U.S. Route 68

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U.S. Route 68 marker

U.S. Route 68
Route information
Length: 560 mi[1] (901 km)
Existed: 1926[1] – present
Major junctions
West end: US 62 at Reidland, KY
 

I‑24 near Cadiz, KY
I‑65 near Bowling Green, KY
I‑64 / I‑75 at Lexington, KY
I‑71 near Wilmington, OH

I‑70 at Springfield, OH
North end: I‑75 at Findlay, OH
Highway system

U.S. Route 68 (US 68) is an east–west United States highway that runs for 560 miles (900 km) from northwest Ohio to Western Kentucky. The highway's western terminus is at US 62 in Reidland, Kentucky. Its northern terminus is at Interstate 75 in Findlay, Ohio. It is signed east–west in Kentucky and north–south in Ohio.

Route description[edit]

Kentucky[edit]

The KY 9/KY 10 intersection with U.S. 62 and U.S. 68 in Maysville, Kentucky

U.S. Route 68 is designated as a "Scenic Highway" throughout Kentucky. The majority of the route winds through forested, hilly terrain.

The route passes several Civil War battle sites. The Battle of Tebbs Bend Historic Civil War Site is located near Campbellsville and the Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site is outside Perryville. In addition, the Jefferson Davis State Historic Site is along the highway about 9 miles (14 km) east of Hopkinsville at the small town of Fairview.

There is an annual 400-mile (640 km) yard sale held along the highway for 4 days in early summer.[2]

The sections of the highway through Campbellsville and Lebanon are slated for expansion to begin in 2008. The long-term goal is to widen and make safer the entire US 68 corridor through Kentucky as part of the Heartland Parkway project.[3][4]

Sections in Kentucky have been improved in recent years. The Paris Pike which was completed in 2003. Work is currently in progress to make US 68 four lanes through Land Between the Lakes.

Two spans of the US 68/KY 80 Eggner Ferry Bridge over Kentucky Lake collapsed after being struck by a cargo ship on January 26, 2012.[5] The bridge reopened to traffic on May 25, 2012.[6]

Ohio[edit]

US 68 takes a north–south route throughout much of Ohio. For much of the route, it roughly parallels Interstate 75 as it runs south from its junction with said interstate to the Kentucky border. As US 68 proceeds southward from Findlay, it generally lies one county east of Interstate 75. The route is an important connector for cities and villages in western Ohio. It also is used as the Springfield bypass.

History[edit]

US 68 previously ran to Toledo, Ohio, terminating at the west approach to the High Level Bridge south of downtown, but the Toledo-Findlay segment was decommissioned in the 1950s.[7]

Future[edit]

In Clark County, Ohio, there is an almost full-access interchange between controlled-access US 68 and US 40/SR 4, which is itself a controlled-access highway until approximately 0.3 mile west of the US 68 interchange. One exit ramp from US 68 ends on Upper Valley Pike, rather than on US 40/SR 4; another entrance ramp includes two-way traffic and an at-grade entrance to a retirement community. On US 40/SR 4 between the controlled-access portion and US 68, there are an at-grade intersection at Upper Valley Pike, other street and driveway breaks in access control and a steep grade on the eastbound approach toward Upper Valley Pike. In September 2013, the Clark County-Springfield Transportation Coordinating Committee (TCC) ranked the US 40/SR 4/Upper Valley Pike intersection as the most hazardous in the county, based on 2010-2012 crash data.[8][9] Because the road design over the years had played a significant factor in the high number of crashes in the area, the TCC conducted a study; in February 2006 it recommended reconfiguring the US 68 interchange and altering nearby traffic patterns. The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) the same year approved $5 million to fund the project. However, the TCC soon rejected ODOT's money, concluding that even its recommended fix would not be enough to solve the area road network's underlying problems.[8][10] Instead, the TCC is making small changes, such as improving traffic signal timing and adding signs. ODOT, for its part, is working on reducing the number of driveways near the US 40/SR 4/Upper Valley Pike intersection and on upgrading traffic signals.[8]

Major intersections[edit]

Highest point on US 68 at the US 33 interchange in Bellefontaine, Ohio.
US 68 in Jessamine County, Kentucky
Kentucky
I-24 near Paducah
I-24 near Hopkinsville
US 41A in Hopkinsville
US 41 in Hopkinsville
Pennyrile Pkwy. in Hopkinsville
Natcher Pkwy. in Bowling Green
US 231 in Bowling Green
US 31W in Bowling Green
US 60 in Lexington
I-75 near Lexington
US 62 south of Maysville (southern terminus of concurrency)
Ohio
US 62 in Redoak, Ohio (between Ripley and Georgetown, northern terminus of concurrency)
US 52 concurrency from Aberdeen to Ripley
US 50 in Fayetteville
US 22 in Wilmington
I-71 north of Wilmington
US 35 / US 42 in Xenia
I-70 south of Springfield
US 40 in Springfield
US 36 in Urbana
US 33 in Bellefontaine
US 30 in Williamstown
I-75 in Findlay

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Droz, Robert V. U.S. Highways : From US 1 to (US 830). URL accessed 02:55, 4 July 2006 (UTC).[unreliable source]
  2. ^ "400 mile sale across Kentucky's scenic byway historic highway 68". Retrieved 2010-05-05. 
  3. ^ "US 68". KentuckyRoads.com. 2012-02-29. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  4. ^ "Heartland Parkway Project". Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  5. ^ "US 68/Ky 80 Eggner's Ferry Bridge sections collapse after cargo ship strike". WPSD. Retrieved February 13, 2012. 
  6. ^ "US 68/KY 80 Kentucky Lake Bridge Reopens". KentuckyRoads.com. 2012-05-31. Retrieved 2013-01-27. 
  7. ^ U. S. G. S. Topographic Maps, Toledo 7.5 ' Quadrangles edited 1934 and 1951 and Dept. of Highways Map of Ohio, 1959.
  8. ^ a b c Heffner, Jessica (September 20, 2013). "Money to fix road rejected". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  9. ^ "High Hazard Location List for Clark County" (PDF). Clark County-Springfield Transportation Coordinating Committee. September 2013. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  10. ^ "US 40/Upper Valley Pike Study". Clark County-Springfield Transportation Coordinating Committee. February 2006. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
Browse numbered routes
KY 67 list KY 69