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Old 06-26-2016, 10:36 AM   #1
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Chicago by-pass suggestions?

We will be travelling from Oshkosh, WI to Nappanee, IN on Sat, July 23. If possible, I'm trying to plan a route to avoid crazy traffic around Chicago, without going so far out of our way as to be ridiculous. We expect to be approaching the general Chicago area by around 10:00ish am that Saturday. My initial plan was: From WI, 41 South to 45 S to 894 around Milwaukee, then back on 45S paralleling I-94 to around Des Plains, IL. Then picking up Hwy 43 S, all the way down to Hwy 30, well south of Chicago, then taking 30 east towards Valparaiso on over into Amish country. I'm welcome to any suggestions & recommendations. BTW - we are 45' Pusher towing an F-150. Thanks in advance to all --
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Old 06-26-2016, 12:28 PM   #2
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I've been bitten by traffic in and around Chicago, but it it's moving, the interstates are the fastest and safest way through the region. I always tune in WGN or other all news radio station to monitor traffic, knowing I can drop down to U.S. 6 or U.S. 30 if need be. Once on 6 or 30, be prepared for lots of traffic lights, shopping congestion, turning cars, etc.

Unless I-294 or I-94 are completely stopped for long periods of time, I find it more relaxing with slow but steady movement on those routes than on the business routes 6 and 30. If I-94 is moving, I'd stay on until past I-65 junction and follow U.S. 6 at Ripley Ave. to Nappanee. (Lake Station, IN) You will have tolls on I-294 and I-94, but if it's moving, it's worth it to me.
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Old 06-26-2016, 12:35 PM   #3
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I've been bitten by traffic in and around Chicago, but it it's moving, the interstates are the fastest and safest way through the region. I always tune in WGN or other all news radio station to monitor traffic, knowing I can drop down to U.S. 6 or U.S. 30 if need be. Once on 6 or 30, be prepared for lots of traffic lights, shopping congestion, turning cars, etc.

Unless I-294 or I-94 are completely stopped for long periods of time, I find it more relaxing with slow but steady movement on those routes than on the business routes 6 and 30. If I-94 is moving, I'd stay on until past I-65 junction and follow U.S. 6 at Ripley Ave. to Nappanee. (Lake Station, IN) You will have tolls on I-294 and I-94, but if it's moving, it's worth it to me.
Just on I-94 East of I-65 yesterday and it is a piece of c--- road. May be the best way, but be prepared for bad road.
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Old 06-26-2016, 12:51 PM   #4
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Just on I-94 East of I-65 yesterday and it is a piece of c--- road. May be the best way, but be prepared for bad road.
Sadly that's true of most of our nation's highways. Infrastructure repair and improvement requires money, Congress is too busy pocketing their own money and bowing to the pressures of short-sighted people who think not spending money is a way of avoiding more expensive repairs in the future.

U.S. 6 and U.S. 30 suffer from the same neglect, in parts of IN and OH some sections are rougher than a corncob.
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Old 06-26-2016, 04:01 PM   #5
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We will be travelling from Oshkosh, WI to Nappanee, IN on Sat, July 23. If possible, I'm trying to plan a route to avoid crazy traffic around Chicago, without going so far out of our way as to be ridiculous. We expect to be approaching the general Chicago area by around 10:00ish am that Saturday. My initial plan was: From WI, 41 South to 45 S to 894 around Milwaukee, then back on 45S paralleling I-94 to around Des Plains, IL. Then picking up Hwy 43 S, all the way down to Hwy 30, well south of Chicago, then taking 30 east towards Valparaiso on over into Amish country. I'm welcome to any suggestions & recommendations. BTW - we are 45' Pusher towing an F-150. Thanks in advance to all --
Sounds like you like local traffic and lots of traffic lights. Fastest, but not cheapest, is 94 to 294 to 80. Unless there's an accident, Saturday traffic is not too bad on the toll roads.
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Old 06-26-2016, 05:16 PM   #6
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Add the crowd populated app Waze to your cell phone. I live and drive around Chicago. Every time I think I am smarter than this app I regret it. It works better in more populated areas because more people are using it and updating traffic conditions. But in a Saturday morning traffic should be pretty light unless there is some special event in town.
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Old 06-26-2016, 06:59 PM   #7
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Your timing is about right. My son lives in Chicago area and he says the best time to travel through there is 10 AM to 2 PM I'm not familiar with all of your planned route, but highway 30 passes through several small towns with traffic signals. About the time you get back to highway speed you have to slow down again.
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Old 06-26-2016, 08:19 PM   #8
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I wouldn't worry about crossing Chicago on Saturday morning unless there's some major event downtown that day.

As someone else said, put Waze (or Google Maps) on your phone and use it for the trip. You'll either be taking 90/94 or 294 and just let the traffic in Waze / Google Maps make that decision for you.
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Old 06-27-2016, 10:26 AM   #9
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Add the crowd populated app Waze to your cell phone. I live and drive around Chicago. Every time I think I am smarter than this app I regret it. It works better in more populated areas because more people are using it and updating traffic conditions. But in a Saturday morning traffic should be pretty light unless there is some special event in town.
I second the thought about Waze. It never amazes me the routes that it finds around traffic. Just watch road signs for restrictions.

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U.S. 6 and U.S. 30 suffer from the same neglect, in parts of IN and OH some sections are rougher than a corncob.
OT but do you mean US 20 in Ohio? I've never had any issues taking US 30 across Ohio and we take it twice a year. It's a relatively smooth four laner all the way from the Indiana state line to Canton.
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Old 06-27-2016, 10:38 AM   #10
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We will be travelling from Oshkosh, WI to Nappanee, IN on Sat, July 23. If possible, I'm trying to plan a route to avoid crazy traffic around Chicago, without going so far out of our way as to be ridiculous. We expect to be approaching the general Chicago area by around 10:00ish am that Saturday. My initial plan was: From WI, 41 South to 45 S to 894 around Milwaukee, then back on 45S paralleling I-94 to around Des Plains, IL. Then picking up Hwy 43 S, all the way down to Hwy 30, well south of Chicago, then taking 30 east towards Valparaiso on over into Amish country. I'm welcome to any suggestions & recommendations. BTW - we are 45' Pusher towing an F-150. Thanks in advance to all --
God NO! As bad as I-294 can be, the routes you mention is worse. Even if the expressway traffic is bad, don't get off. This is speaking as someone that commuted there for decades. Saturday, I-294 generally will be moving above the posted limit. The side roads would add about 3 hours of stop and go in traffic on sometimes narrow roads.
.
Go I-94 to I-294 to I-94/80 to I-65 to US30. To avoid traffic, you need to as far west as IL47, at which point you might as well take I-39.
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Old 06-27-2016, 02:24 PM   #11
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God NO! As bad as I-294 can be, the routes you mention is worse. Even if the expressway traffic is bad, don't get off. This is speaking as someone that commuted there for decades. Saturday, I-294 generally will be moving above the posted limit. The side roads would add about 3 hours of stop and go in traffic on sometimes narrow roads.
.
Go I-94 to I-294 to I-94/80 to I-65 to US30. To avoid traffic, you need to as far west as IL47, at which point you might as well take I-39.
Thanks to everyone for the comments and suggestions from those who have experienced those roads. Didn't realize the secondary roads would add that much travel time, so I appreciate the input. The traffic down here in Houston is insane, but it also eases a bit on the weekends, so really glad we'll be in the Chicago area on a Saturday. Thanks again & regards--
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Old 06-27-2016, 05:17 PM   #12
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None of the responders mentioned I-Pass

Tolls and I-PASS - www.illinoistollway.com

This page describes how you can pay the tolls later if you do not have the transponder.
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Old 06-27-2016, 06:33 PM   #13
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If you have time do a little siteseeing detour and get into some beautiful country that perhaps you haven't been. Head north into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, cross the Mackinac Bridge and head south in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan to Nappanne.
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Old 06-27-2016, 07:04 PM   #14
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Recently did Wisconsin to Shipshewana, IN and back on the tollways. Cost was $108 with I-Pass, one ton dually, and triple axle toyhauler. Still cheaper than fuel to go way around or doing a bunch of stop and go. It was an easy mid-day Friday and Monday drive though, 60 mph and just cruise with the big trucks. I would go that way again.
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