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When Using Surface Streets to Connect Freeways > Using Direct Interchanges

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Has there ever been a situation where itís better to use a surface street to connect between two freeways than using a direct interchange that is nearby? Ultimately, itís likely not the fastest route, but it could be less tense, off the more beaten path, or just cleverness on your part. To avoid clutter, please do not include required detours due to construction.

An example here: drivers heading toward extreme Northwest Indiana or Chicago can skip (and have skipped) the ramp connecting I-65 north and the westbound Indiana Toll Road, instead using westbound US 12/20 and Broadway to make the westbound entrance. Itís much quicker to use the interchange, but using the surface streets allows drivers to skip the $1.40 entrance toll in exchange for an extra 10 or so minutes of drive time. Not a lot of drivers use the inverse route, instead opting to head directly to I-65 from the eastbound Toll Road.

Another example: I follow BigRigTravels on YouTube. Recently, he had a run that required him to go from Indianapolis to Sterling, IL. Driving along I-39 northbound near Lasalle-Peru, Steve opted to use Illinois 251 to connect I-39 to I-80 west, when the direct interchange to I-80 was about five miles out. It was probably to his best benefit, since he wasnít up against the clock, and it was likely easier to take Illinois 251 than take the loop ramp at I-80.

Any other examples? Share them here. Thank you for your responses in advance.

When going from US-41 to US-151 in the Fond du Lac area, it is often quicker to take the Military Road (County D) or even the Hickory St. exits instead of going all of the way to the interchange on the south side of town.,-88.4733437,14z

It's not a surface road, but unless one has a Maine E-ZPass (out of state E-ZPass accounts are billed the same as cash users are; in-state accounts get to use the virtual ticket system), this is cheaper than the direct route due to the flat rate toll for exit 44 being both directions rather than entry-only as is typical for the Maine Turnpike.

One that comes to mind is using PA 93 to connect between I-80 and I-81. It's about the same time-wise but almost half the distance, and avoids a tight loop ramp if you're heading NB>WB.

jp the roadgeek:
Before the new left hand 2 lane ramp was built, it was often easier to exit I-91 at Exit 27 (Brainard Rd), take a left and turn around in the gas station, then get back on the same ramp, which takes you to CT 15 North to get to the Charter Oak Bridge and I-84 East. The direct ramp would often be backed for over a mile.


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