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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm riding across MI on I-94. Expect to hit the I-80/I-94 junction around noon. Plan to ride I-80/I-294/I-90 and continue west. According to the IL Tollway web site, there is some construction but does traffic "usually" flow reasonably well during mid-day?

Will $10 of quarters get me through the unmanned toll booths? I assume I'll overpay at times but I just want to get through the city as quickly as possible.
 

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No, traffic does not flow well at all. The tolls are dollars, not quarters. If you do not have EZpass (the best way) most of them you can use a credit card. That is what I would do if I did not have EZpass. Ipass out there, but still same thing. Just figure on about 30+ miles of slow moving traffic and in the places it is moving be happy.
 

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I was up there Saturday last. I-80/94 W/B was a freakin' parking lot at 7am (local)! Couldn't believe it. All the new/improved construction they've done at the I-65 & I-80/94 interchange and they STILL can't move the westbound traffic!
+1 for the CC idea. Keeps ya moving if you don't have I-Pass/EZPass... Watch out for the "Open Road" tolling areas. Looks like you are just driving under a big arch, always on the LEFT side of the roadway. Cash booths are at the right side. Po-lice will hunt you down and shake $$ from your pockets for running the toll. Or, just send a nasty-gram to the address of record for the registration plate.
Once you get west of I-55 (I-355?) it should open up some and maintain a high speed rate of 35-45 MPH... Won't be as bad as it seems but will be a PIA. You'll make it and be just fine...:thumbup:
 

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I'm riding across MI on I-94. Expect to hit the I-80/I-94 junction around noon. Plan to ride I-80/I-294/I-90 and continue west. According to the IL Tollway web site, there is some construction but does traffic "usually" flow reasonably well during mid-day?

Will $10 of quarters get me through the unmanned toll booths? I assume I'll overpay at times but I just want to get through the city as quickly as possible.
If you keep with the route listed all toll booths are manned (or womanned). But a trip thru there is never pretty...
 

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I like to run the left lane thru Indiana to stay away from the trucks. Once you cross into Illinois I'd like to suggest that you stop and purchase an IPASS device at the first tollway oasis (Lincoln Oasis) in Illinois. The Illinois Tollway has a booth in the oasis. They can make the IPASS device operational immediately. Bring your license plate number. The first oasis is located on I-80 shortly after you cross into Illinois. You'll want to work your way to the right hand lane after you enter Illinois, lots of trucks. With the IPASS you can avoid the stop and go lines at the toll booths and use the IPASS thru lanes. Tolls are collected automatically from the IPASS device. It's worth every penny.
As for your route I prefer to continue west on 80 to 355, then take 355 to 90. This route is less traveled than 294. Both have IPASS tolls.
Good luck
 

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Or avoid the big C all together by going north in Michigan (Traverse city I believe) and take the ferry across lake Michigan. It would be a nice ride both and the bike and the boat. Take an extra few hours and ENJOY the trip vs fighting the zoo that Chicago traffic is! Ride safe!
 

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We never go through or around Chicago any more.
We take the SS Badger from Manitowoc to Ludington(4 hour trip) or the High Speed(2 hour trip) from Milwaukee to Muskigon.
It cost $$$ but is worth every $ to us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I appreciate all the suggestions. I have a FL SunPass so can appreciate the benefit of I-Pass but since I go thru that area at the most once a year, I don't think I'll get one since it requires pre-paying $40 in tolls. According to my calculations, I'll pay $6.60 without it. If the traffic really backs ups, I may regret being a miser over $33.40. :lol:

RogerD - I don't see that I-355 extends as far south as I-80. Is it worth going west to I-55 north and then catching I-355? Seems quite a bit out of the way.
 

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Run the tolls

Then when you get to a computer, go on line and pay. I have an I pass, but the guy riding with me didn't. He ran the tolls and paid on line when we got home. I didn't have my I Pass with me, but Illinois runs your plate # against their subscriber list and deducts the toll from your account.
 

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WOW, what a lot of horror stories from people who don't live in Illinois. Mike, a "key" phrase you used was midday. If midday is the time you hit that area, you'll fly right through. The I-355 extension that now goes to I-80 is also a viable route. You should be okay. Toll wise, $10 in change won't help a lot so bring $1 bills too. If you miss a toll, someone advised to go on-line to the Illinois Tollway site to pay your toll. I believe you have a couple of days to square off with the Toll Authority this way.

Again, between 10:30am and about 3:00pm, you should be able to ride through without any headaches.

Safe riding!
 

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I-355 does go to I-80....it is to new to show on GPS yet....but if i were you, and I don't know your destination....I would stay on I-80 West (the construction through Joliet is now over...thank goodness!) to I-39, and then go North on that.
Clear sailing all the way to Rockford, IL.

If you were just going around the lake, I would stay on West I-80 to Route 47...and take that North to Lake Geneva Wisconsin. There is a bit of construction on the Illinois side of it, but aside from rush hour, you should get through it okay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Based on the posts of MadIrish and jeffgig, I'll try to get help from south/east bound truckers as I approach the area regarding the traffic flow on West 80 and North 294. If 294 is slow and 80 is open, I'll ride over to I-39 and go north. At highway speeds, the time differential is about 30 minutes to I-39/I-90 at Rockford but I know I won't run consistant highway speeds on the toll roads. As I'm typing this, I'm liking this route better.

My destination is Glasgow MT so I'll run I-94 to Glendive. I need to boogie out there to visit with my 90 yr old parents. Coming back will be fun: Beartooth Pass, Chief Joseph Hwy, Black Hills. Plus I'll add 3 more states (WY, SD and Neb) to my states ridden in map. :thumbup:
 

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WOW, what a lot of horror stories from people who don't live in Illinois. Mike, a "key" phrase you used was midday. If midday is the time you hit that area, you'll fly right through. The I-355 extension that now goes to I-80 is also a viable route. You should be okay. Toll wise, $10 in change won't help a lot so bring $1 bills too. If you miss a toll, someone advised to go on-line to the Illinois Tollway site to pay your toll. I believe you have a couple of days to square off with the Toll Authority this way.

Again, between 10:30am and about 3:00pm, you should be able to ride through without any headaches.

Safe riding!
FWI... you do not need to live there to travel there. My children live there and we are there all the time. While there are times traffic is better than others, like the weekend, overall it is very congested. Even between 10:30am and 3:00pm.
 

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:agree:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Here's my report. I got to I-94/I-80 at 1 local time. Stopped at first oasis for gas/ food. Talked with a trucker - he recommended riding the skyway. After he walked away a guy approached me, said he rides and recommended I-80 to I-355 North like jeffgrig did. Both were dead on. I covered the 60 miles in 60 minutes and that included stopping to pay tolls! I-355 hasn't been discovered yet by the masses. Great surface.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
MadIrish - oops, it was your recommendation about I-355. Thanks! That really helped me cover 647 gps miles in 11 hrs yesterday. 3 stops for gas and road construction in MI. I'll be in western ND tonight.
 
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