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Author Topic: Seattle to Chicago  (Read 6116 times)

Henry

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Seattle to Chicago
« on: December 06, 2013, 12:37:05 PM »

I was just wondering: What's the better route between Seattle and Chicago? As I've narrowed it down to those that involve I-90 and I-94, I've put in my notes for each. I've noted that going I-90 alone means one route that bypasses the major cities that its northern companion goes through (although after Billings you will encounter Rapid City, Sioux Falls and Rockford along the way), while adding I-94 to the mix gives the option of either going through Milwaukee or avoiding it completely, at least when you get to Madison. Keep in mind that I've done both of those routes, but I'm just looking for input on which route is better if you were planning this road trip. I'd greatly appreciate any and all feedback to this.
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Re: Seattle to Chicago
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2013, 01:25:23 PM »

Were it up to me, I think I would take I-94 in this situation all the way to Chicago. Are you open to other routes? For example, looking at a map, you could take I-94 all the way through the Twin Cities and hop on US 12 near the Wisconsin Dells and ride it the rest of the way down into Chicago. I've never ridden on any of these routes, but looking at what I-90 passes through, I would think I-94 would be a little better. Of course, you have to deal with passing through the major cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul, but on I-90 you would be passing through Sioux Falls, as well as Billings and Rapid City.

Just my insight, and this is my first time suggesting routes to anyone, so if you could tell me how I did, that'd be great.  :biggrin:
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Brandon

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Re: Seattle to Chicago
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2013, 01:26:25 PM »

Can't give you much of a route west of Illinois, but the Northwest Tollway (I-90) is under construction between Rockford and O'Hare.
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NE2

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Re: Seattle to Chicago
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2013, 02:04:10 PM »

Use US 212 across Wyoming. :bigass:
Seriously, it saves 50 miles and probably has comparable speed limits to staying on I-90.
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Re: Seattle to Chicago
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2013, 04:16:34 PM »

Distinguish between I-90/94 from the west end to Minneapolis, and then through Wisconsin. I could see taking I-94 in the west and I-90 in Wisconsin (just to stay away from Milwaukee, though you end up with more consistently heavy traffic on I-90 instead). Also keep in mind time of year, since I-94 goes farther north. (Although if I-94 is snowed out, I-90 probably is too.)

corco

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Re: Seattle to Chicago
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2013, 06:31:39 PM »

Yeah, US 212 is the way to go for I 90 from Billings to Rapid. No real slow downs except for Belle Fourche and speed limit 70 all the way through Montana

NE2

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Re: Seattle to Chicago
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2013, 06:44:38 PM »

Yeah, US 212 is the way to go for I 90 from Billings to Rapid. No real slow downs except for Belle Fourche and speed limit 70 all the way through Montana
Any idea why they didn't build I-90 that way? Future Interstate from Buffalo through Yellowstone? It's obviously not intended for through traffic to I-25 anywhere beyond Casper (you save almost 200 miles using SD 79 to US 18, and even to Casper that's 70 miles shorter). Is there really that much more traffic to Yellowstone than continuing west? (For that matter, going to Billings and then cutting down to Cody adds only 30 miles if you're going to the east entrance.)
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Brandon

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Re: Seattle to Chicago
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2013, 07:09:15 PM »

^^ I doubt anyone wanted an interstate through Yellowstone, and going south by the Grand Tetons is a non-starter due to the terrain.
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Re: Seattle to Chicago
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2013, 07:16:26 PM »

My only guess is that a good chunk of it goes through rez land, and maybe there were tribal issues with getting it constructed? Was that a problem in the 50s? Or perhaps it was the opposite and whitey didn't want the road going through the rez.

There's no geographic issues that would prevent an interstate that I've noticed in the 3-4 times I've driven it.

I guess there is and was more population the Wyoming way either way, and the Wyoming route better serves Yellowstone-Black Hills traffic. Auto clubs would have still had a lot of influence when those corridors were mapped out, so it may have been a targeted lobbying effort.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2013, 07:23:05 PM by corco »
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NE2

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Re: Seattle to Chicago
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2013, 07:47:56 PM »

^^ I doubt anyone wanted an interstate through Yellowstone, and going south by the Grand Tetons is a non-starter due to the terrain.
The guy that started this thread wants to put an Interstate through Yellowstone.


There is one reason I can think of: routing I-90 along US 212 would have required building 50 miles more of Interstate.

But then there's the original interregional plan:

Note the utter lack of I-25 north of Cheyenne. And I-90 is drawn right along the curves of US 14, making it even longer. My guess is that they started with a map that predated 1933, when present US 212 west of Broadus was added to the federal aid system. Then nobody bothered to question the routing as it moved through committees. But then why not follow what was then US 212 to Miles City? There may have also been a desire to serve the more populated areas of northeast Wyoming.
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Re: Seattle to Chicago
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2013, 12:12:32 PM »

Were it up to me, I think I would take I-94 in this situation all the way to Chicago. Are you open to other routes? For example, looking at a map, you could take I-94 all the way through the Twin Cities and hop on US 12 near the Wisconsin Dells and ride it the rest of the way down into Chicago. I've never ridden on any of these routes, but looking at what I-90 passes through, I would think I-94 would be a little better. Of course, you have to deal with passing through the major cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul, but on I-90 you would be passing through Sioux Falls, as well as Billings and Rapid City.

Just my insight, and this is my first time suggesting routes to anyone, so if you could tell me how I did, that'd be great.  :biggrin:

You did a good job until you mentioned taking US 12 into Chicago.  Cambridge and Fort Atkinson add some time to the trip (especially the latter), the Whitewater to WI 67 section isn't all that fun (especially after dark), going the Richmond, IL can cost at least an hour on certain days, and then there is the miserable, stoplight-infested drive into Chicagoland in Illinois on US 12.  Following I-94 from Madison is a much better option until 2017 when ISTHA finishes working on I-90.
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Brandon

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Re: Seattle to Chicago
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2013, 04:32:11 PM »

Were it up to me, I think I would take I-94 in this situation all the way to Chicago. Are you open to other routes? For example, looking at a map, you could take I-94 all the way through the Twin Cities and hop on US 12 near the Wisconsin Dells and ride it the rest of the way down into Chicago. I've never ridden on any of these routes, but looking at what I-90 passes through, I would think I-94 would be a little better. Of course, you have to deal with passing through the major cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul, but on I-90 you would be passing through Sioux Falls, as well as Billings and Rapid City.

Just my insight, and this is my first time suggesting routes to anyone, so if you could tell me how I did, that'd be great.  :biggrin:

You did a good job until you mentioned taking US 12 into Chicago.  Cambridge and Fort Atkinson add some time to the trip (especially the latter), the Whitewater to WI 67 section isn't all that fun (especially after dark), going the Richmond, IL can cost at least an hour on certain days, and then there is the miserable, stoplight-infested drive into Chicagoland in Illinois on US 12.  Following I-94 from Madison is a much better option until 2017 when ISTHA finishes working on I-90.

Alternately, take I-39 down from Rockford to I-88 east.  It avoids the construction on I-90 and the possibility of a closure (as it the case today - 12/8/13) on I-94 in Racine and Kenosha Counties in Wisconsin.
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Henry

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Re: Seattle to Chicago
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2013, 02:55:06 PM »

I like all suggestions, especially the US 212 one! I've never been that way before, but I'll try it out the next time I drive to Chicago.
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