Crossroads of America

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Interstates in Indiana

The Crossroads of America is a nickname given to the state of Indiana as it, and, more specifically, the city of Indianapolis is the hub for several major Interstate highways that criss-cross the state, connecting Hoosiers to the rest of the United States.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA - the ‘Crossroads of America’.

U.S. Route 66 (colloquially known as the Main Street of America or the Mother Road), is a highway, which became one of the most famous roads in America. It originally ran from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma (OKC), Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, before ending at Los Angeles, California, covering a total of 2,448 miles (3,940 km).

Much of Route 66 (from OKC westwards), is paralleled or overlaid by Interstate 40: Wilmington, North Carolina to Barstow, California. Interstate 35, from Laredo, Texas to Duluth, Minnesota, crosses Interstate 40 at OKC, thus the city’s nickname.

First Crossroads[edit]

In the early days of cross-country travel (by horse and wagon), Terre Haute, Indiana benefitted by its location on the old National Road between Indianapolis and Vandalia, Illinois. The National Road was later named U.S. Highway 40 when it was made a U.S. highway in 1926.

At about the same time, U.S. Highway 41 was commissioned between Chicago, Illinois and Miami, Florida. This north-south highway through downtown Terre Haute followed Seventh Street at the time, and met U.S. 40, which followed Wabash Avenue, the main east-west street in town. The Seventh and Wabash intersection thus became known as the "Crossroads of America," an appellation now memorialized with a historical marker at that corner. Vandalia, Ohio has also been called, at one time, the Crossroads of America due to U.S. Highway 40 and the eastern division of the Dixie Highway crossing in the middle of the town. I-75 and I-70 cross in Vandalia as well.


The Interstates that make up the Crossroads and intersect the Indianapolis beltway, Interstate 465, are as follows:

Interstates that serve northern Indiana, but not Indianapolis, are as follows:

Southern Indiana has its own Interstates as well, which, like their northern Indiana counterparts, do not serve Indianapolis but do link the southern portion of the state with other major metropolitan areas like St. Louis, Missouri, Louisville, Kentucky, and Cincinnati, Ohio. These are as follows:

Interstate 275, the Cincinnati beltway, is interesting in that it serves Indiana only briefly, with a single interchange in the state at U.S. Highway 50.