Almost devoid of snow, U.S. 61 northbound after its split with U.S. 67 in downtown Davenport, Iowa. A full day of rain washed most of the snow away, but it would return with a vengeance later Christmas day.

More snow fell then forecast, with the Quad Cities area receiving 3 to 4 inches. This photo, taken at 7:47 am, shows the condition of Interstate 74 near Exit 4 to U.S. 67. The overpass above was replaced in 2009, and the Clearview-fonted signage below was added in place of an overhead assembly.

Snow covered Illinois-Iowa Memorial Bridge across the Mississippi River

The roads were no better in Illinois this morning.

Not many other drivers were out this early, but the first of 13 accidents we witnessed occurred at the east end of Interstate 280.

Wintry scene along Interstate 80 east between Interstates 74-280 and Exit 19.

The degree of plowing varied from county to county. Bureau County’s stretch of Interstate 80 was somewhat better than Rock Island’s.

Interstate 80 east at Interstate 180’s southbound beginning, now in Clearview.

Eastbound Interstate 80 at Illinois 251 (Exit 75), the old alignment for U.S. 51. Signs for Interstate 39 & U.S. 51 are posted at 3.50 miles ahead of their cloverleaf interchange with I-80…

Equally snowy Abraham Lincoln Memorial Bridge across the Illinois River on Interstate 39 & U.S. 51 south.

Interstate 39 & U.S. 51 carried a lot more traffic than Interstate 80 by mid-morning. Drivers tended to clump together too, and several accidents were noted on the 59-mile drive to Bloomington-Normal.

Road conditions worsened along Interstate 55 south between Interstate 39 and Interstate 74.

Interstate 55 south & 74 east split on the southwest side of Bloomington. Interstate 74 carries U.S. 51 back to its original alignment south of town. Business Loop I-55 ties into the split from Veterans Parkway to the northeast.

Winds shifted from the south around the low pressure system over Illinois, resulting in blowing snow over Interstate 74 between Bloomington and Champaign.

Shocked shield posted for Interstate 57 between Exits 232 and 229. The pavement condition was markedly better through Champaign.

Moderate snow squall along Interstate 57 south on the south side of Mattoon near junction U.S. 45 & Illinois 121 (Exit 184).

Merging with Interstate 70 west along Interstate 57 south.

The first sunlight we saw in eight days, Interstate 57 south near the Fayette and Clay County line.

Interstate 64 west joins Interstate 57 south through the Mt. vernon area. A new interchange (Exit 94) opened between the freeway and Veterans Memorial Drive in 2009. Veterans Memorial Drive was extended west from 42nd Street to the adjacent Wells Bypass. A stub exists at their intersection for further lengthening.

Now out of the snow finally, Interstate 57 splits with the eastbound beginning of Interstate 24. Plenty of snow birds and other holiday travelers using each freeway.

Descending toward Exit 14 with U.S. 45 near Vienna, Illinois on Interstate 24 east.

The day’s snowfall slowed our southward progress and gobbled up most of our daylight. We spanned the Ohio River southward along Interstate 24 toward Paducah by 4:12 pm.

A rare business loop exists in western Kentucky for Interstate 24 through Paducah.

The route is signed at both ends and with some consistency on its surface alignment through the city.