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Author Topic: Best Route: Cincinnati to Oak Brook, IL (Chicago west suburb)  (Read 2586 times)

Skye

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I'll be traveling from Cincinnati to the Chicago western suburb of Oak Brook (near junction of I-88 and I-294) for a wedding this summer, and am debating on what is the best route to take. Is it better to take I-74 from Indianapolis to Champagne, then I-57 to I-294 or I-65 from Indy to Gary then I-80 to I-294.

Every time I've been to Chicago it was always to the city center and I've always noticed a lot of traffic on I-80/I-94 between Gary and the state line which makes me wonder if I-57 is a better approach.
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hbelkins

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Re: Best Route: Cincinnati to Oak Brook, IL (Chicago west suburb)
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2021, 07:39:57 PM »

I'll be traveling from Cincinnati to the Chicago western suburb of Oak Brook (near junction of I-88 and I-294) for a wedding this summer, and am debating on what is the best route to take. Is it better to take I-74 from Indianapolis to Champagne, then I-57 to I-294 or I-65 from Indy to Gary then I-80 to I-294.

Every time I've been to Chicago it was always to the city center and I've always noticed a lot of traffic on I-80/I-94 between Gary and the state line which makes me wonder if I-57 is a better approach.

My recollection of I-65 is that it's rough as a cob and full of trucks. There will be a lot less traffic on I-74.
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Re: Best Route: Cincinnati to Oak Brook, IL (Chicago west suburb)
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2021, 08:05:20 PM »

I'd take I-65 between Indy and Gary then take I-80/94 to the Tri State and then go that way. The Tri State is I-294 it's a toll road but it's worth it to take it.
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Re: Best Route: Cincinnati to Oak Brook, IL (Chicago west suburb)
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2021, 08:44:11 PM »

According to the Google, heading through Champaign will add 67 miles and an hour and four minutes to the trip. But, you get to avoid the heavy truck traffic on I-65 and the heavy traffic overall on I-80/I-94.

When I drive from Tennessee to the western suburbs of Chicago, which I did twice a year in the before times, I took the shorter route, but I was usually traveling in this area fairly late at night, so I didn't really have to deal with any of the downsides.

And the shorter route is what I would recommend, unless you really don't like trucks or unless you are coming at the height of rush hour or unless you really like driving.

That said, I have gone the I-57 route once in the reverse direction, to add in some variety, but I didn't take I-74, but rather two lane roads between Kankakee and I-65. It was very corn-fieldy, which I like, but many others don't. That added about 20 miles and half an hour to the trip.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2021, 08:49:20 PM by CtrlAltDel »
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cabiness42

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Re: Best Route: Cincinnati to Oak Brook, IL (Chicago west suburb)
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2021, 08:54:52 PM »

If you want the fastest route, 74->465->865->65->80/94->294 is going to be the fastest, even in bad traffic.

However, I absolutely loathe driving I-65 because of all the trucks. If you want a much, much less stressful alternative that will add only add about 30 minutes (less if traffic is bad on 80/94), then go 74->US 41->109th Ave->Calumet Ave->101st Ave/Exchange St->IL 394->294

Also, I used to commute to Oak Brook daily and still do so occasionally. If you are unfamiliar with the area and have any questions, feel free to PM me.
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ChimpOnTheWheel

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Re: Best Route: Cincinnati to Oak Brook, IL (Chicago west suburb)
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2021, 09:28:10 PM »

I believe this should be in the Road Trips forum, but in any case.

I've done a similar drive before in the reverse direction. I recommend the following route:

I-74 -> I-465 -> I-865 -> I-65 -> I-80/94 -> I-294

Driving via I-74 -> I-57 -> I-294 is pretty long in my opinion. But if you're concerned about traffic on I-80/94 (that's where usually the bad traffic is), you could always use this route from I-65 to I-294:

I-65 -> US-231 exit (Crown Point) -> 109th Avenue (US-231 turns into this at the US-41 jct) -> Calumet Avenue -> 101st Avenue/Exchange St. -> IL-394 -> I-294
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Brandon

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Re: Best Route: Cincinnati to Oak Brook, IL (Chicago west suburb)
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2021, 04:56:52 AM »

It depends on where you're going in Oak Brook, but sometimes it can be easier to go a bit west and then cut back in towards the east.

I've never had an issue with I-65 between Indy and Gary, so I'd recommend the following:
I-74 -> I-465 -> I-865 -> I-65 -> I-80/94 -> Options below.  These options are based on the fact that the central Tri-State (I-294) is under the knife right now, and can backup pretty bad due to that from 95th Street northward.

Option One is to take I-294 north to either Odgen Avenue (US-34), I-88 west to Spring Road, or Roosevelt Road (IL-38) depending on where the venue and hotel is.

Option Two is to exit I-294 at I-55 south to IL-83 north, and then up to Odgen, 31st Street, or 22nd Street.

Option Three is to take I-80 west to I-355 north, and then I-88 east to either Midwest Road or York Road.

Just keep in mind that if you do not have I-Pass/EZ Pass, you will have to keep track of the tolls and pay online: www.illinoistollway.com
You can also get an I-Pass at the above site mailed to you, or pick one up at a Jewel-Osco (grocer) or at the Lincoln Oasis when you cross into Illinois.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2021, 05:01:17 AM by Brandon »
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Crash_It

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Re: Best Route: Cincinnati to Oak Brook, IL (Chicago west suburb)
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2021, 08:19:36 AM »

If you want the fastest route, 74->465->865->65->80/94->294 is going to be the fastest, even in bad traffic.

However, I absolutely loathe driving I-65 because of all the trucks. If you want a much, much less stressful alternative that will add only add about 30 minutes (less if traffic is bad on 80/94), then go 74->US 41->109th Ave->Calumet Ave->101st Ave/Exchange St->IL 394->294

Also, I used to commute to Oak Brook daily and still do so occasionally. If you are unfamiliar with the area and have any questions, feel free to PM me.


Yeah, the trucks nowadays are out of control:
-cutting you off to pass a truck going 0.5mph slower than them
-tailgating
-speeding
-swaying between lanes
-traveling in restricted lane.
etc...

Need to bring back the governors and just govern to the speed limit, that would solve all of these problems
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hbelkins

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Re: Best Route: Cincinnati to Oak Brook, IL (Chicago west suburb)
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2021, 11:54:19 AM »

Would there be any benefit in possibly taking I-74 and then the US 41/IN 63 combination? I know that's not an all-interstate route, but my experience with Indiana surface four-lanes has been pretty positive.
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cabiness42

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Re: Best Route: Cincinnati to Oak Brook, IL (Chicago west suburb)
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2021, 12:02:05 PM »

Would there be any benefit in possibly taking I-74 and then the US 41/IN 63 combination? I know that's not an all-interstate route, but my experience with Indiana surface four-lanes has been pretty positive.

As I noted in my post above, 74 to 41 is going to be only about 30 minutes slower than taking 65 but without the headaches of 65 and 80/94.
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Re: Best Route: Cincinnati to Oak Brook, IL (Chicago west suburb)
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2021, 08:53:42 PM »

I have regularly taken US 52 as an alternate to I-65 to get between Kankakee and Lafayette.  It's a pretty good route with light traffic. If you want to avoid the traffic on 80/94, that is my recommendation.  65 to Lafayette. 52 to Kankakee. 57 to 294 to 88.
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ilpt4u

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Re: Best Route: Cincinnati to Oak Brook, IL (Chicago west suburb)
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2021, 09:01:11 PM »

Buy a plane ticket at CVG, land at ORD, rent a car, then pick either I-294 South or use US 12/45/Manheim Rd SB and other local roads to end up on York Rd or IL 83/Kingery Hwy SB
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Re: Best Route: Cincinnati to Oak Brook, IL (Chicago west suburb)
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2021, 07:06:02 AM »

Or if Southwest has a cheap fare to MDW

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Re: Best Route: Cincinnati to Oak Brook, IL (Chicago west suburb)
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2021, 05:53:32 PM »

Id go with I-74->I-465->I-65->I-80/94->I-80/294->I-80->I-355->I-88.

Under any other circumstance, Id tell you to take I-294 north to I-88 west. However, theres some very heavy construction going on in that section of the tollway, with lane configurations that can throw off the non-locals (personal experience talking), so its better to avoid that entirely, IMO.
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Rushmeister

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Re: Best Route: Cincinnati to Oak Brook, IL (Chicago west suburb)
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2021, 02:08:18 PM »

Would there be any benefit in possibly taking I-74 and then the US 41/IN 63 combination? I know that's not an all-interstate route, but my experience with Indiana surface four-lanes has been pretty positive.

Yes, if you like to eat at the Beef House.  One may think there's not much to see on IND 63/US 41 north of I-74, but some people find that sparsely populated part of the state to be refreshingly serene, quiet, and peaceful.  If you're looking for a break from the madness of traffic on I-65, this route is worth some consideration.  One should take advantage of the food services and truck stop at I-74 because there aren't many places to stop along the way.  Kentland is about the only decent place to stop between I-74 and the Region (Cedar Lake and St. John where the traffic signals and civilization take over again - the return to madness).
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Re: Best Route: Cincinnati to Oak Brook, IL (Chicago west suburb)
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2021, 01:25:41 AM »

I take I-74 at least once a year from Columbus (Ohio)/Indianapolis to the Quad Cities (and onward to Sioux Falls) and I like that route better than I-80/90. Lots less congestion, lots less tolls, easier drive, but it's going to be 30 miles out of your way.

I would investigate whether there are any US routes that have been four-laned. Maybe there's another way you can cross over to I-57 without going that far west and coming east again.
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Re: Best Route: Cincinnati to Oak Brook, IL (Chicago west suburb)
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2021, 09:51:09 AM »

I will share with you my shortcut around I-80/94 and Chicago for people coming from the southeast on I-65.

1. Get off I-65 at IN-10 and turn left (west), to US41 N to IN-2 W
2. Go west on IN-2 to the state line, noting the jog north concurrent with US41.
3. IN-2 becomes IL-17, head W on IL-17 and it will turn north to a junction at IL-1. Stay straight onto IL-1 N
4. Turn left at County Line Road.  It's a county road, and all county roads in Will County are fully paved and smooth.
5. Turn right (north) onto Drecksler Road for 2 miles.
6. Turn left (west) on to Wilmington-Peotone Road. This will take you through the town of Peotone, but the speed limit always stays at least 45mph.

I like to use this, plus US52 to get home to Joliet if coming from the southeast.  You might want to use a different shortcut, though, if heading to Oak Brook:

1. I-65 exit at US231 (exit 247) and turn left (west)
2. Continue W around the square in Crown Point.  When you get to the official end of US231 at US41, continue going straight west until it ends at Calumet Ave.
3. Right at Calumet Ave. for 1 mile, then left at 101st.
4. 101st will become Exchange Street when you cross into Illinois.  Take that to IL-394 north, which is an expressway.
5. IL-394 will end at a junction that's the southern end of I-294. Merge onto I-294 north.

That should get you pretty close.  I like to promote usage of Will County highways because they are almost always maintained much better than IDOT roads in the area.  IDOT District 1 does a great job of snubbing the collar counties.
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Re: Best Route: Cincinnati to Oak Brook, IL (Chicago west suburb)
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2021, 11:56:53 AM »

I would investigate whether there are any US routes that have been four-laned. Maybe there's another way you can cross over to I-57 without going that far west and coming east again.
South of US 30, there's no 4-lanes except I-74, I-64 and some pieces of US 50. Nothing up north, and it's a problem. And likely to stay that way unless the Illiana or something like it gets built. US 24 is relatively easy to travel for a 2-lane between towns but there is one every 5 miles or so that slows you down.
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Re: Best Route: Cincinnati to Oak Brook, IL (Chicago west suburb)
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2021, 12:18:19 PM »

I like to promote usage of Will County highways because they are almost always maintained much better than IDOT roads in the area.  IDOT District 1 does a great job of snubbing the collar counties.
The mayor of Crete had IDOT study a potential connection of 109th directly to Exchange Street, and I think it was projected to carry well over 10,000 vehicles a day. The roads over that way are a real mish-mash across the state line, there's few good ways to get across, especially for trucks, and the two states haven't done much cross-state planning except for the now-shelved Illiana project. But your route is probably the best thru that area.
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Re: Best Route: Cincinnati to Oak Brook, IL (Chicago west suburb)
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2021, 07:53:51 PM »

If you don't want to waste any money on tolls, there's always this:

I-74 to I-465 to I-65 to I-80/I-94 to Dan Ryan to I-290

(An alternative would replace I-65 and I-80/I-94 with I-74 and I-57.)
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Re: Best Route: Cincinnati to Oak Brook, IL (Chicago west suburb)
« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2021, 10:40:52 PM »

I like to promote usage of Will County highways because they are almost always maintained much better than IDOT roads in the area.  IDOT District 1 does a great job of snubbing the collar counties.
The mayor of Crete had IDOT study a potential connection of 109th directly to Exchange Street, and I think it was projected to carry well over 10,000 vehicles a day. The roads over that way are a real mish-mash across the state line, there's few good ways to get across, especially for trucks, and the two states haven't done much cross-state planning except for the now-shelved Illiana project. But your route is probably the best thru that area.
I grew up near here and often traveled into Indiana along Exchange and 101st. Of course, as a junior road enthusiast, I thought wouldn't it be cool to see US 231 extended from US 41 west to IL394 to provide a more direct, signed route into the south suburbs. If course, that is not to be. But the route along Exchange Street was a good ride then and likely still is today.

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