Interstate 280 Iowa / Illinois

Interstate 280 Iowa
History
East End
West End
Sgt. John F. Baker, Jr. Bridge

The Sgt. John F. Baker, Jr. Bridge carries Interstate 280 across the Mississippi River between southwest Davenport, Iowa and southwest Rock Island, Illinois. 05/28/18

Overview

Forming the western and southern half of Quad Cities (Moline, Rock Island, Bettendorf, and Davenport) beltway system, Interstate 280 provides a bypass for long distance travelers between Des Moines and Chicago. The freeway begins at a rural directional T interchange with I-80 in northwest Davenport. Heading south, the route doubles as U.S. 61 by West Lake Park to West River Drive, where U.S. 61 turns west toward Blue Grass and Muscatine. The remainder of I-280 in Iowa angles southeast to cross the Mississippi River near Credit Island Park.

Within Illinois, I-280 travels generally east-west while paralleling the Rock River. A freeway spur, Illinois 92 / Centennial Expressway, connects the bypass with Downtown Rock Island from Exit 11. East from there and the Jumer’s Casino complex, Interstate 280 continues through the village of Milan to Quad City International Airport (MLI).

Just north of the airport is the cloverleaf interchange joining I-280 with Interstate 74. The two overlap along a 9.4 mile exit less stretch to the eastern terminus with Interstate 80 and the I-74 turn south toward Galesburg and Peoria.

History

The Urban Numbering Plan submitted by the Illinois Division of Highways to AASHO on July 24, 1958 called for numbering the East Loop of the Quad Cities belt line, where I-80 travels now, as Interstate 274 and the Southwest Loop as Interstate 280. I-74 and I-80 would overlap southward through Davenport, Bettendorf and Moline. Further changes to the current Quad Cities Interstate layout were made by AASHO when it approved the Interstate System Route Numbering on November 10, 1958.1

Within Iowa, the northernmost connection between U.S. 6 [and County Road F58] and I-80 opened along with Interstate 80 between U.S. 61 (Exit 295) and Iowa 38 (Exit 267) on December 1, 1960. The remainder of the freeway though Davenport opened to traffic on October 25, 1973.2

A numbering change was proposed by the state of Illinois in 1991 to renumber existing Interstate 280 as Interstate 80, change existing I-80 to Interstate 74, and redesignate the north-south section of I-74 (including the twin suspension bridges) as Interstate 174. This action was not considered by AASHTO at their Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering meeting on June 10, 1991 because the state of Iowa did not submit companion applications.

Route Information

  • East End – Colona, IL

  • West End – Davenport, IA

  • Total Mileage – 26.98

Iowa – 9.38

  • Cities – Davenport

  • JunctionsI-80

Illinois – 17.60*

  • Cities – Colona, Moline, Rock Island

  • JunctionsI-74 I-80

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

Quad Cities, IL - 1964
Quad Cities inset – 1964 Iowa Official Highway Map

Interstate 280 within Iowa consisted of just a connector between I-80 and U.S. 6 (Kimberly Road) from 1960 to 1973. U.S. 6 was relocated onto this connector in 1980 as it bypassed Walcott, Durant and Wilton via I-80 west.

Quad Cities, IA - 1964
Quad Cities inset – 1964 Illinois Official Highway Map

Interstate 80 west defaulted onto I-74/280 to U.S. 6/150 south of Moline. The tolled Iowa-Illinois Memorial Bridge (later I-74) carried the bulk of through traffic at the time.

I-280 west - Mississippi River Bridge

The 1973 color scheme for the span carrying I-280 across the Mississippi River was blue and yellow. The tied arch bridge was repainted blue in 2007. 09/04/05

Illinois contested that shifting Interstate 80 to the Southwest Loop over I-280 would improve safety at the cloverleaf interchange where I-74 and I-80 bump one another near Colona. Economic advantages were also touted for Rock Island, as the move from I-280 to I-80 would shift the city from the “local” route to the national one. The numbering debate between the two states continued to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) ruling made on July 1, 1993, which retained I-80 and I-280 on their current alignments.3

The tied arch bridge across the Mississippi River was originally painted blue and gold, per a public opinion survey conducted by the Times-Democrat in 1972. The survey provided four choices for the span: interstate blue, interstate green, international airways orange and the blue-yellow combination. The blue/yellow scheme won with 3,446 votes out of 8,300. Officials from the IDOT also advocated for local input in the bridge color selection in 1972, concurring with the eventual paint scheme. The bridge was eventually repainted as simply blue in 2007.4

Further changes for the I-280 were made in May 2008 when the bridge was formally named the Sgt. John F. Baker, Jr. Bridge in honor of the only Quad Cities area Medal of Honor recipient. Approved by Illinois lawmakers, the honor was bestowed upon the 24-year Army veteran who, was awarded the medal in 1966 for carrying fellow wounded soldiers to safety during a battle in the Vietnam War.5

Highway Guides

East End I-74 I-80 IL 110 – Colona, Illinois

I-74 I-280 East at I-80 IL 110

I-74/280 east at I-80/IL 110 - Colona

I-74/280 arc southeast across a series of hills from the Rock River to the Big X Interchange with I-80/IL 110 (CKC). 05/20/15

I-74/280 east at I-80/IL 110 - Colona

I-74/280 advance east along southern reaches of the Colona city limits to the cloverleaf interchange with I-80/IL 110. 05/20/15

I-74/280 east at I-80/IL 110 - Colona

An end shield for Interstate 280 precedes the departure of I-74 east. 05/20/15

I-74/280 east at I-80/IL 110 - Colona

Interstate 74 turns due south with IL 110 (CKC) from I-80 and I-280 along a rural route with just two exits to Galesburg. 05/20/15

I-74/280 east at I-80/IL 110 - Colona

Interstate 80 overtakes the eastbound roadway from I-280 via a loop ramp. I-88 parallels I-80 to the north from East Moline to Chicago. 05/20/15

I-80 West at I-74 I-280 IL 110

I-80 west at I-74/280-IL 110 - Colona

An 8.8-mile exit less stretch along Interstate 80 west concludes in two miles at the cloverleaf interchange with I-74 and I-280 west. 03/31/16

I-80 west at I-74/280-IL 110 - Colona

The Interstate 80 westbound mainline transitions directly onto I-74/280 west to Moline while I-80 uses a TOTSO connection northward to Colona, East Moline and Le Claire. 03/31/16

I-80 west at I-74/280-IL 110 - Colona

Interstate 280 begins as I-80 turns north to bypass the Quad Cities to Bettendorf, Iowa. I-74/280 travel 9.4 miles west uninterrupted to their split by Quad City International Airport (MLI). 03/31/16

I-80 west at I-74/280 - 1976

The original control city for Interstate 80 west at the exchange with I-74 and I-280 was Des Moines. Photo by Michael Summa (1976).

I-80 west at I-74/280-IL 110 - Colona

A loop ramp follows onto I-74/IL 110 south to Peoria and Momouth. I-74 west leads to Downtown Moline and Bettendorf, Iowa while I-280 passes through southern reaches of Rock Island. 05/24/18

I-74 West IL 110 North at I-80 I-280

I-74/IL 110 west at I-80/280 - Colona

A 9.5 mile exit less stretch along I-74/IL 110 (CKC) culminates north at the Big X interchange with I-80/280 in two miles. 12/20/09

I-74/IL 110 west at I-80/280 - Colona

N 1900th Avenue spans I-74/IL 110 one mile south of the exit for I-80 east to Joliet and Chicago. 05/24/18

I-74/IL 110 west at I-80/280 - Colona

Entering the unnumbered cloverleaf interchange with I-80 and I-280 west on I-74 west / IL 110 north southeast of Colona. 05/24/18

I-74/IL 110 west at I-80/280 - Colona

A loop ramp takes the Interstate 74 westbound mainline onto I-280. Overlapping with I-280 for nine miles, the final segment of I-74 runs north through Moline to I-80 in northeast Davenport. 12/20/09

I-74/IL 110 west at I-80/280 - Colona

I-280 runs along the south side of Moline and Rock Island to southwest Davenport in Iowa. I-74 connects the belt route with Bettendorf, Iowa to the north. 04/08/13

I-80 East IL 110 South at I-74 I-280

I-80/IL 110 east at I-74/280 - Colona

I-80/IL 110 (Chicago Kansas City Expressway) travel south through eastern reaches of Colona to the Big X interchange with I-74/280. A diamond interchange (Exit 9) precedes the freeway connection with U.S. 6. 12/25/19

I-80/IL 110 east at I-74/280 - Colona

U.S. 6 parallels I-80 east from Colona to Geneseo and Atkinson. I-80 resumes an eastern heading in 1.25 miles at the return of I-280, where I-74 turns south. 12/25/19

I-80/IL 110 east at I-74/280 - Colona

Advancing south on I-80/IL 110, the ensuing exit is for I-74/280 westbound ramp back to Moline and Rock Island. 12/25/19

I-80/IL 110 east at I-74/280 - Colona

Interstate 280 runs alongside I-74 west to Quad City International Airport (MLI) at Moline. I-80 makes a TOTSO (turn off to stay on) movement toward Chicago via the ensuing loop ramp. 12/25/19

I-80/IL 110 east at I-74/280 - Colona

I-74 east takes over along the roadway leading south from I-80 at the Big X Interchange. Designated in 2011, IL 110 (CKC) overlays I-74 south to U.S. 34 at Galesburg. I-74 continues southeast to Peoria and Bloomington-Normal. 12/25/19

West End I-80 U.S. 6 US 61 – Davenport, Iowa

I-280 US 6 West US 61 North at I-80

I-280/US 61 north at I-80/US 6 - Davenport, IA

Exit 1 joins I-280/U.S. 61 with U.S. 6 (Kimberly Road) east and CR F58 west (Historic U.S. 6) west in northwest Davenport. CR F58 was designated in place of Iowa 927 west to Walcott on July 1, 2003. 04/08/13

I-280/US 61 north at I-80/US 6 - Davenport, IA

The parclo interchange (Exit 1) with U.S. 6 (Kimberly Road) east and CR F58 (200th Street) west lies just south of the exchange with Interstate 80. 04/08/13

I-280/US 61 north at I-80/US 6 - Davenport, IA

U.S. 6 west combines with I-280/U.S. 61 north to make the connection with Interstate 80 west. I-80/U.S. 6 overlap for 19 miles to a point north of Wilton. 04/08/13

I-280/US 61 north at I-80/US 6 - Davenport, IA

West from I-280, Interstate 80 travels 44 miles to Iowa City and 159 miles to Des Moines. U.S. 61 north combines with I-80 east to the cloverleaf interchange with Brady Street (U.S. 61 Business) in north Davenport. 04/08/13

I-80 US 6 East at I-280 US 61

I-80/US 6 east at I-280/US 61 - Davenport, IA

Interstate 80 turns from the southeast to east on the two mile approach to I-280 east, U.S. 61 south and the split with U.S. 6. 06/19/15

I-80/US 6 east at I-280/US 61 - Davenport, IA

Greenouts added to signs at Interstate 280 in 2011 reflect the relocation of U.S. 61 to bypass the city of Davenport. U.S. 61 overlaps with I-280 south to W River Drive and I-80 east to Brady Street. 06/19/15

I-80/US 6 east at I-280/US 61 - Davenport, IA

Maysville Road passes over I-80/U.S. 6 east at the directional T interchange (Exit 290) with Interstate 280 and U.S. 61. 06/19/15

I-80/US 6 east at I-280/US 61 - Davenport, IA

Exit 290 departs I-80 east for Interstate 280 east to Rock Island, Milan and Moline, Illinois. U.S. 6 splits with I-280/U.S. 61 to the immediate south for Kimberly Road east through north Davenport. 06/19/15

I-80 West US 61 South at I-280 US 6

I-80/US 61 west at I-280/US 6 - Davenport, IA

U.S. 61 combines with I-80 five miles to Left Exit 290 exit for I-280/U.S. 6 east. U.S. 61 bypasses Davenport south from Dubuque and De Witt to Blue Grass and Muscatine. 03/28/16

I-80/US 61 west at I-280/US 6 - Davenport, IA

Leaving the outer suburbs of Davenport behind, I-80 west / U.S. 61 south advance one mile to their split. I-280 arcs southeast 11 miles to Rock Island, Illinois. 12/13/14

I-80/US 61 west at I-280/US 6 - Davenport, IA

U.S. 6 joins westbound Interstate 80 at Exit 290 for the first of several overlaps across Iowa from the Quad Cities to Council Bluffs. 12/13/14

I-80/US 61 west at I-280/US 6 - Davenport, IA

U.S. 61 combines with I-280 south 6.7 miles to W River Drive near West Lake Park. The mostly rural route of Interstate 280 through Davenport has four interchanges for the city. 12/13/14

Sources:

  1. Stephen Summers’s Interstate system route numbering page.
  2. Iowa Completion Status of Interstate System as of January 1, 1982. Iowa Department of Transportation.
  3. “IOWA WINS INTERSTATE INTERSTATE BATTLE FHWA WON’T CHANGE NUMBERING OF HIGHWAYS IN QUAD CITIES REGION.” Peoria Journal Star, The (IL), July 3, 1993.
  4. “I-280 bridge gets the blues – Span no longer will sport unique yellow on arch.” Quad-City Times, The (IA), September 14, 2007.
  5. “Illinois set to name I-280 bridge after Vietnam War hero – John F. Baker Jr. is a Medal of Honor recipient.” Quad-City Times, The (IA), May 3, 2008.

Page updated November 5, 2020.