Interstate 180 Illinois


Interstate 180 in Illinois is a 13-mile-long spur from Interstate 80 south to Hennepin along the Illinois River, and it was constructed to provide access from the freeway to the LTV Steel plant at Hennepin. Hennepin is a very small town, with a population ranging between 500 and 750 in recent years. The Interstate 180 freeway is lightly traveled, and it terminates at Illinois 71 via a bridge over the Illinois River. Illinois 71 also terminates at this interchange. The bridge is cosigned with Illinois 26.

Future Aspirations

While there are no immediate plans to extend Interstate 180 south from its current terminus in Hennepin, there are plans to widen Illinois 29 from its interchange with Interstate 180 south to the interchange with Illinois 6 (Peoria Ring Road) at Mossville. This corridor, which would provide an at-grade, four-lane expressway to connect the Interstate 80 corridor with Peoria, is currently being studied by the Illinois Department of Transportation (Spring 2008). Illinois 29 would bypass the communities of Chillicothe and Henry. A public hearing on this project was held in June 2006. An allocation of $1.6 million was included in the 2005 SAFETEA-LU legislation for preliminary engineering and land acquisition. The total project cost, which is not fully funded currently, is approximately $600 million.1

The Peoria area will see several other major road projects as funding permits, including the completion of the Peoria Ring Road by connecting the north end of Illinois 6 with the east end of Interstate 474 via a new Illinois River bridge near Mossville and the construction of a new Illinois 336 expressway from Macomb northeast to Peoria. A proposed "Peoria to Chicago" expressway is also under consideration, with the general proposed route taking a diagonal path from the northeastern quadrant of the Ring Road northeast toward Chicago, perhaps by connecting with Interstate 39 or Interstate 55. No specific corridors have been identified for such an expressway.


Interstate 180 was constructed between 1967 and 1969.1

Northern Terminus - Interstate 80 - Princeton, Illinois
Perspective from Interstate 180 north
This is the final Interstate 180 northbound reassurance shield, immediately after the U.S. 6 interchange. Photo taken 09/04/05.
The junction with Interstate 80 marks the northern terminus of Interstate 180. Use Interstate 80 east to Chicago (via Interstate 55 at Joliet) and west to the Quad Cities (with Davenport, Iowa, listed as the control city). Photo taken 09/04/05.
Use the left lane to transition onto westbound Interstate 80. The right lane connects to eastbound Interstate 80. Use Interstate 80 east to Interstate 39/U.S. 51, the Central Illinois Expressway. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Interstate 180 draws to a close at the ramp partitioning for Interstate 80 east and west. Note that Interstate 80 eastbound is signed with the control city of Joliet instead of Chicago. Interstate 80 reaches that Chicagoland suburb in 66 miles. Note the addition of two end shield assemblies for both connecting ramps. Photos taken 09/04/05 and by Jeff Morrison (07/03/07).
An end shield for Interstate 180 is posted in the median for traffic connecting to Interstate 80 west; another end shield (not shown) is posted on the transition ramp to eastbound Interstate 80. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (07/03/07).
The interchange with Interstate 80 is a trumpet. This means that the connection from northbound Interstate 180 to westbound Interstate 80 is a loop ramp. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Perspective from Interstate 80 east
One mile west of Exit 61 for Interstate 180 south/Hennepin. This stretch of Interstate 80 is rural in character and Exit 61 is the only interchange between Princeton and Ladd, a distance of 14 miles. Photo taken by Jim Teresco (07/01).
Interstate 80 eastbound reaches Exit 61/Interstate 180 south. Interstate 180 sees its first interchange with nearby U.S. 6 two mile to the south. U.S. 6 east merges onto Interstate 80 at the next interchange (Exit 70). Interstate 180 connects with Illinois 29 to the north of Putnam. Illinois 29 travels from the small town southward along Goose Lake to the city of Peoria. Interstate 80 meanwhile travels to its next Interstate junction in 18 miles with Interstate 39 near La Salle. Photo taken by Kevin M. Clair (03/02).
Perspective from Interstate 80 west
This mileage sign, found after the Illinois 89 interchange on westbound Interstate 80 near Seatonville, is the first to mention Interstate 180 (eight miles ahead). This sign also provides mileage to the Quad Cities (Moline and Rock Island are in Illinois, while Davenport and Bettendorf are in Iowa). The control city for Interstate 80 is Des Moines, the capital of Iowa. Photo taken 09/04/05.
A roadside sign acts as the two-mile warning advance sign for the pending junction with Interstate 180 (Exit 61). Photo taken 09/04/05.
This is the one-mile sign bridge for Exit 61/Interstate 180 on Interstate 80 west. Note that the Interstate 80 mainline sees Des Moines as the control city. This is in contrast to the control city for Interstate 80 west from Interstate 180 west which features Davenport, one of the Illinois/Iowa Quad Cities. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Almost 30 years earlier, this photo shows the one-mile set of overheads on Interstate 80 west for Interstate 180 from 1976. Note the signs retain some reflectorization and button copy lettering. Photo taken by Michael Summa (1976).
Continuing west on Interstate 80, this advisory sign indicates that the combination of Interstate 180, Illinois 29, and Illinois 6 will take travelers south to Peoria. Photo taken 09/04/05.
This is the second to last exit sign for Interstate 180 south to Hennepin. From Interstate 80, Interstate 180 travels south to Hennepin, seat of Putnam County. A spur from Interstate 180 connects to Illinois 29 en route to Putnam, Henry, and Peoria. Much of the route is two lanes. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Westbound Interstate 80 reaches Exit 61, Interstate 180 south to Hennepin. The interchange is a large trumpet complete with high mast lighting. Photo taken 09/04/05.
An ominous thunderstorm looms in the distance as the ramp transitions from westbound Interstate 80 to southbound Interstate 180. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Back on the mainline of Interstate 80, the freeway passes under the bridge carrying ramps to and from Interstate 180. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Southern Terminus - Illinois 26 - Hennepin, Illinois
Perspective from Interstate 180 south
About nine miles south of the Interstate 80/Interstate 180 interchange, Interstate 180 splits at the junction with Illinois 29. There are no exit numbers on Interstate 180. Use the right lanes to follow Illinois 29 south to Peoria, or use the left lanes to continue southeast on Interstate 180 to Hennepin. Photo taken 09/04/05.
The left two lanes continue east on Interstate 180, while the two right lanes continue south to merge onto Illinois 29. The exit is signed as To Illinois 29 because the ramp continues on its own for over a mile before intersecting with Illinois 29 itself. Photo taken 09/04/05.
The interchange between Interstate 180 and the ramp to Illinois 29 is directional, with high speed ramps in all directions for all connections. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Now traveling due east, Interstate 180 is still signed with a south banner. The freeway will cross over the Illinois River, arriving in Hennepin on the east bank. After this shield, an on-ramp brings traffic from southbound Illinois 26 onto Interstate 180 east. Photo taken 09/04/05.
The final exit along Interstate 180 is the junction with Illinois 26 south. The bridge in the distance carries Interstate 180 over the Illinois River. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Continuing east, this high bridge carries Interstate 180 east and Illinois 26 south over the Illinois River. Photo taken 09/04/05.
This substandard bridge has no right or left shoulders, but it is sufficient to carry Interstate 180 over the river. Photo taken 09/04/05.
At the foot of the bridge on the east side of the bridge, another sign advises of the pending junction with Illinois 26 south. This north-south highway follows the eastern bank of the Illinois River from here south to East Peoria, much the same way Illinois 29 follows the western bank south to Peoria. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Interstate 180 east and Illinois 26 south, soon after crossing the northern reaches of Goose Lake, sees its final one-half mile at this overhead. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Eastbound Interstate 180 and southbound Illinois 26 split at this off-ramp. Use Illinois 26 south to Hennepin, Lacon, and East Peoria. Photo taken 09/04/05.
As Interstate 180 ends, Illinois 71 eastbound begins. Illinois 26 meanwhile turns to the south along Goose Lake and travels to Lacon and ultimately Peoria. The overpass takes traffic to the LTV Hennepin Steel Mill to the north. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Almost immediately, the Interstate-standard freeway narrows to a two-lane highway. Illinois 71 continues east from here Granville, Cedar Point, and a junction with Interstate 39. Continuing east, Illinois 71 travels to Oglesby, Ottawa, and ultimately Oswego in metropolitan Chicago. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Perspectives from Illinois 71 west
This junction sign is the first warning of the pending interchange with Illinois 26 and Interstate 180. Photo taken by Matthew Salomone (07/20/06).
Traveling west on Illinois 71, the two-lane highway widens to freeway standards as it approaches the interchange with Illinois 26 south to Hennepin. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Continue straight ahead to follow Illinois 26 north to Princeton, Dixon, and Freeport. Illinois 26 ultimately transitions directly onto Wisconsin 69 upon reaching the Illinois-Wisconsin State Line. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Westbound Illinois 71 meets Illinois 26 at this ramp. To downtown Hennepin, follow Illinois 26 south. The two-lane highway follows the east bank of the Illinois River south to East Peoria. Photo taken 09/04/05.
An Interstate 80 - 12 miles guide signage is posted at the northbound beginning of Interstate 180. Interstate 180 sees four mainline interchanges: Illinois 29 north, Illinois 29 south, Illinois 26 north, and U.S. 6. Photo taken 09/04/05.
The northbound beginning of Interstate 180 and western terminus of Illinois 71 is marked by the eastern Illinois 26 interchange. The steel plant is located out of camera view to the right. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Perspective from Interstate 180 north
This is the first reassurance shield for Interstate 180 as the freeway prepares to cross under Power Plant Road and cross over the Illinois River. In 2005, the reassurance shield for northbound Illinois 26 was omitted, but it was signed and in place as of July 2007. Photos taken 09/04/05 and by Jeff Morrison (07/03/07).
Interstate 180 crosses the Illinois River via this bridge. Photo taken 09/04/05.
The first exit on the west side of the bridge is the off-ramp for the continuation of northbound Illinois 26. Interstate 180 continues west to meet Illinois 29, then turns north. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Northbound Illinois 26 and Interstate 180 split after crossing the Illinois River. Use Illinois 26 north to Bureau Junction and Princeton. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Immediately thereafter, Interstate 180 approaches its directional interchange with Illinois 29. Note the control point of Interstate 80 for Interstate 180 north. Use Illinois 29 south to Peoria. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Use the right two lanes to follow Interstate 180 north to Interstate 80, or use the left lane to transition onto south Illinois 29. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Perspectives from Illinois 26 north
This trailblazer shield assembly for Interstate 180 and Illinois 26 north is posted on northbound Illinois 26 in Hennepin. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (07/03/07).
With the LTV Hennepin Steel Plant visible in the background, Illinois 26 turns westward onto Interstate 180. The two highways share pavement for nine miles before parting ways near the town of Princeton. Photo taken by Don Hargraves (08/02).
Continuing northward onto the LTV Hennepin Steel Plant access road. Don reports that activity was minimal at the time of these photographs. Photo taken by Don Hargraves (08/02).
Perspectives from Spur Ramp to Illinois 29 south
The freeway spur ramp from Interstate 180 south to Illinois 29 ends at a stop sign. Turn left to Illinois 29 northeast to Bureau Junction and De Pue. Continue straight ahead to follow Illinois 29 (Ronald Reagan Trail) south to Peoria and Springfield. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Perspectives from Illinois 29 north
Northbound Illinois 29 approaches the junction with the spur ramp that travels north to Interstate 180. Continue straight ahead to connect to Interstate 180 or turn right to follow Illinois 29 northeast to Bureau Junction and De Pue. Photo taken 09/04/05.
The ramp is signed as To Interstate 180. Illinois 29 continues northeast along the Illinois River Road. Photo taken 09/04/05.
Perspectives from Spur Ramp from Illinois 29 to Interstate 180
The interchange between the spur ramp and the mainline of Interstate 180 is directional. The first ramp connects the northbound spur ramp with eastbound Interstate 180 to Hennepin, while the traffic continuing northbound will merge directly onto northbound Interstate 180. This configuration would make a future freeway connection to Peoria much easier in the future. Photo taken 09/04/05.
After the ramp to eastbound Interstate 180, this reassurance shield for northbound Interstate 180 is posted on the spur ramp, even though mainline Interstate 180 traffic has not yet merged. Photo taken 09/04/05.


  1. Pekin Area Regional Chamber Transportation Issues - this page lays out information on several Central Illinois transportation issues, including the Interstate 474 Ring Road, Illinois 336 expressway from Quincy to Peoria, Illinois 29 four-lane at-grade expressway, and proposed Peoria to Chicago Expressway
  2. Interstate 180 (Illinois) @

Page Updated May 31, 2008.

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State Illinois
Mileage 13.19
Cities Hennepin, Princeton
Junctions I-80
Source: December 31, 2016 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
A vastly empty scene along Interstate 180 northbound after the interchange with Illinois 26. Photo taken 05/06/10.