Interstate 270 (Missouri–Illinois)

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Interstate 270 marker

Interstate 270
Route information
Maintained by IDOT and MoDOT
Length 50.59 mi[1] (81.42 km)
Existed 1956 – present
Major junctions
South end I-55 / I-255 in Mehlville, MO
  I-44 / US 50 / Route 366 in Sunset Hills, MO
I-64 / US 40 / US 61 in Town and Country, MO
I-70 in Bridgeton, MO
Route 370 in Bridgeton, MO
US 67 in Hazelwood, MO
I-170 in Hazelwood, MO
I-255 / IL 255 near Pontoon Beach, IL
East end I-55 / I-70 near Troy, IL
Highway system
IL 267 IL I-280
Route 269 MO Route 273

Interstate 270 (I-270) makes up a large portion of the outer belt freeway in the St. Louis, Missouri metropolitan area. The counterclockwise terminus of I-270 is at the junction with I-55 and I-255 in Mehlville, Missouri; the clockwise terminus of the freeway is at the junction with I-55 and I-70 north of Troy, Illinois. The entire stretch of I-270 is 50.59 miles (81.42 km).

I-270 between I-70 and I-55 was formerly designated I-244, a western bypass of St. Louis, Missouri. It was originally proposed by Missouri as I-144, but the road was a beltway (or part of one), so the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) assigned it the number I-244. By the late 1970s, the entire beltway (including today's I-255) was integrated as a part of I-270 for consistency. However, the politicians in Illinois started planning their supplemental freeway system in the mid-1970s and a five-mile (8.0 km) section of Corridor 413 was included into the Interstate Highway System in April 1978.[2] This caused a potential place of confusion in Pontoon Beach, Illinois, where I-270 would have intersected itself, and eventually the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) decided on the I-255 numbering in 1980 (but not before considering renumbering an eight-mile (13 km) section to I-870).


The section of I-270 on the Missouri side was completed by June 1964, while the section that was I-244 was completed by November 1968.[3] The section from Illinois Route 3 (IL 3) to I-55 in Illinois was finished by May 1965.[4]

During the Great Flood of 1993, the New Chain of Rocks Bridge carrying I-270 over the Mississippi River was the only bridge open from St. Louis to Keokuk, Iowa, at one point. (All other bridges from the McKinley Bridge to the Keokuk Bridge were closed at the peak of that flood.)

The last major construction project on I-270 occurred from 1995 to 1998. Both the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) and IDOT upgraded I-270 to modern standards from Lilac Avenue to I-255. However, this section of I-270 is still at two lanes in each direction.

On September 13, 1999, a fatal accident involving a tractor-trailer occurred in the westbound lanes of I-270[5] in front of the now-defunct St. Thomas Aquinas-Mercy High School (now North County Christian School) in North St. Louis County. This accident sped up efforts that led to the I-170/I-270 interchange reconstruction that went from 2001 to 2004.

A major accident and fire from a FedEx Ground truck between the Route 367 and Lilac Avenue exits on October 28, 2002, forced detours and lengthy delays.[6][7]

There were plans to sign an eight-mile (13 km) section of I-270 from Glen Carbon to Edwardsville as I-870. However, this idea was discarded.[8]

In 2008, MoDOT implemented new variable speed limits on I-270/I-255 with the normal limit being 60 mph (97 km/h).[9] However, due to complaints from the public, these signs were planned to be updated in 2011 to advisory signs.[10]


IDOT wanted to widen I-270 from Lilac Avenue to I-255 from four lanes to six, but no money is available at the time of the proposal in 2007.[11] However, IDOT has announced that nearly $100 million has been programmed for replacement of the canal bridges between 2011 and 2016.[12] The canal bridges were replaced in Summer 2014, and imploded Winter 2015.

MoDOT has also identified the need of improving the I-270 corridor in North St. Louis County, which could cost in the range of $200 million.[13] MoDOT recently held a public study of this corridor and has a website of this. No funding is available for construction of the possible upgrades.[14]

A five-mile (8.0 km) section of I-270 between I-44 and Manchester is due to be widened to five lanes in each direction, with work taking place between 2012 and 2013.[15] This section of I-270 sees up to 185,000 vehicles per day,[16] and peak hour congestion is common.[citation needed]

Route description

In Missouri, I-270 diverges from at I-55 as a 10-lane freeway heading west of I-55's route but still maintaining a I-55's tendency to travel northward. I-270 intersects I-44 in a modified cloverleaf interchange that was rebuilt in the 1990s. Railroad overpasses and rocky bluffs between I-44 and Dougherty Ferry Road reduces the interstate to eight lanes for about 2 miles and this section is known for frequent traffic tie-ups during peak hours. This section was widened as of late 2013 to 5 lanes in each direction. I-270 meets up with I-64 with a stack interchange that was built from 1987 to 1993 (it was previously a cloverleaf that was a frequent source of backups).

From Dougherty Ferry Road through I-70, it continues as a 10-lane Interstate, although the right lanes often serve as exit lanes. The intersection with Olive was upgraded to a single-point urban interchange in the mid-2000s, and during 2010–11, the interchanges with Route 364 (Page Avenue) and Dorsett Road were upgraded with the latter becoming a diverging diamond interchange in October 2010.[17] Congestion in this area is severe to the point MoDOT has spent millions on various traffic control improvements since the 1990s. One of the safety improvements is a "double white line" that motorists are not permitted to cross (violation of that could lead to a fine of $500) that is located at the exits for I-70 in the northbound lanes. Other safety implementations include a special Maryland Heights police cruiser that is dedicated to traffic enforcement on this section of I-270, congestion warning signs, and traffic cameras.

At I-70, I-270 makes a transition from a north–south highway to an east–west highway though not signed as such until McDonnell Road, and will eventually become a six-lane highway by the time it reaches Lindbergh Road. It then meets I-170, which had its interchange rebuilt from 2001–04 during which a left exit lane in the westbound lane was corrected. This section of I-270 was a source of frequent backups during the late-afternoon hours until the interchange was rebuilt. A fatal accident in September 1999 spurred the rebuilding of the interchange although the accident did not occur at that location happening a mile east of the interchange. I-270 then passes various streets where every westbound exit connects to Dunn Road and one must use Dunn Road to access I-270 with the only exceptions being the Riverview, Lilac, and Route 367) exits. Since Dunn Road handles two-way traffic, this has become a safety and congestion issue that MoDOT wants to address in the near future.

At Lilac, I-270 constricts to four lanes as it crosses the Mississippi River on the New Chain of Rocks Bridges. Approaching Missouri and entering Illinois, I-270 transitions from a suburban Interstate to an exurban Interstate with farm fields and wooded land bordering the Interstate in the area to the immediately east and west of the river crossing. Once it crosses the Chain of Rocks Canal, I-270 will intersect four different highways providing access to communities in eastern Madison County: IL 3, Old Alton Road, IL 203 and IL 111. The interchange with IL 3 is a partial cloverleaf with the loop ramps in the northeast and southeast quadrants. The remaining two are cloverleaf interchanges, with the Old Alton Road/IL 203 interchange using a collector–distributor system with two folded diamonds due to the presence of railroad tracks between the two roadways. Once it passes IL 111, the speed limit increases to 65 mph (105 km/h) as the highway briefly becomes six lanes again with the junction with I-255. The highway then reverts to a four-lane highway offering diamond interchanges with IL 157 and IL 159 before meeting up with I-55/I-70 at the interchange that IDOT refers as the "3 I's". The eastbound I-270 meets the northeastbound combination of I-55 and I-70 which leave the intersection as northbound I-55 and eastbound I-70 which has adopted I-270's mile markings.

In popular culture

This highway is referenced in Chingy's song "Holidae In" although 270 does not intersect Natural Bridge Road.[citation needed]

Exit list

State County Location mi[18][19] km Exit Destinations Notes
Missouri St. Louis MehlvilleConcord line 0.000–
1A I-55 north – St. Louis Counterclockwise terminus; exit 197 on I-55
US 61 / US 67 (Lemay Ferry Road) Southbound left exit only
Concord I-55 south – Memphis Southbound exit and northbound entrance; exit 196 on I-55
I-255 east – Chicago Southbound left exit and northbound left entrance; clockwise terminus of I-255
ConcordSappington line 2.162 3.479 2 Route 21 (Tesson Ferry Road)
Sunset Hills 3.903 6.281 3 Route 30 (Gravois Road)
5 I-44 / US 50 / Route 366 east – St. Louis, Tulsa Signed as exits 5A (east) and 5B (west); exit 276 on I-44
Kirkwood 7.888 12.695 7 Big Bend Road Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Des Peres 8.729 14.048 8 Dougherty Ferry Road
9 Route 100 / Lewis and Clark Trail (Manchester Road) Also serves West County Center Drive
Town and Country 12.386–
12 I-64 / US 40 / US 61 / Avenue of the Saints – Wentzville, St. Louis Exit 25 on I-64
Creve Coeur 13.847 22.285 13 Route AB (Ladue Road)
14.993 24.129 14 Route 340 (Olive Boulevard)
Maryland Heights 16.486 26.532 16 Route D east (Page Avenue) Signed as exit 16A southbound; western terminus of Route D
17.082 27.491 Route 364 west – St. Charles Signed as exits 16B southbound; eastern terminus of Route 364, exits 20A-B on route 364
17.945 28.880 17 Dorsett Road Diverging diamond interchange; orientation changes from north–south to east–west
Bridgeton 19.956–
20 I-70 – Kansas City, St. Louis Signed as exits 20A (east) and 20B (west); exits 232A-B on I-70
21.074 33.915 Route 180 (St. Charles Rock Road) / Natural Bridge Road Signed as exit 20C
22B Route 370 – St. Charles County Signed as exit 22 westbound; eastern terminus of Route 370
23.137 37.235 22A Missouri Bottom Road Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
Hazelwood 23.832 38.354 23 McDonnell Boulevard
25 US 67 (Lindbergh Boulevard) Signed as exits 25A (south) and 25B (north) westbound
26.366 42.432 26A I-170 south – Clayton, Lambert–St. Louis International Airport Northern terminus of I-170; exits 10A-B on I-170; full Y interchange
26.888 43.272 26B North Hanley Road / Graham Road
Florissant 27.860 44.836 27 Route N (New Florissant Road)
28.375 45.665 28 Washington Street / Elizabeth Avenue
29.875 48.079 29 West Florissant Avenue
30.580 49.214 30 Route AC (New Halls Ferry Road)
31.120 50.083 30A Old Halls Ferry Road Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
Moline Acres 31.100 50.051 31 Route 367 – St. Louis, Alton IL Signed as exits 31A (south) and 31B (north)
Bellefontaine Neighbors 33.077 53.232 32 Bellefontaine Road
34.062 54.817 33 Lilac Avenue
City of St. Louis 35.167 56.596 34 Riverview Drive (Route H)
Mississippi River 35.339
New Chain of Rocks Bridge
Illinois Madison Chouteau Township 2.73 4.39 3
IL 3 / Great River Road north / Great River Road Spur south – Granite City, Alton
Western end of concurrency with GRR;
signed as exits 3A (south) and 3B (north) eastbound
4.39 7.07 4 IL 203 south / Old Alton Road – Granite City Two interchanges served by collector-distributor roads
5.92 9.53 6 IL 111 / Great River Road south – Pontoon Beach, Wood River Eastern end of concurrency with GRR;
signed as exits 6A (south) and 6B (north)
7.16 11.52 7 I-255 south / IL 255 north – Alton, Memphis Signed as exits 7A (south) and 7B (north) westbound;
exit 30 on I-255
Glen Carbon 9 IL 157 – Collinsville, Edwardsville
11.87 19.10 12 IL 159 – Collinsville, Edwardsville
Pin Oak Township 14.57 23.45 15A I-55 south / I-70 west – St. Louis Eastbound exit and westbound entrance; exit 20B on I-55
15B I-55 north – Chicago, Springfield Exits 20A-B on I-55
I-70 east – Indianapolis Clockwise terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ DeSimone, Tony (October 31, 2002). "Table 2: Auxiliary Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System Of Interstate and Defense Highways as of October 31, 2002". Route Log and Finder List. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved July 8, 2007. 
  2. ^ FAI 270/FAP 413 Final Draft EIS Volume I (Report). 1983. [full citation needed]
  3. ^ deLeon, Peter; Enns, John (September 1973). The Impact of Highways Upon Metropolitan Dispersion: St. Louis (PDF) (Report). Santa Monica, CA: The Rand Corporation. Retrieved January 2, 2012. 
  4. ^ Sonderman, Joe. "May 17" (PDF). St. Louis History. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  5. ^ Rackwitz, Jim (September 14, 1999). "Massive I-270 accident leaves tangled, burning wreckage". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Archived from the original on January 6, 2009. Retrieved January 2, 2012. 
  6. ^ . St. Louis, MO: KMOV-TV  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  7. ^ "FedEx truck crashes, burns on 270". Alton Telegraph. October 30, 2002. p. A1. 
  8. ^ "Interstate 870". 3 Digit Interstates at February 23, 2005. Retrieved July 12, 2006. [unreliable source]
  9. ^ "Variable speed limit begins today on I-270". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Archived from the original on June 25, 2008. 
  10. ^ Leiser, Ken (March 9, 2011). "I-270, I-255 speed signs will be 'advisory'". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved January 2, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Transportation Infrastructure Proposals". Southern Illinois University. Archived from the original on March 13, 2007. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  12. ^ District 8 Staff. "FY 2011–2016 Highway Improvement Program, District 8" (PDF). Illinois Department of Transportation. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  13. ^ Keith, Kevin. "I-270 Improvements from McDonnell Blvd. to the Chain of Rocks Bridge" (PDF). The Case for Capacity. American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  14. ^ "I-270 North". Missouri Department of Transportation. MoDOT. 2013. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  15. ^ Leiser, Ken (February 28, 2011). "MoDOT plans to widen stretch of I-270". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  16. ^ District 6 Traffic Volume and Commercial Vehicle Count Map (PDF) (Map). Cartography by Transportation Planning. Missouri Department of Transportation. 2010. Retrieved January 2, 2012. ]
  17. ^ "I-270 Dorsett/Page Project". Missouri Department of Transportation. October 17, 2010. Archived from the original on March 30, 2014. Retrieved January 20, 2012. 
  18. ^ Missouri Department of Transportation (March 19, 2015). MoDOT HPMAPS (Map). Missouri Department of Transportation. Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  19. ^ Street Atlas USA (Map). DeLorme. 2007. 

External links

Route map: Google

KML is from Wikidata
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