Interstate 39 in Illinois

Interstate 39 in Illinois

Infobox road

length_ref=cite web |author=Illinois Technology Transfer Center |url= |title=T2 GIS Data |accessdate=2007-11-08 |date=2006]
established=December 1989 – I-55 to Hudsoncite news |publisher=The Pantagraph (Bloomington, IL) |title=Interstate 39 – Crews work to link highway by 1992 |author=Zehr, Melissa|date=1991-03-08]
September 2, 1992IL 116 to IL 17cite news|publisher=Peoria Journal-Star|date=September 2, 1992 |url= |author=Davis, Jenni|title=I-39 nearly finished; 12 more miles open today]
terminus_a=Jct|state=IL|I|55 in Normal
junction=Jct|state=IL|I|80 in Peru
Jct|state=IL|I|88 in Rochelle
Jct|state=IL|I|90 in Rockford
terminus_b=Jct|state=WI|I|39 at Wisconsin state line

In the U.S. state of Illinois, Interstate 39 is a north-south expressway that runs from its southern terminus at Interstate 55 in Normal to South Beloit. This is a length of convert|140.82|mi|km|2.

As of 2007, there are no plans to extend Interstate 39 south of the Bloomington-Normal area. IDOT also has no plans to upgrade U.S. Route 51 to a freeway south of Bloomington-Normal.

Route description

Interstate 39 runs north largely through rural areas from the city of Normal. About convert|55|mi|km|0 north of Normal, I-39 crosses the Illinois River over the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Bridge, the longest bridge in Illinois at a length of convert|2170.8|m|mi|1.cite web |url= | |author=Svirsky, Alexander |accessdate=2007-10-22] Just north of the Illinois River, I-39 splits the cities of LaSalle and Peru before intersecting Interstate 80.

North of I-80, terrain is generally hillier than areas south of I-80. The Mendota Hills Wind Farm is located in the area around Mendota and extends north near Paw Paw starting at about milepost 72. Dozens of turbines can easily be seen from the freeway. I-39 then runs south and east of downtown Rockford, running concurrent with U.S. 20 until it just before I-39 joins the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway and Interstate 90 near Cherry Valley. U.S. 51 leaves I-39/90 in South Beloit, while I-39/90 continue north into Wisconsin.

For all but convert|1|mi|km|0 that Interstate 39 is in Illinois, it is designated concurrently with U.S. Route 51. The southern terminus of I-39 is less than convert|1|mi|km|0 from Interstate 74 as it runs around Normal.


I-39 was built in sections from Bloomington north to Rockford, and run on existing highways from Rockford to the Wisconsin state line. In December 1989, the section from Bloomington to Hudson opened, a distance of about convert|4.4|mi|km|1 [ Google Maps] estimate.] In early September 1992, another segment opened from IL 116 north to IL 17.

Interstate 39 was considered at one point for the unbuilt Peoria-to-Chicago Highway.

Originally the expressway was intended to be built at least as far south as Decatur. When travelling on Interstate 72, between mileposts 139 and 140, there are embankments for an expressway interchange that was never constructed. At one time there were pavement stubs leading onto the embankments but they have since been removed.


As of October 2007, the Illinois Department of Transportation is in the preliminary design stages for a project involving reconstruction of I-39 from U.S. Route 20 east to Harrison Avenue in Rockford. The goal of the project is to reconstruct ramps to modern-day standards, and allow southbound I-39 traffic to use through lanes at the U.S. 20 interchange. [cite web |url= |date=2007 |accessdate=2007-10-12 |title=I-39/U.S. 20 Improvement Project |author=Illinois Department of Transportation] Currently, southbound I-39 traffic must exit from the U.S. 20 freeway.

Exit list


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