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Old 10-31-2017, 03:43 PM   #1
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Best route thru Illinois and tolls

Traveling eastbound on I-90 from South Dakota to the east coast using I-90. What's the best route through Illinois and Chicago for a 37' Class C and what would be the estimated tolls paying cash.
We'd be transiting during the morning so rush hour might be a problem.

Thanks,

Chris
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Old 10-31-2017, 03:51 PM   #2
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Same from a little further north .... (following)

[edit] ... won't / want to pay the 20$$ cash to go across 1 bridge in "C" in 2014 - forgot to turn the "AVOID TOLLS" on on the Garmin RV760. ooops.
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Old 10-31-2017, 04:35 PM   #3
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Same from a little further north .... (following)

[edit] ... won't / want to pay the 20$$ cash to go across 1 bridge in "C" in 2014 - forgot to turn the "AVOID TOLLS" on on the Garmin RV760. ooops.
we live in metro Chicago and are an occasional tollway user. I know of no toll road in Illinois that charges $20 to cross a bridge.


to the OP...you can calculate the tolls by going to the Illinois toll authority website. beyond that if you want to avoid most of the Illinois tolls follow I-39 south to I-80. follow I-80 east to the Indiana border. there is a single toll booth on I-80 at I-294 a few miles west of the Indiana border. after that toll booth the roadway becomes I-80/I-294 until it merges with I-94. at that point the roadway is I-80/I-94. you'll likely encounter a single toll booth on I-90 between the Wisconsin border and I-39.

at MP 16 in Indiana I-80/94 will intersect with I-90 which is the Indiana Toll Road. I-94 will split off to the northeast towards Detroit. I-80 and I-90 continue east as the Indiana Toll Road until the IN/OH border where it becomes the Ohio Turnpike. I-90 will split off of I-80 at MP 142.

depending on the time of day I-80/94 can be a real bear traffic wise. best time to avoid the worst would be 11a-2p or well after dark. if you make the trip often consider getting either the Illinois I-Pass or the multi-state EZ Pass. the I-Pass and EZ Pass are compatible with both systems.

good luck and safe trip.
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Old 10-31-2017, 05:03 PM   #4
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we live in metro Chicago and are an occasional tollway user. I know of no toll road in Illinois that charges $20 to cross a bridge. .
Sorry too long ago and unfamiliar with the lay of the land - BUT YUP - remember a steep grade up a metal bridge under construction / repair ...

Truck and Trailer $20.00 USA (that hurts) dollars.
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Old 10-31-2017, 05:42 PM   #5
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Sorry too long ago and unfamiliar with the lay of the land - BUT YUP - remember a steep grade up a metal bridge under construction / repair ...

Truck and Trailer $20.00 USA (that hurts) dollars.
I wonder if you're referring to the Chicago Skyway. that is a toll road owned and previously operated by the City of Chicago. the city's second corrupt Mayor Daley leased it to a private foreign entity for pennies on the dollar which for all practical purposes makes it a privately owned toll road. the new operator may have jacked up tolls. the Skyway is I-90 which, if followed westbound runs thru the city on the Dan Ryan and Kennedy expressways out to the Northwest Toll Road to Rockford. the Skyway is not part of the Illinois Toll Road system.
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Old 10-31-2017, 05:48 PM   #6
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If you have a gps, set it to avoid toll roads. It will automatically take the shortest route, yet avoid tolls. You might spend more money in gas trying to avoid them, then what they cost. Just a thought.
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Old 10-31-2017, 07:19 PM   #7
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My advice - avoid Chicago. You are much better off going around the city. As you would expect, the farther out you go, the better the traffic.
To minimize traffic and tolls, rk911ís suggested route of I39 to I80 is best. It will be significantly longer though. He was spot on with his toll info.
There are at least 3 other options that take you through the suburbs with higher toll costs.
A. I90 to I294 to I80. This route is simple, but I294 tends to back up in the OíHare area.
B. I90 to I290 to I294 to I80. This route has an unmanned toll booth as you get off I90. Otherwise itís usually a better route than option A.
C. I90 to I290 to I355 to I80. Same problem with unmanned toll booth. This route is probably 15-20 minutes longer than option B if traffic isnít bad. Depending on traffic it could be the best option. During morning rush this would be my choice.

If you miss a toll booth or go through an unmanned booth, write down the name and number of the toll plaza. You have 7 days to pay.

If you donít get either an I-Pass or EZ-Pass transponder, stay to the right so you can access the cash lanes. I highly recommend getting one.

How to know which is the best route? I use Google Maps with traffic turned on. It may recommend that you go through Chicago. Donít do it.
FYI, construction on I90 was completed this past year and it is now an excellent road outside Chicago. Expect to see a lot of trucks on I80.
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Old 11-04-2017, 01:19 PM   #8
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There's really only one way to go through Chicago reliably during about 16 hours of the day. Use GPS navigation with live traffic from either Google, TomTom, Inrix or HERE.

Anything can screw up traffic on any road in Chicago at any time. Go with what your GPS tells you if you have live traffic from one of those 4 sources.
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Old 11-04-2017, 02:00 PM   #9
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We just drove Madison, Wi to Mi in Aug 1st pulling a fifth wheel successfully avoiding toll roads and the traffic wasn't bad for 10 AM Mon.
I took 94 to the Il state line, then jumped on 41 South to avoid tolls. There were about a dozen traffic lights on 41 and I had to stop for 3 of them, otherwise the lights are well timed and 2-3 lanes was easy for South bound. Then 41 puts you right back on 94 which blends into 90, keep heading South to 80/94. I found 94 to be stop and go for about 5 miles through downtown, but nothing worth driving extra miles out of the way for.
This is not advice but I have heard and tried it, that you can run through a Il toll both up to 3 times within a 6 month period and not get a mailed ticket. I ran through the I-80 toll twice in June w/o pay, so I had to be careful in July.
If you take I-80 East through Indiana and Ohio, check the tolls but you will be $60+. If you got time take 20 and 2 across.

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Old 11-04-2017, 02:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WorldCat25 View Post
Traveling eastbound on I-90 from South Dakota to the east coast using I-90. What's the best route through Illinois and Chicago for a 37' Class C and what would be the estimated tolls paying cash.
We'd be transiting during the morning so rush hour might be a problem.

Thanks,

Chris
I'd highly recommend getting an EZ-Pass from one of the many states that offer them. Several of them have no fees or monthly charges. Up until recently you did have to keep $10-$25 in the account, but NYS has a relatively new option I found about while researching this post, more details below. We signed up with NYS in 2008 because we were going to use the West Virginia Turnpike, never set foot on a NYS toll road until 2011 when we moved to MA.

This article is fairly accurate. We have transponders from NYS Thruway and Massachusetts, no annual fees for either and no charge for the transponder.

If you register with NYS be sure to register your motorhome as an RV, you'll get the car rate if you ever venture into NYS on their toll roads.

Also NYS has a "Pay Per Trip" option which does not require a balance if you choose credit card as a backup payment. Details are here.

BTW I've used grindstone01's route to avoid tolls thru Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, works well, though I only go thru Chicago on weekends early in the morning and late at night.
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Old 11-05-2017, 07:23 PM   #11
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OP here.

We decided to follow the toll less recommendation. Dropped down from I-90 in Albert Lea to I-80. Followed I-80 through Illinois on the south side of Chicago. Had one small toll ($3.80+/- but rude toll taker). Had to stop in Elkhart for some repairs. Toll in Indiana was not bad but after Elkhart tolls in Ohio and PA were killers.

Reminded me why we always go I-74 and I-70 back to Maryland after hunting in SD.

Thanks to all for your help.
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