In a way, you can’t think of Evansville and not think of the Lloyd Expressway, the major throughway that connects the
East and West Sides. For almost 30 years, Evansville officials worked on what is now the city’s most trafficked and talked about road. The Lloyd Expressway may have a complicated history, but its presence allows Evansvillians from all sides of the city to travel the Tri-State safely.
Before the first phase of construction on the Lloyd, travelers had two congested, precarious options to travel between the East and West Sides — Division Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.
In 1956, the Lloyd’s west section up to Fulton Avenue was completed. Local officials did not secure adequate federal funding for construction until the 1970s and 80s when Mayor Russell G. Lloyd Sr. focused on the project.
Although Russell was tragically assassinated in March 1980 (two months after his final term as mayor), the funds he worked so hard to acquire allowed construction to resume in 1983. After $160 million, several buildings demolished, and five years of work, the Lloyd was opened July 19, 1988 and named in honor of the mayor.
The Expressway has undergone a few modern upgrades including the diamond interchange at Fulton Avenue in 2008 and the U.S. Highway 41 interchange in 2014.
While residents love to complain about traffic and construction on the famous roadway, the Lloyd is still one of River City’s most important paths. Even visitors and those just passing through will leave Evansville knowing the Lloyd.
Photos provided by EVPL digital archives.