Interstate 65 in Kentucky

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This article is about the section of Interstate 65 in Kentucky. For the entire route, see Interstate 65.

Interstate 65 marker

Interstate 65
Route information
Maintained by KYTC
Length: 137.32 mi[1] (221.00 km)
Existed: 1956 – present
Major junctions
South end: I-65 at Tennessee state line
  US 231 in Bowling Green
US 68 in Oakland
US 62 in Elizabethtown
I-265 in Louisville
I-264 in Louisville
US 60 in Louisville
US 150 in Louisville
I-64 / I-71 in Louisville
North end: I-65 at Indiana state line
Highway system
I-64 KY 66

Interstate 65 (I-65) enters the US state of Kentucky 5 miles (8.0 km) south of Franklin. It passes by the major cities of Bowling Green, Elizabethtown, and Louisville before exiting the state.

Route description[edit]

Along its 137.32-mile (221.00 km) length in the Bluegrass State,[1] I-65 passes Mammoth Cave National Park, Bernheim Forest, the National Corvette Museum and the Fort Knox Military Reservation before entering the state's largest metropolitan area, Louisville.

It has interchanges with four of the state's parkways. The first of these is with the William H. Natcher Parkway at Bowling Green, followed by the Louie B. Nunn Cumberland Parkway north of that city between Smiths Grove and Park City. At Elizabethtown, it has two more parkway interchanges with the Wendell H. Ford Western Kentucky Parkway and the Martha Layne Collins Bluegrass Parkway.

I-65 also has interchanges with I-265, I-264, and a complex junction with I-64 and I-71 along the south bank of the Ohio River in central Louisville. From there, northbound motorists on I-65 cross into Indiana on the Abraham Lincoln Bridge, while southbound I-65 traffic enters Kentucky from Jeffersonville, Indiana via the John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge.

The widest stretch of I-65 in its entirety is in Louisville, at Kentucky Route 1065 (Outer Loop) where the mainline is 14 lanes wide.

Interstate 65 northbound at the William H. Natcher Parkway in Bowling Green, Kentucky, with Clearview font signage

The highway crosses between the Central and Eastern time zones at the border of Hart and LaRue counties, respectively.

For most of 2016, the Ohio River Bridges Project routed all I-65 traffic onto the Abraham Lincoln Bridge (a six-lane cable-stayed bridge now carrying only northbound traffic) while rebuilding the deck of the 1963 John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge to accommodate six lanes of all-southbound traffic. The project is also completing the rebuild of the Kennedy Interchange just south of both bridges in downtown Louisville.[2] On December 30, 2016, both I-65 bridges began using electronic toll collection (ETC) to charge motorists for their use of this previously toll-free Interstate crossing.[3]


Kentucky Turnpike shield

From July 25, 1954 until June 30, 1975, the portion from the outskirts of Louisville to Elizabethtown was a toll road bearing the Kentucky Turnpike name. It was signed with a distinctive sign featuring a cardinal, the state bird of Kentucky. Unlike most states, Kentucky law requires that tolls be removed when the original construction bonds are paid off. The road was thus the first of the state's extensive system of toll roads to be made free.[4] Unlike the other roads, which maintain their separate names when becoming toll-free, the Kentucky Turnpike signs were removed. It is today almost impossible to find any traces of its former toll status.

On November 15, 2006, the stretch of I-65 from Bowling Green to Louisville was renamed the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Highway.[5]

On February 12, 2007, a bill passed the Kentucky Senate to rename I-65 in Jefferson County the "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Expressway".[6] Signage was posted July 25, 2007.[7]

On July 15, 2007, Kentucky officially raised its speed limits on Interstate and State Parkway Highways to 70 miles per hour (110 km/h). Until that date, Kentucky was the only state along I-65's path that had a speed limit of 65 mph (105 km/h).[8]

In 2008, Governor Steve Beshear ordered the entire route to be widened to a minimum of six lanes through the entire state. As of 2016, the majority of this project is complete.

Exit list[edit]

County Location mi[9] km Exit Destinations Notes
Simpson 0.00 0.00 I-65 south Continuation into Tennessee
1.980 3.187 2 US 31W (Main Street) – Franklin
5.979 9.622 6 KY 100 (Scottsville Road) – Scottsville, Franklin
Warren 20.568 33.101 20 Natcher Parkway – Owensboro, Bowling Green Signed 20A (south) and 20B (north)
Bowling Green 22.388 36.030 22 US 231 (Scottsville Road) – Scottsville, Bowling Green
25.732 41.412 26 KY 234 (Cemetery Road) – Bowling Green
Bowling Green 28.066 45.168 28 KY 446 to US 31W – Bowling Green
Oakland 35.631 57.343 36 US 68 (Glasgow Road) / KY 80 – Oakland Northbound exit and southbound entrance
Smiths Grove 37.578 60.476 38 KY 101 (Main Street) to US 68 – Smiths Grove, Scottsville
Barren 43.135 69.419 43 Cumberland Parkway to Hal Rogers Parkway – Somerset, Glasgow, London, Hazard Cumberland Parkway exit 0
Park City 47.371 76.236 48 KY 255 (Mammoth Cave Parkway) to US 31W – Park City, Brownsville Serves Mammoth Cave National Park
Cave City 52.423 84.367 53 KY 70 (Mammoth Cave Road) / KY 90 – Cave City, Glasgow Serves Mammoth Cave National Park
Hart 57.627 92.742 58 KY 218 (Flint Ridge Road) to KY 335 – Horse Cave
Munfordville 64.200 103.320 65 US 31W (Main Street) – Munfordville
70.407 113.309 71 KY 728 (Bacon Creek Road) – Bonnieville
LaRue Upton 75.896 122.143 76 KY 224 (Upton Talley Road) – Upton
Hardin Sonora 80.457 129.483 81 KY 84 (Western Avenue) to US 31W – Sonora
85.686 137.898 86 KY 222 (Glendale Hodgenville Road) to US 31W – Glendale
Elizabethtown 91.086 146.589 91 US 31W / KY 61 / Western Kentucky Parkway – Hodgenville, Paducah, Elizabethtown Southbound exit to Dixie Avenue,Serves Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park; WKP exit 137
93.345 150.224 93 Bluegrass Parkway – Lexington, Bardstown
94.154 151.526 94 US 62 (Mulberry Street) / KY 61 – Elizabethtown
102.533 165.011 102 KY 313 (Joe Prather Highway) – Radcliff, Vine Grove
Bullitt Lebanon Junction 104.698 168.495 105 KY 61 (Preston Highway) – Boston, Lebanon Junction
111.773 179.881 112 KY 245 (Clermont Road) – Bardstown, Clermont
Shepherdsville 115.574 185.998 116 KY 480 (Cedar Grove Road) to KY 61
116.639 187.712 117 KY 44 (4th Street) – Mt. Washington, Shepherdsville
121.722 195.893 121 KY 1526 (John Harper Highway)
Jefferson 125.143 201.398 125 I-265 east (Gene Snyder Freeway) / KY 841 I-265 exit 10; signed as exits 125A (east) & 125B (west) northbound.
126.746 203.978 127 KY 1065 (Outer Loop) – Okolona, Fairdale Southbound split exit (east) and (west)
Louisville 128.328 206.524 128 KY 1747 (Fern Valley Road)
129.802 208.896 130 KY 61 (Preston Highway) / Grade Lane
130.710 210.357 131A I-264 (Watterson Expressway) – Louisville International Airport I-264 exit 12; signed as exits 131A (east) and 131B (west) southbound.
130.792 210.489 131B Kentucky Exposition Center
132.601 213.401 132 KY 1631 (Crittenden Drive) – Kentucky Exposition Center No access back to I-65 Northbound (must use exit 133 from Warnock Street)
132.955 213.970 133
US 60 Alt. (Eastern Parkway)
No access from I-65 Southbound to (Eastern Parkway,must use Arthur Street)or back to I-65 northbound (must use Warnock Street for I-65 North)
133.767 215.277 134 KY 61 south (Arthur Street) South end of KY 61 overlap; no northbound exit to Preston Street
133.978 215.617 134A KY 61 north (Preston Street) North end of KY 61 overlap; northbound exit and southbound entrance
134.145 215.885 134B Woodbine Street Northbound exit and southbound entrance
134.675 216.738 135 St. Catherine Street west
136A Chestnut Street, Broadway (US 150) Northbound exit and southbound entrance
135.649 218.306 136B Brook Street Northbound exit and southbound entrance
136C Muhammad Ali Boulevard, Jefferson Street – Downtown Louisville Signed northbound as exit 136C
136.421 219.548 137 I-64 / I-71 north – Lexington, St. Louis, Cincinnati I-64 exit 5; I-71 exit 1
Ohio River 137.318 220.992 John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge (southbound)
Abraham Lincoln Bridge (northbound)
I-65 continues north into Indiana
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Auxiliary routes[edit]

  • I-265: Forms three-quarters of a beltway around Metro Louisville. The signage runs from I-65 to I-71 on the northeast side of the Metro. It is cosigned with KY 841 for its entire length and is known as the Gene Snyder Freeway. Construction of the Lewis and Clark Bridge over the Ohio River to connect the Kentucky segment of I-265 with the Indiana segment was completed and opened to traffic on December 18, 2016.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Adderly, Kevin (January 27, 2016). "Table 1: Main Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways as of December 31, 2015". Route Log and Finder List. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved March 31, 2016. 
  2. ^ "The Ohio River Bridges". Ohio River Bridges Project. March 31, 2016. Retrieved March 31, 2016. 
  3. ^ Mitchell, Kyle (December 29, 2016). "Last-minute rush hits RiverLink offices hours before tolling begins". Louisville, KY: WDRB. Retrieved January 2, 2017. 
  4. ^ Kleber, John E.; Clark, Thomas D.; Harrison, Lowell H.; Klotter, James C., eds. (1992). "Rivers". The Kentucky Encyclopedia. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-1772-0. 
  5. ^ "Interstate 65". Travel Mammoth Cave National Park: Guide and Map. MobileReference. 2010. ISBN 1-6050-1034-0. 
  6. ^ Gerth, Joseph (February 13, 2007). "Senate OKs renaming I-65 for King". The Courier-Journal. Louisville, KY. 
  7. ^ Shafer, Sheldon S. (July 25, 2007). "Mayor, Democrats back I-65 King plan". The Courier-Journal. Louisville, KY. Retrieved July 30, 2007. 
  8. ^ "Governor Fletcher Signs Speed Limit Bill" (Press release). Commonwealth of Kentucky. March 21, 2007. Retrieved March 22, 2007. 
  9. ^ Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (December 22, 2007). "HIS Expanded Milepoint Route Log Extract". Archived from the original on November 9, 2007. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Bing / Google

KML is from Wikidata

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