^Looking north from exit 322 at Manteno, May 2022.
Interstate 57 runs from the City of Chicago south-southwesterly through Champaign and Effingham to the central backbone of southern Illinois, leaving the state near its southern tip into Missouri (NOT Kentucky). Out of Interstate 57's 380 miles, 358 are spent in Illinois, and this mileage total is higher than that of any other Interstate's mileage in Illinois. Interstate 57 serves as somewhat of an alternate to Interstate 55 between Chicago and Memphis; as Interstate 55 bows west to connect to St. Louis and come back southeast, Interstate 57 serves as a more direct alternative for long-term travelers.
Exit 349 allows only northbound traffic on Interstate 57 to transfer onto Interstate 294 northbound toward Wisconsin, and the reverse movement is provided as well (but more ramps are being added to this crossing):