This page lists all U.S. highway routes in Kentucky. The Bluegrass State is one of the best states for keeping U.S. routes as surface roads, only rarely moving U.S. routes to freeways. How groovy is that?
US 23, which runs through eastern Kentucky's Appalachian Mountains, has been heavily upgraded since the 1960s. Almost all (if not all) of Kentucky's US 23 is now a 4-lane divided highway, and it bypasses the center of many small towns. Some of the upgrades are new roads several miles from the old roads, or are built along minor roads like the previously gravel Jennys Creek Road. Old parts of US 23 in Kentucky are often called Mayo Trail. I have no idea how the road got this name.
One of the biggest engineering feats ever - second only to the Panama Canal - is the Pikeville Cut Thru, which cut into Peach Orchard Mountain and rechanneled the Levisa Fork River there. Construction of the Cut Thru lasted from 1973-87. At the Cut Thru, US 23 uses a newer road with freeway-style exits, bypassing the old crescent-shaped route that used city streets.
US 23 leaves Kentucky at the Ohio River and enters Ohio. The old U.S. Grant Bridge there, which opened in the 1920s, was torn down in 2001, so US 23 was then detoured onto the Carl Perkins Bridge, pending completion of a new bridge at this site maintained by the state of Ohio. The new bridge opened in 2006. A 2-year delay in opening the bridge caused local business owners to request that Ohio reimburse them for lost revenues.
In all, US 23 runs from US 1 in Jacksonville, FL, to I-75 in Mackinaw City, MI.
The Carl Perkins Bridge, which is Spur KY 8, is rumored to also be Truck US 23, though this designation doesn't appear on the official log.
BIZ US 23 - Pike 1988/Johnson 1996 - Paintsville's Biz US 23 became parts of KY 40 and Biz KY 321. There was also a Biz US 23 in Pikeville, which I assume is what the official log lists as US 23BR.
SPUR US 23 - Pike 1988 - Dropped in Pikeville following the opening of the Cut Thru road.
TRUCK US 23 - Boyd 1988 - Appears to have run concurrent with what was also then US 60 in Catlettsburg and paralleled US 23 to the east. Became part of KY 3294.
Begin KY maint:
End: .026 mi past OH state line (Ohio River), Cincinnati OH (bec US 42)
mi in KY:
• Kenton 4.978
• Boone 11.407
• Kenton+ 8.998
Cities: Walton, Florence, Elsmere, Erlanger, Edgewood, Crestview Hills, Lakeside Park, Ft Mitchell, Ft Wright, Park Hills, Covington
• Dixie Hwy (Natl Auto Trail name)
• Main St (Crittenden; Walton)
• Pike St (Park Hills/Covington city line-Main St, Covington)
• Main St (Pike St, Covington-KY 8, Covington)
Major bridges: Clay Wade Bailey Br (Ohio River, Covington)
In Kentucky, US 25 is generally paralleled by I-75. Kentucky maintains US 25 into Ohio, up to just north of the state line on the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge. This would thus exclude the approach north of this point that continues to 3rd Street in Cincinnati. This - since about 1974 - would also be the northern end of the entire length of US 25, but US 42/127 (which is concurrent with US 25 at this point) continues.
The Clay Wade Bailey Bridge - named for a newspaper reporter - opened in 1974, replacing the roadway of what was known as the C&O Bridge, which had been used by cars from about 1930 until its closure in 1968 following the finding of rusted bolts and other structural decay. After the closure of that roadway, one unusual plan called for converting the rail portion of the bridge so cars could travel in the same lanes as trains. Needless to say, this was rejected for safety reasons.
In total, US 25 runs from US 17 in Brunswick, GA, to the end of the Kentucky-run portion in Cincinnati - but it used to run at least to Port Austin, MI. This includes the 25E/25W split from Newport, TN, to north of Corbin.
US 25 in Kentucky mostly uses the east leg of the classic Dixie Highway. Exceptions include where US 25 is routed onto a newer bypass or Interstate. Another exception is in Covington where Dixie Highway continued northeast on Pike Street and used the Roebling Suspension Bridge. Some old maps show US 25 using both the C&O and Suspension Bridge.
Begin KY maint:
End KY maint: .1 mi past OH state line (Ohio River), Cincinnati OH
mi in KY:
• Campbell 22.77
Cities: Alexandria, Cold Spr, Highland Hts, Ft Thomas, Southgate, Newport
• Alexandria Pike (Pendleton/Campbell co line-Southgate/Newport city line)
• Monmouth St (Southgate/Newport city line-11th St, Newport)
• one-way north, Newport:
◦ Monmouth St
◦ E 3rd St
• one-way south, Newport:
◦ York St
◦ E 11th St
Major bridges: Taylor-Southgate Br (Ohio River, Newport)
1986 - An aerial of US 27 in Highland Heights. This picture is now historic, as the shopping center resting on the large, rounded paved area was later demolished after being allowed to decline and sit empty for years.
US 27C - Campbell 2007 - The unsigned US 27C branched off US 27 in Newport, using 3rd Street from Monmouth Street to Saratoga Street, then running north on what was once the L&N Bridge to where the span enters Ohio. For the last few years US 27C was commissioned, most of the route was something rare if not unique for the entire nation: a U.S. route that disallowed cars. By then, the L&N Bridge was renamed the Newport Southbank Bridge - though it's commonly called the Purple People Bridge (even on signs). This 2,670-foot span over the Ohio River was once open to auto traffic and had a rail line. It was later closed for several years so crews could add a lavender coat of paint to its rusted framework, but was reopened amid a festive dedication in April 2003 to be used by pedestrians and bicyclists only. The Purple People Bridge acts as an extension of Saratoga Street from Newport to Pete Rose Way in Cincinnati. The bulk of Saratoga, which was unnumbered, was well-known for the railroad track running down the center of the street, before it was replaced by a grassy median in the 1980s.
The Purple People Bridge actually doesn't allow much of anything. Although boosters of the bridge boasted it would be used by skateboarders, a sign prohibits skateboards and many other things, including "shoeless persons." Thus it's been said that the span is reminiscent of a Stalinist police state.
In 2006, this historic span introduced a bridge climb as a tourist attraction. But this was ended in 2007, after rainy weather stymied interest.
By 2009, local officials were already threatening to close the Purple People Bridge altogether, despite its heavy use.
2008 - A sign adorning the Newport Southbank Bridge, which composed US 27C. Another sign declares the bridge is privately owned - though it is in fact public.
Begin: US 27, Nicholasville
End: US 27 & Plaza Dr, Nicholasville
3.89 mi, all Jessamine
Names: Main St
Begin: US 27 & 62, 2 mi SW of Cynthiana
End: US 27, Cynthiana
2.602 mi, all Harrison
• Paris Pike (begin-S Fork Licking River)
• Main St (S Fork Licking River-end)
Major bridges: S Fork Licking River
Mostly an old part of US 27, which was moved to a new bypass in 2014.
Begin KY maint: US 31E & 31W, Louisville
End KY maint: past IN state line (Ohio River), Jeffersonville IN
1.122 mi in KY, all Jefferson+
Major bridges: George Rogers Clark Mem Br (Ohio River)
Following the split from Nashville to Louisville, US 31 reappears in downtown Louisville as US 31E and 31W merge. Northbound, the merger happens at 2nd & Main; southbound, the split effectively occurs at 3rd & Main. Most of US 31 in Kentucky is made up of the very long and wide George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge, which opened in 1929. This is the span where Muhammad Ali threw his Olympic medal into the Ohio River. Kentucky maintains the bridge into Jeffersonville, IN, up to where it meets Court Avenue.
US 31 in total runs from US 90 in Spanish Fort, AL, to I-75 near Mackinaw City, MI.
2004 - The Kentucky approach of the Clark Memorial Bridge, which carries US 31.
2004 - Heading into Louisville from Indiana on this bridge.
2004 - An unusual view of said US 31 bridge.
I don't think US 37 was ever signed, but it reportedly appeared on maps in the 1930s and ran from Chattanooga, TN, to Sellersburg, IN. In Kentucky it supposedly used parts of what became US 127, KY 90, US 31E, and US 31.
Still exists in the Deep South but once ran as far north as Hopkinsville, before that stretch became US 41A.
Though still absent from maps and official logs, US 52/119 makes 2 extremely brief entries into Pike County on the north end of Williamson, WV. This stretch is part of the Williamson bypass and has entered Kentucky since 1996. US 52 is not a continuation of KY 52, despite having the same number. In all, US 52 runs from the Canadian border in Portal, ND, where it becomes SK 39, to US 17 in Charleston, SC.
Begin: US 60, Versailles
End: US 60, Versailles
1.79 mi, all Woodford
• Frankfort St (begin-KY 1659)
• N Main St (KY 1659-US 62)
• Lexington St/Rd (US 62-end)
Begin KY maint:
End KY maint: past OH state line (Ohio River), 1 mi NW of Maysville
mi in KY:
• Bourbon .273
• Robertson 15.427
• Mason+ 18.021
Cities: Mt Olivet, Sardis, Maysville
• Cynthiana Rd (-Bourbon/Harrison co line)
• Kentontown Rd (Harrison/Robertson co line-enter Mt Olivet)
• W Walnut St (enter Mt Olivet-KY 165, Mt Olivet)
• N Main St (KY 165, Mt Olivet-leave Mt Olivet)
• Sardis Rd (leave Mt Olivet-Robertson/Mason co line)
• Bucktown Rd (Robertson/Mason co line-KY 324, Mason Co)
• Coughlin Blvd (KY 11, Maysville-KY 10, Maysville)
• E 3rd St (KY 10, Maysville-KY 8, Maysville)
• Licking River, Harrison Co
• N Fork Licking River, Mason Co
• Simon Kenton Mem Br (Ohio River, Maysville)
Begin: US 62, 1 mi NW of Cynthiana
End: KY 36, .9 mi NW of Cynthiana
.135 mi, all Harrison
As US 27/62 uses the Cynthiana Bypass, it goes over KY 36, so US 62C is a short connector designated in 2014. While the official shapefile calls it US 27C, the log calls it US 62C, so I'll accept the log's version of things.
Begin: US 62, Reidland
End KY maint: OH state line (Ohio River), Maysville
mi in KY:
• McCracken 2.677
• Nicholas 12.132
• Robertson 1.357
• Mason 18.457
• Benton Rd (KY 264, McCracken Co-McCracken/Marshall co line)
• Maysville Rd (Nicholas Co)
• Heather French Henry Hwy (Biz US 68, Maysville-KY 9, Maysville)
• Clyde T Barbour Hwy (KY 9, Maysville-end)
• Licking River, Nicholas Co
• N Fork Licking River, Mason Co
• William H Harsha Br (Ohio River, Maysville)
Up to 1983, US 68 from Campbellsville to near Lebanon ran along what is now KY 289. In all, US 68 runs from Reidland - near Paducah - to I-75 in Findlay, OH. Also, the Eggner Ferry Bridge was closed for months in 2012 because it collapsed after being hit by a cargo ship.
Begin: US 68, Maysville
End KY maint: US 62 & KY 1236, Maysville (leaves KY using US 62)
1.445 mi, all Mason
Begin: US 68, Fairview
End: US 68, Fairview
• Christian 1.417
• Todd .723
Names: Jefferson Davis Rd
Old: US 68 (.1 mi from begin-.1 mi from end)
Formed in 2000 from the old US 68, when US 68 moved to a newly built roadbed. US 68A serves the 351-foot-tall Jefferson Davis obelisk. The official state park website tries to downplay any potential controversy.
Never happened! US 143 was once proposed from Nashville, TN, to Glasgow, KY, but it never came to be!
Begin: southbound US 31W/150 & Market St, Portland (Louisville)
End: northbound US 31W/150, Louisville (uses US 31W, US 31E to reconnect with US 150)
.089 mi, all Jefferson
Names: W Market St
An alternate to US 150 through Louisville for commercial drivers, possibly due to low clearances on Broadway (mainline US 150). Truck US 150 is only officially carried for its first eastbound block, since it uses US 31W and 31E to finish the loop.
An old memory of the U.S. route system's early days. US 168 ran from Louisville to Mount Vernon and became part of US 150 way back in 1934.
The intrastate and entirely nonmetropolitan US 227 ran from Richmond to Paris, then along US 460 to Georgetown, and then to Carrollton. It was decertified in 1972 - a rare loss of a U.S. route in Kentucky. Generally, the old route is now KY 388 and 627 from Richmond to Paris and KY 227 from near Georgetown to Carrollton.
Ran only from Nashville to Hopkinsville, and lasted only from 1926 to 1930. Became US 41E, then part of US 41.
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