Where Indiana’s National Road fades away

One more old alignment of US 40 and the National Road lurks in western Indiana, and it takes us from West Terre Haute almost to the Illinois border. It’s highlighted in green on this image.

At one time, as best as I can piece together, the road curved south just before it crossed Sugar Creek (at upper right on the image above). The bridge is gone and buildings stand in the former roadway on both sides of the creek, but the old road is accessible via the next crossroads. Here’s the old road westbound.

Old US 40 near Toad Hop

After the road curves again it crosses another little creek. This time, the bridge is still intact.

Old US 40 near Toad Hop

This bridge was built in 1919. Indiana had just formed its first numbered highway system two years before, and the National Road was State Road 3. It wouldn’t become US 40 until 1926.

Old US 40 near Toad Hop

Not far beyond the bridge is one final connection to current US 40. Beyond it, the road fades away. Modern US 40 and I-70 merge just past the end of the road.

Old US 40 near Toad Hop

And so ended my trip along the National Road and US 40 in western Indiana.

On another day, I continued into Illinois. This alignment resumes past the confluence of I-70 and modern-day US 40. It emerges from a woods as a brick road — abandoned for miles and miles. Check it out here and here.

I’ve driven the National Road from its beginning in Baltimore, MD to its end in Vandaila, IL. To read everything I’ve ever written about it, click here.

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8 responses to “Where Indiana’s National Road fades away”

  1. Lone Primate Avatar
    Lone Primate

    Do you mean to say that I-70 is a partial successor of the National Road?

    1. Jim Avatar

      I-70 was built roughly along the US 40/NR corridor across Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. While the two roads are sometimes a couple miles apart, they are also multiplexed in several places. I’m not sure how many of those places are also National Road alignments, as US 40 has been rerouted away from the NR in many places, but I can think of one place between Morristown and Hendrysburg, OH where I-70 sits on top of the old NR — look it up on Google Maps.

  2. David Avatar

    Thus endeth another great tour through road history. Thanks.

    1. Jim Avatar

      Planning to do the NR in eastern Indiana on Halloween!

      1. Lone Primate Avatar
        Lone Primate

        How many states will you do ultimately? :)

        1. Jim Avatar

          I’ve already driven all of it but the Ohio portion from WV west to about Dayton.

  3. Kurt Avatar


    That bridge looks amazingly like the Garro St. bridge in Plymouth-perfectly identical except Garro is on a skew.

    1. Jim Avatar

      Interesting — the Garro St. bridge was built 12 years after this one!

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