Source: December 31, 2015 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
The East-West Tollway ran 29.8 miles from Sugar Grove to Hillside in 1964.
The East-West Tollway carried the designation of U.S. 30 Toll until 1965, when it was renumbered to IL 190. The original west end of the tollway to Sugar Grove was eventually designated as Illinois 56.
Northwest Illinois - 1970.
The original studies for the East-West Tollway included a route northwest to Clinton, Iowa. It was determined however that traffic on the proposed route would not be high enough to justify construction.5
Illinois 5 (East West Tollway) under construction - 1973 Illinois Official Highway Map
Illinois 5 was extended west from Interstate 80 to Rock Island in 1975. The route within the Quad Cities remained after the 1987 commissioning of Interstate 88.
Formerly Illinois 5, and before that Illinois 190, the western Interstate 88 is the Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway and the Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway from Interstate 80 near the Quad Cities east to the Interstate 290 (Eisenhower Expressway) and Interstate 294 (Tri-State Tollway) interchange near Hillside. Until 2004, the tollway section was known as the East-West Tollway (from Sterling east to Hillside).
Interstate 88 provides an alternative to Interstate 80 between the Quad Cities area and Chicago (especially points north and west of the Loop). The tollway passes through Dixon, which is the boyhood home of former President Ronald Reagan.
Interstate 88 was commissioned in July 2, 1987,1 replacing former Illinois 5. AASHTO previously approved the designation subject to FHWA concurrence on May 25, 1987. The Illinois State Toll Highway Authority indicated that the renumbering was necessary so that they could raise the speed limit to 65 MPH due to a federal law at the time that allowed states to increase speed limits on highways designated as Interstates. The limit was increased between Napierville and Rock Falls.4 A similar process occurred with the unnumbered portion of the Kansas Turnpike, which was designated Interstate 335 to allow for 65 MPH speed limits.
The section of Interstate 88 (East-West Tollway) from Interstate 290 (Eisenhower Expressway) west to Aurora was built between 1956 and 1958. The original construction of the 28-mile initial section of the East-West Tollway (and the other original tollways) was funded by a bond issuance in the amount of $415 million by the state tollway commission (which was created in 1953).2,3 All of the urban tollways (including the Northwest Tollway, the easternmost portion of the East-West Tollway, the Tri-State Tollway, and the Chicago Skyway) were open to traffic by 1958.
The second major section of the East-West Tollway opened was 69 miles long, from Illinois 56 in Aurora west to Illinois 40 near Sterling and Rock Falls. This portion was funded with a bond issuance by the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority in 1970. This route was shown as under construction in the 1972 Rand McNally Road Atlas and as complete in 1974. The Illinois Department of Transportation built the remainder of the highway from the Illinois 40 interchange west to the Quad Cities in the 1970s; this section has no toll.
The first segment of the East-West Tollway (Aurora to Chicago) was originally designated as U.S. 30 Toll. It was changed to Illinois 190 in 1965 and renumbered again to Illinois 5 in 1972 (before the extension to the Quad Cities was completed).
Historical Perspective from Interstate 88 & Illinois 92 west
226th Street spans Interstate 88 & IL 92-110 (CKC) west ahead of the diamond interchange (Exit 2) with Former IL 2. All remaining signs for Exits 1B/A were replaced with Clearview font based panels by 2013. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Westbound Interstate 88 and Illinois 92-110 meet Former Illinois 2 at Exit 2. While IL 2 remains in service northeast of Dixon along the Rock River, it was decommissioned in favor of I-88 once the freeway opened. Photo taken 09/04/05.
A collector distributor roadway splits from Interstate 88 west for Exit 1B to Interstate 80 west. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Perspective from Interstate 88 & Illinois 92 east
Illinois 5 & 92 intersect Hubbard Road north and 193rd Street N to become a freeway. The full cloverleaf interchange (Exits 1A/B) with Interstate 80 lies a half mile ahead. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Illinois 5 ends as Interstate 88 begins. The drive east to Aurora is generally rural. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Historical Perspective from Interstate 88 & Illinois 92 east
Signs posted at Exits 1A/B for Interstate 80 were replaced with Clearview font by 2013. I-80 east combines with IL 110 (CKC) south to Interstate 74 at Colona. Photo taken 09/04/05.
A loop ramp (Exit 1B) follows onto Interstate 80 as it leads north to Rapids City and Le Claire, Iowa. The freeway runs across northern reaches of Bettendorf and Davenport en route to Iowa City. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Upon crossing the Mississippi River on a steel girder bridge eastbound Interstate 80 approaches its junction with Western Interstate 88, Illinois 5, and Illinois 92. Prior to this major freeway interchange, I-80 east has ramps that connects to a welcome center that overlooks the river and a weigh station. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Eastbound drivers along I-80 reach the truck weigh station, one mile north of Exits 4A/B with I-88 & IL 5, 92 and 110 (CKC). Illinois 92 is part of the multi-state route, which begins in Torrington, Wyoming, and ends at U.S. 34 in La Moille. Illinois 5 west encircles southern reaches of Moline and Rock Island from East Moline to Milan. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Interstate 88 travels about 44 miles as a freeway with no tolls, but it shifts onto the East-West Tollway after Exit 44 (Junction U.S. 30). The toll road continues east past Rochelle (Junction Interstate 39/U.S. 51), De Kalb, Aurora, and Naperville before ending at the Interstate 290 merge west of Chicago. From here, the most direct route to downtown Chicago is via Interstate 88 and Interstate 290, but it requires paying a toll. Interstate 80 has no toll, but it remains south of the Chicago metropolitan area. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Eastbound Interstate 80 reaches Exit 4A, Junction Illinois 5-92 west to Silvis and Moline. A faster route to Moline and Rock Island is via Interstate 74-280 west. The second ramp (Exit 4B) connects to eastbound Interstate 88 to Rock Falls and Chicago. Note the lack of control city for eastbound Interstate 80, which is generally Chicago through eastern Iowa and northern Illinois. This is because Interstate 88 goes to the same place, albeit on a more direct path. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Continuing south, this loop offramp from eastbound Interstate 80 connects to eastbound Interstate 88 to Rock Island and Chicago. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Perspective from Interstate 80 west & Illinois 110 (CKC) east
Approaching the Rock River and the Rock Island County line, Interstate 80 west & Illinois 110 (CKC) east see the first sign for the interchange with I-88 and Illinois 5 & 92. Photo taken 03/31/16.
Advancing north across Barstow Road, one mile south of the cloverleaf interchange (Exits 4A/B) with I-88, IL 5 west and IL 92. Illinois 5 west remains from I-88 as a 15-mile route serving Silvis, East Moline, Moline and Rock Island. Photo taken 03/31/16.
Interstate 80 and IL 110 (CKC) separate in one mile at Exits 4A for I-88 & IL 92 east to Sterling and Rock Falls. The Chicago-Kansas City Expressway overlays all of Interstate 88 through to I-290. Photo taken 03/31/16.
I-80 west & IL 110 (CKC) east reach Exit 4A for Interstate 88 and Illinois 92 east to Sterling and Rock Falls. I-88 continues east onto the East-West Tollway, which serves Rochelle, De Kalb, Aurora, and Naperville before ending at Interstate 290 (the Hillside Strangler interchange). The following ramp (Exit 4B) connects to Illinois 5 & 92 west to Silvis and East Moline. Photo taken 03/31/16.
Sign alerting motorists about the toll at the York Rd toll plaza. The plaza is the last toll before motorists are funneled to Interstate 290 and Interstate 294. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (08/16/02).
Distance signage before the York Rd toll plaza giving distances to the Tri-State Tollway and the Eisenhower Expressway. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (08/16/02).
After the York Toll plaza, the first exit at the Interstate 88 terminus is for Interstate 294 Southbound. Note here that Indiana is used as the control city for Southbound Interstate 294 but Milwaukee is used for Interstate 294 Northbound. This is an exception for Interstate 294, as Wisconsin is used in other places along the tollway (most notably at the Interstate 80/294 split). Photo taken by Don Hargraves (09/02).
Split of the Interstate 294 south ramp from the rest of mainline Interstate 88 east. The Interstate 290 shield is a 2di shield with the 3di digits condensed into it. The ramp in the background is the connection from Interstate 294 Northbound to Interstate 88 Westbound. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (08/16/02).
This interchange is kind of odd because of the tolls on the tollways. Southbound Interstate 294 traffic is diverted off quickly after the York Toll so that traffic does not have to pay a toll at the Cermak (22nd Street) Toll Plaza. Traffic heading north on Interstate 294 is dumped onto Interstate 294 north of the Cermak Toll Plaza. The right-hand panel directs motorist to a connecting collector/distributor lane for Interstate 290 on Interstate 294. In other words, traffic actually utilizes Interstate 294's lane before accessing Interstate 290. A similar traffic setup is in place for traffic from Interstate 290 Eastbound wanting to access Interstate 88 Westbound. Motorist must exit onto Interstate 294 Southbound and stay in the right lane for Interstate 88 Westbound. Also of note... Interstate 290 East is qualified as the Eisenhower Expressway, but Interstate 290 west is not. Beyond Interstate 294, Interstate 290 is technically not apart of the Eisenhower Expressway. Instead it carries the name Eisenhower Extension. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (08/16/02).
Guide sign on Interstate 88 eastbound for the Interstate 294 northbound exit. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (08/16/02).
The partition of Interstate 88 eastbound for Interstates 290 and 294. The left two lanes exit onto Interstate 290 eastbound, locally known as Inbound on the Eisenhower. The right-hand lanes connect traffic to Interstate 294 north with the aforementioned connection to Interstate 290 west. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (08/16/02).
A second perspective of the Interstate 290/294 lane split on Interstate 88 eastbound. 78 miles to the north is the city of Milwaukee via Interstate 294 and 94 while downtown Chicago is another 15 miles eastward along Interstate 290. Photo taken by Don Hargraves (09/02).
New signage for the Interstate 88 Eastern terminus at Interstate 290 Eastbound. This assembly is one of the new signs from the reconstruction of this interchange, known as the Hillside Strangler. Traffic wanting to exit onto U.S. Routes 12/20/45/Mannheim Rd now exit onto a collector/distributor lane on the right side of Interstate 290. Through traffic continues to the left, with merge also on the left of Interstate 290 (this is the original configuration). This project was undertaken to aid in the traffic flow facilitation in the area. Visible in the background is one of the fairly ironic Tollway Ends... Thank you for using the Illinois Tollway signs. Similar signs can be found at the end of the Edens Spur ramp and on both ends of Interstate 355/North-South Tollway. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (08/16/02).
Transition from Interstate 88 east onto Interstate 290 east. An Interstate 88 ends/Interstate 290 begins guide sign is in place. The overhead panel is similar to the new signage Pictured in the above photograph. Note that the condensed highway gothic font is the same that is utilized in the state of Georgia. Photo taken by Don Hargraves (09/02).
Interstate 88 ends guide sign cameo at the transition to Interstate 290. Characters and outline retain button copy. Photo taken by Don Hargraves (09/02).
The connecting ramp from Interstate 88 east to Interstate 290 continues, as this sign bridge splits traffic between the mainline and collector/distributor roadway. Note that traffic bound for U.S. 12/20/45 must exit to access those highways. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (08/16/02).
Perspective from Interstate 290 west
Now traveling west on Interstate 290/Eisenhower Expressway, the pending interchange with Interstate 88 first appears at the U.S. 12-20-45/Mannheim Road offramp (Exit 17). Interstate 88 splits from Interstate 290 at the Interstate 294/Tri-State Tollway interchange, commonly known as the Hillside Strangler due to commute hour delays and back-ups. Photo taken by Steve Hanudel (05/14/06).
Prior to Exit 16, Wolf Road, these signs advise that the right two lanes connect to Interstate 294/Tri-State Tollway north and carry Interstate 290 west, while the left two lanes connect to Interstate 88/East-West Tollway and Interstate 294/Tri-State Tollway south. Photo taken by Steve Hanudel (05/14/06).
Heading west on Interstate 290/Eisenhower Expressway in the Hillside Strangler interchange, each freeway is given is own lane allocation. From left to right, the allocations are: Interstate 88/East-West Tollway west to Aurora, Interstate 294/Tri-State Tollway south to Joliet and Indiana, Interstate 290/Eisenhower Expressway Extension to Rockford, and Interstate 294/Tri-State Tollway north to O'Hare International Airport and Milwaukee. Photo taken by Steve Hanudel (05/14/06).
A bit further west, the routes divide. The left two lanes carry Interstate 88/East-West Tollway west to Aurora and Interstate 294/Tri-State Tollway south to Joliet and Indiana. The right two lanes connect to Interstate 290/Eisenhower Expressway Extension to Rockford and Interstate 294/Tri-State Tollway north to O'Hare International Airport and Milwaukee. Photo taken by Steve Hanudel (05/14/06).
Perspective from Interstate 88 west
After traffic departs onto Interstate 294 north and Interstate 290 west, Interstate 88 officially begins. The pull-through sign is unique in that it features an Interstate 88 Illinois shield (see close-up) and is button copy. This was the standard back when Interstate 88 was commissioned in 1988. The first exit is the connection to Interstate 294/Tri-State Tollway south and Illinois 38/Roosevelt Road. Photos taken by Steve Hanudel (05/14/07) and Jeff Royston (11/01).
The right two lanes prepare to exit onto Interstate 294/Tri-State Tollway south and Illinois 38/Roosevelt Road. The left lane continues west on Interstate 88/East-West Tollway. Photo taken by Steve Hanudel (05/14/06).
After traffic from Interstate 294 merges onto westbound Interstate 88, this is the first reassurance shield. Photo taken by Steve Hanudel (05/14/06).
The first exit on westbound Interstate 88/East-West Tollway is the junction with Illinois 83, followed by Highland Avenue and Junction Interstate 355/North-South Tollway. Photo taken by Steve Hanudel (05/14/06).
This Interstate 88 Research and Development Corridor sign is located on westbound after the Hillside Strangler interchange. Photo by Jeff Royston (11/01).
Perspective from Interstate 294 north
Now on northbound Interstate 294/Tri-State Tollway, this mileage sign provides the distance to the next three Interstate highway interchanges. It is located some 23 miles south of the Interstate 88/East-West Tollway interchange. There are a couple signs like these giving distances to the next three interstate connections along Interstate 294, and they are normally found on the Illinois Tollway system. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (11/28/02).
Interstate 294/Tri-State Tollway northbound at U.S. 34/Ogden Avenue, two miles from the connector to Interstate 88 west. The control point is the far western suburb of Aurora, 21 miles out. Meanwhile U.S. 34 see its eastern terminus a short distance to the east. Photo taken 09/03/05.
After the U.S. 34 interchange, this Interstate 294 reassurance shield and overhead panel for Interstate 88/Ronald Reagan East-West Tollway are found one mile before the transition ramp. The East-West Tollway also serves De Kalb and the Quad Cities. Photo taken 09/03/05.
An extra lane is allocated to Interstate 294 northbound for Interstate 88 west. This overhead is situated a short distance from the connector ramp to the East-West Tollway. Photo taken by Don Hargraves (09/02).
Northbound Interstate 294/Tri-State Tollway reaches the ramp to Interstate 88/East-West Tollway west. The eastern terminus of Interstate 88 is split between Interstate 294/Tri-State Tollway and the adjacent Interstate 290/Eisenhower Expressway. Traffic continuing northward on the Tri-State Tollway will see an exit for Illinois 38/Roosevelt Road before intersecting Interstate 290 and the northern fork of Interstate 88. Photo taken by Don Hargraves (09/02).
Perspective from Interstate 294 south
Southbound Interstate 294/Tri-State Tollway reaches the exit for Junction Interstate 290 northwest to Rockford and Schaumburg. This is the first signage in place for the pending interchange with Interstate 290/Eisenhower Tollway east to downtown Chicago and Junction Interstate 88/East-West Tollway west to the Quad Cities. Photo taken 09/03/05.
Southbound Interstate 294/Tri-State Tollway approaching the Interstate 290 eastbound ramp. This sign bridge is located one mile before Interstate 294 sees its connection with Interstate 88 via the northern fork of the East-West Tollway. Photo taken by Don Hargraves (09/02).
Now only three-fourths of a mile from Interstate 88, Interstate 290 traffic departs for downtown Chicago. Meanwhile the left-hand panel displays Interstate 294 south Straight Ahead. This signing practice is in use for northbound as well at this confluence. Photo taken by Don Hargraves (09/02).
Split of Interstate 294 south with traffic bound for Interstate 88 west. The northern fork of Interstate 88 ties directly into Interstate 290/Eisenhower Expressway just to the east, while the southern fork ties into Interstate 294 south beyond the Cermak Road interchange (which is accessible only in the southbound direction). Photo taken by Don Hargraves (09/02).
Personal Email from Jason Hancock on 07/09/06, citing an article from the Moline Daily Dispatch on 7/29/87.