Interstate 280 Iowa / Illinois
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
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/U.S. 6 in northwest Davenport. Heading south, the route doubles as U.S. 61 by West Lake Park to W 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 from west to east while paralleling the Rock River. A freeway spur, Illinois Route 92 / Centennial Expressway, connects the bypass with Downtown Rock Island from Exit 11. East from there and the Bally’s Quad Cities Casino & Hotel 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 long exit less stretch east to the Big X Interchange joining I-74 with I-80/IL 110 (Chicago Kansas City Expressway). There I-74 turns south toward Galesburg and Peoria.
The Urban Numbering Plan submitted by the Illinois Division of Highways to the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) on July 24, 1958 called for numbering the East Loop of the Quad Cities belt line 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/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 designation change was proposed by the state of Illinois in 1991 to renumber existing I-280 as Interstate 80, change existing I-80 to Interstate 74, and redesignate the north to south section of I-74, including the twin suspension bridges, as Interstate 174. This action was not considered by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (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.