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. I-474 ties directly into IL 6, a freeway spurring 10.10 miles north to Mossville. The south end connects with I-74 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 long steel through truss bridges.
Plans for the Eastern Bypass Project, a limited access extension of IL 6 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 IL 6 remained a regional priority as of 2015.3
A proposed “Peoria to Chicago” expressway was under consideration, with three corridors outlined in 1996. The corridor would branch north or northeast from IL 6 / Eastern Bypass to connect Peoria with I-39, I-55 or I-80. One route involved an upgrade of the IL 29 corridor northward from Mossville to I-180 while another paralleled IL 116 east to I-55 at Pontiac.4,5