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"This guy [Kurumi] may know nothing much about St. Louis but recently uploaded a new page with loads of corrections." - Kim Harvey, circa 1997

New Jargon
Corporate leafblowing: a meeting (or day-to-day work philosophy) where the real intent is simply to move (delegate) a lot of work off one's desk to others.

You heard it here first.

I-155  Illinois (link)

32.13 miles [1note]; north from I-55 near Lincoln to I-74 near Peoria.

Before Interstate 155 was built, the 2-lane state route 121 was the most direct route from Peoria to Springfield and St. Louis. A freeway upgrade IL 121 was first proposed in 1969. In the mid-1970s, a short freeway section near IL 122 was built when a bridge over the Mackinaw River needed replacement anyway.

Illinois' first choice for an interstate designation was Interstate 37. On Dec. 7, 1990, AASHTO deferred approval on this number until the FHWA approved. AASHTO also recommended choosing a 3-digit interstate number (more befitting the route's auxiliary role). [22note] On June 9, 1991, AASHTO approved the designation Interstate 155, subject to completion of the route. [23note]

By 1993 or 1994, I-155 was completed.

See also:


I-155  Missouri; Tennessee (link)

26.77 miles [1note]; from I-55/US 412 in Hayti, Mo. to Exit 15 at Dyersburg, Tenn. where US 51 takes over. [3note]

Interstate 155 was added to the Interstate system on August 28, 1964. [10note] I-155 broke ground in the early 1970s, finishing around 1980.

See also:


I-255  Illinois; Missouri (link)

30.82 miles [1note]; from I-55/I-270 in Kirkwood, Mo. to I-270 east of St Louis in Illinois. The I-255 numbering was proposed by Missouri on July 31, 1958, and approved by AASHO on Nov. 10, 1958. [19note]

The first segment of I-255, between I-55 and Koch Road at the river, opened in 1967. (US 50 continued across the Jefferson Barracks ("JB") bridge to Illinois.) In 1976, this stretch, along with the old I-244, was absorbed into I-270.

In 1983, construction began from the JB bridge to I-64 in Illinois. All indications were that the road would be an extension of I-270. When the road opened in 1985, however, it was signed I-255, a sleight-of-hand worthy of that magician dude who's dating that model.

In November 1986, I-255 was extended to I-55/70 near Collinsville. On July 26, 1988 at 1:30 pm, the final segment north to I-270 opened, after about six years of construction. Kim Harvey writes: "The [opening] ceremony was on 270 westbound between IL 111 and 157 and featured an 'antique car parade' which jammed up traffic for miles. The blue baseball caps worn at the ceremony by Gov. Thompson, a few mayors, and the contractors were very ironic. They said 'Last interstate mile in Illinois'. At that date, I-39 wasn't completed, I-72 was only 79 miles long, and I-155, I-172, and I-355 didn't even exist."

An extension of the I-255 roadway is planned in Illinois (the "Alton bypass"). However, it will be state, not Interstate, route 255. [2note] [13note]

Kim Harvey adds:

"IH 255 is basically a roadgeek heaven. Anything that you don't see in St. Louis is usually seen on IH 255. 7 foot light poles in Cahokia (not kidding), a section known for nasty accidents (where you got a left exit, a level junction (sort-of), and a split in 4 miles), some very inconsistent signage, some wacko overpasses, wacko gantries, and everything is brown. There is a green guide sign near Cahokia that is in ALL CAPS, another near Collinsville with the WRONG exit number on it, another set in Collinsville that is very inconsistent, control cities that are ironic in nature, a section where IL 3 takes prioity over US 50 as a multiplexed route, and my downright favorite -- the northbound control city selection: Chicago, Indianapolis, or I-270! :)"

See also:


I-255 (numbered as another interstate)  Tennessee (link)

In 1973, when I-40 was still planned to go through Memphis instead of around (see I-240), the segment of present-day I-240 between I-55 and I-40 (exits 25-31) was signed I-255. [4note]

See also: Memphis Freeways (Michael Adams; maps of historical and proposed freeways)


I-355  Illinois (link)

20.01 miles [1note]. Also called the North-South Tollway, Interstate 355 connects the Chicago suburbs of Bolingbrook (I-55) and Itasca (I-290). It opened on December 24, 1989, and for the first two days was toll-free. (Hey, it was Christmas!) [7note] [16note]

The 1987-88 Illinois Tollway map marked the corridor as I-455 -- either a typo or an earlier designation for the tollway. [15note].

An extension south to I-80 is planned, but has been held up since 1996 by environmental and funding issues.

Southern extension planned

A 12.5-mile extension south to I-80 in New Lenox has been planned for some time. In 1999, the project cost was estimated at $700 million. [11note]. In late 2004 the first contract was approved by the toll authority.

Even during construction of the original 20-mile section, provisions were made for a future extension southward:

  • The south end (at Interstate 55) is milepost 13, the approximate distance to I-80
  • Southbound travelers on I-355 aren't informed that 355 ends until the exit ramps for I-55 appear; the interchange is otherwise signed as if 355 continues. [5note]
  • Bare bridge columns were built in the I-55 median at I-355, indicating future overpasses
A further extension to I-57 near the border of Cook and Will counties might be pursued; David Backlin reported seeing this on an area map in 1999. [17note]

Southern extension: recent events

  • 1996: state approves the extension south to I-80.
  • Jan. 1997: Federal court halts construction, saying toll authority had not filed proper environmental impact statements (EIS). Utility relocation, which had already started, continues.
  • Feb. 2002: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approves revised EIS.
  • May 2002: Proposed toll hike to raise money is turned down. Funding the extension is a huge concern. A proposed one-year audit of the tollway authority is thought to potentially shut the window on the extension. "If this lasts longer than this year, I sincerely doubt we'll see 355," State Rep. Brent Hassert says. "We will probably end up losing it." [14note]
  • 2003: Other methods of funding explored; toll authority finances under scrutiny. [18note]
  • Nov. 2004: Land-clearing contract, the first work other than utility relocation, is approved by toll authority. [21note]

Land Value in the extension's ROW

Aaron Nathan wrote in 1999: "The land along this path is practically worthless. I have heard some amazing stories about people renting buildings for around $10 a month to people because (1) everyone knows these buildings are going to be destroyed and (2) the owners don't want insurance liability involved with an abandoned building." [6note]

See also:


I-555 (future)  Arkansas (link)

Interstate 555 will be the official designation for 44 miles of of US 63, between I-55 at Lake David and US 49 in Jonesboro, once it has been completely upgraded to interstate standards. Until then, "Future I-555" signs will mark the highway. 26 miles of US 63, from Jonesboro southeastward, are already fully upgraded; the remaining 18 miles are scheduled for future improvement. [9note]

Arkansas requested the I-555 designation in 1999 but was turned down: AASHTO's Route Numbering Committee said the route "does not meet Interstate standards and will not for some time." [24note] In 2000, the state tried again, and AASHTO approved a Future I-555 designation. The Future can be removed when FHWA adds the route to the Interstate highway system. [25note]

The purpose of the designation is to help economically link the Jonesboro and Memphis areas. A redesignation for similar reasons is North Carolina/Virginia's I-785.

See also:


  1. Route Log and Finder List - Interstate Highways, FHWA, Oct. 31, 2002.
  2. Boor, Anthony. "IL 255 for a not-3di page." Personal email, Oct. 25, 1998.
  3. Riddle, William S.
  4. Urban, Jon S. "Missing 3di - I-255, Memphis." Personal email, Feb. 25, 1997.
  5. Enslin, Jon
  6. Nathan, Aaron. "I-355." Personal email, Feb. 2, 1999.
  7. Gorte, Brandon. "I-355." Personal email, Oct. 4, 1998.
  8. "New Interstate to be designated in Arkansas." Notice to Media, Arkansas Highway and Transportation Dept., Jan. 10, 2001. (thanks to "Tex" on MTR)
  9. "Questionable Basis for Approving Certain Auxiliary Route Segments Of The Interstate Highway System." FHWA and DOT, July 1970 (via Stephen Summers, Jan. 26, 2002).
  10. "Extension of I-355 is backed by U.S.: Environmental study OKs route." Chicago Tribune, Feb. 26, 2002.
  11. Harvey, Kim
  12. Aseltine, Chris. "I-355 news.." Online posting, misc.transport.road, May 8, 2002. Includes article (poss. Chicago Sun-Times, c. May 1, 2002).
  13. Field, Andy. "I-455 (maybe)." Personal email, Sept. 4, 1997.
  14. Sheldon, Jim. "I-355 Opening date." Personal email, Sept. 2, 1998.
  15. Backlin, David. "3di updates." Personal email, Aug. 12, 1999.
  16. "Lawmakers say tollway needs more scrutiny." Crain's Chicago Business, Feb. 10, 2003. (Thanks to Chris Aseltine on MTR)
  17. Summers, Stephen. "Missouri Interstate Route Numbering." http://www.nwindianahwys.homestead.com/MISO.html. (27 July 2003)
  18. "I-355 extension contract OK'd: Excavation could begin next week, officials predict." Chicago Tribune, Nov. 19, 2004.
  19. AASHTO SCOH. Report to the Special Committee on Route Numbering to the Executive Committee. Dec. 8, 1990.
  20. AASHTO SCOH. Report to the Special Committee on Route Numbering to the Executive Committee. June 10, 1991.
  21. AASHTO SCOH. Report to the Special Committee on Route Numbering to the Executive Committee. April 17, 1999.
  22. AASHTO SCOH. Report to the Special Committee on Route Numbering to the Executive Committee. Dec. 9, 2000.