Interstate 265 Kentucky


Interstate 265 provides a partial beltway around the Louisville, Kentucky, metropolitan area between Interstate 65 south of Downtown and Interstate 71 northeast of Downtown. The dangling ends of the Interstate 265 half-beltway are each designated as Kentucky 841.

Interstate 265 will eventually connect with Interstate 265 in Indiana via the East End Bridge at its northeastern end. Spanning the Ohio River between Indiana 62 and U.S. 42, the new cable stayed bridge will create a seamless I-265.

In December 2006, costs were estimated for the improvements slated for Interstate 64, Interstate 65, and Interstate 265 in Louisville to be $3.9 billion. The components of this major construction initiative were as follows:1

  • Interstate 265 Connector/East End Bridge — Cost: $1.29 billion; Completion: 2013.
  • Interstate 65 Downtown Louisville Bridge Replacement — Cost: $868.4 million; Completion: 2019.
  • Interstate 64, 65, and 71: Reconstruct "Spaghetti Junction" — Cost: $1.74 billion; completion: 2024.

Cost savings made in the 2013 Financial Plan Annual Updated accelerated the time table for work on all three aspects of The Ohio River Bridges projects. Work broke ground for the East End Bridge on August 30, 2012 in Indiana. Construction on the Kentucky side followed with work building a 1.4-mile approach to the bridge, including a 1,700 foot tunnel under U.S. 42 and the historic Dumanard Estate. Completion of the overall project is forecast by late 2016.

A partially uncovered sign along Kentucky 841 north approaching the wye interchange (Exit 37) that will join I-265 north with U.S. 42 to Prospect. The yellow placard may reference the last exit in Kentucky or last exit before toll. Photo taken by Tom Reaugh on March 17, 2016.


Prior to the completion of the Gene Snyder Freeway, the route was designated in its entirety as Kentucky 841. AASHTO approved the establishment of Interstate 265 on June 29, 1978 from I-65 and South Park Road northeast to Interstate 71. The Interstate opened fully in 1987.

Highway Guides

Western Terminus - Interstate 65 and Kentucky 841 - south of Louisville, Kentucky
Perspective from Interstate 65/Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Expressway north
Interstate 65 approaches Interstate 265 (Gene Snyder Freeway) east and Kentucky 841 (Gene Snyder Freeway) west in two miles. The freeway expands to four lanes at Exits 125A/B. Photo taken by Chris and Amber Lokken (04/07/08).
Interstate 265/Kentucky 841 - Gene Snyder Freeway overhead on Interstate 65 northbound, 1.25 miles south of the terminus. Although the 1.25-mile advance sign remains the same between 2002 and 2008, a new Clearview pull-through sign for Interstate 65 is posted with the designation Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Expressway. Photo taken by Chris and Amber Lokken (04/07/08).
About to enter the interchange with Interstate 265/Kentucky 841/Gene Snyder Freeway on Interstate 65 north, the first ramp of the interchange connects to Exit 125A, Junction Interstate 265 east. Use Interstate 265 east to Interstate 64 east to Frankfort and Lexington and Interstate 71 north to Cincinnati. A bypass of Interstate 65 is currently not possible since the Ohio River bridge connection to Indiana has not yet been built. Photo taken by Chris and Amber Lokken (04/07/08).
Northbound Interstate 65 reaches Exit 125A, Junction Interstate 265/Kentucky 841 - Gene Snyder Freeway. The second ramp in this cloverleaf interchange connects to Kentucky 841 west. Photo taken by Chris Amber Lokken (04/07/08).
Immediately thereafter is Exit 125B, Junction Kentucky 841/Gene Snyder Freeway west to U.S. 31W and U.S. 60 near Fort Knox. Photo taken by Chris and Amber Lokken (04/07/08).
Perspective from Interstate 65/Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Expressway south
1.25 miles north of the Interstate 265 western terminus/transition to Kentucky 841. Four lanes of Interstate 65 south progress through the Exit 127 interchange with Kentucky 1065. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/26/03).
Now one mile from Exit 125, Junction Interstate 265 and Kentucky 841 , the formal name Gene Snyder Freeway is used in place of control cities for the outer belt freeway of Louisville. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/26/03).
Interstate 65 south expands to six lanes in anticipation of the Exit 125 junction with the western terminus of Interstate 265. To the southwest, Kentucky 841 connects with U.S. 31W/60 to the north of the Fort Knox Military Reservation. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/26/03).
Split of Exit 125 traffic to Interstate 265/Kentucky 841 from Interstate 65 south. Interstate 65 follows the original Kentucky Turnpike from this point southward to Elizabethtown, 34 miles to the south. Further south Interstate 65 travels to Bowling Green at Exit 28 before making its way to the Tennessee capital city. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/26/03).
Exit 125 ramp split from Interstate 65 south. Guide signs indicate that Kentucky 841 is cosigned with Interstate 265 east. The freeway travels 15 miles to Interstate 64 as it wraps around the southeastern outskirts of Louisville metro. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/26/03).
Eastern Terminus - Interstate 71 and Kentucky 841 - northeast of Louisville, Kentucky
Perspective from Interstate 265/Gene Snyder Freeway north
Interstate 265 northbound at Kentucky 22/Exit 34, the last exit before the terminus at Interstate 71/Exit 35A/B. Photo taken by Carter Buchanan (11/13/04).
Interstate 265 ends at this interchange with Interstate 71 on the east side of Louisville. Similar to the western terminus, Interstate 265 transitions into Kentucky 841, which continues the Gene Snyder Freeway beyond the scope of Interstate designation. Photo taken Carter Buchanan (11/13/04).
Freeway ends at U.S. 42 - 2 1/2 miles ahead sign for Kentucky 841 north at the Interstate 71/265 interchange. Photograph taken from Interstate 265 north to Interstate 71 northbound ramp. Photo taken by Brian Tabor (04/10/02).
Perspective from Kentucky 841/Gene Snyder Freeway south
Kentucky 841 south 1.25 miles from Exit 35, the transition into Interstate 265 south. The freeway of Kentucky 841 between U.S. 42/Exit 37 and Interstates 71/265 is a super two. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/26/03).
Overhead proclaiming the southbound beginning of Interstate 265 on Kentucky 841 south. Interstate 265 switches cardinal directions from north-south to east-west at the Interstate 64 interchange (Exit 25). Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/26/03).
Exit 35B for Interstate 71 south into downtown Louisville is the first exit of Interstate 265 south. Kentucky 841 is signed with Interstate 265 as they turn southeast then south toward Middletown, Jeffersontown, and other south Louisville communities. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/26/03).
Perspective from Interstate 71 north
Interstate 71 northbound two miles southwest of Exits 9A/B for Interstate 265 south and Kentucky 841. Similar to the western terminus, control cities are replaced with the formal designation Gene Snyder Freeway for Interstate 265. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/26/03).
One mile west of the southbound beginning of Interstate 265/Exit 9A. Interstate 71 retains just four lanes as it departs Louisville metro en route to Covington and Cincinnati, Ohio. The next interchange beyond Interstate 265 is Exit 14 with Kentucky 329 at Brownsboro. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/26/03).
Interstate 71 north at Exit 9A/Interstate 265/Kentucky 841 south. 88 miles separate the Queen City of Cincinnati, Ohio from this junction via Interstate 71 (and 75). Interstate 265 sees its first southbound interchange in one mile with Ballardsville Road (Kentucky 22). Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/26/03).
Perspective from Interstate 71 south
Two miles to the east of Interstate 265 south/Kentucky 841 on Interstate 71 south. Until the two Interstate 265's are united, traffic interests to Saint Louis and other points west via Interstate 64 must travel through the heart of Louisville. Interstate 71 concludes in nine miles. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/26/03).
The rural landscape of Interstate 71 continues as the freeway draws to within one mile of the northern terminus of Interstate 265. Interstate 265 is of local interest for Interstate 71 motorists due to the southeasterly orientation. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/26/03).
To Interstate 65 southbound auxiliary guide sign for Exit 9A/Interstate 265/Kentucky 841 south. A 25 mile jaunt via the Gene Snyder Freeway is required for motorists to access Interstate 65 for Elizabethtown, Nashville, and points south. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/26/03).
Entering the Exit 9 interchange of Interstate 265/Kentucky 841 on Interstate 71 south. Louisville is just seven miles to the southwest. New Albany, Indiana is 12 miles to the west. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/26/03).


  1. "Bridge plan cost soars to $3.9 billion: New plan: Build eastern span first." Louisville Courier-Journal, December 5, 2006.

Page Updated March 19, 2016.

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State Kentucky
Mileage 24.48
Cities Louisville, Okolona, Jeffersontown
Junctions Interstate 65, Interstate 64, Interstate 71
Source: December 31, 2015 Interstate Route Log and Finders List