Purchase Parkway

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Purchase Parkway marker

Purchase Parkway
Route information
Length: 52.333 mi[1] (84.222 km)
Major junctions
South end: US 51 / SR 215 in Fulton

US 51 in Fulton
US 45 in Mayfield
US 68 north of Benton

I-24 / I-69 near Calvert City
North end: US 62 / KY 1523 near Calvert City
Counties: Fulton, Hickman, Graves, Marshall
Highway system

The Julian M. Carroll Purchase Parkway is a controlled-access highway running from Fulton, Kentucky to Calvert City, Kentucky, near Kentucky Dam, for a length of 52 miles (84 kilometres). It begins at the Tennessee State Line concurrent with US 51 only a few yards (metres) from an intersection with US 45W, US 45E, and US 45 at its western terminus, and US 62 just north of Interstate 24 at its eastern terminus. It is one of nine highways that are part of the Kentucky parkway system.

The parkway passes the cities of Mayfield and Benton, Kentucky.

History and designation[edit]

The Purchase Parkway formerly used a light blue shield.

Federal legislation designated the entire length of the Purchase Parkway as Interstate 69 in 2002. On June 6, 2008, President George W. Bush signed HR-1195 (SAFETEA-LU Technical Corrections Act of 2008), reaffirming the I-69 designation for the Purchase Parkway and further authorizing Kentucky to sign the route as such with Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approval. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet had planned I-69 signs on the parkway during the summer of 2008, but the FHWA is requiring the KYTC to either upgrade substandard portions of the route or obtain a design waiver before can be signed as I-69. at present, the KYTC plans to wait until Tennessee completes its portion of I-69 before seeking approval to sign the Purchase Parkway as I-69.

Originally named Purchase Parkway for the Jackson Purchase area it diagonally traverses, the road was renamed for Julian M. Carroll, a former Kentucky governor from McCracken County, in 2001. The Purchase Parkway carries the unsigned designation of Kentucky Route 9003 (JC 9003). The Mayfield Bypass, which was incorporated into the parkway following its construction, is also signed as US-45 Bypass. It will eventually carry the signed designation of Interstate 69 from I-24 to the Tennessee state line.

Completed in 1966, the parkway incorporates a pre-existing four-lane divided bypass around Mayfield. This section of the parkway is also designated as US 45 Bypass.

Except for the Mayfield bypass which remained free, the parkway was originally a toll road, as were all Kentucky parkways. State law requires that toll collection cease when enough tolls are collected to pay off the parkway's construction bonds; that occurred in 1992. It is constructed similarly to the Interstate Highway system.


Interstate 69[edit]

I-69 (Future).svg

The Julian M. Carroll Purchase Parkway from the junction with Interstate 24 west has been legally designated to become part of Interstate 69. On May 15, 2006, Governor Ernie Fletcher announced that the Purchase Parkway would become part of the alignment of Interstate 69 in Kentucky, along with parts of Interstate 24, the Edward T. Breathitt Pennyrile Parkway, and the Wendell H. Ford Western Kentucky Parkway[citation needed]. To reflect this, Future Interstate 69 shields were erected along the parkway in the summer of 2006. Additional federal legislation enacted in 2008 (see above) confirmed the route of I-69, and authorized Kentucky to immediately begin signing the Purchase Parkway (and parts of the Western Kentucky Parkway and Pennyrile Parkway) as I-69, even though the parkways do not yet meet interstate standards.

The Parkways, however, do not meet current interstate highway standards and will eventually need upgrading. The reason the 2008 legislation (HR-1195) immediately applied the I-69 designation to the Purchase Parkway is to tap into federal interstate highway money to fund upgrades to the parkway. This is because interstate highway funds typically could not be used to upgrade an existing freeway until it is designated and signed as an interstate. A larger 36' median, increased bridge heights to 16', shoulder improvements, and interchange reconstructions will all need to take place to bring the alignment into federal compliance. No official funding has been set in the six-year plan stipulating modernization of the parkways that will be affected by Interstate 69's routing, nor has any official study been completed.[2]

Because Kentucky is using an existing expressway for I-69, highway officials will likely avoid years of costly environmental studies required by other states, as the upgrades are being performed within the footprint of the existing highway.

Funding remains the big issue for upgrading the parkways to I-69, as there is no funding in the state's 2006 Six-Year Transportation Plan specifically for I-69. However, it is likely that Kentucky will perform the required upgrades on individual segments of the Purchase Parkway when the pavement reaches the end of its lifespan, through "Pavement Preservation Projects." This approach is similar to the way New York is upgrading its substandard Route 17 Expressway to I-86.

Exit list[edit]

County Location mi km Exit Destinations Notes
Fulton Fulton 0.000 0.000 US 51 Continuation into Tennessee
0.030 0.048 0 KY 116 / KY 166 – Fulton, Hickman
1.424 2.292 1 US 51 north – Clinton, Fulton North end of US 51 concurrency
2.478 3.988 2 KY 307 – Fulton
Graves Wingo 13.645 21.959 14 KY 339 – Wingo, Clinton
Mayfield 21.256 34.208 21
US 45 Byp. south
South end of US 45 Byp. concurrency; signed as exit 21B northbound (exit 21A is to remain on the parkway as it merges with US 45 Byp.)
22.239 35.790 22 KY 80 – Fancy Farm, Mayfield
23.701 38.143 24 KY 121 – Wickliffe, Mayfield
24.713 39.772 25
US 45 / US 45 Byp. – Paducah, Mayfield
North end of US 45 Byp. concurrency
27.452 44.180 27 KY 131 – Airport
Marshall Benton 40.805 65.669 41
US 641 Spur south – Hardin, Murray
42.568 68.507 43 KY 348 – Benton, Symsonia
  46.953 75.564 47 US 68 – Kenlake State Park, Kentucky Lake Recreation Area
Calvert City 51.394 82.711 52 I-24 / I-69 north – Nashville, Paducah Signed as exits 52A (east) and 52B (west)
52.333 84.222 US 62 / KY 1523 – Calvert City, Eddyville, Paducah At-grade intersection; eastern terminus of KY 1523
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ "Kentucky Transportation Cabinet - Division of Planning - Highway Information System Official Milepoint Route Log Extract". Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  2. ^ "I-69 and I-66 Will Use Existing Parkways." Evansville Courier and Press 25 Feb. 2002. 23 Aug. 2006 [1].

External links[edit]

Route map: Bing