Interstate 164 was a 21-mile freeway spur linking Interstate 64 with the city of Evansville in southwestern Indiana. The freeway varied between suburban and rural frontage while also connecting Downtown Evansville and the U.S. 41 Ohio River Bridges with Newburgh and the eastern suburbs. The route was renumbered as a southward extension of Interstate 69.
Signage along Interstate 164 used east/west cardinal directions between Exits 0 and 5 (SR 662) and north/south banners from Exit 5 to I-64 (Exit 21). Typical of Indiana three digit Interstates, there were no control cities along the freeway, although on Interstate 64, Evansville and Henderson, Kentucky were used for southbound. The entire freeway had centerline 2/10 ITS reference markers.
Construction of Interstate 164 superseded the alignment of Indiana 57 north from Evansville to Wheatonville. Having overlaid a portion of the route, SR 57 joined the freeway southward two miles to a pair of wye interchanges at Exit 19. Old SR 57 remained in service to the west, with Indiana 57 overtaking its original surface route southwest to Evansville Regional Airport (EVV).
High Priority Corridor
Interstate 164 in its entirety was a part of High Priority Corridor 18: NAFTA Superhighway.
Interstate 164 was designated in 1968 (approved by AASHTO on June 23, 1969) but not completed until August 2, 1990. The road included a $46 million interchange with U.S. 41 and Veterans Memorial Parkway at the south end, which at the time was the most expensive Interstate interchange in Indiana.1 The freeway gained the name Robert D. Orr Highway in February 1989 after the former Indiana Governor, who lived in Evansville and supported the $160-million road.2 The adjacent Lloyd Expressway (State Road 66) stems west from the I-164 freeway at Exit 7, and was completed in 1988.1
The first step in the decommissioning of Interstate 164 was made at the fall meeting of AASHTO on October 21, 2013. Approval was given then to redesignate 20.70 miles of the 21.39-mile route as an extension of Interstate 69 south from I-64 to U.S. 41 in Evansville. With subsequent approval by the Federal Highway Administration, INDOT began replacing signs in November 2014.3,4 The remaining mileage reflects the connection with Veterans Memorial Parkway, a city-maintained expressway leading west from U.S. 41.
U.S. 41 represented the final Interstate 164 westbound interchange (Exit 0). Typical of any of the various exits in the state of Indiana that are in the 0 mile, this exit was numbered as Exit 0. Photo taken 11/07/11.
One half mile east of Exit 0 on I-164 west. Going south on U.S. 41 took drivers to Kentucky and the Ohio River. An advisory panel under the sign warned of the prohibition of truck traffic along Veterans Memorial Parkway west beyond the end of Interstate 164. Photo taken 11/07/11.
The yellow ends Interstate 164 panel was similar to the yellow sign panels Indiana uses at the northern terminus of Interstate 65 in Gary. The panel was amended by late 2014 to remove the I-164 shield. Photo taken 11/07/11.
A collector distributor roadway carried motorists to the U.S. 41 off-ramps from Interstate 164 west. U.S. 41 north leads toward Downtown Evansville and the main east-west artery across the city, the S.R. 62 / 66 Lloyd Expressway. Photo taken 11/07/11.
The c/d roadway continues to split with ramps for U.S. 41 south to Henderson, Kentucky and Kentucky Avenue, a local north-south street that was formerly U.S. 41 Business. Photo taken 11/07/11.
This 0.0 mile-marker signaled the southern terminus of Interstate 164. The roadway continues as Veterans Memorial Parkway toward the northwest to S.R. 62 (Lloyd Expressway). Photo taken by Brian Dowd (10/05/02).
Traveling southeast from Sunrise Park along Veterans Memorial Parkway. The one-mile guide sign for Interstate 164 east and U.S. 41 appeared. Photo taken 05/27/11.
Control cities for guide signs along Veterans Memorial Parkway reference U.S. 41. Interstate 164 served the eastern suburbs and Newburgh before turning north to a rural junction with Interstates 64 and 69. Photo taken 05/27/11.
Entering the full-cloverleaf interchange with U.S. 41, a collector distributor roadway partitioned from the Veterans Memorial Parkway mainline to serve movements northbound into Evansville and southbound to Henderson, Kentucky as I-164 began. Photo taken 05/27/11.
Perspective from former Interstate 164 east
U.S. 41 continues north from Interstate 164 as the main arterial through Evansville. Despite that, Vincennes is used as the control city since motorists are already wholly within Evansville. Photo taken 05/27/11.
Perspective from U.S. 41 north
North of the Ohio River, but still in Kentucky, drivers see the one mile guide sign for Interstate 164 as U.S. 41 passes by Ellis Park on Green River Island. Photo taken 05/27/11.
U.S. 41 intersects Waterworks Road by the Indiana state line. The half mile guide sign for Interstate 164 follows as the first sign seen within the Hoosier State. To the right is the standard Indiana welcome sign, complete with the state's motto Crossroads of America. Photo taken 05/27/11.
A text based sign is the first alert that Interstate 164 is considered the bypass for the Evansville area. Interstate 64 is a 21 mile trip north and east of U.S. Route 41. Photo taken 05/27/11.
A collector distributor roadway handles the movements between U.S. 41 north to Interstate 164 east and Veterans Memorial Parkway west. Photo taken 05/27/11.
Traffic to Interstate 164 east departs the adjacent c/d roadway of U.S. 41 north. Interstate 164 receives no control city as it does not venture into any other city outside of Evansville. The Warrick County suburb of Newburgh however is accessible via Exits 5 and 7. Photo taken 05/27/11.
1.2 miles north of the Indiana/Kentucky border, the final exit to this cloverleaf leads to the Veterans Memorial Parkway. After going through the loop ramp, drivers enter the westbound I-164 c/d roadway ahead of the exit to enter Kentucky Avenue (former U.S. 41 Business). Kentucky Avenue parallels U.S. 41 northward into the Evansville street grid. Photo taken 05/27/11.
Perspective from U.S. 41 south
One mile north of Interstate 164 east along U.S. 41 south ahead of Covert Avenue. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (10/05/02).
U.S. 41 leaves the signalized intersection with East Riverside Drive and continues one half mile to the full-cloverleaf interchange with Interstate 164 east and Veterans Memorial Parkway west. Slightly under two miles separates this point of U.S. 41 and the Kentucky state boundary. Photo taken 05/27/11.
The ramp for Veterans Memorial Parkway northbound departs from U.S. 41 southbound. Kentucky Avenue is included on this guide sign, as the parkway encounters the north-south street just west of the Interstate 164 interchange. Kentucky Avenue represents a former business loop of U.S. 41 north through Evansville. Photo taken 05/27/11.
U.S. 41 curves to the southwest to meet Kentucky Avenue's alignment (probably the original U.S. 41 routing though south Evansville) as the Interstate 164 eastbound cloverleaf ramp departs. Photo taken 11/07/11.
Sign bridge posted two miles south of the Interstate 164 & Indiana 57 northbound cloverleaf interchange with Interstate 64. State Road 57 merges onto I-164 north at a wye interchange visible beyond the Exit 21 overheads pictured here. Photo taken 05/27/11.
Attached to the County Road 800 North overpass is the one-mile approach signage for Interstate 64 east to Louisville (Exit 21A) and west to St. Louis (Exit 21B). Interstate 64 is quite rural between the two control cities outside a short merge with Interstate 57 through Mt. Vernon, Illinois. Photo taken 05/27/11.
Interstate 164 transitions into Interstate 69 north beyond the ramps to Interstate 64. A 1.77-mile segment of Interstate 69 opened to traffic northward to Indiana 67 on October 1, 2009. This piece of new I-69 is the first of an eventual freeway linking Evansville to Indianapolis. Further work extended new I-69 to Crane and U.S. 231 on November 19, 2012. Exit 21A otherwise departs for Interstate 64 east on the scenic 95 mile drive to Louisville. Photo taken 05/27/11.
Exit 21B follows and connects Interstate 164 with St. Louis 161 miles to the west. Indiana 57 continues north onto Interstate 69 to Indiana 68 east, where it rejoins its original route to Oakland City. Photo taken 05/27/11.
Historical Perspective from Interstate 164 north
Mile 20.4 along Interstate 164 & Indiana 57 north at the Exit 21A ramp departure to Interstate 64 east. County Road 1300 South passes over the freeway in the background along the Vanderburgh and Gibson County line.
Originally a diamond interchange joined Interstate 64 and Indiana 57 here. When Interstate 164 was built, the junction was upgraded to a cloverleaf as the new freeway overtook a portion of the state road alignment to the south. This photo shows the configuration before the October 1, 2009 addition of Interstate 69 north. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (10/05/02).
Perspective from Interstate 64 east
Two miles out from the full-cloverleaf interchange (Exits 29A/B) with Interstate 164 & Indiana 57 south and Interstate 69 & Indiana 57 north along Interstate 64 east. Photo taken 11/07/11.
Interstate 69 replaced Indiana 57 north from Exit 29B when it opened to traffic on October 1, 2009. By November 19, 2012, the freeway traveled an additional 65 miles northeast to Crane. Indiana 57 follows the freeway for 1.77 miles to SR 68 nearby. Photo taken 11/07/11.
Traffic to Interstate 164 & Indiana 57 southbound depart at Exit 29A from Interstate 64 eastbound. The city limits of Evansville are 13 miles to the south of this junction. Indiana 57 parts ways with the freeway at the first southbound exit for Daylight and north Evansville. Photo taken 11/07/11.
Exit 29B follows onto the northbound beginning of Interstate 69 "Section 1". "Sections 2" and "3" pertain to the freeway to U.S. 231 near Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center. Further work on "Section 4" is underway to Bloomington through to 2014. Photo taken 11/07/11.
Historical Perspective from Interstate 64 east
This series of photos shows Interstate 64 eastbound at Interstate 164's north end when Indiana 57 was the lone route tieing in from the north. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (10/05/02).
Interstate 64 eastbound, one mile before the Interstate 164 south and Indiana 57 cloverleaf interchange. Indiana 57 sees a northbound control point of Petersburg (pop. 2,383 per the 2010 census), the county seat of Pike County some 28 miles to the north. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (10/05/02).
Eastbound Interstate 64 at the southbound beginning of Interstate 164. Interstate 164 coincides with the I-69 corridor southward to the western turn parallel to the Ohio River. I-69 will overtake much of the route, save for the southwestern mile or two. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (10/05/02).
Exit 21B when it served Indiana 57 northbound alone. SR 57 travels 80.1 miles overall between Evansville and Worthington. Much of the route parallels the new Interstate 69. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (10/05/02).
Perspective from Interstate 64 west
The first signs for Interstates 69 north / 164 south and Indiana 57 reside in a forested area west of the Wabash and Erie Canal along Interstate 64 west, two miles out from Exit 29. Photo taken 11/07/11.
North of Elberfeld, Interstate 64 draws to within one mile of the clovereaf interchange with Interstate 164 & Indiana 57 south to Evansville (Exit 29A) and Interstate 69 & Indiana 57 north to Petersburg (Exit 29B). Photo taken 11/07/11.
Departing first is the northbound on-ramp to Interstate 69, which travels 1.77 miles with Indiana 57 north to Indiana 68 near Wheatonville and 65 miles further to Crane. Interstate 69 will eventually continue beyond Crane to Bloomington and Interstate 465 on the southwest side of Indianapolis. Photo taken 11/07/11.
Interstate 164 & Indiana 57 continue the October 2009-opened Interstate 69 freeway southward to Newburgh, Evansville and Henderson, Kentucky via the connection with U.S. 41 south. Henderson is a 30-mile trip from this point. Photo taken 11/07/11.
Historical Perspective from Interstate 64 west
A look at the two-mile approach sign bridge for Interstate 164 and Indiana 57 before Interstate 69 was built. Only two interchanges serve the Evansville area from Interstate 64. The first with Interstate 164 and second with U.S. 41 at Exit 25, six miles to the west of here. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (10/05/02).
Some billboards and such appear on the Interstate 64 corridor is it nears the Exit 29B/A cloverleaf interchange with Interstate 164 south and Indiana 57. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (10/05/02).
Westbound Interstate 64 at Exit 29B for Indiana 57 north. The state road, in conjunction with Indiana 67, was the main corridor between Evansville and Indianapolis. Note one of the ITS centerline markers beyond the sign bridge for Interstate 64. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (10/05/02).
Perspective from Interstate 69 & Indiana 57 south
Heading almost due south from the diamond interchange with Indiana 68 and Indiana 57 north, Interstate 69 draws to within one mile of the full cloverleaf interchange with Interstate 64. Exit numbers are those of Interstate 164 west. Photo taken 11/07/11.
Interstate 69 ends and Interstate 164 begins in one half mile. Interstate 64 meet the north-south freeways southwest of Wheatonville and northwest of Elberfeld while generally avoiding the greater Evansville area. Photo taken 11/07/11.
Construction of Interstate 69 cut across the old alignment of Indiana 57 and County Road 1250 South. A new overpass and access road was built to connect old SR 57 with County Road 1250 South to the west as part of the I-69 project. Ramps to and from new Interstate 69 were extended northward to meet the freeway at the new overpass. Photo taken 11/07/11.
Exit 21B departs Interstate 164 & Indiana 57 south for Interstate 64 east toward Louisville. An Interstate 64 trailblazer follows as a leftover from when this ramp was unnumbered from just SR 57 south. Photo taken 11/07/11.
Historical Perspective from Indiana 57 south
Indiana 57 expanded to four lanes in anticipation of the transition to Interstate 164. The junction shield assembly showed Interstate 64 and curiously omits Interstate 164. This is not the first interchange that was setup like this (i.e. a full cloverleaf with three legs Interstate freeways and the fourth a surface street). The Interstate 55 /72 / U.S. 36 and Illinois 97 junction is another example of such a configuration. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (10/05/02).
Exits for Interstate 64 south from Indiana 57 originally were unnumbered. The westbound on-ramp to I-64 departed further south than it does today, beyond the intersection with County Road 1250 South, and at a sharper angle as well. Photo taken by Brian Dowd (10/05/02).
"bypass allows nonstop traffic around Evansville." Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (KY), August 3, 1990.
"HIGHWAY MAY BE NAMED FOR ORR." Post-Tribune (IN), December 1, 1988.
"Recalculating: I-164 to become I-69." WFIE (Evansville, IN), November 15, 2013.
"I-164 Renamed to I-69 by End of Year." Indiana Department of Transportation, press release. November 18, 2014.
Thanks goes to Brian Dowd for assistance with the background information on Interstate 164.