U.S. Route 431

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U.S. Route 431 marker

U.S. Route 431
Route information
Length: 556 mi[1] (895 km)
Major junctions
South end:
US-231 / US-231 Bus. / US-431 Bus. at Dothan, AL
 

I‑85 at Opelika, AL
I‑20 near Oxford, AL
I‑59 at Gadsden, AL
I‑565 at Huntsville, AL
SR 840 at Thompson's Station, TN
I-440 at Nashville, TN
I-40 / I-65 at Nashville, TN
I-24 at Nashville, TN
I-24 / I-65 at Nashville, TN
SR 155 at Nashville, TN
I-24 at Joelton, TN

Western Kentucky Parkway at Central City, KY
North end: US 60 at Owensboro, KY
Highway system

U.S. Route 431 is a spur of U.S. Route 31. It currently runs for 556 miles (895 km) from Owensboro, Kentucky at U.S. Route 60 to Dothan, Alabama, at U.S. Route 231 and U.S. Route 84.

Route description[edit]

Map showing the south end in Dothan, AL

Alabama[edit]

U.S. 431 is paired with unsigned State Route 1 throughout almost all of Alabama, with the exception Dothan, where it is paired with unsigned State Route 210. Within Dothan, AL 1 is also paired with US 231 between the Florida State Line and the Dothan Loop, and US Business Routes 231 and 431 in Dothan, Alabama.

The route takes a rather meandering path through southeast Alabama. It heads in a northeast direction to pass through Phenix City near the Georgia state line, then cuts back to the west to pass through Opelika; the portion between Phenix City and Opelika is concurrent with U.S. Route 280. From Opelika, US 431 swings back and forth between northwest and northeast as it works its way through the southern extent of the Appalachian Mountains, then turning northwest to pass through the Talladega National Forest, arriving at a junction with U.S. Route 78 a few miles east of Oxford. The combined routes travel westward into Oxford, where US 431 splits off and heads northward through Oxford and the adjacent city of Anniston; through this section the route is named Quintard Avenue.

From Anniston, US 431 heads northwards towards Gadsden. Southeast of Gadsden, in Glencoe, it combines with U.S. Route 278; the combined route passes westward through Gadsden, where it is named Meighan Boulevard. West of Gadsden, US 431 again turns to the northwest. At Guntersville, it joins with Alabama State Route 79. Through downtown Guntersville the route is divided into two separate one-way streets; the northbound street is named Blount Avenue and the southbound street is Gunter Avenue. At the northern edge of Guntersville, the split streets combine and the joint route crosses the Tennessee Rivervia the George S. Houston Bridge, before US 431 splits off and again heads in a northwest direction.

At Huntsville, US 431 passes over Monte Sano Mountain and through Huntsville's medical district before reaching Memorial Parkway; this portion of the route forms a portion of Governors Drive. At the Parkway, the route joins with U.S. Route 231; the combined routes then travel northward to the Tennessee state line.

Tennessee[edit]

A few miles north of the state line, in Fayetteville, US 231 and 431 split again, with 431 heading northwest in combination with Tennessee State Route 50. In the town of Petersburg, the combined route briefly joins with Tennessee State Route 129; the trio head a few miles northwest before SR-129 splits off to the west. From here, US 431/SR 50 travels through mountainous and largely undeveloped territory in south central Tennessee until arriving in Lewisburg. On the east side of Lewisburg, it joins with U.S. 31 Alternate; the combined routes form part of a bypass around the eastern side of Lewisburg. This portion is named Ellington Parkway, and it forms brief unions with state routes 272 and 11, plus a longer-lasting combination with Tennessee State Route 106. Meanwhile, SR 50 splits off to travel through downtown Lewisburg, rejoining US 431 on the north side of town.

On the north side of Lewisburg, US 31A splits off, and then a few miles later SR-50 splits off, while US 431 and SR-106 jointly continue north. The route pair, variously known through this section as Lewisburg Pike or Franklin Pike, eventually passes underneath Interstate 65 to enter the town of Franklin. Continuing north, the route pair passes through the exclusive Nashville subdivision of Brentwood before entering Nashville proper. The route skirts the campus of Vanderbilt University before entering downtown Nashville from the southwest. Crossing under Interstate 40 (where SR-106 ends), the route follows Broadway to its intersection with Rosa L. Parks Boulevard. Here the route makes a left turn towards the northwest, joining with U.S. Route 31 and U.S. Route 41 and several state routes. The route snakes around the state capitol and crosses the Cumberland River going northwest as James Robertson Parkway. In east Nashville, the route crosses under Interstate 24, then follows Spring Street and then Dickerson Pike northward.

At Whites Creek Pike, US 431 splits off from the other routes, heading westward back across north Nashville and then north out of Nashville. In combination with Tennessee State Route 65, it heads to Springfield, where it again joins with US-41 and SR-11. The combined routes pass north through Springfield, and then US-431/SR-65 split off and head north to the Kentucky state line.

Kentucky[edit]

U.S. 431 enters the state of Kentucky south of the town of Adairville, Kentucky where it runs north into Russellville, Kentucky. It continues through Russellville, Kentucky northbound where many new re-construction projects have widened it to a 4-Lane highway. U.S. 431 continues its northward journey passing through many small towns when it enters Drakesboro, Kentucky. After routing through Drakesboro, Kentucky, U.S. 431 follows most of its original route into Central City, Kentucky. In Central City, Kentucky U.S. 431 has a cloverleaf intersection (a former toll plaza when the parkway was toll) with the Western Kentucky Parkway. The route continues north and intersects with U.S. 62 where it then parallels the route in a westerly direction to a western bypass around the Central Business District of Central City, Kentucky. A portion of this route is named Everly Brothers Boulevard because the duo is originally from Central City, Kentucky. U.S. 431 turns north at the State Route 189 & U.S. 62 Bypass and continues on through many small farming communities of Muhlenberg County, Kentucky & McLean County, Kentucky. It bisects many rural rolling hills and farms of the Western Coal Fields as well as crosses through river lowlands of the Ohio Valley on its journey to Daviess County, Kentucky. It enters the city of Owensboro, Kentucky as a 4-Lane highway and one of the main arterial roads into the city. Many shopping centers reside along its outer reaches in Owensboro, Kentucky.

As of mid-2010, U.S. 431 now officially terminates at the former US 60 By-Pass (Wendell H. Ford Expressway) on Owensboro's south side, following AASHTO's approval of Kentucky's renumbering of the US 60 By-Pass as simply U.S. 60. The former route of U.S. 60 through downtown Owensboro (Second and Fourth streets) is to be turned over to the city and made more "pedestrian-friendly" as part of the city's latest downtown revitalization plan.

In early 2011, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet renumbered the former section of U.S. 431 from US 60 to Fifth Street in Owensboro as Kentucky State Route 2831.

A small portion of U.S. 431 is famous for a unique reason. U.S. 431 crosses the Green River in McLean County, Kentucky. It is at that crossing in the town of Livermore, Kentucky that U.S. 431 crosses two rivers and also crosses into Ohio County, Kentucky then terminates the river crossing back in McLean County, Kentucky. This is the only known crossing of this type in the United States where a road starts in a county, crosses two separate rivers, crosses a sliver of land that is part of another county, and then terminates the bridge crossing in the original county it started in. This special feature is marked by a Kentucky Historical Marker on both approach ends of the U.S. 431 bridge in Livermore, Kentucky.

History[edit]

U.S. Route 241 was created in 1930, splitting from US 41 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and heading south to US 231 in Dothan, Alabama. The route of the highway, starting at Murfreesboro, TN, went south through Shelbyville and Fayetteville to Huntsville. From Huntsville, the highway snaked through Owens Cross Roads and New Hope (on a road currently named "Old Highway 431") on its way to Guntersville, then through Albertville and Boaz (on what is now AL 205) on its way to Gadsden, then to Anniston and Oxford. After US 231 was extended through north Alabama and Tennessee through Huntsville to Murfreesboro around 1952, the northern terminus of US 241 became Huntsville. In 1953, since US 241 began and ended in Alabama, it was decommissioned. However, US 431 was being extended southward from Kentucky through Tennessee and Alabama, so the lost section from Huntsville to Oxford gained the US 431 designation. However, from Oxford, the US 241 route ran through Talladega, Sylacauga, Goodwater, Alexander City, and Opelika, but US 431 was not routed onto this section, but onto the AL 37 route, which was a shorter route to Opelika. However, the Sylacauga to Opelika section did gain the US 280 designation. From Opelika, US 241 ran south to Phenix City and this section gained the US 431 designation.

Major intersections[edit]

References[edit]

Browse numbered routes
US-411 AL I‑459
SR 429 TN SR 431
KY 429 KY KY 431