It has been a really busy week at CatSynth, but we're taking some time to continue our “primary highways” series with a visit to the state of Indiana. Appropriately for our series, Indiana is nicknamed the “Crossroads of America.” And that is how many of us know the state, passing from one place to another. It boasts eight major interstate highways: I-69, I-65, I-94, I-70, I-74, I-64, I-80, and I-90. These are indeed crossroads among major U.S. cities, New York, Baltimore, Washington, Boston, Chicago. Detroit, Seattle and are hometown San Francisco.
I have traveled through Indiana en route from New York to San Francisco multiple times on I-80, which is part of the Indiana Toll Road. (Anyone surprised that we are once again traveling along I-80 during this series?)This highway runs along the extreme northern section of the state, passing through farmland, old industrial cities, and the suburbs of Chicago to the west. One can imagine along this landscape the demographic divisions currently being portrayed in the media. One can also observe Indiana's well-known reputation for being flat, particularly in the north. Though in the south, towards Kentucky, the landscape becomes more hilly.
In the northwest, near Chicago, I-80 shares its path with I-94. To the west, I-94 splits off to become the major freeway in downtown Chicago; beyond that it heads towards Milwaukee, then Minneapolis and the northern plains. In Indiana, it hugs the coast of Lake Michigan “before heading east on the long road to Detroit“.
A bit of amusing highway trivia involves I-69, which extends from Indianapolis north to Michigan and eventually the Canadian border. There have been plans for a while to extend I-69 south all the way to Texas and the Mexican border, creating another north-south transcontinental route. Former representative John Hostettler from Indiana was a strong supporter of the extension of I-69, but he also led a campaign to change its designation. Apparently, some “religious conservatives believe 'I-69' sounds too risqu