Interstate 155

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Interstate 155 connects I-55 near the city of Lincoln with I-74 at the village of Morton. The rural freeway provides regional connectivity between Springfield, Peoria and the Quad Cities. I-155 replaced Illinois Route 121 north from Hartsburg to Morton.

Interstate 155 Illinois Guides

First discussed in the 1950s, late 1960s costs for constructing a limited access highway between Lincoln and Morton were estimated at $58.7 million. Four lane expansion of IL 121 between Hartsburg and Emden was completed soon thereafter. A lawsuit filed in the 1970s by a landowner whose property was to be cut halted work and required a more thorough environmental impact study (EIS) to be filed. This delayed construction for 12 years until the injunction was lifted in 1986.1

While construction continued along IL 121, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) proposed renumbering the freeway as Interstate 37 to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) on October 5, 1990. The Route Numbering Committee deferred on December 8, 1990, citing the need for approval by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for the establishment of Interstate Route 37. Correspondence with IDOT on December 14, 1990 by the Committee also suggested assigning a three digit number instead both due to the short length of the proposed route and that it was wholly within Illinois. A subsequent application submitted to AASHTO by IDOT on May 1, 1991 outlined establishing the route as Interstate 155. It was approved on June 10, 1991, subject to the completion of the freeway.

The first stretch of limited access highway opened for IL 121 joined IL 98 (Birchwood Avenue) at Morton with Interstate 74 on November 22, 1989.2 Upgrades to Illinois Route 121 between Lincoln and Morton were completed on October 29, 1992. Opening at that time was a nine mile stretch, between a point north of Hartsburg to a point south of Hopedale. The total cost to build Interstate 155 was $120 million.1

Interstate 155 scenes
IL 98 (Birchwood Street) meets Interstate 155 at a parclo interchange on the west side of Morton. 05/07/10
IL 98 concludes a 8.35 mile route from Pekin at Interstate 155 in Morton. The route originally continued east on Birchwood Street to Main Street and U.S. 150 (Jackson Street). 05/07/10
Interstate 155 leads north one mile to conclude at Interstate 74. I-74 heads west directly to split with I-474 at East Peoria while eastbound continues from Morton to Bloomington and I-55. 05/07/10
A half diamond interchange joins Interstate 155 south with Queenwood Road to complete a wye interchange with the south end of Main Street (former IL 121). The northbound ramp to Peoria departs from Queenwood Road while southbound travelers bound for Lincoln must take South Main Street. 05/24/08
Lowering from the I-155 overpass, Queenwood Road approaches a flasher at South Main Street. Main Street merges directly onto Interstate 155 south nearby. 05/24/08
Interstate 155 directly overlaid IL 121 south from Main Street and Morton to Augustine Road outside Tremont. There IL 121 veered southeast onto Baer Road. 05/24/08
South Main Street intersects Queenwood Road. Motorists bound for I-155 north turn right onto Queenwood while southbound traffic need only remain on the former IL 121. 05/24/08
Queenwood Road rises to meet the half diamond interchange with I-155 north directly west of South Main Street in Morton. 05/24/08
I-155 ends at I-74 and uses Peoria as a control city for the connection from Interstate 55 north from Lincoln. 05/24/08
Queenwood Road reaches the northbound ramp to Interstate 155. The rural highway links I-155 with Groveland and County Road 1 (Springfield Road) to the west. 05/24/08
IL 9 expands to a four lane arterial through the diamond interchange with Interstate 155 at the village of Tremont. 05/24/18
I-155 travels 6.6 miles north from IL 9 and Tremont to Interstate 74 at Morton. 05/24/18
Westbound 2300th Street joins Hartsburg with Interstate 155 two miles to the west. A rural diamond interchange joins the two roadways. 12/20/09

  1. "Opening turns I-155 into reality." Pantagraph, The (Bloomington, IL), October 30, 1992.
  2. "Road to Change>Building Interstates." Journal Star (Peoria, IL), June 30, 1996.

Photo Credits:

05/24/08, 12/20/09, 05/07/10, 05/24/18 by AARoads

Connect with:
Interstate 55
Interstate 74

Page Updated 01-08-2024.

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