Skip to main content

Great Lakes Road Trip Day 10 Part 1; downtown Chicago, the end of US Route 66 and Chicago Skyway

I started the day out using US 41 to reach I-94 to head southbound in downtown Chicago.  I picked up I-90 after a couple miles and followed it to the Grand Avenue exit where I headed east towards Navy Pier.  I had to swing down to Illinois to reach the Pier since traffic turned to westbound only on Grand Avenue.


I actually ran along Lake Michigan on Lake Shore drive while heading through all the downtown parks for terminus points of US 66.



I stopped first at the intersection of Lake Shore Drive and Jackson Drive which was the 1938 to 1976 eastern terminus of US 66.  US 41 was rerouted off of Michigan Avenue in 1938 onto Lake Shore Drive after the Outer Drive Bridge over the Chicago River had been completed.  This is why US 66 was extended over from Jackson Boulevard on Jackson Drive so it would continue to meet US 41 at Lake Shore Drive.


Jackson Drive looking westbound at what was US 66 from 1938 to 1976.



Next was the original eastern terminus and western start of US 66 at Jackson Boulevard and Michigan Avenue.  This would have been the eastern terminus of US 66 prior to 1938, the route is actually signed with a historic shield.



Despite what many think the original start of US 66 was not at Adams Street and Michigan Avenue, nor did it ever start there.  In 1955 Jackson Boulevard was shifted to a eastbound-only alignment and westbound traffic for US 66 was routed onto Adams Streets.  US 66 would have started at Lake Shore Drive, took Jackson Drive west to Michigan Avenue before turning north for a street before turning west onto Adams Street.  The historic signage on Adams indicates that it was the start of US 66.


Aside from the terminus points of US 66 I was in Chicago to do a distance run in down through Grant Park, Lake Shore Drive, and the Navy Pier.  I haven't been back to downtown Chicago in two decades so it was a little surreal to see everything I remembered in downtown in high school.
















To leave downtown I took Lake Shore Drive/US 41 onto the start of I-55.   I took I-55 to I-90/94 and split westbound on I-90 onto the Chicago Skyway.




I haven't driven the Skyway since 2001.  I used to take the Skyway to visit my Dad in downtown once I got my license in high school.  At the time I was living in Lansing out in Michigan and it was a hell of a drive for someone just starting out driving.  The Skyway wasn't it very good shape when I was actively using it so I was curious to see what the rebuilt road from the early 2000s.  I was a little surprised to see 45 MPH and 55 MPH speed limit signs but the road surface was in substantially better shape than it used to be.  I don't know the specifics of the Skyway rebuild but it feel way wider than it used to be.  Interestingly the Chicago Skyway was originally signed as I-94 when it opened in 1958 and switched to I-90 in 1963.









The end of the Skyway is not only the end of the city limits of Chicago but also the state line with Indiana.  Given my destination was in Ohio, I was in for a long drive east on the toll roads.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

History of the Big Oak Flat Road (Yosemite National Park)

This week I hiked much of what was the original alignment of the Big Oak Flat Road which is located to the north of the modern roadway.  Unlike the original alignment of the Wawona Road the Old Big Oak Flat Road is surprisingly intact.


The complete history of the Big Oak Flat Road including the original alignment can be found on a 2002 report from the U.S. Department of Interior on the Old Big Oak Flat Road.

U.S. Department of the Interior on the Old Big Oak Flat Road

The Big Oak Flat Road began construction east from the mining community of Big Oak Flat in towards Yosemite Valley in 1869.  The Big Oak Flat Road was constructed by the Chinese Camp and Yosemite Turnpike Company which had secured the franchise rights for a toll road to the Yosemite Grant (the designation prior to Yosemite National Park).  By the summer of 1871 the Big Oak Flat Road reached the northern cliffs above Yosemite Valley which is when the Chinese Camp and Yosemite Turnpike Company ran out of funding.  After the…

Horseshoe Meadows Road; former California State Route 190 and the legacy of the Lone Pine-Porterville HIgh Sierra Road

This summer I had an opportunity to drive one of the lesser known great roads of California; Horseshoe Meadows Road from Whitney Portal Road westward into Horseshoe Meadows of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Aside from being massive climb into the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains the path of Horseshoe Meadows Road was once part of California State Route 190 and was intended to be part of a Trans-Sierra Highway known as the Lone Pine-Porterville High Sierra Road.


Horseshoe Meadows Road is located west of Lone Pine of Inyo County and is 19.7 miles in length.  Horseshoe Meadows Road begins at an approximate elevation of 4,500 feet above sea level at Whitney Portal Road in the Alabama Hills and ends at an elevation of 10,072 feet above sea level in Horseshoe Meadows.  Horseshoe Meadows Road is the second highest paved road in California only behind Rock Creek Road near Tom's Place.  Pjammcycling rates Horseshoe Meadows Road with an average gradient of 6.2% and lists it as th…

The Tioga Pass Road

Last Summer the Tioga Pass Road over the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Yosemite National Park opened late due to the heavy snow pack from the previous winter.  Approaching the start of July the Park Service finally had cleared the road to Tioga Pass.  That being the case I headed up shortly after the 4th of July holiday during a lull in the tourist season.


The Tioga Pass Road runs from the Big Oak Flat Road at Crane Flat east to US Route 395 ("US 395").  The Tioga Pass Road is largely within the boundary of Yosemite National Park but is maintained by Caltrans as California State Route 120 ("CA 120") east of the Tioga Pass entry station to US 395.  The National Park Service maintained portion of the Tioga Pass Road serve as a implied connection between the two segments of CA 120.  The Tioga Pass Road is the highway mountain pass in California reaching Tioga Pass at 9,945 feet above sea level.



Part 1; the history of the Tioga Pass Road

Tioga Pass first obtained notewort…