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Old 01-17-2013, 02:43 PM
 
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We are coming from MN and have to loop around Chicago. Google maps has us routing on I-90 to 290 and over to 65 to head south on 65 to our destination. Is that the most efficient route? We will probably hit Chicago somewhere around 1:00-1:30 on a Friday afternoon. Other suggestions? Trying to avoid stop and go traffic as much as possible. Don't care about toll roads so if there are better toll roads those are fine.

Thanks!
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
We are coming from MN and have to loop around Chicago. Google maps has us routing on I-90 to 290 and over to 65 to head south on 65 to our destination. Is that the most efficient route? We will probably hit Chicago somewhere around 1:00-1:30 on a Friday afternoon. Other suggestions? Trying to avoid stop and go traffic as much as possible. Don't care about toll roads so if there are better toll roads those are fine.

Thanks!
I believe Google Maps also contains a road named I-294.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdiddy View Post
I believe Google Maps also contains a road named I-294.
Yes--but it looks like 290 just turns into 294, I figured the locals would get the idea...
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:45 PM
 
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Although there is a "junction" between 290 & 294 for some reason the "google maps routing algorithm" does not choose the best path.

I recommend following 90 to the interchange with 290 then following that along 355 to I-88 and then taking 88 to 294 south and following that to 94 and finally to 65...

There are tolls on 355/88/294 but they are cheap and midday it is worth avoiding both the stretch of 290 south of O'Hare as well as any portion of 90...

Interstate 94 W to Indianapolis, IN - Google Maps
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:26 AM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
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we generally skip the noted 355/88 route and stay on 290 and wouldn't imagine you'd have any issues with traffic at 1 pm.

https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=I...=10&via=1&z=13

Keep in mind that you can use the I-pass lanes and not stop for the tolls at all. Within 7 days you just have to log in to their system and pay on-line for the tolls you skipped. They'll ask you what time and which tolls you skipped so it's nice to have a co-pilot to jot that down, otherwise if you know the time you hit the 1st one, you can easily figure out the approximate time on the others when you pay on-line.

Unpaid Tolls - www.illinoistollway.com
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:07 AM
 
Location: A Place With REAL People
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From someone that traveled that area for a very long time for a living here's my suggestion. When you get to Madison WI on I-90/I-94 hop onto I-39 South and don't bother going anywhere near the Metro Chicago area. Stay on I-39 and if you MUST take I-80 East to your I-65 South after you get into Indiana. Just in case you might be headed to Indianapolis or in that area, I'd skip I-80 also and stick to I-39 South till you get to Bloomington IL. than grab I-74 Eastbound and take THAT to I-65. When I was traveling if I were going to be on I-65 anywhere from Lafayette to the South I'd take I-74 and just forget about I-80. For SURE forget about heading towards the Chicago Metro area altogether. You'll thank me trust me on this one
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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If your destination is south of Indy or in the Indy vicinity, I'd avoid the whole mess by catching I-39 in Portage WI and taking it all the way down to I-74 in Bloomington IL, then take that over to Indy where you can catch I-65. Not only do you stay well away from Chicago and its traffic, but you only pay one $1.90-toll (95 cents if you have I-Pass/I-Zoom/EZ-Pass), versus $19 ($10-ish with I-Pass/I-Zoom-EZ-Pass) if you take 90 to 294.
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:33 PM
 
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Not going to Indy but looks like we can stay on I-39 past Chicago easily. It adds 50 miles to the trip. Is that saved in time though vs taking the more direct route on 290, etc.?
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Old 01-18-2013, 04:39 PM
 
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Default Almost certainly -- of course there is a downside too...

Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
Not going to Indy but looks like we can stay on I-39 past Chicago easily. It adds 50 miles to the trip. Is that saved in time though vs taking the more direct route on 290, etc.?
The degree to which avoiding the whole region is going to be a benefit is really a function of the FACT that despite the tollway and Indiana adding more / better pavement to the system the volume of truck traffic grows faster -- there is often a SOLID wall of semi tractors at the 80/294 junction that will drop your speeds below 30 mph...

The downside is that if you want to take a break from driving the options in rural Illinois along 39 are pretty thin and even when on 74 unless you close to the college campuses there are very basic choices. If you encounter weather and want to break up the trip the range of hotels and places that cater to "business travelers" around Woodfield Mall and Oakbrook Center are top notch, with online apps for same day booking you can stay in a modern business oriented hotel for a fraction of their regular rate. In winter it is nice to take a little break at a place that has an indoor pool and nice dining options nearby...

If you don't mind "keeping up with traffic" despite Illinois relatively low posted limits you ought to be able to make the added distance pretty much disappear. Though there have been cutbacks in the number of state troopers patroling the roads in northern Illinois the stealthy new cars & utility vehicle pull over lots of speeders. A radar detector might be wise...
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
Not going to Indy but looks like we can stay on I-39 past Chicago easily. It adds 50 miles to the trip. Is that saved in time though vs taking the more direct route on 290, etc.?
If the alternative is to go 50 miles out of your way, stick to the 90/290/294 route -- as long as you stay on schedule. 290 and 294 should be smooth sailing as long as you hit it by your planned time frame. However, if your timing is a little off and you get there at 3:00pm, especially on a Friday, 294 does start to back up a little around the airport and the 290/294/88 exchange starts to become a custerfluck.

And note that 290 doesn't just "turn into" 294; you have to get off of one onto the other. 290 will take you right into downtown which you don't necessarily want to do; 294 bypasses the city proper altogether.
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