Today, I want to share some paragraphs of articles that I started to write, and ended up forgetting them as information about the subject became harder and harder to come by. Some of this stuff has been waiting in the “draft” bin for almost two months. And every day, I try to look for some more information to no avail.
Short Lived State Roads: My goal was to write an article about state roads that came and went, usually within a decade or so.
Over the past century, there have state roads that have come and gone in Indiana. Most of these roads were short connectors between other state roads. Some of them were created and removed within a decade.
SR 407: “Daughters” of SR 7 tend not to last long. So is the story of SR 407. North of North Vernon, on both SR 3 and SR 7 was a connector road that was created in 1933. On the SR 7 end, it connected at Queensville. Moving its way up Geneva Road out of Queensville, then turned east on County Road 500N. The road ended at SR 3. By 1938, SR 407 was removed from the state highway system.
SR 9W: At one time, SR 9 connected from US 50 to SR 7. The route of SR 9 south of SR 7 traveled through Elizabethtown, then turned south along what is now US 31 southeast of Columbus. West of Elizabethtown, a short connector road went due north to SR 7. This road was called SR 9W. It shows as under construction in 1938, and completed in 1939. By 1941, a US 31 bypass was being built around Columbus…but the route of US 31 had been changed to follow SR 7 to what had already been renamed from SR 9W to US 31. The rest of SR 9 south of Elizabethtown was also changed to US 31 at that time.
Bluff Road Bridge Over the Illinois Central/Indiana Railroad: I had planned to write this article about this overpass. I found information about when it was (repeatedly) closed and finally demolished. But nothing about when it was built.
Reconstruction work on the deteriorating span was scheduled in both 1971 and 1977. The Indianapolis Transportation Board posted a long list of bridge projects for that year in newspapers in mid May 1971 and early April 1977. By 1984, the city was looking at removing the bridge all together. Unfortunately, getting the right of way to do this proved troublesome. The bridge was built with very little clearance when it came to the actual right-of-way used. It was suggested by John Willen, DOT Chief Engineer, that land acquisition was a problem, and that the bridge would not be replaced due to decreased rail traffic at that location.
In September 1986, the city of Indianapolis introduced a resolution to implement a five ton weight limit on the overpass. The notification of the resolution in the newspapers of the time stated “whereas, the Indianapolis Department of Transportation Street Engineering Division was notified that certain portions of this structure had a stage of deterioration.” Prior to this, the bridge had had a ten ton weight limit. In May 1987, the bridge was closed completely as the city of Indianapolis decided it would be better off replacing the structure with an at-grade crossing. The city reported that the work would be completed by 15 July 1987.
National Road: Admittedly, this one died because I found this article, and wrote this paragraph…then nothing. I stopped there not knowing where I wanted to go with it.
The last contract for the complete widening of US 40 across Indiana was issued in August 1944. The Calumet Paving Company of Indianapolis submitted the low bid for the 10.75 miles of 22-foot concrete pavement between Dunreith and Dublin. The bid was $768,034. “Building of the new strip will complete multiple-laning of U.S. 40 between Richmond and Terre Haute.” (Source: Indianapolis Star, 24 August 1944)
I still have all three of these articles in draft status. And I continue to look for more information. So it may be that these articles will come back to life some day.