|Length:||71.306 mi (114.756 km)|
|South end:||I-24 near Hopkinsville|
Audubon Pkwy. in Henderson
|North end:||US 41 in Henderson|
|Counties:||Christian, Hopkins, Webster, Henderson|
The Edward T. Breathitt Pennyrile Parkway is a 71.306-mile (114.756 km) controlled-access highway from Henderson to Hopkinsville, Kentucky. The parkway begins at Henderson as a continuation of the limited-access U.S. Route 41 (US 41) at exit 81; the northernmost three miles (5 km) of the Pennyrile Parkway are signed as US 41. It travels south through rolling hills to its southern terminus at Interstate 24 south of Hopkinsville. A seven-mile (11 km) section was left unconstructed from US 41 Alternate south to Interstate 24 despite its approval in 1976 from the Parkway Authority for construction. This connection was completed and opened to the public on March 1, 2011. The first 1.8 miles (2.9 km) of the extension to the U.S. Route 68 bypass (exit 6) were completed and opened to traffic in September 2008. The construction was then completed to exit 5, with the final section to I-24 opened on March 1, 2011.
The next phase of the extension – now completed – encompassed the portion of the parkway between US 41 Alternate and I-24. As of May 2010, the Lover's Lane interchange (Exit 5) is open to local traffic via U.S. Route 68 ramp (Exit 5). The final segment, from US 68 to Interstate 24, opened on March 1, 2011.
It is one of nine highways that are part of Kentucky's parkway system. The section between the Wendell H. Ford Western Kentucky Parkway near Mortons Gap and the northern terminus in Henderson became part of Interstate 69 with the passage of federal legislation on June 6, 2008. The length of the road carries the unsigned designation Kentucky Route 9004 (EB 9004).
The road is named after Edward T. Breathitt, a former Kentucky governor. Originally called the Pennyrile Parkway from its opening in October 1969 at a cost of $69.2 million, it was renamed for Breathitt in 2000.
The parkway passes the cities of Madisonville, Sebree, Mortons Gap, Slaughters, and Earlington. It intersects with the Wendell H. Ford Western Kentucky Parkway near Madisonville, and with the Audubon Parkway just south of Henderson.
The Pennyrile 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 Pennyrile, toll booths were removed in 1992 when bonds were paid off ten years ahead of schedule.
A section near the middle of the parkway, in the Madisonville area, was free from tolls from the road's opening; this section was also signed as US 41. The US 41 designation has since been removed and applied to the former US 41A through Madisonville and other nearby cities; this road was the original US 41 before the parkway opened. This redesignation followed a horrendous blizzard on January 17, 1994, which forced the Governor of Kentucky to close all Interstates and limited access highways in the state. Heavy trucks were forced to take US 41A through downtown Madisonville for a week, snarling local traffic.
The portion of the parkway from Madisonville to Henderson is part of the proposed southern extension of Interstate 69. On May 15, 2006, Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher announced that the Pennyrile Parkway between Henderson and Madisonville will be incorporated into Future Interstate 69. That same day, highway crews began installing "Future Interstate 69 Corridor" signs along this segment and the Western Kentucky Parkway between Mortons Gap and Interstate 24.
Federal legislation designating parkways as I-69
On May 2, 2008 the House of Representatives passed HR 1195 (SAFETEA-LU Technical Corrections Act of 2008) which designates the Pennyrile Parkway from Henderson to Madisonville, and the Western Kentucky Parkway from Madisonville to I-24 at Eddyville as I-69. It further designates the Audubon Parkway as a future spur (I-X69) of I-69 once necessary upgrades are completed. President Bush signed the bill on June 6, 2008, and I-69 signs may begin appearing on the Parkways during the summer of 2008.
||Hopkinsville||0.000||0.000||I-24 – Nashville, Paducah|
|5.175||8.328||5||Lover's Lane – Hopkinsville||Serves James E. Bruce Convention Center|
US 68 Byp. – Hopkinsville
US 41 Alt. – Hopkinsville, Fort Campbell
|Southern terminus until 2009|
|7.935||12.770||8||US 41 – Hopkinsville, Pembroke|
|9.359||15.062||9||US 68 / KY 80 – Hopkinsville, Elkton||Serves Jefferson Davis Monument State Historic Site and the Hopkinsville-Christian County Airport|
KY 1682 to US 41 Truck – Hopkinsville
|Serves Hopkinsville Community College|
|Crofton||22.653||36.456||23||KY 800 – Crofton||Serves Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park|
||Nortonville||29.568||47.585||30||US 41 south||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|32.861||52.885||33||US 62 – Nortonville, Greenville|
|34.271||55.154||34||I-69 south / Western Kentucky Pkwy. – Elizabethtown, Paducah||South end of I-69 overlap; signed as exits 34A (east) and 34B (west/south)|
|Mortons Gap||37.070||59.658||37||KY 813 – Mortons Gap|
|Earlington||39.794||64.042||40||KY 2171 – Earlington, Madisonville|
|Madisonville||42.418||68.265||42||KY 70 – Madisonville, Central City|
US 41 Alt. / KY 281 – Madisonville, Providence
|Serves Madisonville Community College|
|45.206||72.752||45||US 41 north – Madisonville||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|Hanson||48.979||78.824||49||KY 260 – Hanson|
|Slaughters||54.070||87.017||54||KY 138 – Dixon, Calhoun|
||Sebree||62.637||100.804||63||KY 56 – Sebree, Owensboro|
||Robards||68.363||110.020||68||KY 416||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|Henderson||76.258||122.725||76||KY 425 to US 60 west – Morganfield||Serves Henderson Community College and the Henderson City-County Airport|
|77.210||124.257||77||Audubon Pkwy. east – Owensboro|
|78.306||126.021||78||US 41 south||South end of US 41 overlap; southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|79||KY 351 – Zion, Henderson|
US 60 / US 41 Alt. – Owensboro, Henderson, Lexington
|Signed as exits 81A (east) and 81B (west/south). Highway continues north as US-41 toward Evansville, Indiana|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- "Kentucky Transportation Cabinet - Division of Planning - Highway Information System Official Milepoint Route Log Extract". Retrieved 2007-04-09.
- Carlyle, Jeffrey. "Edward T. Breathitt Pennyrile Parkway". KentuckyRoads.com.
- HR-1195 Text
- KY I-69 Designation Cruises Through Congress, Representative Whitfield Official Website, May 4, 2008
- Interstate 69 Legislation, Tristate Homepage.com
- President Bush Signs HR 1195, whitehouse.gov, June 6, 2008