Interstate 190 Illinois
Interstate 190 represents the western extent of the Kennedy Expressway in Chicago. The spur directly links Interstate 90 with O’Hare International Airport (ORD). Although it is primarily designed to connect to the O’Hare passenger terminals, the freeway also provides the connections from I-90 west to I-294 (Tri-State Tollway) south and from the tollway north to the inbound Kennedy Expressway along I-90 east. Passenger rail rapid transit accompanies all of I-190, serving commuters between Downtown and the airport.
The $23.89 million East River Road / Cumberland Flyover Project improved connections at the east end of Interstate 190, where the Kennedy Expressway combines with I-90 leading into Chicago. Design work was approved for the project on March 4, 2011. The East River Road contract was let on September 18, 2015. Construction completed by late 2016 rebuilt the East River Road overpass to accommodate expansion of I-90 and the new distributor roadway along eastbound.
Source: December 31, 2021 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
The Cumberland Flyover contract was let on September 16, 2016. Work on the new 845 foot long overpass spanning the CTA Blue Line and eastbound roadway for I-190 ran through November 2018. The flyover forms a distributor roadway separating traffic bound for IL 171 (Cumberland Avenue) from the convergence of I-90 and I-190. Associated construction widened Interstate 190 east from the Des Plaines River to I-90.
Opened to traffic on November 5, 1960, the Kennedy Expressway originates at the Jane Byrne (Circle) Interchange with the Dan Ryan Expressway and Eisenhower Expressway (Interstate 290). Connecting Downtown Chicago with O’Hare International Airport (ORD), the 16 mile long expressway was constructed at a cost of $237 million.1,2 Prior to 1978, the Kennedy Expressway was numbered as just I-94 from the Circle Interchange northwest to the Edens Expressway, as Illinois Route 194 from the Edens Expressway to the Northwest Tollway, and as Illinois Route 594 along the O’Hare Airport spur. I-90 at the time was routed along the Eisenhower Expressway.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approved the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) request to add Illinois Route 594 to the Interstate system in a letter dated October 25, 1978. The route was found to be constructed to Interstate standards and deemed a logical addition to the system. The American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHTO) approved Interstate 190 on January 23, 1979.
Originally named the Northwest Expressway, the freeway 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. New rapid transit rail service went into operation within the Kennedy Expressway median on February 1, 1970, shortly after commuter rail service began on the Dan Ryan Expressway (I-90/94).1,2
The U.S. Route 12/45 Mannheim Road Project underway between Spring 2013 and Fall 2015 reconfigured the cloverleaf interchange joining Interstate 190 with the arterial route. Split into two contracts, work widened 3.2 miles of U.S. 12/45 to six overall lanes north of IL 19 (Irving Park Road) to IL 72 (Higgins Road). The $59.6 million project removed both eastbound ramps from I-190 to Mannheim Road. The connection to U.S. 12/45 was shifted onto O’Hare Road east from Bessie Coleman Road to the entrance ramps near Balmoral Avenue.
East End – Chicago, Illinois
Kennedy Expwy – East at
Kennedy Expwy – West at
West End – O’Hare International Airport (ORD) – Chicago, Illinois
Kennedy Expwy – West at Chicago O’Hare Int’l Airport
Kennedy Expwy – East
- Chicago Timeline: 1960 Northwest Expressway Completed; November 29, 1963 Renamed The John F. Kennedy Expressway,
http://www.chipublib.org/004chicago/timeline/kennedyx.htmlChicago Public Library, updated August 1997.
- Encyclopedia of Chicago: Expressways by Dennis McClendon of the Chicago Historical Society.
Page updated July 19, 2021.