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Author Topic: Pittsburgh to Milwaukee - Thoughts Appreciated  (Read 2966 times)

Hoss6884

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Pittsburgh to Milwaukee - Thoughts Appreciated
« on: June 17, 2014, 11:50:25 AM »

I'm planning a trip between Pittsburgh and Milwaukee in early July and would love some input concerning the Chicago/Milwaukee area.  The timing of when I leave will unfortunately put me in the area around the evening rush hour, so I'm going to have be creative.

My tentative plans are to come in on I-80/I-90 starting in South Bend after looping up to Cleveland and then taking US 20 west (http://goo.gl/80rG4a).  Anywhere in particular I should avoid trying to get up to Milwaukee?  Is there a good route around Chicago?  I have very little clinched miles in the area, so any route will help in that regard.  On the way back to Pittsburgh, I'm going to take US 30 east across to Mansfield, OH and then I-71 and I-76 from there (http://goo.gl/RW8YND), but I'll run into the same problem as above by needing to leave Milwaukee/Chicago near the tail end of the morning rush hour.

Any thoughts here would be very much appreciated!
« Last Edit: September 19, 2017, 02:47:04 PM by Hoss6884 »
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jwags

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Re: Pittsburgh to Milwaukee - Thoughts Appreciated
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2014, 07:36:56 PM »

When you get into Chicago area follow I-80/94 to I-294 which will bypass downtown Chicago.  I-294 will still be somewhat busy but unless there is an accident you should be alright.  When you get into WI there is construction on I-94/US 41 until you reach the Milwaukee Airport. 
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oscar

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Re: Pittsburgh to Milwaukee - Thoughts Appreciated
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2014, 07:53:36 PM »

One option to play with, in one direction or the other, is the Lake Express auto ferry, which would allow you to completely bypass Chicago while snagging some Michigan Interstates.

I took it because I'm an auto ferry geek. Otherwise it's probably excessive to take it just to avoid Chicago traffic, unless your trip starts or ends in Michigan, since it probably won't save you much if any time. But if your outbound trip leaves you really disgusted with Chicago traffic, think about the ferry for the return.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2014, 07:59:17 PM by oscar »
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Brandon

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Re: Pittsburgh to Milwaukee - Thoughts Appreciated
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2014, 11:58:59 AM »

When you get into Chicago area follow I-80/94 to I-294 which will bypass downtown Chicago.  I-294 will still be somewhat busy but unless there is an accident you should be alright.  When you get into WI there is construction on I-94/US 41 until you reach the Milwaukee Airport. 

Most agreed.  The Tri-State Tollway (I-294) is the best way around the city between those two points.  As long as you have an EZ-Pass (aka I-Pass in Illinois), you should be fine on the tollway system.  The entire system now has open road tolling, and you can go at the speed of traffic through the toll plazas.  The entire Tri-State is also eight lanes (or more) from Indiana to Wisconsin.
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Avalanchez71

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Re: Pittsburgh to Milwaukee - Thoughts Appreciated
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2014, 11:05:05 AM »

One option to play with, in one direction or the other, is the Lake Express auto ferry, which would allow you to completely bypass Chicago while snagging some Michigan Interstates.

I took it because I'm an auto ferry geek. Otherwise it's probably excessive to take it just to avoid Chicago traffic, unless your trip starts or ends in Michigan, since it probably won't save you much if any time. But if your outbound trip leaves you really disgusted with Chicago traffic, think about the ferry for the return.
How much is the ferry?
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oscar

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Re: Pittsburgh to Milwaukee - Thoughts Appreciated
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2014, 11:27:04 AM »

One option to play with, in one direction or the other, is the Lake Express auto ferry, which would allow you to completely bypass Chicago while snagging some Michigan Interstates.

I took it because I'm an auto ferry geek. Otherwise it's probably excessive to take it just to avoid Chicago traffic, unless your trip starts or ends in Michigan, since it probably won't save you much if any time. But if your outbound trip leaves you really disgusted with Chicago traffic, think about the ferry for the return.
How much is the ferry?
There's a link to the ferry's website above.  It's not cheap, thus my restrained enthusiasm for that option.
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JREwing78

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Re: Pittsburgh to Milwaukee - Thoughts Appreciated
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2014, 08:08:08 PM »

Echoing the others, I would stay the hell away from downtown Chicago if you have no reason to be there - stay on the Tri-State Tollway (I-294). Also, if you don't already have an EZ-Pass, get one. The discounts are significant, particularly on the Illinois toll roads (tolls are double for cash users).

If your goal with taking US-20 west to South Bend is merely to avoid tolls on the Ohio Turnpike and Indiana Toll Road, you'd be better off following US-30 west of Mansfield in terms of travel times and speed. You could opt also for OH-2 to Toledo -> (the newly 4-laned) US-24 to Fort Wayne -> US-30 to Valparaiso. Or OH-2 -> US-6 -> US-24 -> US-30.
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