Interstate 65

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Interstate 65 marker

Interstate 65
Route information
Length: 887.30 mi[1] (1,427.97 km)
Major junctions
South end: I‑10 in Mobile, AL

I‑85 in Montgomery, AL
I‑20 / I‑59 in Birmingham, AL
I‑565 in Huntsville, AL
I-24 / I-40 in Nashville, TN

I‑64 / I‑71 in Louisville, KY
I-74 / I-70 / I-465 in Indianapolis, IN
I-80 / I-94 in Gary, IN
North end: I-90 / Indiana Toll Road / US 12 / US 20 in Gary, IN
Highway system

Interstate 65 (I-65) is a major Interstate Highway in the eastern United States. Its southern terminus is located at an intersection with Interstate 10 in Mobile, Alabama, and its northern terminus is at an interchange with Interstate 90, U.S. Route 12, and U.S. Route 20 (the Dunes Highway) in Gary, Indiana, just southeast of Chicago.[2]

  mi[1] km
AL 367.00 590.63
TN 121.71 195.87
KY 137.32 221.00
IN 261.27 420.47
Total 887.30 1427.97

Route description[edit]


Approaching an exit for I-65 in downtown Birmingham

In the state of Alabama, I-65 passes through or near four of the state's major metropolitan areas: Mobile, Montgomery, Birmingham, and Huntsville. Interstate 65 begins its path northward in Mobile at its junction with Interstate 10. From I-10, I-65 runs west of downtown Mobile and through the northern suburbs of the city before turning northeasterly towards Montgomery. In Montgomery, I-65 connects with the southern terminus of Interstate 85. In Birmingham, I-65 has an interchange with Interstate 20 and Interstate 59. Sometime in the near future, Interstate 22 will branch off I-65 north of downtown towards Memphis. From Birmingham, I-65 continues north, crossing the Tennessee River near Decatur. A few miles north of the river, it interchanges with Interstate 565, which provides access to Huntsville. It then continues northwards out of the Tennessee Valley to the State of Tennessee, towards Nashville.


Interstate 65 southbound in Nashville.

I-65 enters Tennessee from the south near the town of Ardmore, and passes through mostly rural territory for 65 miles (105 km). It then passes Lewisburg. Then it reaches the outer parts of Columbia and making its way to Saturn Parkway, which brings travelers to the town of Spring Hill, TN. I-65 then continues on to reach Tennessee State Route 840 and progresses until it intersects Highway 96 at Franklin. Then the highway goes through Brentwood, TN, Nashville, Madison, Goodlettsville, White House, and then close to Portland, this highway passes into the State of Kentucky.


Interstate 65 northbound at the William H. Natcher Parkway in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The signs are new and in Clearview font.

Interstate 65 enters the state five miles (8 km) south of Franklin. It passes by the major cities of Bowling Green, Elizabethtown, and Louisville before exiting the state.

Throughout its length, it passes near Mammoth Cave National Park, Bernheim Forest, the National Corvette Museum and the Fort Knox Military Reservation.

I-65 has intersections with four of the parkways. The first major junction is with the William H. Natcher Parkway at Bowling Green, followed by the Cumberland Parkway north of the city between Smiths Grove and Park City. At Elizabethtown, it has two more parkway interchanges with the Wendell H. Ford Western Kentucky Parkway and the Martha Layne Collins Bluegrass Parkway. Interstate 65 also has interchanges with I-265, I-264, I-64, and I-71.

The widest stretch of Interstate 65 in its entirety is in Louisville at the Kentucky Route 1065 (Outer Loop), where the main line is 14 lanes wide. The highway crosses the Ohio River into Indiana on the John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge.

At one time, the stretch of I-65 from Louisville to Elizabethtown was a toll road bearing the Kentucky Turnpike name. The bonds that financed the road have been paid off, and tolls are no longer collected. All signs of the former turnpike have been removed.

On November 15, 2006, the stretch of I-65 from Bowling Green to Louisville was renamed the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Highway.

On February 12, 2007, a bill passed the Kentucky Senate to rename I-65 in Jefferson County, Kentucky the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Expressway.[3] Signs were posted July 25, 2007.[4]

On July 15, 2007, Kentucky highway officials raised its speed limits on Interstate and State Parkway highways to 70 miles per hour (110 km/h). Until that date, Kentucky was the only state along I-65's path that had a speed limit of 65 mph (105 km/h).

Both of the Ford Motor Company truck plants in Louisville are accessible—The Explorer SUV plant is directly accessible from I-65 while the Kentucky Truck Plant, makers of the F-350 and Excursion SUV, is accessed via I-265. Worldport, UPS' main worldwide air cargo hub and sorting facility, is located at Louisville International Airport, the seventh busiest cargo airport in the world[5] and adjacent to Interstate 65 at MM 128-131.

In Bowling Green, I-65 comes within the proximity of a General Motors Corporation plant that makes the Chevrolet Corvette sports car.

Through 2016, the Ohio River Bridges Project is constructing a new 6-lane suspension bridge (eventually all-Northbound) at Louisville and rebuilding the I-65/I-64/I-71 convergence interchange just south of I-65's existing (1963) John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge, to become 6-lanes all-Southbound after completion of the new bridge and the Kennedy Bridge re-hab. Another 6-lane suspension bridge is also under construction 12 miles upstream on the Ohio, to complete the I-265 loop around fast-growing urbanized Louisville.


Interstate 65 just outside Indianapolis, Indiana

Interstate 65 enters the Hoosier state at Jeffersonville and Clarksville. Miles 0-9 were rebuilt, widened and realigned from north of Sellersburg to the Ohio River during 2008-10, giving great traffic relief to the fast-growing Indiana suburbs of Louisville. Over 300,000 of the 1.5 million persons in Louisville's CMSA live in its Indiana counties.

The section of Interstate 65 in downtown Indianapolis overlaps Interstate 70. The junctions are often referred to as the "North Split" and the "South Split", forming a section of interstate locally known as the "Inner Loop" or "Spaghetti Junction" due to the visual complexity of the overlapping freeways.

In mid-March 2007, a six-mile (10 km) section of Interstate 70 from the North Split to Interstate 465 east of downtown was restricted to automobiles only for the "Super 70" project, a massive rebuild and expansion of that freeway. Trucks over 13 tons were forced to divert through Interstate 65 if coming from the north and use the circular Interstate 465 to the south to reconnect to Interstate 70 East. Westbound traffic from Interstate 70 was required to loop north or south along Interstate 465 to get to Interstates 65 or 70. The Super 70 project was completed in November 2007.

In the summer of 2003, the portion of Interstate 65 that runs concurrently with Interstate 70 was closed to all traffic due to the "HyperFix" project. During that time, a new concrete surface was installed and the overpasses were upgraded.

In 1999, the 25 mile (40 km) segment of Interstate 65 between the two Interstate 465 interchanges was renamed the Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds Highway.

North of Lafayette near Brookston, the road passes through the Meadow Lake Wind Farm for several miles, with the turbines and standards spaced out in order to avoid a collapse onto the highway. The Fowler Ridge Wind Farm is also visible on both sides of the highway.

Upon crossing into Lake County, Indiana, over the Kankakee River, the highway is known as the Casimir Pulaski Memorial Highway. It is known as this from that point to its northern terminus.

The northern terminus of Interstate 65 was only 1/8 mile (0.2 km) north of Interstate 90 (Indiana Toll Road), prior to 2004. Until then, traffic going from Interstate 90 to Interstate 65 had to make a physical left turn onto Interstate 65 via a traffic signal. Traffic from Interstate 65 to Interstate 90 bypassed the traffic signal via an isolated right-turn lane. In 2004 it was fully grade-separated, so it is now considered to be a single interchange between I-65, I-90, US-12, and US-20, thereby eliminating a Connection gap in the Interstate system.

Major intersections[edit]

The future Interstate 22 near Birmingham will join and cross beneath I-65 before terminating at US 31 just a few blocks away. The target date for the completion of the final sections of the new route is 2014. Construction began August 1, 2010.

Auxiliary routes[edit]

See also[edit]


Route map: Google / Bing

  1. ^ a b "Route Log and Finder List - Interstate System: Table 1". FHWA. Retrieved 2007-10-04. 
  2. ^ "Interstate 65". 2006-12-06. Retrieved 2007-07-26. 
  3. ^ Gerth, Joseph (2007-02-13). "Senate OKs renaming I-65 for King". The Courier-Journal. 
  4. ^ Shafer, Sheldon S. (2007-07-25). "Mayor, Democrats back I-65 King plan". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved 2007-07-30. 
  5. ^ "Table 2 – TOTAL CARGO TRAFFIC 2013 - Preliminary World Airport Traffic and Rankings 2013 - High Growth Dubai Moves Up to 7th Busiest Airport - Mar 31, 2014". Airports Council International. March 31, 2014. Retrieved 2014-07-06.