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Interstate 180 (Illinois)

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Interstate 180 marker

Interstate 180

I-180 highlighted in red
Route information
Auxiliary route of I-80
Maintained by IDOT
Length13.19 mi[1] (21.23 km)
HistoryCompleted in 1969[2]
NHSEntire route
Major junctions
South end IL 26 / IL 71 in Hennepin
Major intersections US 6 in Princeton
North end I-80 in Princeton
CountryUnited States
CountiesPutnam, Bureau
Highway system
IL 179 IL 180

Interstate 180 (I-180) is a north–south spur highway in Illinois that runs from Princeton to the small town of Hennepin at its southern terminus. It is 13.19 miles (21.23 km) long.[1]

Route description[edit]

Aerial view of I-180/IL 29 interchange west of Hennepin

I-180 begins as a continuation of Illinois Route 71 (IL 71) at a diamond interchange with IL 26 northeast of Hennepin. The interchange is located adjacent to a former steel mill that was most recently operated by ArcelorMittal but closed in 2009 and demolished in 2017.[3] The freeway travels northwest, carrying I-180 and IL 26 in a concurrency, and crosses the Illinois River on the north side of Hennepin to enter Bureau County.[4]

On the west side of the river, IL 26 separates from I-180 and the freeway crosses over IL 29 before splitting at a Y interchange. I-180 turns north, intersecting an expressway that connects to IL 29, and travels northeast across Big Bureau Creek to intersect IL 26. The freeway intersects US Route 6 (US 6) east of Princeton and continues due north to its terminus, a trumpet interchange with I-80. I-180 has four lanes for most of its length, though an additional 1.5-mile (2.4 km) southbound lane exists prior to the IL 29 exit.[4]


Construction of I-180 was completed in 1969.[2] The freeway was built primarily to connect I-80 to a new Jones and Laughlin Steel Company steel plant built in 1965 in Hennepin.[5] Federal auditors criticized its construction and called it a political favor that was put ahead of requests from Tucson, Arizona, and Tacoma, Washington.[6] The steel plant closed in 2009 and has since been demolished.[7]

I-180 is one of the least traveled Interstates in the nation, serving 1,950–3,600 vehicles per day as of 2013.[8]

In the 2010s, work started to reconstruct portions of the bridge carrying I-180 over the Illinois River. A three-year project to rebuild the deck began in 2020.[9]

Exit list[edit]

PutnamHennepin0.000.0014 IL 26 – Hennepin, Lacon

IL 71 east
Southern end of IL 26 concurrency; roadway continues as IL 71
Illinois River1.01.6Gudmund "Sonny" Jessen Bridge
BureauBureau Junction2.54.012
IL 26 north – Bureau Junction
Northern end of IL 26 concurrency; northbound exit and southbound entrance

To IL 29 south – Peoria
Access via unnamed connector expressway
8.012.97 IL 26 – Princeton
Princeton12.019.33 US 6 (Grand Army of the Republic Highway) – Princeton, Spring Valley
13.221.2 I-80 – Davenport, JolietNorthern terminus; I-80 exit 61
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b "Table 2: Auxiliary Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System Of Interstate and Defense Highways". FHWA Route Log and Finder List. Federal Highway Administration. December 31, 2021. Retrieved July 2, 2022.
  2. ^ a b Scott, Tony (December 21, 2006). "Strong opinions on Prairie Parkway plans". Oswego Ledger-Sentinel. Archived from the original on December 28, 2010. Retrieved February 15, 2008.
  3. ^ Smith, Gary L. (April 19, 2017). "Shuttered Hennepin steel mill being demolished". Journal Star. Peoria, Illinois. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Google (September 29, 2019). "Interstate 180" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  5. ^ "Boom Town 1965". Time. July 9, 1965. Archived from the original on January 27, 2008. Retrieved July 9, 2012.
  6. ^ Polk, James R. (August 4, 1970). "Federal Auditors Criticize a $40-Million Interstate Highway Spur to Illinois Steel Plant". Capital Journal. p. 26. Retrieved July 10, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ Smith, Gary L. (April 19, 2017). "Shuttered Hennepin steel mill being demolished". Peoria Journal Star.
  8. ^ Illinois Department of Transportation (2013). "T2 GIS Data". Archived from the original on March 2, 2016. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  9. ^ "Work Continues on I-180 Bridge in Hennepin". Village of Hennepin, Illinois. September 15, 2020. Retrieved July 2, 2022.

External links[edit]

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