Saturday, June 17, 2006

I-55: Ninth Circle of Hell

It typically takes me 1 hour and 45 minutes to get the Des Plaines River bridge on I-55 from my house in Peoria (including one bathroom/gas stop), and then another 45 minutes or so (accounting for Chicago traffic) to get to my parents' house north of the city, for a total travel time of about 2 1/2 hours.


About 3 miles back of the Des Plaines River bridge, we spent about 45 minutes in stop-and-go traffic because of an accident. We got free of that, were going a speedy 70 mph, and suddenly ran into THE TRAFFIC BACKUP FROM HELL.

It occurred because of an accident that closed all of northbound I-55 (at the bridge over 53) and, sadly, involved fatalities. Still, it took us MORE THAN TWO HOURS once we landed in the backup to get to the very next exit (which was 53) so we could get off I-55 ... with everyone else on the whole damned highway, as all of I-55 was being routed off onto 53 for more than 3 hours. We actually stopped at IHOP because we'd intended to be in Chicago at around 12:30 and it was now 3 p.m. and we had had no food since breakfast, and because I just couldn't handle any more sitting in traffic at that point. (God bless IHOP. The dude who was our server got the biggest tip ever. I was SO HUNGRY.)

We left Peoria around 10:30 and got to my parents' house areound 4:30. I drove the whole way (there was no good place to change drivers while sitting in traffic on I-55), and my calf has been twitching ever since from having to ride the brake for nearly 3 hours total.

I'm so grumped-out. I can't even think of a clever "donate to the Peoria PlayHouse" tagline because I'm so exhausted from the six-hour drive from HELL. I promise to be funny on Monday or so. If I can manage to survive I-55 again. It'll be a near thing. Donate anyway.


Anonymous said...

Try 39 t0 88. You don't have to put up with the Joliet-area bottleneck.

brian said...

You've never had the joy of experiencing Los Angeles traffic have you......