US 52 – Lebanon to Indianapolis

When the Lebanon bypass was in process in being construction, the state wanted federal money to expand the capacity of the road. The decision made by the state, and the requirements put in place by the federal government, was going to ensure that the route of US 52 between the county seat of Boone County and the state capitol would be in a different location.

I have covered before that the route of Interstate 65 at Lebanon was built before the interstate system was even created. It was originally built as a bypass of Lebanon of US 52. The bypass was under construction in 1955. The federal law creating the interstate system came into being in 1956.

The Indianapolis News of 23 June 1955 had the following headline “New Route for U.S. 52 Forced by Federal Aid.” It was simple…the feds demanded, if Indiana wanted half of the cost paid for by the feds, that there be a 300 foot right of way for the new bypass. Which, according to the News, “would take out houses on both sides if the existing road should be widened.”

1955 USGS Topographical Map of the then current US 52 south of the
new Lebanon bypass.

At the time of the article, the Lebanon bypass was half completed (two lane traffic). Interchanges were planned at SR 32 and SR 39. Since new highways classified as limited access, 11 businesses around Lebanon would not have access to the new bypass.

At the same time, the following roads were declared limited access: US 31 between Columbus and Indianapolis; US 52 between the Lebanon bypass and Lafayette bypass; US 52 Lebanon bypass; US 52 from Lafayette to Templeton; US 41 at Morocco; US 41 from the Kankakee River to Schnieder; US 31 at Jeffersonville to SR 131; intersection of US 40 and SR 100 on the east side of Marion County; US 27 south of Fort Wayne; US 24 and US 30 east of Fort Wayne; SR 46 at Bloomington (proposed bypass); US 420 (Tri-State Highway) in Lake County; US 31 north of Uniontown; US 31 on Madison from Southern to Delaware, Indianapolis; SR 37 from Keystone to point north of Noblesville (proposed new Indianapolis-Noblesville highway).

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