This is a list of current Interstate highways that vandalize the great state of Kentucky. Read 'em and weep...
BEGIN: 2 mi from High Point
• 17.320 mi
• 12.032 mi
• 4.528 mi
• 20.962 mi
• 2.547 mi
• 12.441 mi
• 23.543 mi
END: 2 mi from Barkers Mill
☛ I-24 is haphazardly cocked to one corner of Kentucky but in full it runs from Pulleys Mill IL to Chattanooga TN.
☛ By the late 1990s Kentucky received its only Interstate business loop. Biz I-24 uses surface streets through Paducah but doesn't show up on official logs and appears to be posted by the county or city.
BEGIN: 1 mi from Portland (Louisville)
• 23.974 mi
• 22.329 mi
• 13.128 mi
• 7.675 mi
• 3.894 mi
• 12.172 mi
• 14.780 mi
• 11.387 mi
• 13.308 mi
• 19.710 mi
• 32.147 mi
• 10.695 mi
END: 2 mi from Catlettsburg
☛ Runs from Wentzville MO to Chesapeake VA. Handy, ain't it?
☛ Enters Kentucky using the beautiful Sherman Minton Bridge in Louisville. This double-decker span features the eastbound lanes on bottom and westbound on top.
☛ Has an elevated section in downtown Louisville. Some want this section demolished to reclaim the riverfront - and I-64 rerouted onto the north loop of I-265.
BEGIN: 1 mi from Black Jack
• 13.711 mi
• 29.179 mi
• 0.417 mi
• 2.628 mi
• 8.021 mi
• 20.666 mi
• 4.039 mi
• 24.647 mi
• 19.872 mi
• 14.138 mi
• Includes tolls
END: 1 mi from Louisville (Louisville)
☛ Runs from Mobile AL to Gary IN.
☛ I-65 from Elizabethtown to Louisville was the Kentucky Turnpike - a toll road as the state parkways once were - from its 1954 opening to 1975. This stretch opened before the Interstate system was established.
☛ Designated as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Expressway in Louisville and Abraham Lincoln Expressway elsewhere.
☛ I-65 at the Ohio River in Louisville has long included the John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge - opened in 1963. In 2015 northbound traffic was moved to the new Abraham Lincoln Bridge - while southbound still uses the Kennedy. Each bridge now has 6 lanes.
☛ The Louisville bridges became toll in 2016.
BEGIN: JC 9003, 2 mi from Mayfield
• 13.202 mi
• 17.309 mi
END: I-24, 3 mi from Calvert City
BEGIN: I-24, Eddyville
• 6.164 mi
• 16.154 mi
• 36.991 mi
• 10.302 mi
• 10.949 mi
END: US 41, 1 mi from Rankin
☛ Starting in the 2000s or so, I-69 in Kentucky began appearing as a future Interstate marked on an official map.
☛ A new I-69 from Brownsville TX to the existing I-69 in Indianapolis (which runs to Port Huron MI) was esteemed by talking heads of the press. But the Kentucky portion was to require relatively little construction as I-69 was proposed along the Julian M. Carroll Parkway; I-24; the Western Kentucky and Breathitt parkways; and US 41. However a new bridge was planned near Henderson.
☛ In 2011 I-69 was officially established along the Western Kentucky Parkway between I-24 and the Breathitt.
☛ In 2016 I-69 was established along the northern half of the Breathitt.
BEGIN: 1 mi from Cliftons (Louisville)
• 11.315 mi
• 13.412 mi
• 13.359 mi
• 0.722 mi
• 14.625 mi
• 16.457 mi
• 7.834 mi
END: I-75, 1 mi from Kensington
☛ Runs from Louisville to Cleveland.
☛ Piggybacks on I-75 from Kensington to Cincinnati.
☛ Splits from I-75 in Cincinnati and forms Fort Washington Way. Fort Washington Way was long criticized by the media and business sector because it was supposedly too unattractive to encourage commerce downtown. Boo hoo! They even proposed routing I-71 along I-275 and I-471 to put additional strain on roads that already carried more traffic than they were built to handle.
☛ A costly reconstruction of Fort Washington Way that took years to complete was launched. The freeway is now known for those odd spires that were added to 2 overpasses.
☛ One feasible but expensive proposal calls for building a park on a new level of land over Fort Washington Way - making that part of I-71 a cut-and-cover tunnel.
BEGIN: 1 mi from Fairview
• 27.943 mi
• 22.824 mi
• 22.641 mi
• 24.295 mi
• 23.089 mi
• 22.447 mi
• 23.024 mi
• 3.176 mi
• 13.873 mi
• 8.465 mi
END: 1 mi from West Covington
☛ Runs from Hialeah FL to Sault Ste. Marie MI.
☛ As the War on Drugs was being exploited for political purposes I-75 was blamed for drug trafficking - earning it the unappealing sobriquet of Cocaine Lane.
☛ Includes the Brent Spence Bridge at the Ohio River from Covington to Cincinnati - noted for the fact that it has 2 stories: northbound on bottom, southbound on top.
☛ The Brent Spence Bridge is over capacity and must soon be painfully replaced. The American Jobs Act would have paid for its replacement without a toll - but the Tea Party killed that bill.
☛ I-75 in northern Kentucky is known for being perpetually under construction: The so-called Death Hill stretch in Covington was completely rebuilt. Suburban exits were ruined by being reduced from a cloverleaf design. Houses and a church were taken to eliminate a small curve in Fort Mitchell.
☛ Except for the creation of the original roadway, the reconstruction of Death Hill and the Fort Mitchell curve was the most expensive road project ever in northern Kentucky.
☛ That project was soon followed by a sharp increase in the number of wrecks. (Cincinnati Enquirer 11/12/2000) Truck accidents nearly doubled between 2003 and 2006. (Cincinnati Post 1/11/2007)
☛ A couple of isolated surface streets in Covington were signed as Alt I-75 in the 2000s. This doesn't appear to be the state's designation.
BEGIN: KY 9007, 1 mi from Three Springs
• 18.167 mi
• 16.897 mi
• 24.410 mi
• 10.711 mi
☛ Established 2019 from the former William H. Natcher Parkway.
BEGIN: I-64, Portland (Louisville)
• 22.927 mi
END: I-71, Northfield
☛ An inner bypass of Louisville.
☛ What is now I-264 from US 31W on the southwest to US 60 on the east was built around 1948 as a US 60 bypass around Louisville - Kentucky's first freeway. It was originally KY 738.
☛ Some maps have labeled this stretch as US 60 - although it is not.
☛ The rest of I-264 opened in phases between 1970 and 1974.
☛ I-264 from the beginning to US 31W was known as the Shawnee Expressway until 2010 when it was redesignated as the Georgia Davis Powers Expressway.
☛ The rest of I-264 is designated as the Henry Watterson Expressway.
BEGIN: KY 841, 1 mi from South Park View (Louisville)
• 24.477 mi
END: KY 841, 1 mi from Langdon Place (Louisville)
☛ An outer bypass of Louisville.
☛ Originally known as the Jefferson Freeway but later renamed the Gene Snyder Freeway for an ultraconservative congressman.
☛ The rest of the Gene Snyder Freeway is KY 841.
☛ The Gene Snyder Freeway was completed from US31W in the southwest to US 42 in the northeast in 1987.
☛ It is expected that I-265 will take over KY 841 past the northeast end to link with the Indiana stretch.
☛ A parody of Snyder's goofy campaign song went: ''Don't vote for Gene Snyder...He's a right-wing congressman...You know just where he stands...Let's throw him in the garbage can!''
• 4.518 mi
• 7.783 mi
• 12.276 mi
END: 3 mi from Idlewild
☛ A complete loop around Cincinnati.
☛ Mileposts begin at I-75 in Erlanger and increase clockwise back to the beginning.
☛ I-275 is 84 miles long and is the longest complete loop in the U.S.
☛ I-275 is reportedly the only 3-digit Interstate to cover 3 states.
☛ The Ohio portion is known as the Donald H. Rolf Circle Freeway.
☛ Uses the Combs-Hehl Bridge to cross the Ohio River from Ohio into Kentucky.
☛ An exit to what is now KY 445 (formerly KY 8) between Fort Thomas and Silver Grove was once proposed.
☛ What is reportedly the highest bridge in the Cincinnati area is the US 27 overpass over I-275 in Highland Heights - often called the IGA Viaduct because of its proximity to a now-defunct store. You can probably drop Max Headroom from it and not have to worry about him ever again. (I use Max Headroom as an example because he's a fictional person and can't sue me for allegedly encouraging you to drop him from an overpass.)
☛ Includes the Alvin C. Poweleit M.D. Memorial Bridge - a 1977 bridge at the Licking River.
☛ Includes the Carroll Cropper Bridge - crossing the Ohio River to Indiana.
☛ In the 1990s highway officials claimed I-275's pavement in Kenton County hadn't been set properly when the road was first built. They closed each side of the freeway for a year and routed traffic onto the other side for the unnecessary repaving. Accidents resulting from this project led to impassable traffic jams - which once forced us to drive on the closed side of the road and travel the wrong way on an exit ramp to KY 16 to avoid idling in stalled traffic for hours in hot weather.
☛ In 2011 Tea Party lawmakers in Kentucky erected signs calling I-275 the Ronald Reagan Highway. Nobody else calls it that - and the move wasn't approved by any other body.
☛ I-275 isn't enough for some. They want a bypass even further away from town. In the mid-1990s a pipe dream of a 225-mile circumferential Interstate linking the likes of Owenton KY; Greensburg IN; Middletown OH; and Maysville KY was announced but the idea was scrapped because it was about as popular as a canker sore.
☛ The Tea Party resurrected part of the above to even more laughs in the mid-2010s. When the Tea Party insisted that the Brent Spence Bridge replacement on I-75 be built their way or not at all, they instead suggested an outer loop around the east side of town that would have been many times as costly. But initially this plan was partially tucked inside I-275 and would have included a bridge from Fort Thomas to Newtown OH. Look at a map to see why that's ridiculous.
☛ Am I the only person who thinks I-275 is shaped like Snoopy's head?
BEGIN: KY 471, Highland Hts.
• 5.016 mi
☛ Yes, I-471 officially begins at I-275. The continuation to US 27 in Highland Heights is legally KY 471 after being dropped from the Interstate system with no fanfare in 1990 - even though it's still called an Interstate on road signs and in common speech.
☛ I-471 was completed in the early 1980s and seems almost synonymous with Campbell County itself. Notice how working-class neighborhoods were razed to build I-471 even though the road bulges to the west to avoid displacing any part of Highland Country Club.
☛ A rare highlight of I-471 as it weaves and wafts in and out of several local cities is the Daniel Carter Beard Bridge - folks call it the Big Mac because of its yellow arches - to Cincinnati and its northern terminus at its parent I-71.
☛ South of I-275 the freeway continues as ''secret'' KY 471 to its southern terminus at the perilous Malfunction Junction - an at-grade intersection with US 27 in Highland Heights that sports incredibly long traffic lights and poor design despite repeated rebuilds.
☛ Another unfortunate characteristic of I-471 is its near-destruction of tiny Woodlawn and of the east side of Newport.
☛ Early plans were even worse: They called for I-471 to run from I-75 in Covington; along the riverfront through Newport; and to near where the current Big Mac span is. Thankfully that plan was scrapped in 1967.
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