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Alternate route to minimize rush-hour traffic?

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Montreal, Canada
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Alternate route to minimize rush-hour traffic?

In July and August the family and I will be doing a cross-country road trip. On Tues, July 30, we will be heading from London, Ontario to Elgin, Il, taking I-94 to I-90. We'll probably be hitting the Chicago area right around rush-hour. I'm wondering if either a) anyone can suggest an alternate route that would enable us to drive around the worst of the traffic, or b) it would be preferable to take our time and aim to hit Chicago closer to 7pm.

Thanks in advance!

Illinois
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1. Re: Alternate route to minimize rush-hour traffic?

It's up to you. You can bypass the Chicago traffic by taking 294 in place of 94. However, you'll be paying additional tolls along the way. When you hit 90 past O'hare, it also becomes a toll road.

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: Alternate route to minimize rush-hour traffic?

There are several options.

1) You can take 94 to 90 and go right through the city.

2) Take 94 to 294 to 90

3) Take 94 to 290 to 90

4) Take 94 to 80 west to I355, north to 90

With no traffic, option 1 is best. During rush hour, who knows. You can listen to radio station AM780 every 10 minutes on the 8's to get traffic updates and try to make your best guess. Personally I use option 3 when I go that way around rush hour.

pgo
Chicago
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3. Re: Alternate route to minimize rush-hour traffic?

It is much less stressful to hit the Chicago area after 7 PM, especially when its hot outside. Since it sounds like you have kids, have you considered stopping at one of the dunes parks along the southeastern part of Michigan and Indiana for a few hours?

Note that there is a one hour time change at the western edge of Indiana.

Edited: 04 June 2013, 23:54
Chicago's North...
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4. Re: Alternate route to minimize rush-hour traffic?

2nd the dunes idea... you'll be an hour or so east of chicago... you could then leave EARLY the next morning, and traffic permitting, you'll be in elgin in 1.5 hrs... also, surprisingly, the northbound 294 tollway up to about o'hare is not all that terrible during the evening rush..... after ohare and west on 90, it gets bad....

Montreal, Canada
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5. Re: Alternate route to minimize rush-hour traffic?

Thank you all for your advice!

We need to get to Elgin that night, since we continue our next leg of the cross-country journey the next day and are on a tight schedule. However I am considering having fun at the beach at the "dunes" and coming into Chicago later.

Also, I didn't know about the 294 tollway. I am happy to pay a toll if it means avoiding the traffic with a couple of kids in the back seat! I guess I'll see what time it is when we get close to Chicago. If it's still fairly early (with the time change which I had also forgotten about!) then we might push through, and if it's already early evening we'll stop for a bit until 7-ish.

Thanks again!

Illinois
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6. Re: Alternate route to minimize rush-hour traffic?

http://www.illinoistollway.com/homepage

San Diego...
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7. Re: Alternate route to minimize rush-hour traffic?

If you want a place outside Chicago to wait out rush hour, you might take the kids for a burger at Redamaks in New Buffalo, Michigan. http://www.redamaks.com/ It's about 15 minutes down the highway from Warren Dunes State Park if you decide to go there.

8. Re: Alternate route to minimize rush-hour traffic?

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