U.S. Route 50 in Illinois

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U.S. Route 50

US 50 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by IDOT
Length165.79 mi[1] (266.81 km)
Major junctions
West end I-255 / US 50 in Columbia
Major intersections
East end US 50 in Lawrenceville
CountryUnited States
CountiesMonroe, St. Clair, Clinton, Marion, Clay, Richland, Lawrence
Highway system
IL 49 IL 50
US 12IL 12 IL 13

U.S. Route 50 (US 50) in the state of Illinois is an east–west highway across the southern portion of the state. It runs from the Jefferson Barracks Bridge, over the Mississippi River, to Missouri east, to the Red Skelton Memorial Bridge, over the Wabash River and to Indiana. This is a distance of 165.79 miles (266.81 km).[1]

Route description

US 50 runs east–west across the southern portion of the state, between Interstate 70 (I-70) to the north and I-64 to the south. Along many portions of US 50, the road has been moved onto either a bypass or an expressway.

Missouri state line to Flora

After US 50 and I-255 leave Mehlvile and enter Columbia, they then run concurrently with Illinois Route 3 (IL 3), as well as the Great River Road, at a directional T interchange (exit 6). At a trumpet interchange (exit 10), IL 3 and the Great River Road leave the freeway. Further northeast, they meet IL 157 at a parclo interchange with five ramps, Mousette Lane at a diamond interchange, IL 15 at a cloverleaf interchange, and State Street at a four-ramp parclo interchange. At the next interchange, US 50 moves off I-255 to I-64 at a cloverleaf interchange with collector–distributor lanes. Once US 50 moves onto I-64, it continues eastward. They meet IL 157 at a four-ramp parclo, IL 159 at a six-ramp parclo, and a few other interchanges before they reach another cloverleaf. At that point, US 50 turns north from I-64, briefly overlapping IL 158 until US 50 turns east.

In Lebanon, US 50 turns north and then east via IL 4. As it continues eastward, it remains a two-lane undivided highway. North of Trenton and Breese, each part of US 50 briefly becomes a four-lane divided highway with one diamond interchange each (one with IL 160 and one with Jamestown Road respectively). Each section reverts to an undivided highway.

In Carlyle, US 50 turns south and then back east (overlapping IL 127). In Sandoval, it turns north and then back east again (overlapping US 51). In Salem, it meets I-57 west of downtown and IL 37 within downtown.[2]

Flora to Indiana state line

As US 50 meanders eastward, it eventually reaches US 45 north of Flora. At that point, US 45 runs concurrently with US 50. Then, it branches off south from US 50. Further east, it reaches Salem. At that point, IL 250 begins west of Noble and then travels northeast to downtown Noble and Olney. As US 50 intersects IL 130 south of Olney, IL 250 overlaps US 50.

Just north of Sumner, IL 250 moves off south to Sumner and Bridgeport. Just northwest of Lawrenceville, US 50 Business begins; it serves downtown Lawrenceville. Across the Embarras River, US 50 reaches a one-quadrant interchange with IL 1.

East of Lawrenceville, US 50 becomes a four-lane divided highway for the rest of its run in the state. It meets US 50 Business at an incomplete interchange, a diamond interchange, and IL 33 at a modified diamond interchange before exiting Illinois.[2]


Much of US 50 in Illinois, especially the section between Carlyle and Vincennes, lies atop or adjacent to the trail taken by George Rogers Clark and his 170 volunteers in the forlorn-hope march on Vincennes in February 1779.

Illinois Route 12

LocationMissouri state line–Indiana state line

Up until 1935, Illinois Route 12 (IL 12) followed roughly along the old alignment of US 50 from the Missouri state line east of St. Louis to the Indiana state line west of Vincennes, IN.[4] By 1935, IL 12 was decommissioned.[5]

US 50 between Lebanon and Carlyle was moved to a northern alignment in October 1986 that bypassed several communities, including Trenton and Aviston.[6]

As of 2011, much of US 50 is a two-lane highway, but portions around Lawrenceville and Vincennes are configured as a four-lane, limited access bypass, built to Interstate Highway standards in the 1960s. Another modern bypass portion between O'Fallon and IL 127 shows evidence of a four-lane right of way as each bridge is paralleled by a second that remains unused and the graded roadbed for additional lanes is visible.

Major intersections

Mississippi River0.000.00

I-255 west / US 50 west – Memphis, Tulsa
Continuation into Missouri
Jefferson Barracks Bridge
IL 3 south
Southern end of IL 3 concurrency
St. Clair7.211.6
IL 3 north – Cahokia
Northern end of IL 3 concurrency
9.515.3 IL 157
East St. Louis13.321.4 IL 15

I-64 west / I-255 north – St. Louis, Chicago
Northern end of I–255 concurrency; western end of I–64 concurrency
Fairview Heights17.928.8 IL 157
21.434.4 IL 159
I-64 east / IL 158
Eastern end of I–64 concurrency
IL 4 south – Mascoutah
Southern end of IL 4 concurrency
IL 4 north
Northern end of IL 4 concurrency
ClintonTrenton40.164.5 IL 160
IL 127 north
Northern end of IL 127 concurrency
IL 127 south
Southern end of IL 127 concurrency
US 51 south – Centralia
Southern end of US 51 concurrency
US 51 north – Vandalia
Northern end of US 51 concurrency
Salem80.4129.4 I-57 – Mt. Vernon, Effingham
81.8131.6 IL 37 – Mt. Vernon, Effingham
US 45 north – Effingham
Western end of US 45 concurrency
US 45 south – Fairfield
Eastern end of US 45 concurrency
IL 250 east
Western terminus of IL 250
IL 250 west / IL 130
Western end of IL 250 concurrency
IL 250 east
Eastern end of IL 250 concurrency

US 50 Bus. east
Western terminus of US 50 BUS
152.2244.9 IL 1 – Lawrenceville, Marshall

US 50 Bus. west
Eastern terminus of US 50 BUS
IL 33 north
Southern terminus of IL 33
Wabash River165.79266.81
US 50 east – Vincennes
Indiana state line
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b Illinois Technology Transfer Center (2007). "T2 GIS Data". Retrieved November 8, 2007.
  2. ^ a b c Google (March 19, 2017). "Overview Map of US 50" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  3. ^ Carlson, Rich. "Illinois Highways Page: Routes 21 thru 40". Retrieved November 22, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Illinois Secretary of State; Rand McNally (1934). Official Road Map Illinois (Map). [c. 1:950,000 and c. 1:1,110,000]. Springfield: Illinois Secretary of State. OCLC 183709045 – via Illinois Digital Archives.
  5. ^ a b Illinois Secretary of State; H.M. Gousha (1935). Official Road Map Illinois (Map). [c. 1:950,000 and c. 1:1,110,000]. Springfield: Illinois Secretary of State – via Illinois Digital Archives.
  6. ^ Goodrich, Robert (August 17, 1987). "Rt. 50 Bypass Not Cause Of Failure, Businesses Say". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. p. I1. Retrieved June 6, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.

External links

U.S. Route 50
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