Interstate 474 provides a bypass of Peoria and East Peoria while serving General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport (PIA) and the suburbs of Bellevue, Bartonville, Creve Coeur, Marquette Heights and North Pekin. The freeway ties directly into the Illinois 6 freeway spurring north to Mossville and ends to the east near the north end of I-155 at Morton. I-474 spans the Illinois River across the Shade-Lohmann Bridge, a pair of 3,420 foot plus steel through truss bridges.
Plans for the Eastern Bypass Project, a limited access extension of the IL 6 freeway east across the Illinois River at Mossville and southeast to East Peoria, would complete a full beltway of Peoria in conjunction with Interstate 474. The bridge and remaining freeway miles were initially estimated to cost $800 million. The passage of SAFETEA-LU in 2005 appropriated $2.4 million for design, engineering, and land acquisition for the eventual corridor. A corridor study for the beltway followed.1
Directed by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Phase 1 (Corridor Selection and Alignment) of the Eastern Bypass Project narrowed a list of 20 potential corridors to 14 then six. Input from the Community Advisory Group (CAG) subsequently reduced the number to four. Those remaining generally traveled southeast from Mossville along a corridor east of Germantown Hills and west of Washington to varying locations along Interstate 74. The P2 alignment connected with I-74 at I-474, while M-10 and T-6 were further east near Main Street and Tennessee Avenue in Morton, leaving D-13 near Dee-Mack Road toward the village of Deer Creek. The city of Peoria passed a resolution supporting Corridor P2.2 Completion of the ring road with I-474 and Illinois 6 remains a regional priority as of 2015.3
A proposed “Peoria to Chicago” expressway is also under consideration, with three corridors outlined in 1996. The corridor would branch north or northeast from Illinois 6 / Eastern Bypass to connect Peoria with Interstates 39, 55 or 80. One route involved an upgrade of the Illinois 29 corridor northward from Mossville to I-180 while another paralleled Illinois 116 east to I-55 at Pontiac.4,5