Chicago has traffic, lots of it.
If you can pass by the south side on I-80, you'll find that I-294 heading north is not a problem. Similar traffic but a more direct route. However, there's lots of toll booths on the way and with a 5er you'll be pulling way off to the right now (crossing lots of lanes) to get to them. If you have the I-Pass you'll be fine and you can sail right on by in the normal lanes. If you don't have the I-Pass I'd recommend getting it. It saves you money with lower rates and lots of time. www.getipass.com
is the website.