U.S. Route 31E

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U.S. Route 31E marker

U.S. Route 31E
Major junctions
South end: US 31 / US 31W / US 41 / US 431 in Nashville, TN
  US 231 near Bransford, TN
I‑265 in Louisville, KY
I‑264 in Louisville, KY
North end: US 31 / US 31W / US 60 in Louisville, KY
States: Tennessee, Kentucky
Counties: TN: Davidson, Sumner
KY: Allen, Barren, Hart, Larue, Nelson, Spencer, Bullitt, Jefferson
Highway system

U.S. Route 31E (US 31E) is the easternmost of two parallel routes for U.S. Highway 31 from Nashville, Tennessee, to Louisville, Kentucky. (At one time, it split with U.S. Highway 31W at Sellersburg, Indiana, north of Louisville.)

Route description[edit]


After its Nashville beginning, the highway passes through Hendersonville and Gallatin, Tennessee.It never intersects Interstate 40.


Junction of U.S. Route 31E and Interstate 265

U.S. Route 31E in Kentucky is the easternmost of two parallel routes for U.S. Highway 31 in Kentucky, in between each is Interstate 65 in Kentucky. At the north end is Louisville, Kentucky, starting at the George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge. Going south, it goes through the towns of Mount Washington, Bardstown, New Haven, Hodgenville, Glasgow, and Scottsville before arriving at the Tennessee border. In the 19th century the same route was a stagecoach path between Louisville and Nashville, Tennessee, and before that a postal route at least by 1820.[1] Originally part of the Jackson Highway, the Works Progress Administration measured the total distance on 31E in Kentucky as 147.8 miles (237.9 km).[2]

Junction of U.S. Route 31E and Interstate 264

Its only interchanges with interstates are in Jefferson County; both of which are beltways: Interstate 264 (Watterson Expressway) and the I-265/Gene Snyder Expressway. However, it has intersections with the state freeways of Martha Layne Collins Blue Grass Parkway (in Nelson County) and with the Louie B. Nunn Cumberland Parkway in Barren County.

There are various historical sites along 31E in Kentucky. Among them are Cave Hill Cemetery and Farmington Historic Plantation in Louisville, My Old Kentucky Home State Park in Bardstown, and Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site just south of Hodgenville. Also, five historic monuments to the Civil War are along the path: three in Louisville, one in Bardstown, and one in Glasgow.[3]

31E has been known as a dangerous road, with many risky spots. A historic one was at Coxs Creek in Nelson County, where a post office had to be relocated so traffic could see each other.[4] Other dangerous spots in Nelson County where emergency personnel consider notorious are Gobel Lake Curve, Hibbs Lane, and High Grove.[5]

When the rerouting of 31E in Nelson and Spencer Counties was being planned, a survey of historic sites that could have been affected by the new route was studied, especially if the sites could one day become listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[6]


The American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) adopted a resolution against split routes in 1934. In order to eliminate the split in US-31 between Nashville, Tennessee, and Louisville, Kentucky, AASHO commissioned U.S. Route 37, replacing US 31E from the Louisville area south to Glasgow, Kentucky, where it then followed Kentucky Route 63 and several routes in Tennessee to Chattanooga. The rest of US 31E from Glasgow to Nashville was assigned U.S. Route 143. This proposed route was extended southwest to Centerville in 1938 and Jackson in 1944 via State Route 100 and State Route 20. US 31W would have become the main route of US 31.

Kentucky and Tennessee refused to accept the renumbering and never changed signage for the routes. In 1952, AASHO re-recognized the split, officially restoring the US 31E and US 31W designations.

Junction list[edit]

County Location Destinations Notes
Davidson Nashville US 31 south / US 31W north / US 41 / US 431 Southern terminus; south end of freeway; southbound exit and northbound entrance
Cleveland Street
Douglas Avenue
Trinity Lane
Hart Lane
Broadmoor Drive
SR 155 west (Briley Parkway) to I-65 – Memphis, Louisville South end of SR 155 overlap
SR 155 east (Briley Parkway) – Knoxville, Nashville International Airport North end of freeway; north end of SR 155 overlap
SR 45 (Old Hickory Road)
Sumner Hendersonville
US 31E Bus. north (Main Street)
SR 386 west South end of freeway/SR 386 overlap
SR 258 – White House, Hendersonville SR 386 exit 6
Indian Lake Boulevard, Drakes Creek Road SR 386 exit 7

US 31E Bus. south / Saundersville Road
SR 386 exits 8 & 9; north end of SR 386 overlap
Gallatin SR 109 – Portland, Martha
SR 25 west / SR 174 south / SR 386 west – Springfield, Goodlettsville South end of SR 25/174 overlap
SR 25 east – Hartsville North end of SR 25 overlap
SR 174 north – Oak Grove North end of SR 174 overlap
US 231 south / SR 376 south – Lebanon South end of US 231 overlap
Westmoreland SR 52 – Portland, Lafayette

Bannered Routes[edit]

Glasgow business route[edit]

U.S. Highway 31E Business
Location: Glasgow, Barren County, KY
Length: 3.24 mi (5.214 km)

US Route 31E Business starts near the Southgate Shopping Center 0.379 mile north of the Exit 11 interchange of the Louie B. Nunn Cumberland Parkway, and intersects Kentucky Routes 249 and 63 before reaching the Barren County Courthouse at the Public Square. It then joins US 68 Business for only 0.123 miles before right-turning onto North Race Street. US 31E Business then follows North Race Street, passes the T.J. Samson Hospital, and ends at an intersection with the regular US 31E alignment on the north side of town about one mile south of the Veterans Outer Loop.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kleber p.16
  2. ^ Simon pp.288,289
  3. ^ Joseph E. Brent (January 8, 1997). "National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Submission: Civil War Monuments in Kentucky, 1865-1935 PDF (1.81 MiB)". National Park Service. 
  4. ^ Rennick p.70
  5. ^ "US 31E Nelson-Spencer Counties". Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Fall 2004. Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  6. ^ "US 31E Nelson-Spencer Counties". Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Winter 2002. Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  • Kleber, ed. (1992). The Kentucky Encyclopedia. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-1772-0. 
  • Rennick, Robert M. (1988). Kentucky Place Names. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-0179-4. 
  • Simon, F. Kevin (1996). The WPA Guide to Kentucky: A Guide to the Bluegrass State. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-0865-9. 

External links[edit]