Protecting, Preserving and Promoting the National Road...That's what we're all about!
Our mission is to protect, preserve and promote Indiana’s section of the Historic National Road! This involves preserving historic assets like a 1930s gas station or advocating for saving a 1954 stainless steel diner. Our organization also promotes travel and heritage tourism across the National Road in Indiana which benefits local economies! Another part of managing the National Road is interpretation and way finding signage. You might notice the Historic National Road (featured left) down the road, these point the way and help travelers find the old sections that are still navigable in Putnam county and Henry County! You can also check out our 15 interpretive panels across Indiana’s Historic National Road, which help tell the story of the road that built the nation! If you support our efforts to protect, preserve and promote Indiana’s section of the Historic National Road, please consider a donation or joining as a member!
Protecting, preserving and promoting the National Road since 1994!
The Indiana National Road Association is working to preserve, protect and promote the Historic National Road across the Hoosier state to save our history, interpret our heritage, develop tourism and boost economic development.With an eye on its future and a grasp on its historic past, the Indiana National Road Association (INRA) was created in 1994 as a community-based, not-for-profit organization to serve as a voice for the Historic National Road with a mission to preserve, protect and promote.
The Indiana National Road Association has successfully gained state and national attention for this treasured roadway. The Indiana section of the National Road was designated State Scenic Byway status in 1996, and National Scenic Byway status in 1998. In 2002, the entire Historic National Road — through Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois — was designated as an All-American Road for its historical and cultural significance. It became the longest byway traversing the greatest number of states to receive this honor.
In 2002, INRA worked with the National Road Alliance and successfully nominated the Historic National Road as an All-American Road. This designation, approved by then Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta, ranked the Road among only 19 nationally designated byways at the time to have this highest honor for a byway. Today, there are still only 27 All-American Roads. Visit www.byways.org for more information. The ribbon cutting event took place in each of the states simultaneously to celebrate the designation. Former first lady of Indiana, Judy O’Bannon was present and pictured in the center.
INRA provides an event each year for its members to explore a historic site, and learn about the successes of INRA from the past year and challenges that face them in the future. They are great events to meet fellow National Road enthusiasts and preservationists, and to support the not-for-profit organization working to improve the experience along the byway.
In 2001-02, INRA placed directional signage up along the Historic National Road to help travelers find their way across the state and drive on the original route sections when possible. The signs were coordinated with the National Road Alliance to provide consistent signage across the entire byway, and were funded through a grant from the National Scenic Byways program.
In 2006, INRA celebrated the 200th anniversary of the Historic National Road. On March 29th, 1806, President Thomas Jefferson commissioned the construction of what would become the first federally funded interstate highway. From that point, the National Road would become known as “The Road that Built the Nation!”