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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.



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