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.

Major intersections[edit]

State County Location mi km Destinations Notes
Tennessee Davidson Nashville US 31 south (James Robertson Parkway / US 41 south / US 431 south / SR 6 south / SR 11 south) south end of SR 6 overlap; south end of freeway
Main Street southbound exit and northbound entrance
To I-24 / I-65 / Spring Street (US 31W north / US 41 north / US 431 north / SR 11 north) southbound exit and northbound entrance
Cleveland Street
Douglas Avenue
Trinity Lane
Hart Lane / Ben Allen Road
Broadmoor Drive
SR 155 west (Briley Parkway) / I-65 / Briarville Road – Louisville, Nashville south end of SR 155 overlap; US 31E south follows exit 15B
SR 155 east (Briley Parkway) / Gallatin Road south – Opryland, Airport north end of SR 155 overlap; north end of freeway; US 31E north follows exit 14
SR 45 (Old Hickory Boulevard)
Sumner Hendersonville SR 386 – Gallatin, Nashville SR 386 exit 3
SR 258 north (New Shackle Island Road)
SR 386 (Vietnam Veterans Boulevard) – Nashville SR 386 exit 9; no access from US 31E south to SR 386 north
Gallatin SR 109 / to Airport Road / Steam Plant Road – Portland, Lebanon, Bledsoe Creek State Park, Airport interchange
SR 25 (Red River Road / West Main Street / SR 174 west) – Airport south end of SR 174 overlap
SR 174 east (Albert Gallatin Avenue) north end of SR 174 overlap
Airport Road to Steam Plant Road - Bledsoe Creek State Park, Airport
Bransford US 231 south (SR 376) – Hartsville, Lebanon south end of US 231 overlap
Westmoreland SR 52 to SR 109 / I-65 – Portland, Lafayette
Kentucky Allen   KY 482 / KY 3521 south (Andrew Jackson Highway)
  KY 1147
Scottsville KY 100 (Franklin Road) – Franklin, Scottsville
US 231 north / KY 980 – Bowling Green, Scottsville north end of US 231 overlap
  KY 101 – Smiths Grove, Scottsville
  KY 3499
Cedar Springs KY 252 north / KY 1855 south
Barren   KY 87 – Barren River Lake State Resort Park
Lucas KY 1318 south end of KY 1318 overlap
KY 1318 north end of KY 1318 overlap
Haywood KY 252 south
Glasgow KY 2207 west

Cumberland Parkway / US 68 Truck east / KY 90 Truck east – Bowling Green, Somerset
Cumberland Parkway exit 11; south end of US 68 Truck / KY 90 Truck overlap

US 31E Bus. north to KY 63
KY 1297 (Cleveland Avenue)

US 68 Bus. / US 68 Truck west / KY 90 east (West Main Street)
north end of US 68 Truck / KY 90 Truck overlap; south end of KY 90 overlap
KY 90 west (Happy Valley Road) to I-65 north end of KY 90 overlap

US 31E Bus. south – SKYCTC Glasgow Campus
US 68 to KY 90
Griderville KY 70 – Cave City
Hart Bear Wallow KY 2195
Wigwam Village KY 218 – Horse Cave, Greensburg
Uno KY 571
Hardyville KY 88 – Munfordville, Greensburg
  KY 1572
Canmer KY 1854
KY 677
Linwood KY 566 east
KY 569 south south end of KY 569 overlap
KY 569 north north end of KY 569 overlap
Jonesville KY 936
LaRue Magnolia KY 1079 – Munfordville
KY 470 east – Buffalo
  KY 61 south – Greensburg, Mount Sherman, Buffalo south end of KY 61 overlap
Hodgenville KY 61 north / KY 1618 east to I-65 – Elizabethtown, Campbellsville north end of KY 61 overlap
KY 84 west to I-65 south end of KY 84 overlap
KY 210 west – Elizabethtown south end of KY 210 overlap; traffic circle around city park
KY 210 east – Campbellsville south end of KY 210 overlap
Ovesen Heights KY 1794 east
  KY 1832 west
White City KY 470 west south end of KY 470 overlap
KY 84 east – Lebanon north end of KY 84 overlap
KY 470 east north end of KY 470 overlap
Nelson New Haven KY 52 east – Lebanon, Trappist south end of KY 52 overlap
KY 52 west – Lyons Station north end of KY 52 overlap
Culvertown KY 247
  KY 46 west south end of KY 46 overlap
Balltown KY 46 east north end of KY 46 overlap
Bluegrass Parkway / US 31E Truck north – Elizabethtown, Lexington
Bardstown US 62 west (West Stephen Foster Avenue) – Elizabethtown, Airport south end of US 62 overlap
US 62 east / US 150 east (East Stephen Foster Avenue) to Bluegrass Parkway east north end of US 62 overlap; south end of US 150 overlap; traffic circle around Old Courthouse Building
KY 1430 west (West Beall Avenue)

KY 245 / US 31E Truck south / US 150 Truck east to I-65 / Bluegrass Parkway
KY 332 (Old Nazareth Road)
Coxs Creek KY 509 – Fairfield
  KY 523
  KY 480 west
Highgrove KY 48 east – Fairfield, Bloomfield
No major junctions
Bullitt   KY 2674 north
Mount Washington US 31EX north
KY 44 – Mount Washington Business District
  US 31EX south – Mount Washington Business District
Jefferson Louisville KY 660 east (Waterford Road)
KY 2053 west (Thixton Lane)
I-265 / KY 841 (Gene Snyder Freeway) I-265 exit 17
KY 1065 (Beulah Church Road / Seatonville Road)
KY 1747 (South Hurstbourne Parkway)
KY 1932 north (Breckenridge Lane)
Bardstown Road (KY 2251 north) - Buechel Business District
Progress Boulevard interchange
West Buechel Hikes Lane (KY 2052 south)
Bardstown Road (KY 2251 south) - Buechel Business District
Louisville I-264 (Watterson Expressway) I-264 exit 16
KY 155 south (Taylorsville Road)

US 60 Alt. (Eastern Parkway)
KY 2860 (Grinstead Drive)
KY 1703 south (Baxter Avenue)
US 150 west (East Broadway) north end of US 150 overlap
KY 864 south (East Chestnut Street)
US 42 east / US 60 east (East Main Street) south end of US 60 overlap; no direct access from US 42 west / US 60 west to US 31E south
KY 61 south (Preston Street) to I-64 / I-71
US 31 north (Second Street / Clark Bridge) / US 31W south / US 60 west (West Main Street) north end of US 60 overlap
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

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). 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]