Cumberland Parkway

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Cumberland Parkway marker

Cumberland Parkway
Route information
Length: 88.547 mi[1] (142.503 km)
Major junctions
West end: I‑65 near Park City
 
East end: US 27 near Somerset
Location
Counties: Barren, Metcalfe, Adair, Russell, Pulaski
Highway system

The Louie B. Nunn Cumberland Parkway is an 88-mile-long (142 km) east–west controlled-access highway in the U.S. state of Kentucky, extending from Barren County in the west to Somerset in the east. It is one of nine highways that are part of Kentucky's parkway system.

The parkway begins at an interchange with Interstate 65 (exit 43) between Smiths Grove and Park City. It travels east through rolling farmland to its eastern terminus at U.S. Route 27 in north of Somerset. The road parallels Kentucky Route 80 for its entire length. The parkway passes the cities of Glasgow, Edmonton, Columbia, and Russell Springs. It passes near two popular state parks: Lake Cumberland State Resort Park and Barren River Lake State Resort Park. The length of the parkway is designated unsigned Kentucky Route 9008 (LN 9008).

The road is named after Louie B. Nunn, a former Kentucky governor from Barren County who was instrumental in the road's creation. Originally called the Cumberland Parkway from its opening in 1972-1973, it was renamed for Nunn in 2000.

Presumably, the Nunn Parkway was built to Interstate Highway standards at its time of construction aside from some at-grade intersections and traffic signals near its east end, which were eliminated in 2010 by constructing a northwestern bypass around Somerset. The east end of the parkway is currently a partial cloverleaf at U.S. 27. An extension to complete the northern bypass is in the works.

History[edit]

Original Cumberland Parkway shield

The Nunn Parkway, as with all nine parkways, was originally a toll road. By Kentucky state law, toll collection ceases when enough toll has been collected or funds received from other sources, such as a legislative appropriation, to pay off the construction bonds for the parkway. In the case of the Nunn, toll booths were removed in 2003 because of a bill in the United States Congress sponsored by Hal Rogers (R-KY), which included an appropriation to pay off the bonds on the parkway as well as the Daniel Boone Parkway in eastern Kentucky. The state legislature then renamed the Boone Parkway for Rogers, which sparked a controversy among residents of the region and the offspring of Boone. Nunn tried to calm the controversy by suggesting the state rename the Nunn Parkway for Rogers instead, restoring the Boone name, saying that the Cumberland Parkway had been named for Nunn without his consent anyway.

The road had three toll plazas:

Future[edit]

Interstate 66[edit]

The parkway has been designated a part of the "Future Interstate 66 Corridor," a proposed four-lane Interstate utilizing the existing Cumberland and Hal Rogers Parkway, among other routes, across the southern tier of Kentucky. It cannot be signed as an Interstate until it has permanent connections to the east and west, both of which have not been determined due to the King Coal Highway in West Virginia being demoted to a corridor-standard roadway for US 52. As part of the upgrade of the Cumberland Parkway to interstate standards for I-66, two new exits have been proposed by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC). The first new exit (which has been completed) is at KY 61 (Exit 46) making a second connection to Columbia and a connection to Burkesville and Dale Hollow Lake. The second proposed exit is yet to be under construction or completed by early to late 2012 at KY 910 (Exit 70) connecting the small towns of Salem and Windsor. Currently, the LCADD (Lake Cumberland Area Development District) and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet are considering proposal to upgrade KY80 from Nancy Exit and KY910 near future KY910 exit, to form a connector type road into Casey County, intersecting with US127 between Phil KY and Dunnville KY. If funds are authorized down the road this may extend KY910 further west as well, crossing the Green River, and connecting to KY206/KY70 near Cresten KY. Eventual plans call for an upgraded KY70 from Liberty to Campbellsville, making this a major regional highway from future I66, to the future Heartland Parkway.

Exit list[edit]

County Location Mile[1] km Exit Destinations Notes
Barren   0.000 0.000 0 I‑65 – Bowling Green, Nashville, Elizabethtown, Louisville Westbound only; signed as exits 0B (south) and 0A (north)
Glasgow 11.467 18.454 11 US 31E – Glasgow, Scottsville
14.027 22.574 14 KY 90 – Glasgow
15.374 24.742 15 KY 1519 to US 68 – Glasgow
Metcalfe Edmonton 27.400 44.096 27 US 68 / KY 80 – Edmonton, Glasgow
Adair Columbia 46.000 74.030 46 KY 61 – Columbia, Burkesville
48.886 78.674 49 KY 55 – Columbia
Russell Russell Springs 62.419 100.454 62 US 127 – Jamestown, Russell Springs
Pulaski   78.349 126.090 78 KY 80 – Nancy
Somerset 86.104 138.571 86 To US 27 / KY 914 – Somerset, Burnside
88.258 142.037 88 US 27 – Somerset, Lexington Partial cloverleaf interchange: only westbound ramps open
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing