U.S. Route 25E

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U.S. Route 25E marker

U.S. Route 25E
Route information
Auxiliary route of US 25
Length: 114 mi[2] (183 km)
Existed: November 26, 1926 (1926-11-26)[1] – present
Major junctions
South end: US-25 / US-25W / US-70 in Newport, TN
  US 25 / US 25W in North Corbin, KY
North end: I-75 in North Corbin, KY
Highway system

U.S. Route 25E is the eastern branch of U.S. Route 25 from Newport, Tennessee, where US 25 splits into US 25E and US 25W, to North Corbin, Kentucky, where the two highways rejoin. The road, however, continues as US 25E for roughly 2 miles (3.2 km) until it joins Interstate 75 in North Corbin.

All of US-25E in Tennessee is now the East Tennessee Crossings Byway, a National Scenic Byway.[3] A portion of US 25E in Tennessee is also designated as Appalachian Development Corridor S. The corridor follows US 25E between I-81 in White Pine and State Route 63 (Corridor F) in Harrogate.[4]

US 25E has been included in the U.S. Highway System since the system's inception in 1926.

Route description[edit]


Warning signs along U.S. 25E approaching Cumberland Gap Tunnel

Northbound US 25 and westbound US 70 leave Newport concurrent with one another. At an intersection west of town, US 25 splits into two highways: US 25E, which heads north from this point, and US 25W, which continues west along US 70.

US 25E crosses over Douglas Lake south of Baneberry. Between White Pine and Witt, the highway has an interchange with Interstate 81 (exit 8). North of the Interstate, the road widens out to four lanes, and receives the Appalachian Development designation "Corridor S". US 25E intersects US 11E east of Morristown. It then crosses Cherokee Reservoir.

Near Bean Station, US 25E joins US 11W. The two roads split 3 miles (4.8 km) west of Bean Station, and US 25E continues northwest to Tazewell.[5]

Northwest of Tazewell, the road bridges the Powell River, and then passes through Harrogate. In the town of Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, US 25E serves as the western terminus of US 58. US 25E used that highway en route to the Cumberland Gap prior to 1996, however, it now uses a new highway leading to the Cumberland Gap Tunnel, freeing up a portion of road that US 58 now uses. US 25E then passes through the tunnel, emerging on the other side in Kentucky.


The Kentucky side of the Cumberland Gap Tunnel.

US-25E remains a multilane divided highway for its entire extent in Kentucky.[6] Upon departing the tunnel, the road heads west to the town of Middlesboro, Kentucky, where it intersects Route 74. US-25E turns north at Middlesboro toward Pineville, the county seat of Bell County. In Pineville, the route is the western terminus of US-119.

US-25E departs Pineville and heads northwest, indirectly serving Tinsley via KY 92, crossing into Knox County, and bypassing Flat Lick to the west. The route makes an S-shaped curve, dipping south then turning back northwest as it approaches Barbourville. After serving the east side of Barbourville, the highway passes near Heidrick and runs through Baileys Switch.

Between Baileys Switch and Gray, US-25E gradually turns more east–west. After running through Gray, the route serves as the northern terminus of KY 3041. The road then reunites with US-25W north of Corbin, and the unsuffixed US-25 continues to points north. However, the US-25E designation continues west to Interstate 75, where it ends at Exit 29.[7]


Old US 25E sign in Cumberland Gap, Tennessee directing traffic to the former route over Cumberland Gap.

Before the Cumberland Gap Tunnel was opened in 1996, US 25E passed through the Cumberland Gap in Virginia. Prior to the U.S. highway system's arrival, Virginia's State Highway 10 began at the Cumberland Gap and proceeded to Bristol.[8] A short spur south to Tennessee was soon added,[citation needed] becoming State Route 107 in the 1923 renumbering and State Route 100 in the 1928 renumbering.[9]

Early U.S. Highway planning assigned the number U.S. Route 411 to SR 10 through Cumberland Gap to Kentucky, and no number to SR 107.[10] By the final 1926 plan, US 411 was truncated to Cumberland Gap, and US 25E ran from Tennessee to Kentucky along SR 10 and SR 107.[1] The State Route numbers were dropped in the 1933 renumbering.

The Cumberland Gap Tunnel opened in 1996, completely bypassing Cumberland Gap and Virginia. U.S. Route 58 was moved to a new alignment, meeting US 25E in Tennessee, and US 25E was decommissioned through Virginia. As it lay within the boundaries of the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, the National Park Service now controls the former road, and decided to return it to its pre-pavement state. The pavement was torn up, and old US 25E is now a dirt path.[11]

Junction list[edit]

State County Location Mile[7][12][13][14] km Destinations Notes
Tennessee Cocke Newport 0.0 0.0 US-25 / US-25W / US-70 US-25 splits into US 25E and US-25W
Jefferson White Pine 9.5 15.3 SR-341 west Eastern terminus of TN 341
11.1 17.9 SR-113 SR-113 joins northbound and splits southbound
Hamblen   13.0 20.9 I-81 Interchange, I-81 exit 8
  14.8 23.8 SR-343 north Southern terminus of SR-343
  15.5 24.9 SR-113 SR-113 splits northbound and joins southbound
Morristown 17.1 27.5 SR-160 Parclo interchange
19.5 31.4 US-11E south Interchange
19.8 31.9 US-11E north Interchange
22.3 35.9 SR-343 south Northern terminus of SR-343
Grainger   26.2 42.2 SR-375 south Northern terminus of SR-375
Bean Station 29.3 47.2 US-11W US 11W joins northbound and splits southbound
  31.2 50.2 US-11W US 11W joins southbound and splits northbound
Thorn Hill 38.6 62.1 SR-131
Claiborne   45.5 73.2 SR-33 SR-33 joins northbound and splits southbound
Tazewell 50.8 81.8 SR-33 SR-33 splits southbound and splits northbound
51.3 82.6 SR-345 east Western terminus of SR-345
Harrogate 60.2 96.9 SR-63 SR-63 joins northbound and splits southbound
60.4 97.2 SR-63 SR-63 joins southbound and splits northbound
61.2 98.5 US-58 east Western terminus of US 58
Cumberland Gap
Tennessee–Kentucky state line
Cumberland Gap Tunnel
Kentucky Bell Middlesboro 1.719 2.766 KY 74 west Eastern terminus of KY 74
2.781 4.476 KY 441 west Eastern terminus of KY 441
  6.322 10.174 KY 3486 south Northern terminus of KY 3486
  6.402 10.303 KY 188 east Western terminus of KY 188
Ferndale 8.313 13.378 KY 1534 north Southern terminus of KY 1534
  8.900 14.323 KY 3151 west Eastern terminus of KY 3151
  11.604 18.675 KY 190 west Eastern terminus of KY 190
Pineville 12.355 19.883 US 119 north Southern terminus of US 119
13.460 21.662 KY 66 north Southern terminus of KY 66
14.200 22.853 KY 2015 west Eastern terminus of KY 2015
  17.360 27.938 KY 2014 north Southern terminus of KY 2014
  17.576 28.286 KY 92 south Northern terminus of KY 92
Knox   19.075 30.698 KY 3085
  21.543 34.670 KY 930 west Eastern terminus of KY 930
  21.709 34.937 KY 3085 south Northern terminus of KY 3085
  22.471 36.164 KY 223 east Western terminus of KY 223
  24.081 38.755 KY 3439
  25.581 41.169 KY 1304 north Southern terminus of KY 1304
  26.684 42.944 KY 3153
  27.418 44.125 KY 2415
Barbourville 28.470 45.818 KY 225 / KY 3439 south/east Northern terminus of KY 225; western terminus of KY 3439
29.439 47.377 KY 11 KY 11 joins northbound and splits southbound
29.596 47.630 KY 2420
Heidrick 30.205 48.610 KY 11
  30.811 49.585 KY 1487
  31.206 50.221 KY 2418 south Northern terminus of KY 2418
  32.610 52.481 KY 3438
  33.124 53.308 KY 229 north Southern terminus of KY 229
  34.437 55.421 KY 1527 north Southern terminus of KY 1527
  40.366 64.963 KY 233
  42.227 67.958 KY 830
  42.872 68.996 KY 2417 / KY 3041 south Northern terminus of KY 3041
Corbin 44.301 71.296 KY 312
44.593 71.765 KY 1629 west Eastern terminus of KY 1629
Laurel North Corbin 45.192 72.729 US 25 / US 25W US-25W becomes US-25
  45.703 73.552 KY 3431
  46.805 75.325 I-75
  46.872 75.433 KY 770 west Western terminus of US-25E; Eastern terminus of KY-770
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Popular culture[edit]

The northern section of US 25E from the Kentucky State line to Tazewell, along with the junctioning Tennessee SR-33 between Tazewell and Knoxville, were the inspiration for the song "The Ballad of Thunder Road", in which a moonshiner runs illegal whiskey from Kentucky to Tennessee along this route.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bureau of Public Roads (November 11, 1926). United States System of Highways Adopted for Uniform Marking by the American Association of State Highway Officials (Map). 1:7,000,000. Cartography by U.S. Geological Survey. OCLC 32889555. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth298433/m1/1/zoom/. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  2. ^ Droz, Robert V. "US Highways: Divided (Split) Routes". [self-published source]
  3. ^ O'Neil, Duay (October 20, 2009). "Hwy 25 East is Now a National Scenic Byway". The Newport Plain Talk. 
  4. ^ ADHS Approved Corridors and Termini
  5. ^ Rand McNally. "Eastern Tennessee". The Road Atlas (Map) (2008 Large Scale ed.). p. 193.
  6. ^ Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Official Highway Map (Map) (2008 ed.).
  7. ^ a b "HIS Official Milepoint Route Log Report (Laurel County)". Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Retrieved January 19, 2010. 
  8. ^ State Highway Commission (July 5, 1922) (PDF). Minutes of the First Meeting of the State Highway Commission Created Under the Acts of 1922 (Report). Richmond, VA: Commonwealth of Virginia. http://www.virginiadot.org/meetings/minutes_pdf/CTB-07-1922-01.pdf., Proposed "State Highway System" for Virginia, as Recommended by the State Roads Committee, January 1918
  9. ^ "VA 100". Virginia Highways Project. [self-published source]
  10. ^ Secretary of Agriculture (November 18, 1925). Report of Joint Board on Interstate Highways, October 30, 1925 (Report). US Department of Agriculture.
  11. ^ National Park Service (PDF). Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Map (Map). http://www.nps.gov/cuga/planyourvisit/upload/CUGA_Park%20Map.pdf.
  12. ^ Google Inc. "U.S. Route 25E". Google Maps (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=TN-32+N%2FUS-25E+N&daddr=TN-32+N%2FUS-25E+N+to:State+St+to:S+Davy+Crockett+Pkwy%2FTN-113+N%2FTN-32+N%2FUS-25E+N%2FUS-25E+Scenic+N+to:S+Davy+Crockett+Pkwy%2FTN-113+N%2FTN-32+N%2FUS-25E+N%2FUS-25E+Scenic+N+to:S+Davy+Crockett+Pkwy%2FTN-113+N%2FTN-32+N%2FTN-32+Bypass+N%2FUS-25E+N%2FUS-25E+Scenic+N+to:S+Davy+Crockett+Pkwy+to:N+Davy+Crockett+Pkwy+to:N+Davy+Crockett+Pkwy+to:N+Davy+Crockett+Pkwy+to:Dixie+Hwy%2FTN-32+N%2FUS-25E+N+to:US-25E+N+to:Old+Lee+Hwy%2FTN-1+W%2FTN-32+N%2FUS-25E+N+to:36.354744,-83.434811+to:Dixie+Hwy%2FTN-32+N%2FUS-25E+N%2FUS-25E+Scenic+N+to:TN-32+N%2FTN-33+S%2FUS-25E+N%2FUS-25E+Scenic+N+to:TN-32+N%2FUS-25E+N%2FUS-25E+Scenic+N+to:TN-32+N%2FUS-25E+N%2FUS-25E+Scenic+N+to:Cumberland+Gap+Pkwy+to:TN-32+N%2FUS-25E+N+to:TN-32+N%2FUS-25E+N&hl=en&geocode=FaDiJAIdq0wK-w%3BFYqsJgId3lQJ-w%3BFQgBJwIdbi4J-w%3BFcVnJwIdQz8J-w%3BFVPIJwIdNlwJ-w%3BFfTtJwIdw1kJ-w%3BFcJAKAIdSnUJ-w%3BFTm6KAIdp5cJ-w%3BFUPJKAId05IJ-w%3BFfU-KQIdGDYJ-w%3BFe4IKgIdsg0J-w%3BFXqVKgIdvvcI-w%3BFX2SKgId93gI-w%3B%3BFQKeKwId9tYF-w%3BFeg1LAIdV9UE-w%3BFSJQLAIdgNoE-w%3BFTTsLQIdHJUD-w%3BFc73LQIdko0D-w%3BFVRcLgIdE2cD-w%3BFUFxLgId4DQD-w&mra=mi&mrcr=12,13&mrsp=13&sz=14&sll=36.348246,-83.419447&sspn=0.046456,0.090895&ie=UTF8&ll=36.589551,-83.65591&spn=0.046036,0.090895&z=14. Retrieved January 19, 2010.
  13. ^ "HIS Official Milepoint Route Log Report (Bell County)". Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Retrieved January 19, 2010. 
  14. ^ "HIS Official Milepoint Route Log Report (Knox County)". Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Retrieved January 19, 2010.