Interstate 155 Illinois

Interstate 155 Illinois
History
North End
South End

Overview

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.

History

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

Route Information

  • North End – Morton, IL

  • South End – Lincoln, IL

  • Mileage – 32.13

  • Cities – Lincoln, Peoria

  • JunctionsI-55 I-74

Source: December 31, 2018 Interstate Route Log and Finders List

I-155 Illinois - 1989 Map

IL 121 under construction for I-155 – 1989 Illinois Official Highway Map

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

Highway Guides

North End I-74 – Morton, Illinois

I-155 North at I-74

I-155 north at I-74 - Morton, IL

I-155 north elevates across a Toledo, Peoria & Western Railway line between the east end of IL 98 and Interstate 74 in Morton. 05/24/18

I-155 north at I-74 - Morton, IL

The northernmost half mile of Interstate 155 was reconstructed during the I-74 and I-155 Improvement Project in 2013-16. This included new signs, concrete pavement, and redesign of the trumpet interchange between the two routes. 05/24/18

I-155 north at I-74 - Morton, IL

Interstate 155 north concludes at the ramp separation for I-74 east to Bloomington and Normal and I-74 west to Peoria and the Quad Cities. 05/24/18

I-74 East at I-155

I-74 east at I-155 - East Peoria, IL

One mile ahead of I-155 on Interstate 74 east by Cloverdale in East Peoria. 05/24/18

I-74 east at I-155 - East Peoria, IL

The I-74 and I-155 Improvement Project expanded Interstate 74 to six overall lanes between I-474 at East Peoria and Exit 102 in the village of Morton. A fourth eastbound lane opens ahead of Exit 101 for I-155 south. 05/24/18

I-74 east at I-155 - Morton, IL

Exit 101 parts ways with I-74 east for Interstate 155 south to Tremont, Hartsburg and Lincoln. Interstate 74 advances east through Morton to Bloomington. 05/24/18

I-74 West at I-155

I-74 west at I-155 - Morton, IL

Traffic merges onto I-74 west from the commercialized stretch of Morton Avenue just ahead of Exit 101 for Interstate 155 south. 05/24/18

I-74 west at I-155 - Morton, IL

Interstate 155 runs through western reaches of Morton over the initial three miles. The remainder of the 35 miles on I-155 to Lincoln is rural. 05/24/18

I-155 North End Throwback

I-155 North at I-74

I-155 north at I-74 - 2002

Ground level guide signs were posted ahead of the trumpet interchange joining Interstate 155 with I-74. These were removed during the I-74 and I-155 Improvement Project. Photo by Don Hargraves (09/23/02).

I-74 West at I-155

I-74 west at I-155 - 2008

I-74 spanned U.S. 150 and the River Trail of Illinois rail trail along the short stretch separating Morton Avenue (Exit 102) with the trumpet interchange for Interstate 155 south. 05/24/08

I-74 west at I-155 - 2002

Interstate 74 previously crossed over the ramps for I-155. The freeway now travels at-grade with Exit 101 elevating above I-74 for the freeway south to Lincoln. Photo by Brian Dowd (12/01/02).

I-74 East at I-155

I-74 east at I-155 - 2005

Pleasant Hill Road spanned Interstate 74 between the east end of I-474 and north end of I-155 at Exit 101. Diagrammatic signs for the upcoming split were removed during 2013-16 road work. Photo by Jeff Morrison (08/06/05).

I-74 east at I-155 - 2005

A second diagrammatic overhead preceded the trumpet interchange (Exit 101) with Interstate 155 south on I-74 east at the Muller Road overpass. Photo by Jeff Morrison (08/06/05).

I-74 east at I-155 - 2005

Interstate 74 previously crossed over the ramps for I-155. The freeway now travels at-grade with I-155 elevating above I-74 for the freeway south to Lincoln. Sign changes made here replaced Indianapolis with Bloomington for I-74 east. Photo by Jeff Morrison (08/06/05).

South End I-55 – Lincoln, Illinois

I-155 South at I-55

I-155 south at I-55 - Lincoln, IL

I-155 angles southeast from the crossing of Sugar Creek on a 5.2 mile exit less stretch leading to Exit 0 with Interstate 55. All signs for I-55 on I-155 south were replaced by 2013 to use Clearview Font. 05/24/18

I-155 south at I-55 - Lincoln, IL

One mile ahead of the three-wye interchange (Exit 0) with Interstate 55 on I-155 south. 05/24/18

I-155 south at I-55 - Lincoln, IL

I-55 and I-155 come together on the rural outskirts of Lincoln within West Lincoln township. I-55 turns east to overtake Historic U.S. 66 northeast to Bloomington, Normal and ultimately Chicago. 05/24/18

I-155 south at I-55 - Lincoln, IL

Traffic partitions at Exits 0A/0B from I-155 south. IL 121 begins from Interstate 55 to the south of Kickapoo Creek at Exit 126 and IL 10. The 109 mile long route travels southeast through Lincoln to Decatur and Mattoon. 05/24/18

I-155 south at I-55 - 2001

An end shield for Interstate 155 appears along the ramp (Exit 0A) connecting with I-55 south. St. Louis is 126 miles to the southwest. A replacement of this assembly was located further south by the gore point of the ramp merge. Photo by Jeff Royston (11/25/01).

I-55 North at I-155

I-55 north at I-155 - Lincoln, IL

Interstate 55 leads due north from the split with Business Loop I-55 into Lincoln. The freeway next meets IL 10 and the north end of IL 121 at Exit 126, followed by the beginning of I-155 at Exit 127. 05/24/18

I-55 north at I-155 - Lincoln, IL

Entering the folded diamond interchange (Exit 126) joining I-55 north with IL 10 west to Mason City and IL 10/121 east to Downtown Lincoln. Old Route 121 followed an alignment to the east from Lincoln to Hartsburg. I-155 overtakes the former IL 121 beyond Exit 6. 05/24/18

I-55 north at I-155 - Lincoln, IL

Interstate 55 spans Kickapoo Creek to the immediate north of IL 10/121. The freeway then curves eastward through the three-wye interchange (Exit 127) with Interstate 155 north. 05/24/18

I-55 north at I-155 - Lincoln, IL

Left Exit 127 departs with two lanes for I-155 north to Morton, Peoria and the Quad Cities. I-55 advances northeast to Bloomington, Normal and Chicago. 05/24/18

I-55 South at I-155

I-55 south at I-155 - Lincoln, IL

The initial guide sign for Exit 127 to I-155 on I-55 south precedes the Old Route 121 overpass in West Lincoln township. 05/24/18

I-55 south at I-155 - Lincoln, IL

Continuing west between agricultural fields, I-55 proceeds a half mile to Exit 127 for I-155 leading north to Hartsburg. I-55 turns due south from the forthcoming exchange to complete the bypass of Lincoln en route to Springfield. 05/24/18

I-55 south at I-155 - Lincoln, IL

Exit 127 separates from the Interstate 55 southbound mainline for I-155 leading back north to Peoria and Moline. I-55 overtakes old U.S. 66 again in six miles and reaches Springfield in 28 miles. 05/24/18

I-155 South End Throwback

I-155 South at I-55

I-155 south at I-55 - 2001

Previous guide signs for Exit 0 on I-155 south. This is an uncommon instance where an Interstate concludes at Exit 0. Other examples include the south end of I-65 and the west end of I-265 in Indiana. Photo by Jeff Royston (11/25/01).

I-55 North at I-155

I-55 north at I-155 - 2002

Approaching the succeeding interchanges with IL 10/121 and I-155 on Interstate 55 north along the west side of Lincoln. These signs were replaced with Clearview font based panels by 2015. Photo by Brian Dowd (06/02).

I-55 north at I-155 - 2005

A ground level guide sign preceded Exit 127 from Interstate 55 north for I-155. It was removed by 2013. Photo by Jeff Morrison (08/13/05).

I-55 South at I-155

I-55 south at I-155 - 2010

One mile ahead of I-155 north on I-55 south. This sign was replaced by 2016. 05/06/10

I-55 south at I-155 - 2002

The previous overheads posted a half mile out from I-155 erroneously displayed Exit 127 instead of Exit 126 for IL 10/121. This was later corrected, with both overheads replaced by 2016. Photo by Brian Dowd (06/02).

Sources:

  1. “31-mile Superhighway Opens After 30-Year Drive for Safer Road.” Journal Star (Peoria, IL), October 30, 1992.
  2. “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.
  3. “I-74/I-155 Ramps Reopening.” Office of the Governor – Bruce Rauner, press release. November 12, 2015.

Page updated July 17, 2021.