Indiana 37 North - Lawrence & Monroe Counties

Guide by Thomas Decker.

Indiana 37 north
Indiana 37 expands to four lanes for the first time as it enters the town of Mitchell (population 4,567). Mitchell is best known as the birthplace of astronaut Gus Grissom and of the nearby Spring Mill State Park. Photo taken 12/18/11.
Indiana 37 approaches the junction with Indiana 60 East. Indiana 60 is a 62-mile highway from Huron, in adjacent Martin County, across Lawrence County, through Mitchell and then southeast toward Salem in Orange County before ending at Interstate 65 in Sellersburg north of Louisville, Kentucky. Indiana 60 actually follows Indiana 37 for a brief multiplex around the west side of town before continuing off to the west. Photo taken 12/18/11.
A flasher light marks the intersection between Indiana 37 and Indiana 60 East. Indiana 60 East heads east toward Spring Mill State Park, the Gus Grissom Memorial, and the Washington County seat of Salem. Indiana 60 West follows Indiana 37 for the multiplex along the west side. Photo taken 12/18/11.
Indiana 37 north & 60 west
A view of the Indiana 37/Indiana 60 multiplex along the four-lane bypass of Mitchell. Photo taken 12/18/11.
Indiana 60 prepares to split from Indiana 37 and continue west toward Huron and U.S. 50. Photo taken 12/18/11.
Indiana 60 doesn't actually reach Shoals, but U.S. 50 does. The Marin County seat is about ten miles to the west. To the right of the intersection the road becomes Main Street leading to Downtown Mitchell. Photo taken 12/18/11.
A view of the stoplight at Indiana 37 and Indiana 60 West/Main Street, the only stoplight in Mitchell along Indiana 37. Photo taken 12/18/11.
Indiana 37 north
Now leaving Mitchell, Bedford, the county seat of Lawrence County is nine miles away and Bloomington is 31 miles. Photo taken 12/18/11.
Outside of Mitchell, Indiana 37 becomes a four expressway at it heads north toward Bedford. The highway goes up and down a little but remains relatively flat as it approaches the junction with U.S. 50 West. Photos taken 12/18/11.
Indiana 37 approaches the junction with U.S. 50 West. A guide sign announces the control cities of Shoals and Vincennes. Shoals, the county seat of adjacent Martin County, is located about 22 miles from this junction, while Vincennes, located on the Wabash River, is about 70 miles away. Photo taken 12/18/11.
U.S. 50, a 3,000-mile U.S. highway that stretches from Sacramento, California to Ocean City, Maryland joins Indiana 37 for a three mile multiplex along Indiana 37 across the East Fork of the White River, and along the west side of Bedford. Photo taken 12/18/11.
U.S. 50 east & Indiana 37 north
North of the U.S. 50 West intersection, Indiana 37/U.S. 50 East get ready to cross the East Fork of the White River and the only interchange in Lawrence County, where both highways will "exit" off of the Old U.S. 50, known locally as Mitchell Road. Photo taken 12/18/11.
Now a half mile away from the interchange with Mitchell Road (Old U.S. 50) with U.S. 50 east & Indiana 37 north. Photo taken 12/18/11.
U.S. 50 & Indiana 37 crosses the East Fork of the White River via the George C. Hawkins Memorial Bridge. At this point, the highway is following the routing of U.S. 50 rather than Indiana 37. The piers of the older bridge structure that carried U.S. 50 can be viewed to the north while crossing the river, easily the largest river that Indiana 37 crosses along its route. Photo taken 12/18/11.
U.S. 50 east & Indiana 37 north exit off of Mitchell Road (Old U.S. 50) which continued ahead into Bedford. Mitchell Road used to be U.S. 50, as it approaches Downtown Bedford. U.S. 50 now follows Indiana 37 a couple of miles to the north before heading east across the town via 16th Street. Here, Indiana 37 goes down to one lane as it exits off the highway, but becomes two lanes as soon as the ramp begins its turn to the north. Mitchell Road itself is not marked, only represented by a sign that just says Bedford, but clearly there was once a sign that carried U.S. 50 on it. Photo taken 12/18/11.
Indiana 37/U.S. 50 East ascends the valley of the East Fork of the White River as Limestone outcroppings line the highway. A "Welcome to Bedford" sign welcomes motorists as they climb up from the valley. To the right is an entrance ramp from southbound Mitchell Road (Old U.S. 50). Photo taken 12/18/11.
North of the interchange with Mitchell Road (U.S. 50 Business), Bloomington is 23 miles away. Indianapolis, Indiana's capital and largest city makes its first appearance as the main control city for northbound Indiana 37. Indy is 71 miles north of Bedford. Photo taken 12/18/11.
A sign announces the two main "exits" for Bedford, for U.S. 50 East (2 miles) and Indiana 58 East (2 3/4 miles.) Despite the sign, both are at-grade signalized intersections and not actually exits. Photo taken 12/18/11.
This unique crane structure welcomes travelers on both sides of Indiana 37 to Bedford and proclaims it as the "Limestone Capital of the World." The crane can be seen getting ready to lift up a piece of Indiana Limestone. Bedford (population 13,413) is the county seat of Lawrence County and sits at the hub of Indiana 37 and U.S. 50. Photo taken 06/13/09.
Indiana 37 from Bedford north to Indianapolis is called the Ruel W. Steele, after the politician who helped to get the highway expanded to four-lanes through this part of the state. However, like most "named" highways in Indiana, the highway isn't referred to by its name. Photo taken 12/18/11.
There are a few intersections along this stretch as the highway links up with the south side of Bedford, but only 29th Street has a stoplight with it. There are still a few businesses along this stretch of highway, but the highway remains free-flowing. Photos taken 12/18/11.
U.S. 50 east and Indiana 37 north prepare to part ways at junction Indiana 450 (16th Street). Indiana 450 connects Bedford with Shoals via a 27 mile winding highway that started at U.S. 50 in Shoals. SR 450 ventures 9.3 miles west to Williams and the Williams Dam. The state route splits with Indiana 158 nearby for Fayetteville and Silverville. Photo taken 12/18/11.
U.S. 50 east turns east onto Indiana 450 (16th Street) from Indiana 37 north. U.S. 50 was originally routed from the southwest of Bedford along Mitchell Road northeast toward downtown while Indiana 450 was routed along 16th Street east to meet U.S. 50 at M Street. This explains why Indiana 450 is still routed alongside U.S. 50 for the first couple of miles from Indiana 37 to the downtown.
Cincinnati, Ohio is also listed as a destination for U.S. 50. The Queen City is 126 miles to the east of Bedford along U.S. 50. Photo taken 12/18/11.
Indiana 37 north
Now along the west side of Bedford, Indiana 37 remains an expressway with most of the retail for the community abutting the highway along the east side. Up ahead is the intersection with John A. Williams Boulevard, a newly created four-lane road that links Indiana 37 with Lincoln Avenue (Old Indiana 37) in the heart of Bedford. This provides an alternative way into Downtown Bedford from Indiana 37. Photo taken 12/18/11.
Now at the intersection with John A. Williams Boulevard. Most of the restaurants and shops along Indiana 37 line James Avenue, just east of Indiana 37. Since there are no driveways off of Indiana 37, James Avenue, along with Constitution Avenue to the north provide access to most of the retail near the highway. Both roads can be reached from John A. Williams Boulevard. Photo taken 12/18/11.
Indiana 37 now approaches the junction with Indiana 58 East. Indiana 58 is a 122 mile road that begins at the Wabash River town of Merom and ends at Interstate 65 outside of Columbus. Photo taken 12/18/11.
This is where Indiana 58 heads east from Indiana 37. Indiana 58 is known as 5th Street as it heads across the north side of Bedford. East of Bedford, the highway winds through the heart of the Hoosier National Forest as it does not touch another town of significant size before its interchange with Interstate 65. North of this intersection, Indiana 58 multiplexes for the next three miles. Photo taken 12/18/11.
Indiana 37 north & 58 west
Some views of Indiana 37/Indiana 58 West as they head northwest out of Bedford and around the town of Oolitic, which lies to the east of the highway. The limestone rock cuts become more common along this stretch of Indiana 37. Both Lawrence and Monroe Counties are known for their Indiana Limestone and are together called the Stone Belt. Photos taken 12/18/11.
Up ahead is the Main Street/Patton Hill Road intersection, providing a quick link into the community of Oolitic (population 1,184). Originally named Limestone, Oolitic is home of some of the largest limestone quarries in the world, located just east of this intersection. Among the most famous projects using Indiana Limestone include the Empire State Building and the Pentagon. Main Street through Oolitic is also the older State Road 37, which went through Oolitic before going through Bedford. Now Indiana 37 bypasses both communities to the west. Photo taken 12/18/11.
Now approaching the point where Indiana 58 breaks off to the west from Indiana 37. Indiana 54 also begins at the upcoming intersection. Indiana 54 is a 65 mile route that goes west from Indiana 37 into Greene County, linking Bedford with Bloomfield, Linton, and Sullivan as it ends at U.S. 41. Avoca and Springville, both small towns in northwestern Lawrence County, are accessed via these routes. Photo taken 09/19/10.
A sign bridge directs Indiana 54/Indiana 58 traffic off of Indiana 37. Photo taken 09/19/10.
Indiana 37 north
At this point, Indiana 37 is a standalone highway, moving further north across Lawrence County toward Bloomington. Photo taken 06/13/09.
At this point, Indiana 37 enters Monroe County (population 137,974) home of Bloomington and Indiana University. Monroe County and Bloomington are the largest county and city in Indiana to have only state highways, until Interstate 69 is built through it anyway. At this location, the highway is passing over the interchange at Monroe Reservoir and Harrodsburg, providing access to the western part of Monroe Reservoir, primarily the Fairfax State Recreational Area. Limestone rock cuts abut the highway as it climbs up from the Salt Creek valley. Photo taken 07/25/09.
Another view as Indiana 37 continues to climb the valley with the entrance ramp off the Monroe Reservoir/Harrodsburg exit becoming a climbing lane up the valley. Photo taken 07/25/09.
Now on top of the hill, Indiana 37 gently rolls across the landscape as the first distance sign within the county announces that Bloomington is 12 miles away and the capital city of Indianapolis 60 miles. Photo taken 07/25/09.
Limestone rock cuts are very evident along this stretch of highway as it leaves the Stone Belt, the prime region for Indiana Limestone. East of this stretch of highway lies Monroe Reservoir; at 10,750 acres is the largest lake in Indiana. The reservoir, formed by the damming of Salt Creek further south, winds its way through the wooded Monroe County hills, providing a dramatic natural setting for boaters who visit the area. Photos taken 07/25/09.
Indiana 37 approaches the intersection with Smithville Road, which leads to the small community of Smithville a couple of miles to the east. The road also provides another connection to the Fairfax State Recreational Area and the western shore of Lake Monroe. Photo taken 07/25/09.
North of Smithville Road, Indiana 37 begins turning toward the northwest as it approaches the Bloomington area. Photo taken 07/25/09.
A community interchanges identification sign, common along Indiana 37 and no other highways in the state, announces the main "exits" for Indiana 37 serving Bloomington. Among the streets mentioned, only Walnut Street is not an actual interchange, instead it is an at-grade intersection a half mile north of this sign. Second Street is the first main interchange and is also Indiana 45 West, Third Street is Indiana 48, and Indiana 45 East/Indiana 46 is the Bloomington Bypass. Photo taken 07/19/09.
Indiana 37 approaches its first stoplight intersection in Monroe County with Walnut Street, the primary north-south road through Bloomington. Bloomington, Indiana, is the county seat of Monroe County with a population of 80,405. The city is famous for the location of Indiana University and the athletic teams associated with them, the IU Hoosiers. The town is also best known for its appearance in the movie Breaking Away which features the Little 500 Bicycle Race. This bicycle culture is well known in the Bloomington area and the city itself is an oddball compared to most Hoosier cities. The politics of Bloomington are decidedly Democratic and progressive, which has helped to create an atmosphere that is hostile to the future Interstate 69. Photo taken 07/19/09.
A guide sign to the right directs traffic off of Indiana 37 onto Walnut Street. In extreme northern and southern parts of Walnut Street, the road is also known as Business Indiana 37, but as with any business route in Indiana, it is locally maintained. Photo taken 07/19/09.
Indiana 37 begins its bypass around Bloomington, going through mostly rolling hills as it circumnavigate the southern part of the city. The highway maintains a 60 mile per hour speed limit as the highway is only disrupted by several at-grade crossings, at Victor Pike, Rockport Road, That Road, Fullerton Pike, and Tapp Road. Among those, Fullerton Pike and Tapp Road has stoplights at their intersections. Photo taken 07/19/09.
Indiana 37 northbound at the trumpet interchange with Interstate 69 south to the southwest of Bloomington. Motorists bound for southbound I-69 follow a loop ramp to join the freeway which opened on December 9, 2015. Indiana 37 north doubles as Section 5 of Interstate 69 around the west side of Bloomington. Photo taken 01/01/16.
The at-grade intersection with That Road along Indiana 37 was eliminated as part of construction to upgrade the expressway to Interstate 69. Photo taken 07/19/09.
Approaching the traffic light with Fullerton Pike along Indiana 37 north. This intersection will be replaced with an overpass as part of work to build I-69. Photo taken 07/19/09.
Indiana 37 is now at the intersection with Tapp Road and from this point northward until the Vernal Pike intersection the highway will resemble a freeway. Up ahead for the first exit is Indiana 45 West, known locally as the Second Street/Bloomfield Road interchange. Indiana 45 is a highway that goes from U.S. 231 near the Crane Naval Warfare Center up through Bloomington and northeast of there to Indiana 135 at Beanblossom. The upcoming access is the best route for those accessing the Monroe County Airport and Monroe County Fairgrounds. Photo taken 06/27/09.
North of the Tapp Road intersection, the folded diamond interchange with Indiana 45 West (Second Street/Bloomfield Road) appears. Unlike the Third Street exit ahead, Second Street does not begin at Indiana 37 but rather a mile to the east, where the road begins to turn from a northeasterly direction to the east, and thus becoming Second Street in the Bloomington street grid. Therefore, the road is simply Bloomfield Road on both sides of this exit. Indiana 45 is a well-traveled two-lane road southwest of Bloomington, providing access for commuters in adjacent Greene County and the county seat of Bloomfield (via Indiana 54.) The road also is the most direct route between Bloomington and the Crane Naval Warfare Center. The third section of the Interstate 69 construction in southwest Indiana is slated to end at an interchange with U.S. 231 around there, with a direct connection to Indiana 45. This means while Section Four of the new interstate is being built, Indiana 45 between this point and the finished Interstate 69 will be the only two-lane link. Photo taken 06/27/09.
Indiana 37 & 45 north
A view of the Indiana 37/Indiana 45 multiplex north of the Bloomfield Road bridge. The Indiana 48 (Third Street/Whitehall Pike) interchange is visible to the north and the exit ramp off the Indiana 45 West interchange becomes an auxiliary lane for traffic exiting off at Indiana 48, making this the only six-lane portion of Indiana 37 around Bloomington. This stretch of Indiana 37 around the west side of Bloomington contains several industrial parks and shopping centers attracted by the easy access to the highway. Photo taken 06/27/09.
Now on the six-lane section of Indiana 37, the highway approaches the Indiana 48 (Third Street/Whitehall Pike) interchange. Indiana 48 is a minor highway that exists in three separate segments. In Monroe County, it exists for eight miles as it connects Indiana 37 with Indiana 43 in Whitehall at the far western reaches of the county. The exit itself is signed as Third Street and Whitehall Pike. Third Street is the name given to the road east of Indiana 37, as it becomes the main west-east road across Bloomington while Whitehall Pike is the name of the road to the west of Indiana 37. Photo taken 06/27/09.
The final sign for the Indiana 48 (Third Street/Whitehall Pike) interchange. The road of Third Street and Whitehall Pike were recently widened to four lanes from between Adams Street, about a mile east of Indiana 37, to Hartstrait Road about three miles west of the highway. This makes this corridor a heavily traveled route on the west side of Bloomington. The interchange also provides the most direct access to downtown Bloomington off of Indiana 37 and contains the highest concentration of motorist services between Bedford and Martinsville. Those heading toward Ivy Tech Community College are also advised to use this exit. A diamond interchange facilitates the movement between Indiana 37 and Indiana 48 (Third Street/Whitehall Pike). Photo taken 06/27/09.
Indiana 37 briefly swells to four lanes at it takes in the entrance ramps off of Indiana 48 (Third Street/Whitehall Pike.) Adjacent to the road is the Whitehall Crossings Shopping Center, among the largest shopping complexes in the region. Photos taken 06/27/09.
The first guide sign for the interchange with Indiana 46 and Indiana 45 North appears. The interchange was opened in 2002 as part of a larger project to realign Indiana 46 from Indiana 37 northwest toward the community of Ellettsville. Through Bloomington, Indiana 45 follows Indiana 37 along the west side and Indiana 46 along the north side. Photo taken 11/13/11.
Based on the previous Indiana 48 interchange, the distances for Martinsville (20 miles) and Indianapolis (50 miles) are listed. Photo taken 11/13/11.
A sign announces the upcoming eastbound exit for Indiana 46 and Indiana 45 North. Indiana 46 is a major west-east state highway across South-central Indiana and is part of the National Highway System from Spencer to the west to Nashville and Columbus to the east. The route begins outside Terre Haute in western Indiana and travels for 154 miles from Terre Haute to near West Harrison, Indiana on the Ohio border. While it doesn"t touch either the Illinois or Ohio state lines, it is close to both. The route between Bloomington and Columbus (where it intersects with Interstate 65) gets plenty of use for a two-lane road as it carries commuters and tourists through scenic Brown County, located between Bloomington and Columbus. In the background, the stoplight for Vernal Pike is present. This marks the only location between the Indiana 46 and Indiana 45 South interchanges where there is an at-grade crossing. Photo taken 11/13/11.
A guide sign directing travelers to both Indiana University and Monroe Reservoir, directed to take the next right. Indiana University is the most well-known attraction in Bloomington and Monroe Reservoir is the largest lake in the state and is a very popular recreation lake throughout the year. While the sign doesn"t mention it, this exit is best for those traveling to the Paynetown, Pinegrove, Allen"s Creek and Hardin Ridge State Recreation Areas of Monroe Reservoir, as well as the Hoosier National Forest. Photo taken 11/13/11.
A guide sign directing travelers to Indiana 46 west to get to McCormick"s Creek State Park in Spencer. Located about 15 miles northwest of Indiana 37, McCormick"s Creek State Park is the oldest in the Indiana State Park system and is a popular attraction for residents of the area. Photo taken 11/13/11.
A partial cloverleaf interchange facilitates movements between Indiana 37 and Indiana 46/Indiana 45 North. To the west is a four-lane highway through the town of Ellettsville, a suburb of Bloomington and Spencer, the county seat of neighboring Owen County. At this point, traffic is directed off for Indiana 45/Indiana 46 eastbound. Both routes share the same bypass around the Indiana University campus on the north and east sides of Bloomington, before splitting off into two separate routings. The bypass is currently a two-lane road for most of its routing, but is being widen to be five lanes throughout. Once the expansion project is finished in 2012, Indiana 46 will be at least four lanes from the east side of Bloomington all the way west to Ellettsville. Photo taken 06/20/09.
Indiana 37 north
In the foreground, the Arlington Road overpass represents the original route for Indiana 46 from Bloomington to Ellettsville, and until the newer interchange was constructed to the south, this was where traffic had to go to travel west on Indiana 46. Those wanting to go east on Indiana 46 through Bloomington were directed to a stoplight at the current location of the new interchange. After 2002, all movements between Indiana 37 and Indiana 46 were moved to the new interchange. Photo taken 06/20/09.
Indiana 37 now heads north from the Indiana 46/Indiana 45 North interchange as it aims off toward Martinsville and Indianapolis. The stretch of Indiana 37 around here can become busy with commuters traveling between Bloomington and Indy. Indiana University and its students often commute up this way as well. Photo taken 06/20/09.
Indiana 37 descends into the valley of Beanblossom Creek to the north of Bloomington. Around this spot is where Walnut Street (Business Indiana 37) meets up with the mainline of Indiana 37. Photo taken 06/20/09.
Indiana 37 winds its way northward through the hills of northern Monroe County. The northbound lanes of Indiana 37 follow the original alignment along the side of a hill as it separates from the southbound (and newer) lanes which climb the hill. The highway through this stretch is generally rural with a few businesses along the side, chiefly among them being Oliver Winery. Photos taken 06/20/09.
The stretch of Indiana 37 from Bloomington to Martinsville is known as Section 5 of the future Interstate 69 and as with Section 6 further north, there have been no final confirmations as to where the interchanges will be located between the two cities, but more than likely there will at least be one within this stretch, likely near Oliver Winery. Photos taken 06/20/09.
At this point, Indiana 37 moves north into Morgan County (population 68,894.) Morgan County represents the midpoint between the Bloomington and Indianapolis areas and most of the residents who don't work there will commute to either city. This makes Indiana 37 a busy highway throughout the county to serve the traffic that flows from either city. Photo taken 06/20/09.


Photo Credits:

2009-06-13, 2009-06-20, 2009-06-27, 2009-07-19, 2009-07-25, 2010-09-19, 2011-11-13, 2011-12-18, 2016-01-01 by Thomas Decker

Connect with:
U.S. Highway 50

Page Updated 01-07-2016.

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