Kentucky Route 90

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Kentucky Route 90 marker

Kentucky Route 90
Route information
Maintained by KYTC
Length: 134.734 mi[1] (216.833 km)
Major junctions
West end: I-65 / KY 70 in Cave City
  US 31W in Cave City
US 31E / US 68 / KY 80 in Glasgow
Cumberland Parkway in Glasgow
US 127 in Snow
US 27 in Burnside
US 27 in Parkers Lake
East end: US 25W northwest of Williamsburg
Counties: Barren, Metcalfe, Cumberland, Clinton, Wayne, Pulaski, McCreary, Whitley
Highway system
KY 89 KY 91

Kentucky Route 90 originates at a junction with KY 70 near I-65 in Cave City in Barren County. (Signs at the I-65 exit tend to imply that KY 90 ends at the exit itself, while state highway documents indicate that the end is at the intersection with KY 70, about 100 yards (91 m) from the exit proper.)

The route continues through Metcalfe County, Cumberland County, Clinton County, Wayne County, Pulaski County and McCreary County to terminate at a junction with U.S. 25W at Youngs Creek in Whitley County nine miles (14 km) northwest of Williamsburg.

Route description[edit]

Kentucky Route 90 begins at Cave City at an intersection with Kentucky Route 70 in the one part of the city where many restaurants, hotels, and gas stations are located. It is a major tourism hot-spot due to the close proximity to Mammoth Cave National Park and a few other attractions along KY 70 west of the city. KY 90 has an intersection with US Route 31W after KY 90's first mile.

KY 90 then heads into a south-southeasterly path to the Barren County seat, Glasgow, where it crosses the Veterans Outer Loop passes the local Walmart and a local Marquee Cinema, and then has junctions with US Highways 31E and 68, which is co-joined with Kentucky Route 80 in this area. It also has an intersection with US 31E's business loop at the Barren County courthouse.

Before leaving the city of Glasgow, KY 90 has an intersection with the Louie B. Nunn Cumberland Parkway at the exit 14 interchange on the southeastern side of the city.

After leaving Glasgow, the highway continues in a southeasterly fashion and passes through the small town of Eighty Eight, and then goes into southern Metcalfe County, and passes through Summer Shade, and then goes into Cumberland County, and passes through Marrowbone and Burkesville.

After going through Burkesville, KY 90 turns due east, crosses the Cumberland River, and has intersections with short roads leading to Dale Hollow Lake State Park, and then goes into Clinton County, where, for about 1.5 miles, it is co-joined with US Route 127, which is the core route of the annual World's Longest Yard Sale (a.k.a. The Highway 127 Corridor Sale) takes place in early August. KY 90 then goes through more rural areas and then into Wayne County where it intersects Kentucky Route 92 at Monticello.

Kentucky Route 90 continues into a northeasterly course towards Mill Springs, the site of a famous Civil War battle site, and a mill built in 1877 (accessible via KY 1275). It enters Pulaski County. The highway's multiplex with US Route 27 begins after KY 90 crosses the Cumberland River for a second time (except the river at that point would still be part of Lake Cumberland) near Burnside, Kentucky.

KY 90 runs concurrently with U.S. 27 for about 14.6 miles (23.5 km) from Burnside to Parkers Lake. This stretch of road is the gateway to General Burnside State Park

After departing US 27 in northern McCreary County, KY 90 is the gateway to Cumberland Falls State Resort Park. At the route's terminus in the Whitley County cummunity of Young's Creek, there is a 0.32 mile-long (0.51 km) spur called KY 90S that serves as a secondary entrance to the highway for northbound traffic on U.S. 25W. The road is signed as KY 90, however.

Points of interest along the route[edit]

These are points of interest that can be accessible along this route:

  • Mammoth Cave Wildlife Museum at Cave City.
  • Roadside Park in Marrowbone, Kentucky once served as a hospital camp for both the Union and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War.
  • Seventy Six Falls (accessible via KY 704), is a waterfall along the shoreline of Lake Cumberland in northern Clinton County.[2]
  • Mill Springs Mill (Wayne County) (accessible via KY 1275).[3]
  • General Burnside State Park near Burnside.
  • Cumberland Falls State Resort Park at the McCreary/Whitley County line. Cumberland Falls is the only large waterfall south of the Niagara frontier that is famous for the "moonbow" in the light of the full moon under the right conditions.

Other points of interest[edit]

  • Crystal Onyx Cave & Campground, located in Pruitt's Knob just south of Cave City, had two entrances via KY 90 and US Route 31W. The cave was closed down in 2010 following the excessive rainfall the area had that caused flash flooding in Kentucky and Tennessee in May of that year.

Roller Coaster Fair[edit]

Kentucky Route 90 from Cave City to just north of Albany, along with Kentucky Route 63 from Glasgow to Tompkinsville, Kentucky, along with US Route 127 in Clinton County, and Tennessee state highways 52, 111, and 51 are designated as the marked route for the annual Roller Coaster Fair, a long route-based yard sale event held the first weekend of October.[4][5]

Road history[edit]

The early days (1929-1960)[edit]

KY 90 was established in 1929 as one of the charter routes of the Kentucky State Highway System. The highway's original western terminus was located in downtown Glasgow at a junction with KY 80 (which at the time was not co-signed with US 68 in this area until the 1940s). Along the route, it connected to certain areas via two ferries, one at Burkesville, and the other at the Whitley/McCreary County line near Cumberland Falls. KY 90's eastern terminus was at a junction with US 25W, but at the time it was in downtown Corbin at the Whitley/Laurel County line.[6] Sometime between 1940 and 1955, US 25W was rerouted to its current route, and KY 90's eastern end was relocated to an area between Corbin and Cumberland Falls.[7] A bridge near the falls was built sometime during that time frame so KY 90 traffic would not be bombarded with rapids that affected ferry service.

Also during the 1950s, KY 90 was extended northwestward from its previous terminus in downtown Glasgow, to a junction with U.S. Route 31W, which at the time was south of Cave City.[7][8] The road that KY 90 took over, Happy Valley Road, was previously signed as Kentucky Route 351.[6][9]

The modern days (1960-present)[edit]

At sometime between 1969 and 1973, KY 90 from the KY 685 junction to US 31W was rerouted to make KY 90 go directly into Cave City. KY 90's western terminus was also relocated to its current west end at a then-new junction with KY 70 near the I-65 exit 53 interchange, thus extending KY 90 by another 0.8 miles (1.3 km), and providing westbound KY 90 traffic direct access to I-65.[10]

In 2013, KY 90 between the Cumberland Parkway junction and the Eighty Eight community was reconstructed to add truck-climbing lanes in two spots. Reconstruction of KY 90 continued from that area to the Metcalfe County line, and was completed by Fall 2015.[11] In September and October 2014, the first 0.4 miles (0.64 km) of KY 90, along with the KY 70 overpass over I-65 (the latter of which began in 2013), were both reconstructed and were widened to four lanes, plus a center lane for left turns.[12]

Bannered routes of Kentucky Route 90[edit]

Kentucky Route 90 Business (Monticello)[edit]

Kentucky Route 90 Business
Location: Monticello, Wayne County
Length: 3.535 mi[1] (5.689 km)

Kentucky Route 90 Business is a business route of KY 90 in Monticello, Kentucky. It was the original route of KY 90 until the regular KY 90 was re-routed to the Monticello By-Pass.[13][14][15]

KY 90 Alternate (Glasgow) (former)[edit]

Kentucky Route 90 Alternate
Location: Glasgow, Barren County
Length: 0.15 mi[16] (0.24 km)
Existed: 1970s–2000s

In Glasgow, at one time, Alternate KY 90 ran from the US 31E bypass junction with KY 90, continuing as Happy Valley Road, to the intersection with Business Route 31E (North Race Street), and follows the US 31E business route until it reaches the Barren County Courthouse, where KY 90 runs (while being co-signed with US 68 and KY 80, a.k.a. West Main Street). Sometime in the 2000s, that designation was decommissioned. The regular KY 90 became co-signed with US 31E (L. Roger Wells Blvd) from that intersection to the junction with US 68/KY 80, and KY 90 followed US 68 and KY 80 to the Public Square.[17][18][19]


  1. ^ a b "Kentucky Transportation Cabinet - Division of Planning - Highway Information System Official Milepoint Route Log Extract". Retrieved 2007-06-11. 
  2. ^ Seventy Six Falls, KY
  3. ^ Mill Springs Mill - Monticello, Kentucky
  4. ^
  6. ^ a b Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (1939) (PDF) Official Kentucky State Highway Map. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  7. ^ a b Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (1957) (PDF) Official Kentucky State Highway Map. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  8. ^ Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (1955) (PDF). BarrenCounty Highway Map (Map). Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  9. ^ Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (1937) (PDF). Barren County Highway Map (Map). Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  10. ^ Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (1973) (PDF) Official Kentucky State Highway Map. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  11. ^ Overstreet, Melinda J (August 13, 2015). "Road work on KY 90E advances". Glasgow Daily Times.
  12. ^ Kinslow, Gina (September 16, 2014). "Expect lane closures this week on Happy Valley Road."
  13. ^ 2013 Various Kentucky Pics April-June - an album on Flickr
  14. ^ 2013 Various Kentucky Pics April-June - 032 | Flickr - photo sharing!
  15. ^
  16. ^ Official Barren County Highway Map.
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ Old Road Signs in Kentucky

External links[edit]

Route map: Bing / Google