Interstate 169 Kentucky
Interstate 169 is the proposed designation for the southern 34-mile section of the Edward T. Breathitt Pennyrile Parkway from its end at I-24 near Hopkinsville to its merge with I-69 north at the I-69/Wendell H. Ford Western Kentucky Parkway systems exchange (Exits 34AB) northeast of Nortonville. Currently no time table has been established for the inclusion of I-169 signage along this portion of the parkway.
North End – Nortonville, KY
South End – Hopkinsville, KY
Mileage – 34.27
Cities – Hopkinsville, Crofton, Nortonville
- Junctions –
The Edward T. Breathitt Pennyrile Parkway (unsigned KY 9004) opened to traffic in 1969 as a toll facility between U.S. 41 in Henderson and U.S. 41 Alternate in Hopkinsville. Originally under the Kentucky Turnpike Authority, tolls were levied along 56 miles of 71 miles of the parkway until 1992, when the bonds to construct it were paid off ahead of schedule.1 A toll-free portion of the Pennyrile Parkway existed between Nortonville, Mortons Gap and Madisonville and carried U.S. 41 until the mid-1990s when the U.S. highway was returned to its original alignment. The parkway was renamed the Edward T. Breathitt Pennyrile Parkway on September 13, 2000 in honor of the former Kentucky governor (1963-1967).1 During his tenure as governor, Breathitt continued the work of Bert T. Combs in improving fundage for roads and highways, among other services in the state.2 The Pennyrile Parkway was among the highways funded during his administration.3
Despite a 1976 approval to extend it from U.S. 41 Alternate (Exit 7) near Hopkinsville south to Interstate 242, the Pennyrile Parkway remained unfinished until 2011. Construction began in 2006 to extend the parkway toward I-24, with the first of three phases taking the parkway 1.8 miles from U.S. 41 Alternate to the U.S. 68 Bypass around Hopkinsville.4 This stretch was opened to traffic in 2008.1 Phase two of the 7-mile completion of the parkway opened April 2010, connecting it with Lover’s Lane (Exit 5) and nearby Hopkinsville Convention Center.1 The remaining 4.9 miles of the Edward T. Breathitt Pennyrile Parkway was opened to I-24 at a trumpet interchange on March 1, 2011. Totaling $101 million3, the three-phased project provided much much needed relief from traffic congestion along surrounding corridors. As stated by a chief engineer for the Kentucky Department of Highways District 2 in Madisonville, “As traffic has increased over the years, cross-country trucks and through passenger vehicles created congestion on U.S. 41-A, prompting the need to complete the connection to I-24.”5
Not long after the completion of the parkway to Interstate 24 in 2011, provisions began to petition the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) and Congress to have the section between I-24 and the Western Kentucky Parkway designated as an I-24 spur.3 Since the portion of the parkway between the Wendell H. Ford Western Kentucky Parkway and Henderson had already been signed into law as Interstate 696, state legislatures wanted a separate designation for the remaining portion, citing its importance as a regional high-speed corridor.
On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Senate passed an amendment to H.R. 2577 of the Fiscal Year 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill that would designate the southern portion of the parkway as Interstate 169.7 Submitted by U.S. Senator Rand Paul, the I-169 designation “will increase economic development and opportunities for thousands of Kentuckians.”7
As of April 23, 2018, future Interstate 169 corridor signs have been set in place at both ends of the Breathitt Pennyrile Parkway as well as at the Christian/Hopkins county line.8
North End / Western Kentucky Parkway – Nortonville, Kentucky
Systems exchange between I-69 (Edward T. Breathitt Pennyrile Parkway) and Western Kentucky Parkway northeast of Nortonville.
South End – Hopkinsville, Kentucky
West at Future
Interstate 24 kinks toward Miller Mill Road in this scene two miles out from the trumpet interchange with Edward T. Breathitt Pennyrile Parkway (Exit 81). Formerly named just Pennyrile Parkway, the 71-mile parkway was renamed to honor the Governor (1963-67) who pushed for increased highway funds throughout the state. Photo taken 04/05/13.
The I-24 mainline bisects crop fields on the one mile approach to the Pennyrile Parkway (Exit 81). Opened in 1969 as a toll facility, the parkway has become a significant north-south corridor in Western Kentucky. Today the Edward T. Breathitt Pennyrile Parkway ties I-24 with Hopkinsville, Madisonville and Henderson. Photo taken 04/05/13.
Completed in phases by 2011, the southern seven miles were extended from U.S. 41 Alternate (Fort Campbell Boulevard) to meet I-24 near milepost 81. The Edward T. Breathitt Pennyrile Parkway stems north from Hopkinsville to meet I-69 at the Wendell H. Ford Western Kentucky Parkway exchange (Exit 34) near Nortonville. I-69 joins the parkway north to Henderson. Photo taken 04/05/13.
East at Future
Originally named the Pennyrile Parkway, the state redesignated the 78-mile parkway as the Edward T. Breathitt Pennyrile Parkway in 2000. The former Kentucky governor (1963-67) spearheaded highway funding improvements during his administration, including for the Pennyrile Parkway. Photo taken 11/07/11.
- Edward T. Breathitt Pennyrile Parkway, Kentucky Roads (www.kentuckyroads.com).
- Edward T. Breathitt, Wikipedia.
- “Pennyrile Parkway officially opens”, The Eagle Post (newspaper), June 29, 2011.
- “State to extend Pennyrile”, The Gleaner (newspaper), May 6, 2006.
- “Pennyrile Parkway extension opens”, www.14news.com (TV and news), March 1, 2011.
- “Public Law 110-244-June 6, 2008, SAFETEA-LU TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS ACT OF 2008”, U.S. Government Publishing Office (www.gpo.gov), June 6, 2008.
- “Senate Unanimously Passes Sen. Rand Paul’s Amendment to Designate Interstate I-169 in Western Kentucky to the Transportation and Housing Appropriations Bill”, official Rand Paul (U.S. Senator) website (www.paul.senate.gov), May 19, 2016.
- Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) District 2 Facebook “Future I-169 spur” albums page.
Page updated April 24, 2018.