Interstate 74 or I -74 is an Interstate Highway in the US state of Illinois. The highway forms an east-west route in the central part of the state, running from the Iowa border at Moline through the larger city of Peoria to the Indiana border at Danville. The route is 355 kilometers long.
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The I-74 Bridge over the Mississippi River in Moline (replaced 2021).
De Murray Baker Bridge in Peoria.
Interstate 74 crosses the Mississippi River in Iowa via a double suspension bridge and enters the town of Moline. 2×2 lanes are available in Moline. On the south side of town, the highway turns east, while Interstate 280 heads to Rock Island and toward Des Moines. I-74 then temporarily runs east until the interchange with Interstate 80, which heads toward Chicago. I-74 turns south here. The highway then runs through flat farmland, and the ][US 150 in Illinois|US 150]] parallels the route, which it will do for its entire distance in Illinois.
You pass the town of Galesburg. Here one crosses US 34, which runs as a short highway to Monmouth and Burlington. I-74 turns east here. I-74 continues its fairly monotonous route toward Peoria. Peoria is a city of 113,000 inhabitants and an agglomeration of 370,000 inhabitants, and is located on the Illinois River. On the west side of town, Interstate 474 exits, forming a southern bypass, while I-74 itself continues through downtown. On the south side of Peoria, I-474 rejoins. Not far after that, Interstate 155 turns south, running to Lincoln, connecting Peoria to Springfield, the capital of Illinois.
After Peoria, I-74 heads east, continuing through the meadows of the Midwest. Not far after Peoria, the twin towns of Normal and Bloomington follow, where I-74 is double-numbered for a bit with Interstate 55 over 10 kilometers. I-55 forms the highway between St. Louis and Chicago. After Bloomington, I-74 heads southeast, continuing across the monotonous plains. At LeRoy you cross the US 136, the main road from Keokuk to Rantoul. About 70 kilometers after Bloomington you reach the twin cities of Urbana and Champaign. Here one crosses Interstate 57, the highway from Memphis to Chicago.
Also east of Urbana, the landscape remains flat and monotonous, with many meadows and few trees. You pass the regional town of Champaign, where US 150 turns south. US 136 then runs parallel to I-74. Just east of Danville, I-74 crosses the Indiana border. Interstate 74 in Indiana continues to Indianapolis and Cincinnati.
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As early as 1935, a toll bridge opened over the Mississippi River at Moline on the border with Iowa. A second span was opened in 1959. Both bridges were upgraded to Interstate Highway design requirements in the 1970s. However, the bridges are substandard. The first sections of I-74 began construction about 1958, through Peoria and between Champaign and the Indiana border.
In 1968 the following routes were ready;
- Moline – I-80 (16 km)
- Galesburg – Knoxville (15 km)
- Edwards – Bloomington (71 km)
- Mahomet – Indiana state line (77 km)
The additional routes were completed in 1973;
- I-80 – Galesburg (51 km)
- Knoxville – Edwards (45 km)
- Bloomington – Mahomet (63 km)
This effectively completed I-74 by 1973, except for the Moline route, which was completed by 1977 at the latest.
Between 2004 and 2007, I-74 was largely reconstructed by the Peoria region, replacing the structures and widening sections to 2×3 or 2×4 lanes. The eastern part at East Peoria has been completely closed off, the highway has been completely demolished and rebuilt with 2×3 lanes. However, the Murray Baker Bridge over the Illinois River has not been addressed, and still has two narrow lanes in each direction. The bridge on the west side has been shortened slightly for the reconstruction of I-74 at Downtown Peoria.
By 2005, the dual numbering between I-55 and I-74 on the west side of Bloomington was widened to 2×3 lanes. The highway had a space reservation in the central reservation for this. The cloverleaf with the US 150 was replaced by a parclo with six connecting roads. The northern trumpet interchange with I-55 has also been widened.
Between 2013 and 2016, the interchange between I-74 and I-155 at Morton was reconstructed. The Trumpet interchange has been widened and I-74 has been widened to 2×3 lanes through the interchange. Between 2018 and 2020, 2 miles of I-74 in Moline was widened to 2×3 lanes between 7th Avenue and John Deere Road as part of the replacement of the Mississippi River bridges.
The I-74 Bridge over the Mississippi River at Moline was replaced between 2017 and 2021. The suspension bridges from 1935 and 1960 have been replaced by two arch bridges with 2×4 lanes. Construction of the first new span has been awarded for $322 million and opened to traffic on November 13, 2020. On December 1, 2021, the entire project was officially handed over. The opening of the second bridge followed a few days later.
Over the 2021-2025 period, the interchange with I-57 at Champaign has been reconstructed for $216 million. Originally this was a simple cloverleaf without shunting lanes. The junction features flyovers and spacious arches.
|Iowa state line||Indiana state line||2×2|
Congestion is rare on I-74, the highway is generally adequately developed and traffic volumes are low outside Moline and Peoria.
Connections & traffic intensities
I-74 at Mahomet, west of Champaign.
I-74 at Moline.
|1||Moline, River Drive||71.000|
|2||Moline, 7th Avenue|
|3||Moline, Avenue of the Cities||35.700|
|4||Moline, John Deere Road||33.300|
|48||Galesburg, East Galesburg||18.300|
|71||Canton, Elmwood, Kewanee||15.800|
|75||Brimfield, Oak Hill|
|87||Indianapolis / Chillicothe||30.000|
|88||Peoria, Sterling Avenue|
|89||Peoria, War Memorial Drive|
|90||Peoria, Gale Avenue|
|91||Peoria, University Street|
|92A||Peoria, Knoxville Avenue|
|92B||Peoria, Glen Oak Avenue|
|94||East Peoria, Riverfront Drive|
|95A||East Peoria, Main Street|
|95B||East Peoria, Camp Street|
|96||East Peoria, Washington Street|
|98||East Peoria, Pinecrest Drive|
|99||Moline, Rock Island||54.000|
|101||Lincoln, Springfield, St. Louis||26.000|
|160||Bloomington, Market Street||40.700|
|159||Farmer City, Gibson City||21.800|
|172||Gibson City, Mahomet||27.500|
|179||Memphis, Chicago, Decatur||38.400|
|181||Champaign, Prospect Avenue|
|182||Champaign, Neil Street|
|183||Urbana, Lincoln Avenue|
|184||Urbana, Cunningham Avenue, Rantoul||33.200|
|185||Urbana, University Avenue||30.000|
|214||Danville, G Street|
|215||Danville, Georgetown Road||26.900|
|216||Danville, Bowman Avenue||18.000|
|220||Danville, Lynch Road||18.000|