Illinois Route 161

Illinois Route 161 (abbreviated IL 161) is an eastwest highway with its western terminus at St. Clair Avenue in Fairview Heights and its official eastern terminus at Illinois Route 37 near Kell. This is an official distance of 67.24 miles (108.21 km).[1]

Illinois Route 161
Route information
Maintained by IDOT
Length67.24 mi[1] (108.21 km)
Major junctions
West endSt. Clair Avenue in Fairview Heights
  I-64 in New Baden
US 51 in Centralia
I-57 in Kell
East end IL 37 in Kell
CountiesSt. Clair, Clinton, Marion
Highway system
IL 160IL 162

The road continues, as various county routes, eastbound beyond Illinois 37 to Allendale at Illinois Route 1. To locals, this part of the highway is known as "The Extension", referring to the fact that road "Extends" on after its official end.

Route description

Illinois 161 runs along portions of what once was U.S. Route 50 west of Scott Air Force Base. East of Belleville, it becomes a rural, two-lane surface road. Inside the Centralia city limits, Illinois 161 is coupled into eastbound Noleman Street and westbound McCord Street.


SBI Route 161 originally ran from Belleville to Carlyle; in 1941 it was rerouted from Carlyle to IL 37 at its current eastern end, replacing IL 182.[3] In 1964 it was extended west to Fairview Heights.[2]

Major intersections

St. ClairFairview Heights0.00.0 IL 157 Centreville, CaseyvilleWestern terminus of IL 161
Swansea6.510.5 IL 159 (Illinois St) Fairview Heights, Belleville
12.219.6 IL 158 east (Air Mobility Dr)West end of IL 158 concurrency
13.221.2 IL 158 west ColumbiaEast end of IL 158 concurrency
Mascoutah17.628.3 IL 4 Lebanon, Mascoutah
New Baden21.835.1 I-64 East St. Louis, Mt. VernonI-64 exit 27
Clinton24.038.6 IL 160 Trenton
43.069.2 IL 127 Carlyle, Nashville
MarionCentralia55.088.5 US 51 south (Poplar St) Du QuoinOne-way pair
55.188.7 US 51 north (Elm St) VandaliaOne-way pair
66.0106.2 I-57 Effingham, Mt. VernonI-57 exit 109
67.24108.21 IL 37Eastern terminus of IL 161
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. Illinois Technology Transfer Center (2006). "T2 GIS Data". Retrieved 2007-11-08.
  2. Carlson, Rich (2005-04-15). "Illinois Highways Page: Routes 161 thru 180". Retrieved 2006-07-22.
  3. "New State Road Map Completed". Edwardsville Intelligencer. March 22, 1941. p. 2. Retrieved November 6, 2015 via
  4. Google (March 9, 2017). "Overview Map of IL 161" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
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