The History of the Illinois Road Infrastructure


The Illinois road system has a long and storied history, dating back to the early days of the state’s settlement. The first roads in Illinois were little more than crude trails cut through the wilderness by Native Americans and early settlers. As the state’s population grew, so did the need for better roads. The first major road project in Illinois was the construction of the National Road, which connected the state to the rest of the country. In this blog post, we will cover the interesting history of the Illinois road system including everything from road construction to drivers education

The construction of the National Road and its impact on the state of Illinois

The National Road was one of the first federally-funded highways in the United States. It was authorized by Congress in 1806 and built between 1811 and 1837. The road ran from Cumberland, Maryland to Vandalia, Illinois, a distance of about 630 miles (1,014 km). It was the first improved highway in the Midwest and greatly facilitated westward migration during the early 19th century.

In Illinois, the National Road entered from Indiana near Vincennes and ran through Springfield before ending at East St. Louis. The road was built to standard width of 80 feet (24 m) and had stone-paved surfaces and bridges. It was an expensive project, costing over $5 million to build.

The National Road had a major impact on the state of Illinois. It opened up the interior of the state to settlement and increased trade and commerce. Chicago, which was founded in 1833, would not have become the metropolis it is today without the National Road.


The National Road was replaced by modern highways in the early 20th century and is now known as US 40. However, sections of the original road can still be seen in Illinois, including in Springfield where it is now called 6th Street.

The current state of Illinois roads

As of 2022, the total length of the Illinois road system was approximately 139,000 miles (223,000 km). This includes all public roads, from interstate highways to local streets and roads. The majority of these roads are maintained by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), although some are under the jurisdiction of other agencies such as the Forest Preserve District of Cook County.

The Illinois road system consists of a variety of different types of roads, including:

Interstate highways: Illinois has a total of eleven interstate highways, which are the busiest and most heavily-traveled roads in the state. These highways include I-55, I-57, I-74, I-80, I-88, I-90, and I-294.

US highways: There are also a number of US highways that run through Illinois, including US 12, US 20, US 30, and US 45.

State routes: In addition to the interstate and US highways, there are also a number of state routes in Illinois. These include numbered routes such as Route 1, Route 66, and Route 100, as well as named routes like the Great River Road and the Lincoln Highway.

Local streets and roads: The majority of the roadways in Illinois are local streets and roads that are maintained by municipalities or counties. These roads include everything from residential streets to major arterial roads.

The History of Illinois Driving Schools

The evolution of driving schools in Illinois is a long and complicated one. The first driving school in the state was actually founded by a woman, Ruth Robinson. She started the school in order to help other women learn how to drive. At that time, women were not allowed to drive on public roads. Ruth Robinson’s driving school quickly became popular, and she began to offer classes to men as well.

The popularity of driving schools continued to grow throughout the years. In the mid-1900s, there was a boom in the number of schools being founded. This was due to the fact that more and more people were moving to the state and the need for driver’s education was increasing.

Today, there are many different Illinois driving schools. Each school offers its own unique curriculum, so it is important to do some research before enrolling in a course. There are also many online driving schools that offer courses that can be taken from the comfort of your own home. Whichever route you decide to take, make sure that you choose a reputable school that will offer you a quality education.

Future plans for road improvement in Illinois

IDOT is responsible for the planning, construction, and maintenance of the state highway system. The agency has a number of ongoing projects to improve the condition of Illinois roads and highways. These projects include:

The Rebuild Illinois capital program: This $33 billion program, which was approved by the Illinois legislature in 2019, will fund a variety of road and bridge improvement projects across the state over the next six years.

The Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) program: This $4.4 billion program is a joint effort between IDOT, the City of Chicago, Metra, Amtrak, and the Canadian National Railway to improve freight rail efficiency and reduce traffic congestion in the Chicago area.

The Illinois Tollway: The Illinois Tollway is a system of highways that includes the I-Pass electronic toll collection system. The Tollway is undergoing a $12 billion expansion and improvement program called Move Illinois that will add new lanes and reconstruct existing ones, as well as improve interchanges and build new toll plazas.

The future of Illinois roads is likely to be focused on continuous improvement and expansion of the state highway system. This will include both major projects like the Rebuild Illinois capital program, as well as smaller scale improvements to local streets and roads. In addition, the use of electronic toll collection systems is likely to become more widespread in order to reduce traffic congestion and raise revenue for road maintenance and improvement.

Since then, the Illinois road system has undergone a number of changes and improvements. Today, the state is crisscrossed by a network of highways and interstates that connect its cities and towns. The Illinois Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining and improving the state’s roads.

The Illinois road system is an important part of the state’s economy and infrastructure. It plays a vital role in connecting Illinois businesses to markets across the country. It also allows residents to travel easily between different parts of the state. The continued maintenance and improvement of the Illinois road system is essential to the state’s continued growth and prosperity.