How to travel on interstate 80


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Tolls On the Tri State Tollway

How much does it cost to take the Tri State Tollway?

If you are traveling the full length of the Tri State Tollway, the following tolls currently apply for the vehicle classes shown.

To calculate a toll for your trip, use the Toll Calculator below.

Cars & motorcycles; Pickups & SUVs (2 axle, up to six tires)

Small Truck: 2-axles; single unit or a bus

Medium Truck: 3 or 4 total axles, incl. cars/pickups w/ trailers

Large Truck: 5 or more total axles, incl. cars/pickups w/ trailers

Day rate in effect from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM Central Time, where applicable.

Calculate your trip on the Tri State Tollway using our Toll Calculator. It is always free to use for all toll roads on

NOTICE: Toll calculators are continually updated and checked for accuracy. We make every effort to provide the most current, accurate, official tolls for the roadway you are traveling.

Traveling the Tri State Tollway

Distance, Direction & Destinations

The following is a synopsis of the Tri State Tollway

  • ► Approximate Total Distance: 77.5 miles/124.8 kilometers
  • ► Travel Direction: Southbound and Northbound
  • ► Starting exit and mile marker: 0:I–94/Bishop Ford Freeway at MM 0, in Thornton.
  • ► Ending exit and mile marker: 1:Russell Road / US 41 at MM 0.5, in Wadsworth.
  • ▷ Chicago
  • ▷ Oak Lawn
  • ▷ Elmhurst
  • ▷ Des Plaines
  • ▷ Waukegan
  • ▷ Mt Prospect


Travel Times

  • 1 hour, 24 minutes @ 55 m.p.h.
  • 1 hour, 11 minutes @ 65 m.p.h.
  • 1 hour, 1 minute @ 75 m.p.h.

Obey all speed limits! Travel times are approximate and are based on ideal travel conditions. The times displayed here do not take into account any variations in speed, including time taken for rest stops, fuel stops, lodging, adverse traffic conditions or other delays.

Toll Calculator

Tri State Tollway Toll Calculator

NOTICE: Toll calculators are continually updated and checked for accuracy. We make every effort to provide current, accurate, official tolls for the roadway you are traveling.

Toll Reference


The primary toll pass for the state of Illinois is the I-Pass

The following transponders are accepted on the Tri State Tollway. Any toll pass/transponder with a logo matching those shown below will be compatible with the network on the Tri State Tollway


  • e-zpass
  • i-pass
  • riverlink
  • quick pass
  • epass-xtra
  • uni
  • sunpass pro

▷ Visit the Illinois toll pass page for complete information about compatible passes on the Tri State Tollway.

Be aware that discount tolls, those given for using a toll pass or transponder, may be restricted or otherwise limited to only that specific pass issued by Illinois. Compatible passes issued by states other than Illinois may not qualify for discount tolls, although the transponder will work on the Tri State Tollway.

I’ve driven it in April and seen chain laws in effect in Nevada. Wyoming can get winter blizzards through April. In fact, the biggest blizzards I’ve seen in Wyoming in the last 40 years were in April. That said, if I were planning a trip from Sacramento to Lansing, I’d plan on taking I-80. And I’d keep one eye on the forecast.

Wyoming normally sees crazy weather patterns in April, from warm and sunny to cold, snow and wind that’ll blow trucks off the road. Chances are you’ll have no problems with the weather, but you just never know.

While most folks think about the winter months of Dec/Jan/Feb/Mar as the snowiest along this route, I’ve seen I-80 have some of the worst ground blizzards and driving conditions in April, too.

Just a few years ago I did a trade show in SLC and headed East for home. By the time I was just past Evanston, it was getting pretty brutal . and I’d left a strong sunshine warm day in SLC. By Rock Springs, it was almost impassable. I should have gotten a motel room while it was possible, but continued onward to Rawlins in some incredibly difficult conditions. I was the last car that the Patrol let through before they closed the road at Rawlins; again, I should have taken heed of the situation and stopped there for the night. Instead, I continued onward to Laramie, and was ultimately slowed down to about 25-30 mph due to the low visibility and slick conditions. Trucks and cars were off the road all around me. What normally should have been a couple of hours took over 5 hours to travel, and it wasn’t fun at all.

Finally, at Laramie, I-80 was closed. Every square foot of truck parking was taken up in the area, every motel room had long been sold out. I wound up sleeping in my car in the Wal-Mart parking lot on the East end of town, and my car was almost buried in the blowing snowdrift that formed around it. I had to dig it out to be able to reach the plowed area of the parking lot so I could go across the road to a cafe. I-80 was closed for almost 24 hours, and the road to Ft Collins was closed, too.

Had I known that conditions were forecast to be that bad along so much of the route, I would have stayed in SLC for another day or two in my comfortable (and inexpensive at $49/night) apartment on Redwood. It definitely pays to watch the weather patterns for your late winter travels along I-80 and make your plans accordingly. Check the weather frequently if it’s even slightly in doubt. Better to be stopping and waiting it out in a comfortable place of your choosing rather than pushing on into a road closure and sold out (expensive) crappy motels that prey upon the stranded travelers.

And then there’s the many April trips I’ve made in sunny and clear conditions, too. But you need to be prepared for whatever the season throws your way for your trip.