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Author Topic: Trip Planning Advice Elkhart to Minn ( thru Chicago??? )  (Read 3113 times)
WVA_NATIVE
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« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2010, 06:24:58 PM »

Once again Tom C is absolutely right and is the route I was going to suggest. I grew up in Chicago suburb of Wheaton and drove bus and limo and 80 west to route 39 north to Rockford is the only way I would go. Save yourself a major headache and go west young man till you hit RT-39. And remember IL only has two seasons WINTER & CONSTRUCTION, and baby it aint cold right now. Oh and my son drive truck and he always takes RT 39 north and avoids Chicago like the plague.

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« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2010, 07:22:58 PM »

I don't have a dog in the hunt here, but taking I-80 from Elkhart to I-39 takes you through all the toll roads and terrible traffic.  What am I missing here?

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
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« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2010, 07:49:20 PM »

Jim, trust me this is the easiest way to go. You do not want to under any circumstances go 90/94 or 294 to 90. On 90/94 nearing down town Chicago if you are not in the correct lane you can get dumped out on down town streets even when you know where you are going. And believe me you don't want to be down town Chicago in a 40' bus. Plus with the construction they have single or double lanes that look like they are just wide enough for a VW bug and they fly through them at about 70mp, not for the faint of heart. If you are passing through Chicago I suggest instead you pass BY instead. I have spent my whole life driving these roads for a living and 80 to 39 is the best way even with the tolls. No matter which way you go your going to hit tolls in Chicago LOL.

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« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2010, 09:16:24 PM »

Made this trip every week for 15 years & frequently for 30 years (80/90/94 from Michigan to O'Hare area).  One part or another of it has been under construction for the entire period.  But, the last few years have seen big improvements.  I would avoid the skyway (90) and 90/94 thru down-town.  Scenic yes, but pricey (skyway) and prone to congestion.  I'd take the chance on 80/94 to 294 at any time of the day now.  Most of it is *usually* moving at posted or better speed for most of the stretch.  In fact, I know folks who avoid 294 because of the likelihood of high speed heavy traffic.  It can be a little unsettling if you're not used to it.  The whole stretch will have fairly heavy tolls also.  Personally, I'd jump on 290 around the west side of O'Hare Field, might or might not save time, but probably saves a little on tolls.  Elmhurst is a lovely little town right off of 290. 
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jok
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« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2010, 09:22:18 PM »

Hi Gary,

We have gone through Chicago with the bus while towing the Suburban numerous times and we prefer avoiding the toll roads. The toll booth traffic is crazy and the tolls for a bus is costly. We follow the Mapquest Route;

http://www.mapquest.com/maps?1c=Elkhart&1s=IN&1y=US&1l=41.6819&1g=-85.9767&1v=CITY&2c=Minneapolis&2s=MN&2y=US&2l=44.98&2g=-93.263603&2v=CITY&aot=1

It may not be the best way but it works for us. We just know that there will be stupid drivers, stop and go traffic and construction. I used to dread it but now I just try not to get stressed and do my own thing, and have my foot ready to slam on the brakes.

You could always make it a real adventure and take the SS Badger across the lake with your bus. It is not cheap but you would definitely remember the trip, in a good way. We have not taken our bus on that ferry but did make the trip with the Suburban.

http://www.ssbadger.com/content.aspx?Page=Schedule

We live 60 miles north of Elkhart in Kalamazoo, Michigan. If you take the SS Badger we are on your way and have room for a bus, with electric. You're welcome to stop by.

John

P.S. We took the evening trip across Lake Michigan and sprung for the State Room. It was worth the expense.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2010, 09:52:21 PM by jok » Logged

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« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2010, 05:43:59 AM »

The tool booth congestion in Chicago is all but gone.  They have done extensive construction in recent years and have gone to open road tolling.  The toll booths are mostly gone and have been replaced with overhead gantries that have radio receivers to collect tools.  No more slowing down for tolls if you have an iPass or an EZ Pass.

They do still have a few cash booths off to the side if you don't have a electronic device.  I live 350 miles from Chicago and I still have an iPass as I go through there about once or twice a year.  It is much faster and they doubled the tolls for cash payers.
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« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2010, 06:00:57 AM »

Like Jok, I too have made this trip from Kalamazoo many times and that particular route is good although I would pay the tolls on the north end of I94 north of Chicago instead of US 41 as there are many stop lights on 41.  If you choose to go downtown via the Dan Ryan, I would recommend you do so after midnight as there is little traffic at this time and you can most likely drive as fast as your bus will go and still be passed by many.  Jok's route will take you through Milwaukee if that is of any interest to you.
You need to get through Chicago before 5:00 am and if you wait until then you will see Milwaukee rush hour.  Pay attention to the signs in Milwaukee or you will end up on I94 through downtown instead of 894 around town.  

Other options to consider are:  I94W to downtown Chicago to I290W (Eisenhour Fwy) to I90W to I39 to I94 to Mpls.

I80W to I294N to I290W to I 90 etc.

The I39 option works but is way out of your way.

Remember that Chicago area is the land of toll roads so be prepared.  They are often cheaper in the wee hours of the morning than in the day time.

If heavy traffic scares you then go in the early am.  Traffic is much less heavy but watch for the 15 minute traffic stops in construction areas.  Many of the AM broadcast stations around Chicagoland give traffic reports.  Try 780, 720, 890 to list a few but you may want to know the "names" (Dan Ryan, Stevenson, Boerman, etc.) as this is how they are listed.

I have not traveled through the Windy city for several years but the only thing that changes is the location of the construction.

Sorry about being so long winded...many choices here.
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Dennis Watson
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« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2010, 06:52:19 AM »

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« Last Edit: July 14, 2010, 07:08:47 PM by Now Just Dallas » Logged

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« Reply #23 on: June 12, 2010, 09:42:34 AM »

Thanks again Guys,

In talking amongst ourselves, looks like we strike out Wed AM, lay over with friends West/side Cleveland. Move on Thurs AM, but that will put us in Chi late afternoon. This appears to be in keeping with the consensus of this forum.

Safest is just to tool further out on I80 and north 39. Could be safe thru downtown, but I am getting older and simpler/boring is more appealing. I will have to stop by to see my friends some other time.

Will keep all informed.
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« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2010, 10:23:31 AM »

Wise is the man who can learn from others mistakes and misadventure's. I give you 5 attaboys and a lollipop for a good decision.

You just don't want anything to do with those expressways around Chicago, because it just like Nascar every car and truck is doing 70+ packed in side by side and the little cars are jockeying for position moving in and out with just inch's to spare. One little mistake and someone dies LOL my son is amaze at my driving skills when we hit the expressways. But I would not want to do it in a bus. I'll check with my son today and make sure that 39 is clear of construction for you. He just went that way Thursday on his way to Wisconsin.

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« Reply #25 on: June 12, 2010, 05:02:27 PM »

Gary
I sent you a pm.
Rick
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« Reply #26 on: June 12, 2010, 05:38:01 PM »

Wise is the man who can learn from others mistakes and misadventure's. I give you 5 attaboys and a lollipop for a good decision.
WVaNative   

Interesting advice to a Bare Foot & Naive Kid, from West Virginia, just trying to get along in the fast lane of New Jersey...  Been located in NJ 34 yrs, but will always be from WV.





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« Reply #27 on: June 12, 2010, 06:34:12 PM »

Gary I'm from Boone Co and went to school in Whitesville. You might remember that town from the mine explosion. My dad worked at the Montcoal mine when I was a little feller. Yep no matter where you go in life Your roots always grow deep in them there hills. Glad to meet another WVa blood brother.

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WVA_NATIVE
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« Reply #28 on: June 12, 2010, 06:48:13 PM »

Wise is the man who can learn from others mistakes and misadventure's. I give you 5 attaboys and a lollipop for a good decision.
WVaNative   

Interesting advice to a Bare Foot & Naive Kid, from West Virginia, just trying to get along in the fast lane of New Jersey...  Been located in NJ 34 yrs, but will always be from WV.
------------------------------------------
Bare foot, LOL do I remember that when I was a kid. I used to get up in the morning and go out in front of our house and sit down in the dirt road with only my cut off jeans on and let the sun warm me up like a lizard. Then run around and all day with no shoes, LOL during the summers you just didn't wear shoes at all.

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