Until the late 1930s and early 1940s, US 40 was a two-lane highway across Indiana. For the most part, when it was widened to four lanes it was done where the highway already existed. But from the west end of Brazil, in Clay County, to the Vigo County line, a brand new US 40 was built just south of the old. The old US 40 remained a state highway, however, and was given the number 340.

Imagery ©2021 IndianaMap Framework Data, Landsat/Copernicus, Maxar Technologies, USDA Farm Service Agency. Map data ©2021 Google.

Here’s where State Road 340 begins on Brazil’s west edge. US 40 is on the left, and SR 340 is on the right.

US 40/SR 340 (old 40) split

There isn’t much on SR 340 — a couple schools, a couple cemeteries, a bunch of residences and farms, and the unincorporated towns of Billtown and Cloverland.

WB SR 340 - old US 40 - W of Brazil IN

What I like about SR 340 is that it gives a very good idea of what US 40 would be like today had it been improved over the years in its original two-lane configuration.

WB SR 340 in Clay Co.

All of these photos are westbound, including this one from the gas station that stands where SR 340 (on the right) merges with US 40 (on the left) at the Vigo County line.

Where US 40 (left) and SR 340/old US 40 (right) converge

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.


17 responses to “State Road 340, an original alignment of US 40 and the National Road in Clay County, Indiana”

  1. Lone Primate Avatar
    Lone Primate

    Strange that SR 340 looks like the more direct route. It’s usually the other way around.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      My guess is that it was impractical for some reason to widen 40 to 4 lanes here, and they had to build the new one to the south.

  2. J P Avatar

    This is interesting, as I never noticed 340 before on the times I have taken 40 in that area. This could be a fun detour for a change of scenery.

    This makes me presume that SR 431 is the former US 31 from before it went to 4 lanes?

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      It’s a nice detour and I almost always take it over 40 here.

      Keystone Parkway, former 431, was never 31. For a while Westfield Blvd. was 31, and when new 31 was built Westfield was 431 for a short while. But numbers like 340 and 431 just mean that there is a parent highway, 40 or 31, that this road connects to.

      1. J P Avatar

        Doh! My comment came before coffee, and you are totally right.

  3. brandib1977 Avatar

    I totally missed 340. My list of reasons to go back is growing!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      You have to know it’s there! Now you do.

      1. brandib1977 Avatar

        It’s like a secret club!

  4. James Hanes Avatar
    James Hanes

    Have ridden my bicycle on 340 a bunch of times. It beats “new” US 40.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      One reason I did this bike ride was so that I could take in 340 at 10 mph! It’s hard to find places to pull over in the car on this road, when you’re documenting a road on a road trip.

  5. tbm3fan Avatar

    Fill me in here. I have to take US 40 from Bakersfield to Las Vegas next week. So I followed US 40 all the way after reading this. I found it starting around Raleigh, NC. I assume it is not even called US 40, but another number, in Indiana now? Meaning the US 40 of today is not the US 40 of yesteryear and it has also lost it’s number to the south.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      US 40 in Indiana follows the same corridor it has since it was named in 1927! The road has been straightened and widened, is all.

      1. tbm3fan Avatar

        So we have two US 40 Routes in this country. One originates in North Carolina to California called I-40 and the other in New Jersey to Utah through Indiana called US 40. Details, details…

  6. Jim Lucas Avatar
    Jim Lucas

    There are a lot of stories that 340 could tell. Some of the land that was used for the newer part used to be in my family.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I hope your family got a good price for the land the state used!

  7. Rayne DeVivo Avatar

    I had a friend in high school whose parents built a home on 340, near the Terre Haute side split. He had grown up on the top floor of a TH funeral parlor and the new home out in the country was so pastoral and pretty. I also think we went that way to reach the place we swam, Isaac Walton.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I hadn’t thought about Isaac Walton in a long time.

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