interstate 155, the next Interstate junction. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/18/03).
Perspective from U.S. 60 east
Departing the community of Sikeston on U.S. 60 eastbound, one mile west of the Interstate 55-57 interchange. The ramps in this direction are also numbered Exit 1A/1B, even though no mentioning of Interstate 57 has occurred. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/21/03).
U.S. 60 enters the Interstate 55 cloverleaf interchange and transitions into the Interstate 57 northbound freeway. To the right Exit 1A diverges to Interstate 55 southbound. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/21/03).
The first Interstate 57 northbound shield is cosigned with an Interstate 55 trailblazer. Ahead are the overpasses of the Interstate 55 mainline. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/21/03).
Interstate 57 north/U.S. 60 eastbound at the Exit 1B cloverleaf ramp for Interstate 55 north. Three interchanges of Interstate 57 are ahead within the Show Me State. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/21/03).
Perspective from Interstate 57 north and U.S. 60 east
This is the first reassurance shield assembly on northbound Interstate 57 and eastbound U.S. 60 after the Interstate 55 interchange. The next two exits are Exit 4, Highway 3 to Junction U.S. 62/Bertrand, and Exit 10, Junction Business Loop I-57 and Missouri 105 to Charleston. Photo taken by Steve Hanudel (08/19/05).
Perspective from Interstate 55 north
Two mile guide signage for Exits 66A/B of Interstate 57 north and U.S. 60 on Interstate 55 northbound. The control cities featured are Chicago for Interstate 57 and Poplar Bluff for U.S. 60 west. Photo taken by Steve Hanudel (08/19/05).
Interstate 55 northbound, one mile from the southern terminus of Interstate 57. U.S. 60 continues westward from Interstate 55 to Sikeston (via U.S. 61), Dexter, Poplar Bluff, and eventually Springfield and Interstate 44. Photo taken by Steve Hanudel (08/19/05).
Exit 66A of the northbound beginning of Interstate 57 and eastbound U.S. 60 departs from the right of Interstate 55 north. The two highways intermingle for 12 miles before parting ways between Charleston and Wilson City. The next junction of interest for Interstate 57 is that of the western terminus of Interstate 24, 66 miles to the north. Photo taken by Steve Hanudel (08/19/05).
Perspective from Interstate 55 south
Traveling southbound on Interstate 55, 0.75 miles north of the Interstate 57 terminus interchange. In the background is the Scott/Mississippi County line. Due to the sporadic nature of interchanges on Interstate 55 through southeast Missouri, the distance to the next interchange is given. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/18/03).
Interstate 55 southbound at Exit 66B/U.S. 60 west. The federal route treks westward through Sikeston, Dexter, and Poplar Bluff along varying divided highway and freeway. The highway is the most direct route between southeast Missouri and Springfield, 221 miles to the west. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/18/03).
Exit 66A cloverleaf ramp for Interstate 57 north/U.S. 60 east. The Windy City is 383 miles to the north. U.S. 60 meanwhile travels 59 miles eastward to Paducah, Kentucky. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/18/03).
Northern Terminus - Interstate 94 - Chicago, Illinois
Perspective from Interstate 57 north
Interstate 57 northbound just past the 111th Street ramp at the 1.50 mile advance guide sign of Interstate 94. The urban freeway has a rural type feel with a grass median and grassy areas on both sides. This section of freeway appears to be set in a more spacious town like Oklahoma City rather than the hustle and bustle of Chicago. The next interchange (Exit 357) is the final of Interstate 57. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (12/23/02).
The one half mile guide sign of Interstate 94, the northern terminus, is posted just before Exit 357 to Illinois 1/Halsted Street. The northern terminus receives no exit number from Interstate 57. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (12/23/02).
The last mainline interchange of Interstate 57 serves Halsted Street (Illinois 1) at Exit 357. Like the last Interstate 94 mainline exit before the northern terminus of Interstate 57, shield assemblies on the on-ramps approaching the junction include shields for both roadways. Photo taken by Don Hargraves (04/02).
Interstate 57 concludes its northbound duration at these two sign bridges. Traveling inbound on the Ryan Expressway, traffic will reach the Circle Interchange where the Ryan and Kennedy Expressways (Interstate 90/94) meet the Eisenhower Expressway (Interstate 290) in 12 miles. Typically this trip will take you much longer than the expected 15 minutes... usually 3 or 4 times that. Going outbound on the Bishop Ford Freeway, the junction with Interstate 80 and the Tri-State Tollway (Interstate 294) will greet drivers in 11 miles. Pick your poison now, for wherever you go, you'll probably be stuck in traffic! Photos taken by Brian Dowd (12/23/02).
Similar to the Begin Interstate 57 signage Pictured below, Interstate 57 Ends signage is posted at the northbound terminus. This sign is on the ramp from Interstate 57 north to Interstate 94 westbound (northbound Dan Ryan). Similar end signage can be found for the northern terminus of Interstate 55 and Interstate 290. Photo taken by Don Hargraves (04/02).
A contextual perspective of the Interstate 57 ends shields and ramp to the inbound Ryan Expressway. This marks the end of Illinois' longest Interstate. At a little over 358 miles, Interstate 57 makes its final meeting by merging traffic into the left lanes of Interstate 94. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (12/23/02).
Perspective from Interstate 57 south
A "Begin Interstate 57" sign appears after the transition from Interstate 94 east to Interstate 57/Dan Ryan Extension south. This kind of sign again displays how well Illinois signs the beginnings and ends of its routes. The next Interstate junction of Interstate 57 is 13 miles to the south at Interstate 80. There is no access to Interstate 294, the Tri-State Tollway via Interstate 57, but a connection is under construction as of 2005-2006. Photo taken by AARoads (09/04/05).
The first two exits on southbound Interstate 57 are signed after the begin shield, on the transition between east Interstate 94/Dan Ryan Expressway and south Interstate 57/Dan Ryan Extension. See the photobox below to show the same sign bridge on the transition between west Interstate 94/Bishop Ford Freeway and south Interstate 57/Dan Ryan Extension. The first two exits are Exit 357, Junction Illinois 1/Halsted Street and Exit 355, 111th Street. The overpass in the background is of Wentworth Avenue (compare to the overpass in the next picture). Photo taken by AARoads (09/04/05).
The interchange between Interstate 94 and Interstate 57 has three legs to it. This photo shows the configuration of the connecting ramp from Interstate 94/Bishop Ford Freeway westbound onto Interstate 57/Dan Ryan Extension south. The two exits mentioned here are the same as those shown on the transition from eastbound Interstate 94/Dan Ryan Expressway to southbound Interstate 57/Dan Ryan Extension. Exit 357, Exit 355, and Exit 354 all serve the southside of Chicago. The ramp in the background of this photo is connection from northbound Interstate 57 to the inbound (westbound) Interstate 94/Dan Ryan Expressway. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (12/23/02).
The first southbound reassurance shield of Interstate 57 is displayed near the one-quarter mile guide sign for Exit 357/Illinois 1. The next interstate junction of Interstate 57 is 13 miles to the south at Interstate 80. Interstate 57 however does cross Interstate 294, the Tri-State Tollway before than. Photo taken by AARoads (09/04/05).
Passing under the Parnell Avenue overpass, southbound Interstate 57 reaches Exit 357, Junction Illinois 1/Halsted Street. This is the first interchange on southbound Interstate 57. Illinois 1 is a major north-south state highway that begins at U.S. 12-20/95th Street a few blocks north of here, and it extends downstate to Cave in Rock. It is easily one of the longest Illinois state highways. A portion of Illinois 1 overlays former U.S. 54 before the federal highway was retracted to a terminus at Interstate 72/U.S. 36 near Pittsfield in west-central Illinois. Photo taken by AARoads (09/04/05).
After a brief distance traveling west, Interstate 57 finally turns south toward the South Suburbs. Interstate 57 (also known archaically as the Dan Ryan Extension) connects Chicago with suburbs such as Blue Island, Riverdale, Harvey, Markham, Country Hills, Matteson, Richton Park, Peotone, and Kankakee. Peotone is a notable connection for Interstate 57, since Greater Chicagoland is discussing the merits of constructing a third airport to serve the region's needs in Peotone. However, no decision has been reached on whether to build in that part of Will County. Photo taken by AARoads (09/04/05).
Perspective from Interstate 94 west
Shield assembly on the Interstate 94 westbound on-ramp from Stoney Island/103rd street, at Exit 64. The close proximity to the northern terminus of Interstate 57 sees this signage directing motorists well ahead of time of the pending junction. Photo taken by Don Hargraves (04/02).
One-mile guide sign on Interstate 94, the Bishop Ford Memorial Expressway, westbound for Interstate 57 southbound/Exit 63. The junction of Interstate 94 with 57 also marks the northern terminus of the Bishop Ford Memorial Expressway designation and the southern terminus of the Dan Ryan Expressway designation. Photo taken by Don Hargraves (04/02).
A new reflectorized guide sign is now in place for the one-mile guide sign for Exit 63. This replaces the panel Pictured in the above photograph. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/25/03).
Lane allocation sign bridge for Exit 63/Interstate 57 southbound, as Interstate 94 draws closer to the northern terminus. The left-hand guide sign retains button copy lettering and uses the control city of Memphis. The Tennessee city is not even located near Interstate 57, as traffic must continue past the 380.5 mile Interstate 57 another 137 miles through Missouri and Arkansas via Interstate 55. Top photo taken by Don Hargraves (04/02); bottom photo taken by Brian Dowd (10/26/02).
A third perspective of the sign bridge Pictured in the above two photographs. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/25/03).
The next in a series of sign bridges for the Interstate 94 westbound split with Interstate 57. As the signage suggested, the last few miles of Interstate 57 were under construction during 2002. This repaving project is complete as of December of 2002. Downtown Chicago is just a ten mile drive for northbound motorists along the Dan Ryan Expressway. Photo taken by Don Hargraves (04/02).
With Martin Luther King Junior Drive passing by in the background, the second to last sign bridge of Interstate 57 southbound/Exit 63 (same as Pictured in the above photobox). Photo taken by Brian Dowd (12/23/02).
Yet another perspective of the Interstate 57 south/Exit 61 sign bridge at Martin Luther King Junior Drive. Situated nearby is the overlapped U.S. 12/20 along 95th Street. This is the second time these paired routes come close to an Interstate terminus (the other being Interstate 65 at Gary, Indiana. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/25/03).
An Interstate 57 reassurance shield is posted at the beginning of the Exit 63 ramp for the southbound beginning of the highway. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (12/23/02).
Interstate 94 turns back to the north after a brief westerly jaunt while Interstate 57 begins from the left-hand lane. The north-south Interstate travels through the southern Chicago suburbs for at least 20 miles before departing for downstate cities such as Kankakee, Champaign, and Urbana. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (12/23/02).
This photograph shows the Interstate 57 southbound beginning from the departing travel lanes of Interstate 94 west. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/25/03).
Perspective from Interstate 94 east
Well to the north of the actual southbound beginning of Interstate 57, is this guide sign on the Interstate 90/94 eastbound overlap at downtown. The panel is displayed ahead of the interchange with Interstate 55, the Stevenson Expressway, which serves the southwest suburbs of Joliet, Bolingbrook, Willowbrook, among others. The northern terminus of Interstate 57 is beyond the Interstate 90/94 split, about ten miles or so to the south. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (11/28/02).
Two-mile guide sign for Exit 63/Interstate 57 southbound on Interstate 94, the Dan Ryan Expressway eastbound. There are three remaining exits before the split of Interstate 57 from Interstate 94. Photo taken by AARoads (09/03/05).
This sign bridge prepares southbound Dan Ryan Expressway motorists of the lane allocations for Interstate 57 south and Interstate 94 east. Both Interstates will remain within the Chicago city limits for a few miles before exiting into southern suburbs such as Harvey, Calumet City, and Riverdale. Photo taken by AARoads (09/03/05).
Exit 62 of the U.S. 12/20 overlap along 95th Street is the last mainline interchange of Interstate 94 before the pending split with Interstate 57. Note that Interstate 94 uses the control state of Indiana, a concept common along the Illinois Tollway system. Photo taken by AARoads (09/03/05).
Interstate 57 ends at the split of the Dan Ryan Expressway into Interstate 94 East (southbound Calumet Expressway/Bishop Ford Expressway) and Interstate 57 (Dan Ryan Extension). Interstate 57 is seldom called the Dan Ryan Extension, however. Photo taken by AARoads (09/03/05).

Sources:

  1. Encyclopedia of Chicago: Expressways by Dennis McClendon of the Chicago Historical Society.
  2. "Governor Quinn Breaks Ground on $10.6 Million Widening Project for I-57 near Marion." Illinois Government News Network press release, July 15, 2013.
  3. "First phase of interstate project almost complete." Effingham Daily News, September 14, 2012.
  4. "I-57 widening project causes backups." Mt. Vernon Register-News, January 19, 2013.
  5. "Interstate 57 Link Opens Today." Chicago Tribune, November 6, 1963.
  6. "Cairo bridge final link in Interstate system." The Southeast Missourian, June 25, 1978.

Page Updated July 16, 2013.

 
Mileage

State Missouri
Mileage 21.96
Cities Sikeston, Charleston
Junctions Interstate 55
State Illinois
Mileage 364.16*
Cities Cairo, Marion, Mount Vernon, Salem, Effingham, Matton, Champaign-Urbana, Rantoul, Kankakee, Chicago
Junctions Interstate 24, Interstate 64, Interstate 64, Interstate 70, Interstate 70, Interstate 72, Interstate 74, Interstate 80, Interstate 94
TOTAL 386.12
Source: October 31, 2002 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
* - 5.59 miles on I-70
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