Interstate 155 Illinois
Interstate 155 provides a cut off between the I-74 corridor at Peoria and the I-55 corridor north from Springfield. The linear freeway travels a rural route north from the Lincoln area to Morton, replacing the old alignment of Illinois Route 121.
Illinois initially submitted the designation of Interstate 37 for the IL 121 corridor between Lincoln and Morton. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) deferred on the designation at the Route Numbering Committee Meeting held on December 8, 1990, with the suggestion of a three-digit designation instead. The state resubmitted the route as Interstate 155 to AASHTO on June 9, 1991, and that designation was approved contingent upon the completion of the freeway route to Interstate standards.
Work on the $120 million project to upgrade IL 121 and construct Interstate 155 was finished on October 30, 1992. Initial discussion surrounding the upgrade of IL 121 to four lane standards began in the early 1960s. The IL 121 intersection with newly built IL 98 gained the nickname “Killer Corner” when the two roads met south of Morton due 15 accident deaths that occurred at the intersection. That junction was replaced with an interchange in November 1989.1
An $86.6 million capital investment reconstructed Interstate 74 at both I-155 and adjacent Morton Avenue (Exit 102). The work zone upgraded I-74 between west of Pleasant Hill Road and west of Main Street and I-155 north of the Birchwood interchange. Work effecting I-155 improved the geometry of the trumpet interchange with I-74 and lowered Interstate 74 to grade level through the exchange, with new overpasses built for I-155. Construction commenced on April 1, 2013.2
The I-74 and I-155 Improvement Project was forecast to run through Summer 2015,2 but continued to October 2016. Ramps between I-155 north and I-74 west and from I-74 west to I-155 south reopened on November 14, 2015.3
North End – Morton, Illinois
North End Throwback
South End – Lincoln, Illinois
South End Throwback
- “31-mile Superhighway Opens After 30-Year Drive for Safer Road.” Journal Star (Peoria, IL), October 30, 1992.
- “Governor Quinn Announces $86 Million Capital Investment to Reconstruct I-74 and I-155 Interchange.” Office of the Governor – Patt Quinn, press release. March 28, 2013.
- “I-74/I-155 Ramps Reopening.” Office of the Governor – Bruce Rauner, press release. November 12, 2015.
Page updated June 29, 2022.