Illinois Roads - US 66 - Livingston Co.

Former US 66, Livingston County

Picking up where I left off in McLean County, following the former WB lanes in pieces as I head east to Pontiac.

A look back west as former US 66 fills back out into its four-lane divided glory.

Ladd St. (to Lincoln Ave., Division St., and Pontiac Rd.) was the original US 66 routing before Pontiac was bypassed. There's a longish dead-end south of Reynolds St., which I follow here southwest until it ends just short of merging back into the upgraded four-lane.

Pontiac ruined history by repainting this historic bridge. There was an original 1920s-early 1930s IL 4 shield here, fading but very visible and authentic, into the late 2000s. Shortly before I got there, someone had the ridiculous "bright idea" of preserving it by destroying it. I hope the original shield is under this paint, and that this paint will be chipped away by someone who cares about history to restore its former appearance. If you're up for the task, it's on the Lincoln Ave. part of old US 66, southbound. (IL 4 only made it this far north until 1935, which is why I know so well when the bridge stamp dates to.)

Continuing east on the Mother Road north of Pontiac, until it's about to become the eastern I-55 frontage. This is the only signed turnout I came across, so let's have a look.

This is a roadgeek's own turnout - just a chance to get out and walk on a piece of old 66. Here I'm looking back southwest toward Pontiac along former US 66 WB. It has probably been abandoned since the 1970s, judging from its condition.

Specks of former right and left shoulder striping.

US 66 WB was overrun by what's now I-55 NB, so there's nowhere to go after the turnout. As overgrown as the road is to the south, the remaining concrete slabs to the north are barely visible.

This was clearly meant for WB traffic, and dates to the 1960s or at the latest 1970s, the only time when both routes coexisted.

One of the well-preserved US 66 gas stations is on the original route in Odell, so I head off the bypass and northeast into town. The sign in the second photo really should have a date beneath it (1926 or 1930 to whenever the bypass was constructed), because both right and straight are former US 66.

EB nearing Dwight on the old four-lane, and switching to the original two-lane Odell Rd. in the last photo. Odell is only one block east of the main drag. Downward arrows are for freeway entrances, which this is not.

The Odell Rd. alignment continues north into Waupansie St. The first photo looks north at an old alignment continuing straight as Waupansie/US 66 curve right, and the second photo looks back west at that former alignment's culvert crossing. That's not actually a former US 66 routing, it's just where 66 once diverged from a grid road (N 2600 E). Even after the Dwight bypass was built, this spur continued straight from here, across divided US 66, into the remaining mile or so of road that still exists. The north end of the old alignment is still a gravel driveway, the bridge is intact, and hardly anyone would use it, so I don't see why it was removed. (The railroad crossing is north of where N 2600 E diverges from the 66 bypass, so is unrelated to this abandonment.)

Westbound courtesy Doug Kerr, technically starting in Grundy County, as I head west to the Dwight turnoff in the third photo. Southern Illinois does great with signing different eras of US 66 routes where they diverge, but up here there is apparently only one route at a time. Doug's photos show off the original lane striping still on the WB side in 2006.

Continue west on old US 66 to McLean County
Continue east on old US 66 to IL 53

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