States traversed: Illinois with a slight westward foray into Missouri
Interstate 72 stretches east-west across central Illinois, with a slight extension west for a few miles into Hannibal, Missouri. The eastern end is at Interstate 57 in Champaign, Illinois; the interchange is the next one south of the interchange where Interstate 57 meets Interstate 74. Interstate 72 heads west and southwest from Champaign to Decatur, where it joins US Route 36 west; US Route 36 will run concurrently with Interstate 72 for the rest of the Interstate's length. Beyond Decatur, Interstate 72 reaches Springfield, where it joins Interstate 55 south and west for a bit. Interstate 72 splits from Interstate 55 south of Springfield, so it can proceed west past Jacksonville to the Mississippi River. Just before reaching the Mississippi River, Interstate 72 sprouts a freeway spur to the north toward Quincy, Illinois, labeled as Interstate 172. The final stretch of Interstate 72 crosses the great river into Hannibal, Missouri. The western end is at an interchange to US Route 61 in Hannibal, but the highway continues west as a rural expressway, carrying the US Route 36 designation farther west. US Route 36 across northern Missouri is a very efficient, smooth, fast drive with no stopping; I recommend it (it's also my go-to example for explaining the concept of a rural expressway).
My photo of an Interstate 72 marker comes from a major intersection in Springfield, Illinois, just barely west of where Illinois Route 29 meets the concurrency of Interstate 55 and Interstate 72. The sign assembly depicted faces south on Dirksen Parkway, which Illinois Route 29 joins from the east. The signs facing south explain this, and they explain the fact that access to Interstates 55 and 72 is provided just to the east, down Illinois Route 29. This photo was honestly taken on a short 2-day trip I made to Springfield, Illinois, so I could attend a seminar for work reasons. I snapped the picture in April 2019. Back to the nationwide main page. Back to the home page.