Between 1919 and 1950, the Indiana State Highway Commission was expanding, almost exponentially, as money would allow. I’ve already discussed roads like The Riley Highway, and The Minute Man Route, among others. Today, I would like to focus on little snippets found in newspapers that discuss state roads that would come to be. The proposals themselves will be mentioned. Some of the roads included, which seem like main roads that should have been on the short list of original state roads, are major roads today.
The Scott County Journal of 25 September 1929, reported that a highway booster meeting in New Washington was very interested in adding another state road to the list. “Considerable effort is being made by interested citizens to have the State Highway Commission take over this road in connection with the proposed State road extending from North Vernon south to Jeffersonville.” The effort is being made to get the road from Jeffersonville to Hanover, via Charleston made a state highway. Both of these roads would make it into the state system as of the 1933 Indiana Official State Highway Map as SR 3 (in the quote above) and SR 62.
Another road proposed, even before the Great Renumbering, was a road north out of Fort Wayne through Leo, Spencerville and St. Joe to end at Butler. The proposal was mentioned in the Garrett Clipper of 26 July 1926. The road would take some time to get into the system. The first section would be added after 1930, connecting US 27 toward Leo to Auburn, where the road would end at US 27 again. It was given the designation SR 1. The proposed route would be listed as an authorized addition in 1932. It would be added in time for the 1933 official map.
While this road was already in place with the Great Renumbering in 1926, the “proposed” part of this road would show up on the ISHC radar in 1944 as a post-war project. The proposal, according to the Columbus Herald of 13 September 1944, called for a new bridge across the White River at Second Street in Columbus. Also, “survey will be made soon for proposed state road between Columbus and Nashville announced by the State Highway Commission of Indiana.” This project would eliminate a number of turns and curves from the already existent route. This would also, potentially, eliminate some of the curves approaching the then current Second Street bridge.
As mentioned in the post “Road Trip 1926: SR 39,” there were two sections of that road. But on the Facebook Group version of this blog, I was asked about the third section of that route. That section runs southeast from Brownstown to SR 56. The Tribune (Seymour) of 14 September 1937 mentions that the proposed SR 39 would connect to US 31 near Henryville as a relief route for said US 31 for traffic coming north from Louisville. While the complete route was never built, it is provide potential relief using SR 56 to SR 39, thus using SR 135 north to Indianapolis.
Another proposed route, that would first appear on maps as SR 17 connected Kokomo to Logansport. This route, according to the Logansport Pharos-Tribune of 08 August 1933, would use the old interurban right-of-way between the two cities. That interurban route ran along side the Pennsylvania Railroad tracks that connected the same two points. It was proposed, and added to maps, to become SR 17 in the beginning. It appeared on the Official Highway Maps of 1937 and 1941 as such (but not the maps between those two years). When it was completed in 1941, for the 1942 Official Map, it had been redesignated US 35, which already connected the two cities via SR 22 and SR 29, the latter being truncated (albeit temporarily) at the Burlington junction of SR 22/SR 29/US 35.
These are but a few of the proposals for highways in Indiana over the years. I will be covering more of them in the future.