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  1. Default Detroit to Kansas City

    We need to stop once somewhere in the middle. Any suggestions? We are traveling with our daughter who is 9 months old.

    Not sure if we should take I80 or I94.

    Thanks in advance!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Almost the same distance

    Welcome to the Roadtrip America forums!

    94 is about 30 miles less travel distance than 80. I'm sorry but I'm not familiar enough with driving in that area to determine if one way is better than the other. Is it roundtrip? If so, I'd drive one going and one returning so you get a nice loop drive.

    I would be worried about going through Chicago and plan to get through there at a time when there won't be rush hour traffic.

    I wouldn't worry about a half-way point to stop for the night. Half-way is at roughly the 380-400 mile mark. Since you'll be traveling on interstate either way you go, there shouldn't be any particularly long stretches without motel options. I would just drive about half-way, give or take a bit depending on how tired you are and how late it is getting, and then start looking for hotels that look inviting.

    Hopefully someone will pop in who can give you some specific advice about those roads and anything you'll want to know to get through Chicago the easiest.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Take I-75 through Toledo, then 475 to US-24. Take that to Fort Wayne, use the 469 bypass to I-69 to Indy. Take 465 East to I-70. Use 270 to bypass St. Louis on the north side. Your halfway point would be around Terre Haute. This is 785 miles and totally avoids the Chicago area.

  4. Default

    Thank you both!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default learning something new

    Your trip helped me learn something new about Googlemaps!

    I will agree with GLC that I would head down to I-70 and avoid Chicago altogether. The route he suggested would be the shortest option, but it might be a bit faster and easier to take either I-75 or I-69 south from Michigan all the way to I-70. Either of those option only adds about 20 miles to the journey and would keep you on the freeway the entire time.

  6. Default

    I was thinking of stopping in Springfield to see some history... it seems the best detour would be to take 36 across from Indianapolis. What type of road is 36? Speed limit? Or would there be a better road if we wanted to detour there?

    Thanks again!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default if it were me

    I would just bite the bullet and take I-94/I-80 around the south edge of Chicago and take I-55 down to Springfield. It is true that you run the risk of hitting traffic around the Gary/Chicago area, but it does make the trip quite a bit shorter. You're not driving right into Chicago, so that should help avoid the most serious backups, but certainly the roads you will be driving on do face the threat of congestion.

    Going down to Indy adds about 70 miles to the trip. If you do go that way, I would take I-74/I-72 instead of US-36. US-36 is a 2 lane road and only saves you about 10 miles, so the route through Champaign should be faster.

    I'm a big fan of the Abe Lincoln Museum and Library, but here are even more Springfield suggestions.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    If you want to go to Springfield, take I-94 across Michigan to I-80 to I-55. Expect heavy congestion between the I-80/I-90/I-94 junction in Burns Harbor to the I-80/I-294 split in Hazel Crest. Plan your trip to get through there between rush hours - it will take you 4 to 5 hours to get there from Detroit, and you gain an hour due to the time zone change. That would tell me that you need to get out of Detroit by 9am or so. Figure a total drive of 8 to 9 hours from Detroit to Springfield - this would be a good overnight stop. There will be a 60 cent toll on I-80 in IL, plan on a possible short delay if you don't have an EZ-Pass or I-Pass.

    It's only about 6 to 7 hours from Springfield to KC. I'm basing the hours on normal fuel, food, and bio/stretch stops. If you need to make a lot of stops - or long stops - the earlier you get out of Detroit, the better off you will be. If you can't make Springfield the first day, there are plenty of hotels available along I-55, keep an eye on the roadsigns before each exit.

  9. Default

    Thank you again! And thanks for the Springfield suggestions.

    Is the traffic near Chicago as bad as near NY City? We did that last year and my husband says he never wants to drive in anything like that again! If it is, we might plan to miss the Chicago area.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default it can be

    Traffic can be such a fickle thing that depends upon when you are there. I've seen significant backups on the part of road you'd be driving on through the Chicago area, but I've driven through on other days when where I've barely had to slow down. Of course, I've also had experience in NY where I've driven into and out of Manhatten without any delays at all, and other days where I've been on I-95 and been stuck in stop and go traffic through the entire state of Connecticut.

    If you have strong feelings about being stuck in traffic, then it wouldn't hurt to head down to Indy. It might take longer, but at least you'll have better odds of always moving.

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