U.S. Route 119

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U.S. Route 119 marker

U.S. Route 119
Route information
Auxiliary route of US 19
Length: 585 mi[1] (941 km)
Existed: 1926[1] – present
Major junctions
South end: US 25E in Pineville, KY
 

US 23 / US 460 / KY 80 in Pikeville, KY
I‑64 / I‑77 in Charleston, WV
US 33 from Spencer, WV to Buckhannon, WV
I‑79 near Weston, WV
US 50 in Grafton, WV
I‑68 at Morgantown, WV
US 40 in Uniontown, PA
I-70 / I-76 / Penna. Tpk. in New Stanton, PA
US 30 in Greensburg, PA

US 22 near Blairsville, PA
North end: US 219 in Sandy Township, PA
Highway system

U.S. Route 119, commonly abbreviated as US 119, is a spur of US 19. It is a north–south route that was an original United States highway of 1926. It is often referred to as Corridor G east of US 23 and KY 80 in Kentucky to Interstate 64 at Charleston, West Virginia.

Route description[edit]

Kentucky[edit]

US 119 is a two and four-lane highway running from Pineville at U.S. Route 25E to the West Virginia state line at South Williamson.

From Pineville to US 23 (Country Music Highway) at Jenkins, it is part of Corridor F. During its concurrency from Jenkins north to Pikeville, where it departs eastward towards West Virginia, it is part of Corridor B. From US 23/KY 80 at Pikeville eastward towards the state line, it is part of Corridor G.

US 119 passes near Harlan and Pikeville.

West Virginia[edit]

See also: Corridor G and Corridor H

U.S. Route 119 enters West Virginia from Kentucky via Corridor G, a four-lane limited-access highway stretching from Williamson to Charleston. The earliest segment of Corridor G to open was in 1972 and was finished in 1997. Formerly, US 119 was a typical two-lane mountain highway. Old US 119 now comprises all or parts of US 52, WV 44, WV 10, WV 17, WV 85, WV 3, WV 94 and WV 61.

The US route becomes a mostly two-lane highway north of Charleston, having functionally been replaced by Interstate 79. Compared to its replacement, US 119 takes a rather winding course. A trip from the Charleston area to the Morgantown area (I-79/US 119 Exit #1 to I-68 Exit #1) is 147 miles (237 km) via I-79 and 182 miles (293 km) via US 119. The travel time is about double taking US 119, over 4 hours instead of about 2 hours.

From Charleston, US 119 heads roughly east along the Elk River to Clendenin, where it turns north for 29 miles (47 km) to Spencer. At Spencer, it begins to head east with US 33 for 81.4 miles (131.0 km). Along the way, it passes through Glenville and Weston, where it intersects parent route US 19 and replacement I-79. From I-79 to WV 20 at Buckhannon, US 33/US 119 follow Corridor H.

At Buckhannon, US 119 again turns north — first with WV 20 then by itself as it travels to Philippi. At Philippi it joins with US 250 for 12 miles (19 km). From there, US 119 heads on its own through Grafton and towards Morgantown.

Just south of Morgantown, US 119 intersects Interstate 68's Exit #1, immediately east of its end at I-79. US 119 then enters downtown Morgantown, again meeting with US 19. It leaves town via the narrow and winding North Willey Street and congested Mileground.

Just after the Mileground, US 119 intersects with the Monongalia County Route 857 connector to I-68 Exit #7, which effectively allows through traffic to bypass Morgantown. US 119 finally turns north to enter Pennsylvania near Point Marion. The Hamilton Farm Petroglyphs are along this section. Much of this last stretch of US 119 heading towards Uniontown, Pennsylvania is already bypassed by traffic using I-68, Monongalia County Route 857 and PA 857. While this alternate route is longer, it has a better alignment and is faster to travel.[2]

Pennsylvania[edit]

US 119 travels through Connellsville, Greensburg, and Punxsutawney, and bypasses Uniontown and Indiana. There are numerous other boroughs and villages along its 133-mile (214 km) route in the Keystone State.

The southern entrance of US 119 is at the West Virginia state line one-half mile south of Point Marion. The northern terminus is at US 219 two miles (3 km) south of DuBois, Pennsylvania.

US 119's control cities include Morgantown, West Virginia, Uniontown, Connellsville, New Stanton (for northbound traffic only), Greensburg, Blairsville, Indiana, Punxsutawney, and DuBois.

History[edit]

Kentucky[edit]

Hwy 119 in Kentucky was originally a series of two-lane roads paralleling Pine Mountain (Appalachian Mountains) that connected Pineville, KY to Baxter, KY (just north of Harlan, KY) and then headed northeast through Cumberland, KY, Whitesburg, KY, on through Pikeville, KY, and finally into West Virginia.

Starting in the 1970s, there were a number of projects that widened or replaced sections of the road. In most places, the original route has been largely abandoned, instead cutting through the mountain to provide a much wider and straighter route. Small segments of the original route are still in existence as access roads to communities that predate the expansion. In Loyall, KY the original route is known as Hwy 413, and this parallels Hwy 119 heading northeast until it reaches the community of Rosspoint, KY. During this stretch in Baxter, KY, Hwy 119 also briefly combines with U.S. Route 421, which then splits off and heads north across Pine Mountain. In Rosspoint, KY the original route of Hwy 119 is designated as Hwy 522. Hwy 522 parallels Hwy 119 all the way to Cumberland, KY where the final stretch of original highway is called Kingdom Come Dr. before merging with Hwy 119 just south of the Harlan County/Letcher County border.

From this point until the base of Pine Mountain (unofficially called Whitesburg Mountain), the highway is largely unchanged from its original route. On the mountain, Hwy 119 has recently been widened in a number of places in order to make it safer for trucking traffic.

Across the mountain in Whitesburg, KY, Hwy 119 turns northeast. South of Jenkins, KY, Hwy 119 merges with U.S. Route 23 until Pikeville, KY. where it splits off and heads northeast to the West Virginia border.

In 2007, a 6 mile stretch of Hwy 119 northeast of Pikeville, KY was expanded and improved by cutting through the mountain, once again abandoning the original route which is now known as the Zebulon Hwy. and Bent Branch Rd. Past this point, Hwy 119 follows its original route until exiting Kentucky at Williamson, WV.

West Virginia[edit]

The routing of US 119 south of Charleston changed drastically with the opening of Corridor G from 1972 to 1997.

The original routing southeast of capital city was WV 61 to Marmet, where it took WV 94 southwest to Racine.[3] From Racine to Danville, it followed today's WV 3 and onward to Madison. From Madison south to Logan, it followed today's WV 17.

South of Logan to Mountain View, it followed WV 44. At Mountain View, it junctioned US 52 and overlapped it northwest to Williamson, where it entered Kentucky.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Browse numbered routes
KY 118 KY KY 120
WV 115 list US 121
PA 118 PA PA 120