Announcing the Indiana Lincoln Highway Byway
The Official State of Indiana Designation for the Old Lincoln Highway
across Northern Indiana
The Board of Directors of the Indiana Lincoln Highway Association received official word from the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) on Thursday, October 6th, 2011 that Indiana Lt. Governor, Becky Skillman, and INDOT Commissioner Michael B. Cline, signed the official resolution designating the historic Lincoln Highway across northern Indiana as an official Indiana State Byway on Tuesday, October 4, 2011. The Indiana portion of the Lincoln Highway now becomes part of the Indiana Byways Program.
The Indiana Lincoln Highway Association (INLHA) was incorporated in 2008 in order to begin working on the State Byway designation. Through private donations from Indiana Lincoln Highway Association members, funds from Indiana Landmarks, and funds from the national Lincoln Highway Association, the INLHA conducted a resource survey to identify the route. Also identified were significant structures relating to Indiana Lincoln Highway such as historic bridges that served Lincoln Highway travelers. Tourist cabins, motels, gas stations, Lincoln Highway markers and monuments, tourist camps, and many other related sites were also documented. Approximately two years ago the INLHA prepared and submitted the state byway application to INDOT. Following two review meetings and the approval of the Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) across northern Indiana, the application was recently processed for signature by state officials. The Indiana Lincoln Highway Association celebrates this achievement.
Ideal Section painting (Dyer, IN) by Carl Rakeman, courtesy Federal Highway Administration
The INLHA will now form the Indiana Lincoln Highway Byway Council with representatives from across the state. The INLHA and the Council will oversee the development of a Corridor Management Plan. This Plan will include guidelines for road signage and the creation of tourism materials to promote the towns and businesses and events held along the route.
The INLHA will continue to build collaborative relationships across the state and form partnerships with businesses and non-profits that will benefit the state through tourism, preservation, and economic development.
The INLHA will create an enhanced website that will provide travel information and maps for automobile tourists. The INLHA will also continue to work with other organizations in planning special projects (such as LH interpretive kiosks, exhibits, community murals, and an annual BuWay Yard Sale held each August), tours, road rallies, museum exhibits, etc.
The INLHA has been working with the Indiana Department of Tourism and local Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVBs) to share information with tourists in order to lure more travelers to their communities to stay in local hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts, and to eat and shop at local businesses. The next issue of the Indiana Tourism map will illustrate the Indiana Lincoln Highway Byway with a release of one half million maps that will be available to travelers across the State of Indiana.
Linking to other state byways along the Lincoln Highway
The Indiana Lincoln Highway Byway completes a stretch of Lincoln Highway Byways from mid-Pennsylvania through to the western state line of Nebraska. The Byways include Ohio, Indiana, Illinois (the only National Byway designation on the Lincoln Highway), Iowa and Nebraska. A portion of Pennsylvania is designated a Heritage Corridor.