Interstate 57

Interstate 57 Missouri Interstate 57 Illinois Future Interstate 57
History
North End
South End

Overview

Interstate 57 is one of two major corridors joining the Chicago area with downstate Illinois. It provides an alternative to Interstate 55 between Sikeston and Chicago by avoiding St. Louis. I-57 initially runs east from Sikeston to Charleston, Missouri before curving northeast to span the Mississippi River. The remainder of the freeway ventures north though mostly rural areas.

I-57 Bridge - Cairo, IL

Interstate 57 crosses the Mississippi River on a steel through arch bridge that was built in 1978. 06/01/11

South of Marion, Interstate 57 gains traffic from the west end of I-24 leading northwest from Nashville, Clarksville and Paducah. Some truck traffic diverges from I-57 for I-64 west from Mount Vernon to the St. Louis area. Through Mt. Vernon, I-57/64 share a five mile overlap.

Beyond Mount Vernon, I-57 ventures north to Salem before turning northeast to Effingham and a six-mile overlap with Interstate 70. I-70 carries a substantial amount of truck traffic between St. Louis and Indianapolis, adding to the busy cosigned section with I-57.

North from Effingham, Interstate 57 continues to Mattoon, Champaign, Kankakee and the south suburbs of Chicago. Within Chicago, I-57 is one of the few freeways that is referred to by its number rather than an expressway name.

Parallel U.S. Routes

Interstate 57 combines with U.S. 60 and parallels U.S. 62 from Sikeston to Charleston in Missouri. U.S. 51 ties into the I-57 corridor from Cairo in southern Illinois, with the two paired northward until Dongola. Between Dongola and Effingham, Interstate 57 parallels Illinois 37. U.S. 45 accompanies I-57 northward from Effingham to Kankakee. North of Kankakee, Interstate 57 replaced former U.S. 54 (now Illinois 50 and Illinois 1).

Interstate 57 in Arkansas

Language inserted into the Fiscal Year 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development by U.S. Senator John Boozman on April 21, 2016 designated U.S. 67, between North Little Rock and Walnut Ridge, Arkansas as Future Interstate 57. The bill also included the option to officially designate any interstate standard stretch of the U.S. 67 freeway as I-57.1

Future I-57 Corridor - Walnut Ridge, AR

The first of three Future I-57 signs posted along U.S. 67 southbound in Arkansas appears just after the northernmost interchange with U.S. 412 in Walnut Ridge. 09/09/20

The orientation of the freeway northeast from Little Rock alludes to an eventual connection with Interstate 57 in southeastern Missouri. The designation of I-57 in Arkansas represents an important step to completing that link. Additional supporters of I-57 in Arkansas include communities throughout the corridor, the Newport Economic Development Commission and Chambers of Commerce in Bald Knob, Cabot, Jacksonville, Lawrence County, Newport, Sherwood and Searcy.1

The establishment of Future Interstate 57 along the U.S. 67 freeway, from I-40 in North Little Rock to U.S. 412 at Walnut Ridge, was approved by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) on September 24, 2017.

Route Information

  • North End – Chicago, IL

  • South End – Sikeston, MO

  • Branch Routes – 0

  • Total Mileage – 386.12

Mileage

Arkansas – 123#

  • Cities – North Little Rock, Jacksonville, Searcy, Newport, Walnut Ridge

  • JunctionsI-40

Missouri – 21.96

  • Cities – Sikeston, Charleston

  • JunctionsI-55

Illinois – 364.16*

  • Cities – Cairo, Marion, Mount Vernon, Salem, Effingham, Matton, Champaign-Urbana, Rantoul, Kankakee, Chicago

  • JunctionsI-24 I-64 I-70 I-72 I-74 I-80 I-294 I-94

Source: December 31, 2018 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
* – 5.59 miles on I-70
# – estimate of Future I-57 mileage

Southeast Missouri - 1965
Southeastern Missouri – 1965 Missouri Official Highway Map

Interstate 57 ended at U.S. 60/ 62 outside Charleston until 1978, when the freeway opened northward across the Mississippi River into Illinois.

I-57 - Champaign-Kankakee, IL - 1971 Map
Interstate 57 corridor between Champaign and Kankakee, Illinois, 1971

One of the last sections of Interstate 57 to open in Illinois was the stretch between U.S. 136 at Rantoul (Exit 250) and Buckley (Exit 272).

Part of the Connecting Arkansas Program (CAP), the 30 Crossing project reconstructing I-30 north from I-630 in Little Rock to I-40 in North Little Rock includes improvements at the exchange joining I-40 with Future I-57/U.S. 67-167. Anticipated to start beyond 2021, work replaces the left exit ramp from I-40 east to U.S. 67/167 north with a three lane flyover departing from the right side. Work also expands Interstate 40 between I-30 and Future I-57, and reconfigures the parclo interchange with N Hills Boulevard to address weaving traffic.

I-40/57 interchange design map

The Preferred Alternate for the I-40/Future I-57 interchange in North Little Rock, Arkansas.

History

Within Chicago, Interstate 57 follows the Dan Ryan Extension, which extends from the split with I-94 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, 1963.2 The remaining urban segments of I-57 in Chicago opened to traffic in phases between 1967 and 1970.3

The first section of Interstate 57 in Illinois was dedicated on September 26, 1961. The 30-mile segment opened from Dongola (Exit 24) north to Marion. The next stretch completed, extended I-57 north from Marion to Johnston City on November 1, 1962. The route to West Frankfort followed in 1963 and by 1965, I-57 was open north to Mount Vernon.4

An additional ten miles of Interstate 57 opened to traffic south from Ullin in May 1969. The following month another 14 miles of freeway were completed from Illinois 16 and Mattoon north to Illinois 133 at Arcola. Subsequent completion occurred in July 1969 on a five mile section of I-57 from Urbandale northward, and a 21.5 mile stretch from a point south of Mount Vernon to Illinois 161 east of Centralia.11

Continuing work through Fall 1969 included opening an eight mile section of I-57 from Tuscola to Arcola. Additional portions finished that December of that year were seven miles from Illinois 161 north to Salem, 13 miles from Onarga to Ashkum and 13 miles from Champaign to Rantool.11

The Interstate 57 Mississippi River bridge was dedicated on June 23, 1978. Constructed over the course of six years at a cost of $25.4-million, the bridge opened as part of a $50-million, 11-mile link between Charleston, Missouri and U.S. 51 outside Cairo. This section was the last to open of the overall Interstate 57 corridor.5

A $10.6-million project broke ground on July 16, 2013 to expand Interstate 57 to six lanes between Marion and Johnston City, Illinois. Related work included the conversion of the ramps with Illinois 13 to a single point urban interchange (SPUI),6 as well as the addition of the first diverging diamond interchange (DDI) in southern Illinois. Work on the DDI at The Hill Avenue (formerly Morgan Avenue) was coupled with the adjacent SPUI at IL 13 in a $40 million project. The new exit opened on August 12, 2015.7

Construction at Mount Vernon involved the overlap with Interstate 64. Started in July 2011, this project widened 4.7 miles of I-57 to six overall lanes through the city, with working underway to December 1, 2013.8 The Mount Vernon widening was the first of the overall I-57 Corridor plan to expand the freeway to six lanes southward to Marion and Interstate 24.

Further north at Effingham, $125-million in construction involves the cosigned stretch of I-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.9 The four-phase project ran through Fall 2016.10

Highway Guides

North End I-94 (Dan Ryan Expressway) – Chicago, Illinois

I-57 North at I-94

I-57 north at I-94 - Chicago, IL

The first sign for I-90/94 (Dan Ryan Expressway) along I-57 north appears 1.75 miles out at the Washington Heights neighborhood. Exit 357 departs next for Illinois 1 (Halsted Street) at the Longwood Manor community. 06/20/15

I-57 north at I-94 - Chicago, IL

I-57 turns 90 degrees into the diamond interchange (Exit 357) with IL 1 (Halsted Street) on the final 0.75 miles to the Dan Ryan. IL 1 travels nearly the height of the state from I-57 to KY 91 at Cave-in-Rock. Locally Halsted Street forms a six lane boulevard north through Longwood Manor. 06/20/15

I-57 north at I-94 - Chicago, IL

The final shield assembly for Interstate 57 north stands ahead of the Parnell Avenue over crossing by the Fernwood neighborhood. 06/20/15

I-57 north at I-94 - Chicago, IL

The entrance ramp from Halsted Street forms an auxiliary lane to Interstate 94 (Bishop Ford Freeway) south toward Calumet City, Lansing and Crete. 06/20/15

I-57 north at I-94 - Chicago, IL

The Interstate 57 mainline defaults onto the inbound Dan Ryan Expressway (I-94 west) to the Chatham, Englewood and Bridgeport neighborhoods ahead of the Chicago Loop. 06/20/15

I-57 north at I-94 - Chicago, IL

A pair of end signs for Interstate 57 line the northbound ramp to the Dan Ryan. Interstate 94 expands to ten lanes leading north from I-57 between Princeton Park and West Chesterfield. The Metra red line runs between the travel lanes along the expressway. 06/20/15

I-94 East at I-57

I-94 east at I-57 - Chicago, IL

Two miles north of the three-wye interchange (Exit 63) with Interstate 57 on I-94 (Dan Ryan Expressway) east at the 79th Street overpass at Chatham. 05/09/10

I-94 east at I-57 - Chicago, IL

Five lanes of the outbound Dan Ryan Expressway advance south from 87th Street between West Chatham and West Chesterfield to the separation with Interstate 57 at Exit 63. 05/09/10

I-94 east at I-57 - Chicago, IL

Exit 62 splits from the Dan Ryan Expressway for U.S. 12/20 (95th Street) as outbound traffic partition for I-57 south or I-94 east. Both routes initially remain within the Chicago city limits before advancing into southern suburbs such as Harvey, Calumet City and Riverdale. 05/09/10

I-94 east at I-57 - Chicago, IL

Exit 63 branches west from I-94 as the Dan Ryan Expressway ends. I-57 begins as the Dan Ryan Extension southwest to Morgan Park and Calumet Park outside the city. I-94 lines the Bishop Ford Memorial Freeway east through Rosemoor and south to the exchange with I-80/294 (Tri-State Tollway) and IL 394. 05/09/10

I-57 North End Throwback

I-57 North at I-94 / Dan Ryan Expwy

I-57 north at I-94 - 2002

Replacements of button copy signs by 105th Street increased the distance for I-94 (Dan Ryan Expressway) to 1.75 miles. IL 1 (Halsted Street) is the last northbound exit from I-57. Photo by Brian Dowd (12/23/02).

I-57 north at I-94 - 2002

Removed by 2007, a ground level sign was posted by the Halsted Street (IL 1) overpass for the unnumbered exits to Interstate 94. Photo by Brian Dowd (12/23/02).

I-57 north at I-94 - 2002

Construction completed in 2007 expanded the northernmost portion of Interstate 57 to eight lanes. Two lanes joined the Dan Ryan Expressway inbound and one for the Bishop Ford Freeway outbound in the prior configuration. Photo by Brian Dowd (12/23/02).

I-57 north at I-94 - 2002

Traveling inbound on the Dan Ryan, I-94 heads 12 miles north to the Jane Byrne (Circle) Interchange, where the Ryan and Kennedy Expressways (I-90/94) meet the Eisenhower Expressway (I-290). I-94 east converges with I-80 and the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) 11 miles to the south. Photo by Brian Dowd (12/23/02).

I-57 north at I-94 - 2002

Previous end signs posted at the three-wye interchange joining I-57 north with I-94 (Dan Ryan Expressway) west. Photo by Brian Dowd (12/23/02).

I-57 north at I-94 - 2002

Photo by Don Hargraves (04/02).

I-94 / Dan Ryan Expwy – East at I-57

I-94 east at I-57 - 2005

This sign bridge posted two miles north of I-57 was removed during reconstruction of the Dan Ryan Expressway in 2007. Three exits precede the split with Interstate 57 at Exit 63. 09/03/05

I-94 east at I-57 - 2005

2007 expansion of the Dan Ryan added a third lane for Interstate 57 south at Exit 63. 09/04/05

I-94 east at I-57 - 2005

This sign bridge with button copy tabs for U.S. 12/20 (95th Street) and I-57 south was also removed during reconstruction of I-94. 09/04/05

I-94 east at I-57 - 2005

Traffic previously separated with two lanes for both I-94 east and I-57 south. A cut and cover tunnel system takes I-94 east and the adjacent Metra red line below the ramp joining I-57 north with the inbound Dan Ryan. 09/04/05

I-94 / Dan Ryan Expwy – West at I-57

I-94 west at I-57 - 2002

A wye interchange connects I-94 (Bishop Ford Freeway) with the Stony Island Avenue connector one mile east of I-57. This button copy sign was replaced by December 2002, and its replacement by 2012. Photo by Don Hargraves (04/02).

I-94 west at I-57 - 2002

Overheads at the Cottage Grove Avenue overpass were replaced by 2011 with Clearview font based panels. Memphis, Tennessee is located 137 miles beyond the I-57 south end via I-55 through Missouri and Arkansas. Photo by Brian Dowd (10/26/02).

I-94 west at I-57 - 2002

Passing by the campus of Chicago State University, I-94 (Bishop Ford Freeway) advances west into the three-wye interchange (Exit 63) with Interstate 57 south to Kankakee and Champaign-Urbana. Photo by Brian Dowd (12/23/02).

I-94 west at I-57 - 2002

I-94 resumes a northward heading along the Dan Ryan Expressway from Rosemoor ten miles to Downtown Chicago. I-57 south initially travels west between Fernwood and Longwood Manor before turning south through the southern Chicago suburbs along the ensuing 20 miles. Photo by Brian Dowd (12/23/02).

I-57 South

I-57 south at I-94 - 2005

Removed during 2007 reconstruction, a begin I-57 sign was posted along the ramp leading south from the outbound Dan Ryan Expressway. after the transition from Interstate 94 east. I-57 (Dan Ryan Extension) connects Chicago with suburbs including Blue Island, Harvey and Matteson. 09/04/05

South End I-55 US 60 – Sikeston, Missouri

I-57 South US 60 West at I-55

I-57/US 60 south at I-55 - Sikeston, MO

I-57 south / U.S. 60 west advance across the Scott County line on the two mile approach to Exits 1B/A with Interstate 55. 06/01/11

I-57/US 60 south at I-55 - Sikeston, MO

I-57/U.S. 60 bee line west southwest another mile to the cloverleaf interchange with I-55. Saint Louis is a 140 mile drive to the north while Interstate 55 south leads 138 miles to Memphis, Tennessee. 06/01/11

I-57/US 60 south at I-55 - Sikeston, MO

Beyond the end of I-57, U.S. 60 west transitions into an at-grade expressway running along the south side of Sikeston to Dexter and Poplar Bluff. 06/01/11

I-57/US 60 south at I-55 - Sikeston, MO

Exit 1B departs I-57 south / U.S. 60 west for I-55 north to Cape Girardeau, Jackson and Festus. U.S. 62 crosses paths with I-55 just to the north at east Sikeston. 06/01/11

I-57/US 60 south at I-55 - Sikeston, MO

A loop ramp (Exit 1A) follows onto I-55 south to New Madrid, Hayti and Blytheville, Arkansas. Interstate 55 remains rural to West Memphis. 06/01/11

US 60 East at I-55 I-57

US 60 east at I-55/57 - Sikeston, MO

U.S. 60 runs along an expressway bypassing Sikeston to the south leading into the exchange (Exits 1A/B) with I-55 and I-57. Photo by Chris Patriarca (07/21/03).

US 60 east at I-55/57 - Sikeston, MO

Exit 1A departs U.S. 60 east for Blytheville, Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee as Interstate 57 north begins. 12/20/09

US 60 east at I-55/57 - Sikeston, MO

Exit 1B loops onto Interstate 55 north to St. Louis. I-57/U.S. 60 commence a 12.3 mile overlap east to Charleston. 12/20/09

I-55 North at I-57 US 60

I-55 north at I-57/US 60 - Sikeston, MO

Paralleling Route AA, Interstate 55 traverses agricultural areas along a 7.7 mile long exit less stretch preceding Exit 66 with I-57/U.S. 60. 05/03/12

I-55 north at I-57/US 60 - Sikeston, MO

Route AA spans I-55 one mile south of the cloverleaf interchange (Exit 66) with I-57 north and U.S. 60. 05/03/12

I-55 north at I-57/US 60 - Sikeston, MO

U.S. 60 continues west from I-55 and I-57 to Dexter, Poplar Bluff, and eventually Springfield. U.S. 60 overlaps with I-57 east to Bertrand and Charleston. 05/03/12

I-55 South at I-57 US 60

I-55 south at I-57/US 60 - Sikeston, MO

Interstate 55 advances three quarters of a mile south from U.S. 62 at east Sikeston to meet the south end of I-57 and U.S. 60. 04/13/13

I-55 south at I-57/US 60 - Sikeston, MO

Exit 66B leaves I-55 south for U.S. 60 across south Sikeston. Part of the Future I-57 corridor to Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, U.S. 60 follows an expressway west to Dexter and Poplar Bluff. U.S. 60 also provides the most direct route to Springfield, 221 miles to the west. 04/13/13

I-55 south at I-57/US 60 - Sikeston, MO

Exit 66A loops onto Interstate 57 north from I-55 south. The Windy City lies 383 miles to the north. U.S. 60 branches east from I-57 en route to Paducah, Kentucky in 59 miles. 04/13/13

I-57 North US 60 East

I-57/US 60 north at I-55 - Sikeston, MO

The first confirming marker for Interstate 57 north stood at the bridge across North Cut Ditch just east of I-55. Removed by 2007, it was never replaced. Photo by Steve Hanudel (08/19/05).

Future South End I-40 US 67 US 167 – North Little Rock, Arkansas

Future I-57 US 67 US 167 South at I-40

US 67/167 south at I-40 - North Little Rock, AR

Future I-57/U.S. 67-167 advance south from the commercial area anchored by McCain Mall 1.25 miles to Interstate 40 in North Little Rock. 09/09/20

US 67/167 south at I-40 - North Little Rock, AR

The U.S. 67/167 mainline defaults onto I-40 west toward Little Rock. Exit 155 is the flyover ramp connecting with I-40 east to McAlmont and I-440. 09/09/20

US 67/167 south at I-40 - North Little Rock, AR

Future I-57 concludes at a two-wye interchange (Exit 155) adjacent to the Foothills Apartments complex developed in 2019-20 and north of the Union Pacific Railroad – North Little Rock Terminal. 09/09/20

US 67/167 south at I-40 - North Little Rock, AR

U.S. 67/167 combine with I-40 west for 0.9 miles to Interstate 30 leading south to Downtown Little Rock. Interstate 40 travels 120 miles east to West Memphis. 09/09/20

I-40 East US 67 US 167 North at Future I-57

I-40/US 67-167 east at Future I-57 - North Little Rock, AR

Future I-57/U.S. 67-167 splits with I-40 east beyond the exchange with N Hills Boulevard. Reducing weaving traffic, the 30 Crossing project will replace the left side ramp at Exit 155 with a three lane flyover departing from the outside lanes. 09/09/20

I-40/US 67-167 east at Future I-57 - North Little Rock, AR

Future I-57/U.S. 67-167 travel northeast from North Little Rock to Jacksonville, Searcy and Walnut Ridge. Newer guide signs for U.S. 67 posted in North Little Rock include St. Louis, Missouri. 09/09/20

Sources:

  1. John Boozman United States Senator for Arkansas. (Apr 25, 2016). “Boozman Provision in Appropriations Bill Paves Way for Interstate Status of U.S. 67.” [Press release]. Retrieved from http://www.boozman.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/
    2016/4/boozman-provision-in-appropriations-bill-paves-way-for-interstate-status-of-u-s-67
  2. “Interstate 57 Link Opens Today.” Chicago Tribune (IL), November 6, 1963.
  3. Encyclopedia of Chicago: Expressways by Dennis McClendon of the Chicago Historical Society.
  4. Musgrave, Jon. (2011, September, 25). Interstate 57 Marks 50 Years of Traveling [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://illinoishistory.blogspot.com/2011/09/interstate-57-marks-50-years-of.html
  5. “Cairo bridge final link in Interstate system.” The Southeast Missourian (Cape Girardeau), June 25, 1978.
  6. “Governor Quinn Breaks Ground on $10.6 Million Widening Project for I-57 near Marion.” Illinois Government News Network press release, July 15, 2013.
  7. “Illinois’s first interchange of its kind opens in Marion.” The Southern Illinoisan (Carbondale), August 12, 2015.
  8. “I-57 widening project causes backups.” Mt. Vernon Register-News (IL), January 19, 2013.
  9. “First phase of interstate project almost complete.” Effingham Daily News (IL), September 14, 2012.
  10. “Interstate 57/70 project in final months of construction.” Effingham Daily News (IL), October 4, 2015.
  11. “Illinois Schedules Its Largest Highway Building Program.” Chicago Tribune (IL), February 16, 1969.

Page updated September 28, 2020.