Interstate 474 Illinois
Interstate 474 provides a bypass of Peoria and East Peoria while serving General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport (PIA) and the suburbs of Bellevue, Bartonville, Creve Coeur, Marquette Heights and North Pekin. The freeway ties directly into the Illinois 6 freeway spurring north to Mossville and ends to the east near the north end of I-155 at Morton. I-474 spans the Illinois River across the Shade-Lohmann Bridge, a pair of 3,420 foot plus steel through truss bridges.
Plans for the Eastern Bypass Project, a limited access extension of the IL 6 freeway east across the Illinois River at Mossville and southeast to East Peoria, would complete a full beltway of Peoria in conjunction with Interstate 474. The bridge and remaining freeway miles were initially estimated to cost $800 million. The passage of SAFETEA-LU in 2005 appropriated $2.4 million for design, engineering, and land acquisition for the eventual corridor. A corridor study for the beltway followed.1
Directed by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Phase 1 (Corridor Selection and Alignment) of the Eastern Bypass Project narrowed a list of 20 potential corridors to 14 then six. Input from the Community Advisory Group (CAG) subsequently reduced the number to four. Those remaining generally traveled southeast from Mossville along a corridor east of Germantown Hills and west of Washington to varying locations along Interstate 74. The P2 alignment connected with I-74 at I-474, while M-10 and T-6 were further east near Main Street and Tennessee Avenue in Morton, leaving D-13 near Dee-Mack Road toward the village of Deer Creek. The city of Peoria passed a resolution supporting Corridor P2.2 Completion of the ring road with I-474 and Illinois 6 remains a regional priority as of 2015.3
A proposed “Peoria to Chicago” expressway is also under consideration, with three corridors outlined in 1996. The corridor would branch north or northeast from Illinois 6 / Eastern Bypass to connect Peoria with Interstates 39, 55 or 80. One route involved an upgrade of the Illinois 29 corridor northward from Mossville to I-180 while another paralleled Illinois 116 east to I-55 at Pontiac.4,5
Construction for Interstate 474 was underway by the early 1970s, but stopped in 1973 due to the need for an environmental impact statement. Completed at the time was the Shade-Lohmann Bridge spanning the Illinois River. Work on the freeway resumed in 1976, with a 3.6 mile stretch from U.S. 24 (McKinley Street) at Bartonville and south Peoria to Illinois 29 at Creve Coeur opened two years later. A dedication ceremony on August 30, 1978 opened the freeway and formally named the bridge in honor of former Pekin legislators J. Norman Shade and Martin Lohmann.6
Lohmann retired in 1952 after a 30 year career with terms in both the state House and Senate. Shade started his political career in 1908 and served in office for 40 years with terms as a state representative, Tazewell County Board and mayor of Pekin. He was a proponent for the 1930-opened Pekin Bridge (IL 9) and for the construction of IL 121 (I-155). The blue paint scheme for their bridge was selected from a 1973 contest conducted by IDOT.6,7
The remainder of Interstate 474 north to Illinois 6 and east to I-74 at East Peoria opened to traffic on December 20, 1979. Illinois 6 extended the Peoria ring road north from I-74 / 474 to U.S. 150 on December 20, 1979, from U.S. 150 north to Illinois 40 (former IL 88) on December 28, 1982 and from Illinois 40 north to Illinois 29 on November 3, 1985.8
U.S. 24 was relocated from a route through Downtown Peoria along Adams and Washington Streets to overlap with Interstate 474 between Exits 6 and 9 by 2013. The reroute was the result of Peoria City Council actions to take over maintenance of Washington Street. While promoting development in the Warehouse District, the city planned on allowing on-street parking on both sides of the street while implementing measures to slow traffic and improve pedestrian safety. A $16 million lane-narrowing project was eventually completed to reduce Washington Street between Edmund Street and Hamilton Boulevard.9
East End – East Peoria, Illinois
West End – Peoria, Illinois
- Pekin Area Regional Chamber Transportation Issues.
http://www.pekin.net/Transportation.htm– this web page laid 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
- “Action Requested: Approve a Resolution Supporting Corridor P2 of the Proposed Eastern Bypass Project.”
http://cmx.peoriagov.org/Agenda/Agenda/MG75942/AS75946/AS75951/AI76004/DO76023/DO_76023.pdfCity of Peoria, request for council action, June 26, 2012.
- “Peoria area has full ‘wish list’ of infrastructure projects.” Journal Star (Peoria, IL), February 21, 2015.
- “Leaders: City Needs Highways to Grow > Interstate 474, Peoria-to-Chicago Route Deemed Vital to City.” Peoria Journal Star, The (IL), June 30, 1996.
- “Road to Change > When Interstate 74 Cut Through Peoria in the Late ’50s, The Drive Toward Future Growth Began. The Interstate’s Impact on the City Has Been Significant During the Past Four Decades, But Officials Today are Still Looking Toward the Future.” Peoria Journal Star, The (IL), June 30, 1996.
- “What’s in a Name > Plenty, if It’s the Moniker of a Central Illinois Landmark.” Peoria Journal Star, The (IL), September 26, 1993.
- “Hotline – Bridge named for former Pekin legislators.” Peoria Journal Star, The (IL), October 31, 2003.
- “Road to Change > Building Interstates.” Peoria Journal Star, The (IL), June 30, 1996.
- “Route 24 may take new direction to allow Peoria development.” Peoria Journal Star, The (IL), June 11, 2010.
Page updated June 6, 2018.