Interstate 69 in Kentucky
|This article is outdated. (November 2010)|
|Maintained by KYTC|
|Length:||148.090 mi (238.328 km)|
|Existed:||October 25, 2011– present|
|South end:||Future I-69 / US 51 at Tennessee border in Fulton|
|North end:||US 41 near Henderson|
Interstate 69 (I-69) is a 148-mile-long (238 km) freeway that overlaps Interstate 24 from Calvert City to Eddyville, the Western Kentucky Parkway from Eddyville to the Pennyrile Parkway at Nortonville, the Purchase Parkway for its entire length, and the Pennyrile Parkway from the WK Parkway to US-41 on the southern outskirts of Henderson. Eventually, I-69 will leave the Pennyrile Parkway Just south of the Audubon Parkway (Future I-369) interchange north into Indiana. The proposed route for the remainder of I-69 in Kentucky runs about ten miles (16 km) utilizing a bridge into Indiana.
I-69 has been divided into three of sections of independent utility (SIUs) through Kentucky. SIUs 5 and 6 encompass existing freeways. Federal legislation has designated the route for these sections and Kentucky is in the process of installing I-69 signs on the route. SIU 4 includes a new bridge over the Ohio River between Henderson and Evansville, Indiana, which is currently stalled due to lack of funding. The proposed funding formula calls for Kentucky to finance 2/3 of the projected $1.4 billion bridge, while Indiana would pay for the remaining third.
|This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (December 2015)|
On May 15, 2006, Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher announced that I-69 will encompass 130 miles (210 km) of existing parkways and a 17-mile-long (27 km) segment of Interstate 24. To reflect this decision by state and federal officials, crews began erecting Future Interstate 69 signs along the following highway segments:
- Western Kentucky Parkway between I-24 and Pennyrile Parkway, 38 miles (61 km)
- Pennyrile Parkway between Western Kentucky Parkway and US 41, 41 miles (66 km)
On May 2, 2008, the United States House of Representatives passed HR-1195 (SAFETEA-LU Technical Corrections Act of 2008) which designates the Pennyrile Parkway from Henderson to Nortonville, and the Western Kentucky Parkway from Nortonville to I-24 at Eddyville as Future I-69. It further designates the Audubon Parkway as a future spur (I-X69) of I-69 once necessary upgrades are completed. President Bush signed the bill on June 6, 2008 and Future I-69 signs began appearing on the Parkways during the summer of 2008. This legislation applied the Future I-69 designation to the following roadways:
- Pennyrile Parkway from just south of the Audubon Parkway (possible Future Interstate 369) in Henderson to the Western Kentucky Parkway in Nortonville
- Western Kentucky Parkway from the Pennyrile Parkway to Interstate 24 in Eddyville
- Interstate 24 from Eddyville to the Purchase Parkway in Calvert City
- Purchase Parkway from Interstate 24 to the US-51 interchange at the Tennessee state line
Signs on the Western Kentucky Parkway now read "I-69" and "Former Wendell H. Ford Western Kentucky Parkway" from the Pennyrile Parkway to the intersection of the Western Kentucky Parkway at I-24 (as the photo of I-69 at Dawson Springs shows).
Signage and mile marker posts were changed in mid-December 2012.
A recent engineering study for SIU 5 identified current conditions along the Pennyrile and Western Kentucky Parkways. The report identified seven overpasses that fell short of the 16-foot minimum vertical clearance necessary for Interstate Highways. An additional 28 mainline bridges were identified for not meeting the minimum horizontal clearance of 38 feet (12 m). Most—if not all—of the aforementioned bridges were built during construction of the Parkways in the 1960s and are nearing the end of their serviceable lifespans and are due to be replaced. The main issues concerning the 16 interchanges in SIU 5 are short acceleration/deceleration lanes (the average is 615 feet (187 m) while Interstate standards mandate 1,200 feet (370 m)), and tight curve radii at interchanges with loop ramps. A particular challenge will be reconfiguring the cloverleaf interchange between the Pennyrile and Western Kentucky Parkways in Nortonville to accommodate the future movement of traffic primarily between points north and points west.
According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet 2006 Six-Year Transportation Plan Executive Summary, the KYTC "has recently completed a study of the parkway upgrade needs from Interstate 24 to Henderson" (SIU 5). The summary further stated that "Continuing work on Interstate 69 in Kentucky will depend upon the financial support that can be garnered for the project through federal reauthorization and appropriations processes." The Transportation Plan estimated that the cost of upgrading the parkways would cost around $700 million.
Nonetheless, the required improvements may be performed on individual segments of the parkways when the existing road surfaces reach the end of their life-spans, in what are known as "Pavement Preservation Projects." During a pavement preservation project, the existing pavement is removed, repairs are made to the highway's sub-base, and the road is then resurfaced. During such a project bridges and overpasses may be rehabilitated or replaced, drainage systems are upgraded, and other modifications are made to improve safety on the road without completely reconstructing it, allowing it to remain at least partially open during construction.
Two projects on the Edward T. Breathitt Pennyrile Parkway and the Wendell H. Ford Western Kentucky Parkway in Hopkins County are evidence that Kentucky is taking this approach. In 2007, work is expected to begin on a $14.9 million project to replace 7 miles (11 km) of pavement on the Pennyrile Parkway segment slated for the I-69 designation. A similar $23 million project in 2005 replaced and upgraded 11 miles (18 km) of pavement on the Western Kentucky Parkway west of the interchange with the Pennyrile Parkway, which is also slated to become part of I-69 and I-66 as well.
Several public meetings were held in towns along the Parkways in late November and early December 2007 where Kentucky officials provided detailed information on upgrading the Parkways including changes to the projected cost for the upgrades. The adjusted cost of upgrading the parkways in SIUs 5 and 6 was pegged at around $300 million, significantly lower than initial estimates of $700 million. Of that $300 million price tag, high-priority projects account for about half ($145 million) of the total cost. Kentucky transportation officials also raised the idea of applying for a waiver that would allow the parkways to immediately be signed as I-69, making the parkways eligible for federal Interstate Highway funds to complete the upgrades. Without the I-69 designation the parkway sections slated to become I-69 are not eligible for Interstate Highway funds for upgrades. Kentucky officials announced that no funding for I-69 was included in the 2008-2014 Transportation Improvement Plan, and many legislators believe that tolls will be required to finance upgrades to the parkways.
In January 2010, Governor Steve Beshear released the latest draft Six-Year Plan for consideration by the Kentucky Legislature. The proposed plan includes the reconstruction of several interchanges on the Pennyrile and Western Kentucky Parkways. The proposed work would upgrade the interchanges to Interstate standards as required to get the parkways signed as I-69. If the plan is approved and funded, the interchange work would begin in 2012 and be finished by 2015.
In 2014, work began on the required upgrades to the Pennyrile Parkway in anticipation of the I-69 designation. The cloverleaf interchange with I-69/Western Kentucky Parkway is being modified to allow high-speed movements between points north and points west; this project is scheduled for completion in late 2015. Several interchanges along the Pennyrile are also being reconstructed, and cable barriers are being installed in the median, all of which are slated for completion in late 2015. In April 2015, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet awarded a $3 million contract to install I-69 and US-41 signs on the Pennyrile Parkway, with completion scheduled for October 15, 2015.
From Eddyville, I-69 will follow I-24 for 17 miles (27 km), then turn southwest on the Purchase Parkway. Interstate 69's designation along the Julian M. Carroll Purchase Parkway from I-24 to the Tennessee state line at South Fulton was written into law with the Fiscal Year 2002 Transportation Appropriations Bill. However, many of the same issues that are being addressed in SIU 5 arise in SIU 6 as well, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky is upgrading the Purchase Parkway in a similar fashion. The massive interchange with US-45 and US-51 at the Tennessee state line in South Fulton is the main challenge for completing SIU 6, and has been broken out as a separate project from SIUs 6 and 7.
Kentucky is the only state that will be routing almost its entire portion of I-69 over existing freeways, allowing the state to avoid years of costly environmental studies, thereby enabling the KYTC to upgrade the Parkways to I-69 as soon as funding becomes available. Technically, the Commonwealth of Kentucky could request a waiver from the AASHTO that would allow the state to apply the I-69 designation to its parkways before upgrades are completed. This would only be done if adjoining segments in Tennessee or Indiana are completed first.
The Purchase Parkway has been designated as Future I-69, but the route cannot be signed as I-69 until several interchanges, including the interchange with I-24, are upgraded to Interstate standards. As of December 2015[update], construction was ongoing on the northern portion of the parkway between Mayfield and I-24, including the reconfiguration of the KY 348 interchange at Benton from a toll-booth design (with opposing loop ramps) to a diamond interchange, the installation of cable barriers in the narrow parkway median, and resurfacing of the mainline to increase bridge clearances and lengthen merge lanes at other interchanges along this section. A $37 million contract to reconstruct the I-24/Purchase Parkway interchange was awarded to Jim Smith Contracting Company on November 20, 2015. Construction on the I-24/Purchase Parkway interchange is scheduled to begin in early 2016, with completion planned for July 2018.
SIU 4 is still in the planning stages, but Kentucky and Indiana had planned to finance a new bridge across the Ohio River with tolls. The preferred alternative for SIU 4 was to leave the Edward T. Breathitt Pennyrile Parkway near its north end and cross the Ohio River to the former I-164 near Evansville, Indiana, and then use the former I-164 to I-64; I-164 was re-designated as I-69 in 2014. But the Ohio River bridge plan has stalled indefinitely, due to lack of funding from both states.
The Pennyrile Parkway, Western Kentucky Parkway, and Purchase Parkway were all originally built as toll roads when they opened in the 1960s. As the parkways' construction bonds were paid off, the tolls were removed; the Western Kentucky Parkway became a freeway in 1987, and the other two roads became free in 1992. To fund over $700 million to upgrade substandard segments of the parkways and fund a new $800 million Ohio River crossing for I-69, Kentucky transportation officials had previously considered reinstating tolls on the parkway segments over which I-69 is routed, but ultimately opted to keep I-69 toll-free.
The exit list includes exits from the Purchase Parkway, which has not yet been officially signed as I-69.
|County||Location||mi||km||Old exit||New exit||Destinations||Notes|
|Fulton||Fulton||0.000||0.000||I-69 south / US 51 south – Union City, Martin||Continuation into Tennessee|
|0.300||0.483||0||KY 116 / KY 166 – Fulton, Hickman|
|1.424||2.292||1||US 51 north – Clinton, Fulton||Northern end of US 51 overlap|
|2.442||3.930||2||KY 307 – Fulton|
||No major junctions|
|Graves||Wingo||13.653||21.972||14||KY 339 – Wingo, Clinton|
US 45 Byp. south
|Southern end of US 45 Bypass overlap; signed as exit 21B northbound|
|22.267||35.835||22||KY 80 – Fancy Farm, Mayfield|
|23.701||38.143||24||KY 121 – Wickliffe, Mayfield|
US 45 / US 45 Byp. ends – Paducah, Mayfield
|Northern end of US 45 Bypass overlap|
|27.461||44.194||27||KY 131 – Airport|
US 641 Spur south – Hardin, Murray
|42.555||68.486||43||KY 348 – Benton, Symsonia|
|Draffenville||46.942||75.546||47||US 68 – Kenlake State Park, Kentucky Lake Recreation Area|
|I-24 west / Purchase Parkway north to US 62 – Paducah, Fulton, Calvert City||Signed as exits 52A (east) and 52B (west); I-24 exits signed as exits 25A (south) and 25B (north)|
|53.002||85.298||27||US 62 – Kentucky Dam|
|Livingston||57.166||92.000||31||KY 453 – Smithland, Grand Rivers||Serves Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area|
|Lyon||65.938||106.117||40||US 62 / US 641 – Eddyville, Kuttawa|
|I-24 east – Nashville||Eastern end of I-24 overlap; I-69 exits signed as exits 68A (east) and 68B (west)|
|71.784||115.525||4||71||US 62 – Eddyville||Serves Mineral Mound State Park|
|Caldwell||Princeton||79.771||128.379||12||79||KY 91 / KY 139 – Marion, Princeton||Serves Lake Barkley State Resort Park|
|81.189||130.661||13||81||KY 293 – Providence, Princeton|
|Hopkins||Dawson Springs||92.506||148.874||24||92||KY 109 – Dawson Springs, Providence||Serves Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park|
|106||Western Kentucky Parkway east / Pennyrile Parkway south – Hopkinsville, Madisonville||Signed as exits 106A (south) and 106B(north)|
|Mortons Gap||108.886||175.235||37||108||KY 813 – Mortons Gap|
|Earlington||111.604||179.609||40||111||KY 2171 – Earlington, Madisonville|
|Madisonville||114.254||183.874||42||114||KY 70 – Madisonville, Central City|
US 41 Alt. / KY 281 – Madisonville, Providence
|117.042||188.361||45||117||US 41 north – Madisonville||Northbound exit and southbound entrance only|
|Hanson||120.818||194.438||49||120||KY 260 – Hanson|
|Slaughters||125.906||202.626||54||125||KY 138 – Dixon, Calhoun|
|Webster||Sebree||134.461||216.394||63||134||KY 56 – Sebree, Owensboro|
|Henderson||Robards||140.195||225.622||68||140||KY 416 – Niagara, Robards|
|Henderson||148.090||238.328||76||—||US 41 to US 60 – Morganfield||Signed as exit 148 A/B northbound, and as Exit 10 A/B southbound|
|Temporary northern terminus of I-69 at U.S. Route 41. Follow US 41 north to I-69 in Indiana|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- "Governor Fletcher Unveils I-69 Corridor Designation". Commonwealth of Kentucky. Archived from the original on September 26, 2006. Retrieved January 17, 2007.
- "HR-1195 Text" (PDF). Retrieved January 27, 2013.
- KY I-69 Designation Cruises Through Congress, Representative Whitfield Official Website, May 4, 2008 Archived April 30, 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- Interstate 69 Legislation, Tristate Homepage.com Archived May 14, 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- "President Bush Signs HR-1195, whitehouse.gov, June 6, 2008". Georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
- "Audubon Parkway will get "future I-69 spur" signs today". Evansville Courier-Press. September 25, 2008.
- Todd, Keith (December 15, 2012). "I-69 is Official with New Signs and Mile Points in Lyon, Hopkins & Trigg Counties". SurfKY News. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
- I-69 Strategic Corridor Planning Study, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet[dead link]
- Stinnett, Chuck. "Parkway Upgrades Underway, Evansville Courier-Press, November 23, 2007". Courierpress.com. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
- "No I-69 funding in State Road Plan, Evansville Courier-Press, February 15, 2008". Courierpress.com. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
- "High Priority Corridor 18/20". Aaroads.com. Retrieved January 27, 2013.[self-published source?]
- Todd, Keith (April 2015). "I-69 Is Now Designated Along Purchase Parkway". Surf KY News. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
- "Toll Seen for I-69 Bridge". Evansville Courier-Press. January 27, 2008.
- "Preferred Alternative Identified for I-69 Corridor Linking Henderson and Evansville" (Press release). Indiana Department of Transportation. February 11, 2004.[dead link]
- Tate, Curtis; Gordon, Greg (February 2, 2013). "After millions of dollars, I-66 and I-69 are Kentucky's interstates to nowhere". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
- "Official DMI Route Log". Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Retrieved December 1, 2015.