Road Trips

Leftover bridge on stub of Old State Road 37 near the Indianapolis city limits

Let’s return to my 2007 road trip along old State Road 37 and the Dixie Highway between Indianapolis and Bloomington.

Windows Live Local map, 2007

Today, SR 37 flows around Indianapolis on I-465 to an exit on the Southwestside a mile or two west of old 37. But after just four miles the new road assumes SR 37’s original alignment. Old SR 37, as Bluff Road, passes through several neighborhoods and crosses Stop 11 Road, a fairly major Southside road. But just south of there, Bluff Road curves, becomes Wicker Road, and intersects with SR 37. A short dead-end segment of Bluff Road continues, as this map shows.

This southbound photo shows where Bluff Road curves. Notice the old edge of the road, which appears as a filled crack and runs south from the lower right side of the photo, past the white line, and across the double-yellow line.

Near the Johnson County Line

This old segment ends where current SR 37 curves into the old alignment’s path. The oncoming cars in the distance once would have come right through where I was standing.

State Road 37

This segment of Bluff Road lacked wide shoulders, except where the bridge crossed. Most bridges I encountered on this trip were little wider than the road, while this one had wide shoulders. Did the road here once have shoulders as wide as the bridge’s, or was the bridge wide in anticipation of expansion? I imagine this segment is typical of the old highway, except perhaps for striping it probably had then.

State Road 37

Most bridges on old SR 37 had closed concrete barriers; this one had arched openings two by two. I’ve not seen another like it in Indiana. According to bridgehunter.com, this bridge was built in 1954. I wonder what kind of bridge was here before.

Bridge railing detail

Just behind the column at the far left of the photo was a worn survey marker. I couldn’t make out all the words but it said “State Highway Commission of Indiana Survey” and mentioned “above sea level.”

Survey marker

Next: a tiny scrap of the original alignment just to the south of here, in northern Johnson County.

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2 thoughts on “Leftover bridge on stub of Old State Road 37 near the Indianapolis city limits

  1. Ah, don’t you love stuff like that? I adore old alignments. There’s such a sense of still being able to imagine what it was like back in the day about them. I recently revisited one of my favourite sites. I really ought to get back to posting about that kind of thing. In any case, thanks for the wander. :)

    • I don’t take road trips now anywhere near as often as I used to. Life just gets in the way. If it weren’t for my project to bring my old road reports from my old site to this one, the blog wouldn’t have anything to say about the old roads at all right now!

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