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Interstate 265 Kentucky

 

Routing

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.

Future Aspirations

Interstate 265 is proposed to connect to Interstate 265 in Indiana via an Ohio River crossing ("East End Bridge") at its northeastern end, but it is unclear when such a connection will be completed. This connector would link what is today Indiana 265 and Kentucky 841. Design of the Ohio River bridge is underway as of early 2005, and a decision on design will be reached in 2006. New freeway approaches to the bridge from Kentucky 841 and Indiana 265 would also need to be constructed. The East End Bridge is a controversial project, but the 2005 Official Indiana Highway Map shows the Interstate 265 corridor as well as the location of the proposed bridge. For detailed information, visit the Kentucky/Indiana Bridges Official Website, which includes the proposed Interstate 265 bridge.1

In December 2006, costs were estimated for the improvements slated for Interstate 64, Interstate 65, and Interstate 265 in Louisville. Reaching over 60% of initial estimates, the cost for two new Ohio River Bridges and the reconstruction of the downtown "Spaghetti Junction" interchange between Interstates 64, 65, and 71 was estimated to be $3.9 billion. The components of this major construction initiative are as follows:4

  • 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.

Design of the new bridges and confirmation of this schedule of construction should be completed by early 2007. Funding is a major concern, and lack of funding could push back the construction phase. The high cost of reconstructing the downtown interchange has piqued the interest in some residents to remove Interstate 64 from downtown Louisville (called "86" 64 or Remove 64), since one of the tenants of this plan would include elimination of the freeway west of Interstate 65 along the waterfront, thus negating the much of the required "Spaghetti Junction."3

A pair of Louisville businessmen, Tyler Allen and J.C. Stites, advanced a plan to remove Interstate 64 along the Ohio River waterfront west of Interstate 65 and east of a point near Roy Wilkins Boulevard. The two suggest that Interstate 64 should be rerouted onto Interstate 265 across the East End Bridge once the bridge is constructed. Under their proposal, remaining sections of Interstate 64 would be renumbered as Interstate 364. As of November 2005, this plan is being discussed and debated by members of the community. It is unclear if such a dramatic shift of traffic from the downtown area would work.2 3

History

Prior to the completion of the Gene Snyder Freeway (Interstate 265), the route was designated in its entirety as Kentucky 841. 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
This mileage sign along Interstate 65 north provides the distance to Interstate 265 (signed here as the Gene Snyder Freeway) and downtown Louisville. This is the first indication of the interchange with Interstate 265. Photo taken by Chris Lokken and Amber Mason (04/07/08).
About five miles further north, Interstate 65 approaches Interstate 265/Gene Snyder Freeway east and Kentucky 841/Gene Snyder Freeway west (two miles). Photo taken by Chris Lokken and Amber Mason (04/07/08).
Shortly thereafter, Interstate 65 enters metropolitan Louisville per this small roadside sign. Interstate 65 will expand to four lanes at the Exits 125A-B interchange as it enters the metropolitan area of Louisville (city pop. 256,231). Photo taken by Chris Lokken and Amber Mason (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. Photos taken by Chris Lokken and Amber Mason (04/07/08) and Brian Tabor (04/10/02).
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 Lokken and Amber Mason (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. Photos taken by Chris Lokken and Amber Mason (04/07/08) and Brian Tabor (04/10/02).
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 Lokken and Amber Mason (04/07/08).
Next Three Interstate Junctions for Interstate 65 south
Interstate 264 6 miles at south Louisville, KY
Interstate 64/
Interstate 71
12 miles at downtown Louisville, KY
Interstate 265 19 miles at Clarksville, IN
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).
Next Three Interstate Junctions for Interstate 65 south
Interstate 24
overlap begin
158 miles at Nashville, TN
Interstate 24
overlap end
160 miles at Nashville, TN
Interstate 40
overlap begin
162 miles at downtown Nashville, TN
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).
Next Three Interstate Junctions for Interstate 71 north
Interstate 75
overlap begin
68 miles at Walton, KY
Interstate 275 80 miles at Erlanger, KY
Interstate 75
overlap end
88 miles at downtown Cincinnati, OH
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).
Next Three Interstate Junctions for Interstate 71 south
Interstate 264 4 miles east of Louisville, KY
Interstate 64 west/
Interstate 65
9 miles at Louisville, KY
-- --

Sources:

  1. Kentucky-Indiana Bridges
  2. Plan would erase I-64 from downtown: Bridges proposal faces uphill battle by Chris Poynter, Louisville Courier-Journal, Friday, November 25, 2005.
  3. Welcome to "86" Interstate 64 - site that proposes the removal (i.e., "86") of Interstate 64 from the downtown Louisville waterfront just west of Interstate 65 in front of downtown (by Tyler Allen and J.C. Stites)
  4. Bridge plan cost soars to $3.9 billion: New plan: Build eastern span first, by Marcus Green, Louisville Courier-Journal, December 5, 2006.

Page Updated August 8, 2008.

 
Mileage

State Kentucky
Mileage 24.48
Cities Louisville, Okolona, Jeffersontown
Junctions Interstate 65, Interstate 64, Interstate 71
Source: October 31, 2002 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
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