Two digit state road numbers in Indiana are generally used for major roads. In the history of the state highway system, this guideline has left the highest two digit state road number to be 75. (Yes, I have made the case, and will continue to make it, that there were two three digit “two digit” roads in Indiana – SR 135 and SR 100.) With the building of Camp Atterbury, the largest major state road number would be SR 79 for a while.
Camp Atterbury is located in southern Johnson County and northern Bartholomew County. Its construction would have a great effect on the state highway system was it was in the early 1940’s. Among other things, the routing of SR 252 from Morgantown to US 31 had been changed. And US 31 had been completely moved and rebuilt by the Indiana State Highway Commission through the same period. Especially near Edinburgh, the closest town to the new Army facility.
When US 31 was being rerouted to the west of Edinburgh, the old route through the town, which included SR 252 and Eisenhower Drive, would be given a new state road number – 79. Other bypasses of US 31 in the state created different state road numbers. The bypasses in both northern and southern Marion County, and adjacent areas of Hamilton and Johnson Counties, would be given the number SR 431. Bartholomew County’s replaced US 31 would become US 31A, then SR 11. Today, from South Bend north to the Michigan state line, the old US 31 is SR 933, and in southern St. Joseph County, and near Kokomo, it is called SR 931.
SR 79 came into existence with the bypass of Edinburgh. This bypass was completed in the time frame of 1942-1943, and was a direct result of the creation of Camp Atterbury. This designation would last from around 1943 to 1964, when it was completely removed from state records. The bypass around Edinburgh was also built as part of the plan to create a dual-lane highway along the US 1 corridor from Indianapolis south to Jeffersonville. Some that project was never finished to this day. That project would create bypasses, in Johnson County, or Greenwood, Franklin. Amity and Edinburgh.