The Innerbelt Project replaced the Innerbelt Bridge built in 1959 across the Cuyahoga River and rebuilt I-90 from I-71 (Medina Freeway) north to I-77 (Willow Freeway). Named the George V. Voinovich Bridge, the new westbound bridge was constructed between May 2011 and November 2013 at a cost of $293 million. The $273 million project to replace the eastbound span was awarded to TGR and designer URS Corporation in the Fall of 2013. Construction culminated on September 24, 2016, when eastbound traffic shifted to the second span. Subsequent work opened all five westbound lanes for I-90 across the George V. Voinovich Bridge by mid October and the remaining eastbound lanes on October 24, 2016. Work on the weekend of October 28, 2016 restriped I-77 north at I-490 to three through lanes and the ramp from I-77 north to I-490 east to a single lane.29
Boston and the “Big Dig”
As part of the $24.3 billion “Big Dig” project in Boston, the Massachusetts Turnpike Extension lengthened Interstate 90 east 3.5 miles from the 1965 terminus at I-93 to Logan International Airport (BOS). Fully opened on January 18, 2003, the extension of I-90 shifted the end northeast to Route 1A in East Boston.
Built as part of the Turnpike Extension, the Ted Williams Tunnel below Boston Harbor arcs I-90 northeast between the Seaport District and the Airport Way loop to Logan Airport’s passenger terminal. The 8,500 foot long tunnel was constructed at a cost of $1.3 billion from December 1991 to December 15, 1995.22,23
West of the Ted Williams Tunnel and Seaport District is the Fort Point Channel Tunnel. The one mile long tunnel takes I-90 below Fort Point Channel between Interstate 93 (Central Artery and the Thomas P. O’Neill, Jr. Tunnel) and D Street by the Massachusetts Convention Center. The Fort Point Channel Tunnel opened to complete I-90 on January 18, 2003.
One of the last sections of Interstate 90 to open to through traffic was the section bypassing the city of Wallace, Idaho. Wallace was also home to the final traffic signal to be bypassed by the transcontinental freeway. To avoid having the freeway pass directly through the town as originally planned, residents and city officials added Wallace to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. As a result, the freeway was rerouted northward onto a viaduct parallel to the South Fork Coeur d’Alene River. Upon completion of the elevated roadway on September 12, 1991, old U.S. 10 through Wallace became Business Loop I-90 and the last traffic signal of I-90 was retired shortly thereafter.3,4
The final traffic light for I-90 was located in Downtown Wallace along old U.S. 10 (Bank Street) at 7th Street. The former at-grade route of I-90 through Wallace became Business Loop I-90. 09/01/06
Construction for Interstate 90 over Homestate Pass began in 1964 at a cost of $6.4 million. The route was complete between Whitehall and Butte in 1966 for $18.5 million.26 The final two lane segment of I-90 across the state was expanded to four lanes on May 13, 1987. The 20 mile long section, known as “Springdale West”, was rebuilt under a $12 million contract started in Fall 1985.27
For a history of the completion of I-90 in Wyoming, visit Interstate 90 @ AARoads.
In Illinois, the sections of Interstate 90 were built in the 1950s and 1960s. The Northwest Tollway, which brings Interstate 90 southeast from Wisconsin to Rockford, Elgin and Chicago near O’Hare International Airport (ORD) was constructed starting in 1956 and was completed by 1958.15 The construction of the 76 mile long Northwest Tollway and the other original tollways in Illinois was funded by a bond issuance in the amount of $415 million by the state tollway commission, which was created in 1953.18 The Northwest Tollway merges into the Kennedy Expressway near O’Hare International Airport.
The Kennedy Expressway, which connects O’Hare International Airport (ORD) with the Chicago Loop (Interstate 290 / Eisenhower Expressway), opened to traffic on November 5, 1960. Originally named the Northwest Expressway, it was renamed the John F. Kennedy Expressway on November 29, 1963, one week to the minute after the famous U.S. President was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. This 16 mile long expressway was constructed at a cost of $237 million.
The Kennedy Expressway from ORD Airport to the Northwest Tollway is designated as Interstate 190 and was formerly Illinois Route 594 until 1978. The Kennedy Expressway southeast from the Northwest Tollway to the Edens Expressway is a part of Interstate 90 and was designated as Illinois Route 194 prior to 1978.
The Kennedy Expressway southeast from the Edens Expressway (I-94) to the Jane Byrne Circle Interchange with I-290 (Eisenhower Expressway) was originally just I-94. I-90 was rerouted from the Eisenhower Expressway onto the Edens Expressway alongside I-94 in 1978. On February 1, 1970, new rapid transit rail service went into operation in the Kennedy Expressway median, shortly after commuter rail service began on the Dan Ryan Expressway segment of I-90/94.15, 16
The Dan Ryan Expressway, which continues the limited access route from I-290 (Eisenhower Expressway) south to Interstate 57, opened on December 15, 1962. It was designated as I-90/94 from Downtown to the Skyway and as I-90 from the Chicago Skyway to the split with I-57. However, I-90 and I-94 were swapped shortly thereafter, with I-94 following the entire length of the Dan Ryan and I-90 branching southeast along the Chicago Skyway.
Planned as the “South Expressway,” the expressway was named in memory of Dan Ryan, who was the president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners and had died in 1961, just before the road opened. Dan Ryan was a known expressway proponent in Chicagoland and was responsible for the construction of several urban freeways. The Dan Ryan Rapid Transit line follows the median of the Dan Ryan Expressway; the rail line opened to commuters on September 28, 1969. Similar rail lines have since been placed in median and other right of way locations along other urban freeways throughout the country, but Chicago is considered to be a pioneer in the implementation of this concept.15, 17
The Chicago Skyway opened in June 1958.15 It was not constructed using proceeds from the Illinois State Tollway Commission original bond issuance; it was instead funded by the city of Chicago separately.18
Interstate 90 followed the Eisenhower (Congress) Expressway and Eisenhower Extension rather than the Kennedy Expressway and Northwest Tollway from the 1960s until 1978. For more on this route, see Interstate 290 Illinois.
Interstate 90 follows the Ohio Turnpike from the Indiana Toll Road east to Elyria near the Cleveland metropolitan area. The act that created the Ohio Turnpike Commission was passed in 1949, and construction began on the toll road in October 1952. The Turnpike was built in 38 months and the 241 mile long route fully opened on October 1, 1955. For more information, visit the official Ohio Turnpike History page.
Several sections of Interstate 90 in the eastern United States uses toll roads. Together with I-80, I-90 follows the Ohio Turnpike westbound as it crosses Exit 13 with SR 15 at the village of Holiday City. 11/06/11