Interstate 65 (I-65) is a major north–south Interstate Highway in the central United States. As with most primary Interstates ending in 5, it is a major crosscountry, north–south route, connecting between the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico. Its southern terminus is located at an interchange with I-10 in Mobile, Alabama, and its northern terminus is at an interchange with US 12 (US 12), and US 20 (the Dunes Highway) in Gary, Indiana, just southeast of Chicago. I-65 connects several major metropolitan areas in the Midwest and Southern US. It connects the four largest cities in Alabama: Mobile, Montgomery, Birmingham, and Huntsville. It also serves as one of the main north–south routes through Nashville, Tennessee; Louisville, Kentucky; and Indianapolis, Indiana, each a major metropolitan area in its respective state.

Interstate 65 marker

Interstate 65

I-65 highlighted in red
Route information
Length887.30 mi[1] (1,427.97 km)
NHSEntire route
Major junctions
South end I-10 in Mobile, AL
Major intersections
North end US 12 / US 20 in Gary, IN
CountryUnited States
StatesAlabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana
Highway system

Route description edit

  mi[1] km
AL 366.22 590.63
TN 121.71 195.87
KY 137.32 221.00
IN 261.27 420.47
Total 887.30 1427.97

Alabama edit

Approaching an exit for I-65 in downtown Birmingham

In the state of Alabama, I-65 passes through or near four of the state's major metropolitan areas: Mobile, Montgomery, Birmingham, and Huntsville. I-65 begins its path northward in Mobile at its junction with I-10. From I-10, I-65 runs west of downtown Mobile and through the northern suburbs of the city before turning northeasterly towards Montgomery. In Montgomery, I-65 connects with the southern terminus of I-85. In the Birmingham suburbs, I-65 has an interchange with I-459 and another interchange in the city at I-20/I-59. North of downtown, I-22 branches off I-65 toward Memphis. From Birmingham, I-65 continues north, crossing the Tennessee River near Decatur. A few miles north of the river, it intersects I-565, a short spur route which provides access to Huntsville. It then continues northward out of the Tennessee Valley to the state of Tennessee toward Nashville.

Tennessee edit

I-65 southbound in Nashville

I-65 enters Tennessee from the south near the town of Ardmore and passes through mostly rural territory for 65 miles (105 km). It then passes Lewisburg. Then it passes close to Columbia and crosses Saturn Parkway, which brings travelers to the town of Spring Hill. I-65 then continues on to reach I-840 and progresses until it intersects State Route 96 (SR 96) at Franklin. Then the highway goes through Brentwood, and enters Nashville, where it first interchanges with I-440. It then has brief concurrences with I-40 and I-24 near downtown Nashville. The freeway then meets State Route 155 (SR 155, Briley Parkway), and after passing through Madison, meets SR 386 (Vietnam Veterans Boulevard) in Goodlettsville. The freeway then passes through Millersville and White House, and then, close to Portland, crosses into Kentucky.

Kentucky edit

I-65 northbound at the former William H. Natcher Parkway (now I-165) in Bowling Green, Kentucky, 2007

I-65 enters the state five miles (8.0 km) south of Franklin. Throughout its length, it passes near Mammoth Cave National Park, Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, the National Corvette Museum, and Fort Knox.

The first major intersection in the state is with I-165 (former Natcher Parkway) at Bowling Green. I-65 has intersections with three of the parkways in the state. The first major junction is with the Cumberland Parkway near Rocky Hill. At Elizabethtown, it has two more parkway interchanges with the Wendell H. Ford Western Kentucky Parkway and the Martha Layne Collins Bluegrass Parkway. I-65 also has interchanges with I-265, I-264, I-64, and I-71.

The widest stretch of I-65 in its entirety is in Louisville at Kentucky Route 1065 (KY 1065, Outer Loop), where the main line is 14 lanes wide. The highway crosses the Ohio River into Indiana on a toll bridge. The southbound side is called the John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge (southbound) and the northbound side is called the Abraham Lincoln Bridge. The latter bridge opened in October 2016 as part of the Ohio River Bridges Project. Prior to the project, the John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge (completed in 1963) carried traffic in both directions. The project also included reconstruction of the I-65/I-64/I-71 convergence interchange just south of the Kennedy Bridge, as well as renovating the older span to carry six lanes of southbound traffic. Additionally, a second six-lane cable-stayed bridge 12 miles (19 km) upstream on the Ohio River, the Lewis and Clark Bridge, was built as part of the project, opening in December 2016 to complete the I-265 loop around Louisville.

At one time, the 65-mile (105 km) stretch of I-65 from Louisville to Elizabethtown was a toll road, called the Kentucky Turnpike. The bonds that financed the road have been paid off, and tolls are no longer collected. All signs of the former turnpike have been removed.

On November 15, 2006, the stretch of I-65 from Bowling Green to Louisville was renamed the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Expressway.

On February 12, 2007, a bill passed the Kentucky Senate to rename I-65 in Jefferson County the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Expressway.[2] Signs were posted July 25, 2007.[3]

On July 15, 2007, Kentucky highway officials raised the speed limits on most Interstate and state parkway highways to 70 mph (110 km/h). Prior to that, Kentucky was the only state along I-65 that had a maximum speed limit of 65 mph (105 km/h).

Indiana edit

I-65 just outside Indianapolis, Indiana
Approaching the northern terminus of I-65 in Gary, Indiana

I-65 enters Indiana at Jeffersonville and Clarksville. Miles 0–9 were rebuilt, widened, and realigned from north of Sellersburg to the Ohio River during 2008–2010, giving great traffic relief to the fast-growing Indiana suburbs of Louisville. Over 300,000 of the 1.5 million people in Louisville's CMSA live in its Indiana counties.

A section of I-65 in Downtown Indianapolis runs concurrently with I-70. The junctions are often referred to as the "North Split" and the "South Split", forming a section of Interstate locally known as the "Inner Loop" or "The Spaghetti Bowl" due to the visual complexity of the intersecting ramps and overpasses.

In mid-March 2007, a six-mile (9.7 km) section of I-70 from the North Split to I-465 east of downtown was restricted to automobiles only for the "Super 70" project, a massive rebuild and expansion of that freeway.[4] Trucks over 13 short tons (12 t) were forced to divert through I-65 if coming from the north and use the circular I-465 to the south to reconnect to I-70 eastbound. Westbound traffic from I-70 was required to loop north or south along I-465 to get to I-65 or I-70. The Super 70 project was completed in November 2007.

In mid-2003, the portion of I-65 that runs concurrently with I-70 was closed to all traffic due to the "HyperFix" project. During that time, a new concrete surface was installed and the overpasses were upgraded.

In 1999, the 25-mile (40 km) segment of I-65 between the two I-465 interchanges was renamed the Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds Highway.

North of Lafayette near Brookston, the road passes through the Meadow Lake Wind Farm for several miles, with the turbines and standards spaced out in order to avoid a collapse onto the highway. The Fowler Ridge Wind Farm is also visible on both sides of the highway.

From its crossing into Lake County over the Kankakee River to its northern terminus, the highway is known as the Casimir Pulaski Memorial Highway.

Prior to 2004, the northern terminus of I-65 was only 0.125 miles (0.201 km) north of I-90 (Indiana Toll Road). Traffic going from I-90 to I-65 had to stop at a traffic signal to make a left turn. Traffic from I-65 to I-90 bypassed the traffic signal via an isolated right-turn lane. In 2004, the interchange was fully grade-separated, so it is now one interchange involving I-65, I-90, US 12, and US 20, thereby eliminating a connection gap in the Interstate Highway System.

History edit

The first section of Interstate 65 reused the Kentucky Turnpike, a toll road that opened on August 1, 1956.[5] The first section of Interstate Highway in Tennessee constructed under the authorization of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 was a short section of I-65 which opened on November 15, 1958.[6][7] The first section of Interstate Highway to be completed in Alabama was also a section of I-65, which opened on December 10, 1959.[8] The first section of I-65 in Indiana was opened on September 14, 1960.[9][10] Kentucky was the first state to complete its portion of I-65, with the last stretch opening on June 22, 1970.[11] The final section in Tennessee opened on October 26, 1973.[12][13] The last section in Indiana, part of the concurrent section with I-70 in Indianapolis, opened on October 15, 1976.[14][15] I-65 was not officially completed until December 19, 1985, when a section north of Birmingham opened, replacing a four-lane stretch of US 31 that had been designated as part of I-65 but did not meet Interstate Highway standards.[16]

Junction list edit

  I-10 in Mobile
  US 90 in Mobile
  US 98 in Mobile
  US 45 in Prichard
  I-165 in Prichard
  US 43 north-northeast of Satsuma
  US 84 west-southwest of Evergreen
  US 31 on the Hope HullMontgomery line
  US 80 in Montgomery. The highways travel concurrently through Montgomery.
   US 80 / US 82 in Montgomery. I-65/US 82 travels concurrently to Prattville.
  I-85 in Montgomery
  US 31 north of Prattville
  US 31 in Clanton
  US 31 in Calera
  US 31 in Alabaster
  I-459 in Hoover
  US 31 on the Hoover–Vestavia Hills city line
   US 11 / US 78 in Birmingham
   I-20 / I-59 in Birmingham
  US 31 in Birmingham
  I-22 in Fultondale
  US 31 in Smoke Rise. The highways travel concurrently through Smoke Rise.
  US 278 in Cullman
  US 31 south-southeast of Lacon
  I-565 on the DecaturHuntsville city line
  US 72 in Athens
  US 31 in Athens. The highways travel concurrently to Ardmore, Tennessee.
  US 64 west of Frankewing
  US 412 in Columbia
  I-440 in Nashville
  I-40 in Nashville. The highways travel concurrently through Nashville.
    US 70 / US 70S / US 431 in Nashville
  US 70 in Nashville
  I-24 in Nashville. The highways travel concurrently through Nashville.
  US 431 in Nashville
   US 31W / US 41 in Nashville
   US 31W / US 41 in Goodlettsville
  US 31W south-southeast of Franklin
  I-165 in Bowling Green
  US 231 in Bowling Green
  US 68 in Oakland
  US 31W in Munfordville
  US 31W in Elizabethtown
  US 62 in Elizabethtown
  I-265 in Louisville
  I-264 in Louisville
  US 150 in Louisville
   I-64 / I-71 in Louisville
  US 31 in Jeffersonville. The highways travel concurrently to west of Jeffersonville.
  I-265 in Clarksville
  US 31 south-southeast of Crothersville
  US 50 in Seymour
  US 31 in Taylorsville
      I-74 / I-465 / US 31 / US 36 / US 40 in Indianapolis
  I-70 in Indianapolis. The highways travel concurrently through Indianapolis.
  I-465 in Indianapolis
   I-865 / US 52 north-northwest of Royalton. I-65/US 52 travels concurrently to Lebanon.
  US 231 south of Wolcott
   US 24 / US 231 east of Remington
  US 231 north of Remington
  US 231 in Crown Point
  US 30 in Merrillville
    I-80 / I-94 / US 6 in Gary
  I-90 in Gary
   US 12 / US 20 in Gary


Auxiliary routes edit

  •   I-165, serving the Alabama communities of Prichard and Mobile.
  •   I-565, a spur in Alabama that begins in Decatur and ends in Huntsville.
  •   I-165, a spur in Kentucky that begins in Bowling Green and ends in Owensboro.
  •   I-265, the beltway around the Louisville area in Kentucky and Indiana. The highway is called the Gene Snyder freeway in Kentucky, and the Lee H. Hamilton Highway in Indiana between I-65 and the Lewis and Clark Bridge connecting Indiana and Kentucky on the eastern side of Louisville..
  •   I-465, a full beltway around Indianapolis.
  •   I-865, a connection between I-65 and I-465 on the northwest side of Indianapolis, formerly numbered I-465.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b Adderly, Kevin (January 15, 2014). "Table 1: Main Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways as of December 31, 2013". Route Log and Finder List. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  2. ^ Gerth, Joseph (February 13, 2007). "Senate OKs renaming I-65 for King". The Courier-Journal. Louisville, KY.
  3. ^ Shafer, Sheldon S. (July 25, 2007). "Mayor, Democrats back I-65 King plan". The Courier-Journal. Louisville, KY. Retrieved July 30, 2007.
  4. ^ "Super 70". Archived from the original on October 29, 2007.
  5. ^ Terry, Sam. "My Kentucky: Modern travel on the turnpike". Jobe for Kentucky. Glasgow, Kentucky. Retrieved December 17, 2023.
  6. ^ "100 Years: Tennessee's Interstate System". Tennessee Department of Transportation. 2014. Retrieved January 29, 2023.
  7. ^ Abramson, Rudy (November 16, 1958). "First Link of State's Super Roads Opens". The Nashville Tennessean. p. 6-E. Retrieved January 29, 2023 – via
  8. ^ Stanton, Allison (December 11, 1959). "State's road program rolls right along". The Birmingham News. p. 18. Retrieved August 18, 2020 – via
  9. ^ "Three Sections Of Interstate 65 To Open Today". The Indianapolis Star. September 14, 1960. p. 31. Retrieved December 17, 2023 – via
  10. ^ "Governor Handley Opens I-65 From Jeff To H'ville". The Charlestown Courier. Charlestown, Indiana. September 15, 1960. sec. 2, p. 1. Retrieved December 17, 2023 – via
  11. ^ "Final Stretch Of I-65 Opened In Simpson Co". The Franklin Favorite. Franklin, Kentucky. June 25, 1970. p. A-1. Retrieved November 7, 2022 – via
  12. ^ "Harding-to-Berry-Road I-65 Link Opens Friday". The Tennessean. Nashville. October 24, 1973. p. 21. Retrieved October 23, 2022 – via
  13. ^ "I-65 Complete In Tennessee". Memphis Press-Scimitar. Associated Press. October 27, 1973. p. 2. Retrieved December 16, 2023 – via
  14. ^ "Inner loop completed". Daily Journal. Franklin, Indiana. United Press International. October 16, 1976. p. 16. Retrieved December 17, 2023 – via
  15. ^ "I-70 Opening Completes Hoosier Interstate Roads". The Daily Reporter. Greenfield, Indiana. United Press International. October 16, 1976. p. 1. Retrieved December 17, 2023 – via
  16. ^ "Highway official says I-65 delays may have benefited Birmingham". The Gadsden Times. December 19, 1985.
  17. ^ Rand McNally (2014). The Road Atlas (Walmart ed.). Chicago: Rand McNally. pp. 4–5, 36–37, 42, 95. ISBN 978-0-528-00771-2.

External links edit

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