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U.S. Route 25E (US 25E) is the eastern branch of U.S. Route 25 from Newport, Tennessee, where US 25 splits into US 25E and US 25W, to North Corbin, Kentucky, where the two highways rejoin. The road, however, continues as US 25E for roughly 2 miles (3.2 km) until it joins Interstate 75 in North Corbin.

U.S. Route 25E marker

U.S. Route 25E
Route information
Auxiliary route of US 25
Maintained by KYTC and TDOT
Length114 mi[citation needed] (183 km)
ExistedNovember 26, 1926 (1926-11-26)[1]–present
Major junctions
South end US 25 / US 25W / US 70 in Newport, TN
North end I-75 in North Corbin, KY
StatesTennessee, Kentucky
CountiesTN: Cocke, Jefferson, Hamblen, Grainger, Claiborne
KY: Bell, Knox, Laurel
Highway system


All of US 25E in Tennessee is now the East Tennessee Crossings Byway, a National Scenic Byway.[2] A portion of US 25E in Tennessee is also designated as Appalachian Development Corridor S. The corridor follows US 25E between I-81 in White Pine and State Route 63 (Corridor F) in Harrogate.[3]

US 25E has been included in the U.S. Highway System since the system's inception in 1926.

US 25E is concurrent with unsigned Tennessee State Route 32 for its entire length in Tennessee.

Route descriptionEdit


Warning signs along U.S. 25E approaching Cumberland Gap Tunnel

Northbound US 25 and westbound US 70 leave Newport concurrent with one another. At an intersection west of town, US 25 splits into two highways: US 25E, which heads north from this point, and US 25W, which continues west along US 70.

US 25E crosses over Douglas Lake south of Baneberry. Between White Pine and Witt, the highway has an interchange with Interstate 81 (exit 8). North of the Interstate, the road widens out to four lanes, and receives the Appalachian Development designation "Corridor S". US 25E intersects US 11E east of Morristown. It then crosses Cherokee Lake.

Near Bean Station, US 25E joins US 11W. The two roads split 3 miles (4.8 km) west of Bean Station, and US 25E continues northwest to Tazewell.[4]

Northwest of Tazewell, the road bridges the Powell River, and then passes through Harrogate. In the town of Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, US 25E serves as the western terminus of US 58. US 25E used that highway en route to the Cumberland Gap prior to 1996, however, it now uses a new highway leading to the Cumberland Gap Tunnel, freeing up a portion of road that US 58 now uses. US 25E then passes through the tunnel, emerging on the other side in Kentucky.


The Kentucky side of the Cumberland Gap Tunnel.

US 25E remains a multilane divided highway for its entire extent in Kentucky.[5] Upon departing the tunnel, the road heads west to the town of Middlesboro, Kentucky, where it intersects KY 74. US 25E turns north at Middlesboro toward Pineville, the county seat of Bell County. In Pineville, the route is the western terminus of US 119.

US 25E departs Pineville and heads northwest, indirectly serving Tinsley via KY 92, crossing into Knox County, and bypassing Flat Lick to the west. The route makes an S-shaped curve, dipping south then turning back northwest as it approaches Barbourville. After serving the east side of Barbourville, the highway passes near Heidrick and runs through Baileys Switch.

Between Baileys Switch and Gray, US 25E gradually turns more east–west. After running through Gray, the route serves as the northern terminus of KY 3041. The road then reunites with US 25W north of Corbin, and the unsuffixed US 25 continues to points north. However, the US 25E designation continues west to Interstate 75, where it ends at Exit 29.[6]


Old US 25E sign in Cumberland Gap, Tennessee directing traffic to the former route over Cumberland Gap.

Before the Cumberland Gap Tunnel was opened in 1996, US 25E passed through the Cumberland Gap in Virginia. Prior to the U.S. highway system's arrival, Virginia's State Highway 10 began at the Cumberland Gap and proceeded to Bristol.[7] A short spur south to Tennessee was soon added,[citation needed] becoming State Route 107 in the 1923 renumbering and State Route 100 in the 1928 renumbering.[8]

Early U.S. Highway planning assigned the number U.S. Route 411 to SR 10 through Cumberland Gap to Kentucky, and no number to SR 107.[9] By the final 1926 plan, US 411 was truncated to Cumberland Gap, and US 25E ran from Tennessee to Kentucky along SR 10 and SR 107.[1] The State Route numbers were dropped in the 1933 renumbering.

The Cumberland Gap Tunnel opened in 1996, completely bypassing Cumberland Gap and Virginia. U.S. Route 58 was moved to a new alignment, meeting US 25E in Tennessee, and US 25E was decommissioned through Virginia. As it lay within the boundaries of the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, the National Park Service now controls the former road, and decided to return it to its pre-pavement state. The pavement was torn up, and old US 25E is now a dirt path.[10]

Major intersectionsEdit

TennesseeCockeNewport0.00.0     US 25 south / US 25W north / US 70 (W Broadway Street/SR 9/SR 32 south/SR 35) to I-40 – Newport, Dandridge, SeviervilleSouthern terminus of US 25E; US 25E south and US 25W merge to form US 25; southern end of unsigned SR 32 concurrency
Douglas Lake/French Broad RiverJ. W. Walters Bridge
JeffersonNina Road – BaneberryAccess road into Baneberry
White Pine9.515.3  SR 341 west (Old Airport Road) – TalbottEastern terminus of SR 341
11.117.9  SR 113 south (Main Street) – DandridgeSouthern end of SR 113 concurrency
HamblenMorristown13.020.9  I-81 – Knoxville, BristolI-81 exit 8
14.823.8  SR 343 north (Newport Highway) – DowntownSouthern terminus of SR 343
15.524.9  SR 113 north – WhitesburgNorthern end of SR 113 concurrency
17.127.51  SR 160 (Enka Highway)Southern end of freeway; interchange
19311ACollege Square Drive/College Park DriveInterchange
19.531.42A  US 11E south (Morris Boulevard/SR 34 west) – MorristownSouthern end of US 11E/SR 34 concurrency; interchange
19.831.92B  US 11E north (East A.J. Highway/SR 34 east/SR 66) – Greeneville, MorristownNorthern end of US 11E/SR 34 concurrency; northern end of freeway; interchange
22.335.9  SR 343 south (Buffalo Trail) – Morristown Central Business Districtinterchange; northern terminus of SR 343; southbound exit and northbound entrance; missing movements signed on Cherokee Park Road
Cherokee Lake/Holston RiverOlen R. Marshall Memorial Bridge
GraingerBean Station26.242.2  SR 375 south (Lakeshore Drive) – CherokeeNorthern terminus of SR 375
29.347.2  US 11W north (New Lee Highway/SR 1 east) – RogersvilleSouthern end of US 11W/SR 1 concurrency; interchange
31.250.2  US 11W south (Lee Highway/SR 1 west) – Rutledge, KnoxvilleNorthern end of US 11W/SR 1 concurrency; interchange
38.662.1  SR 131 (Mountain Valley Highway 131) – Washburn, Thorn Hill
Claiborne45.573.2  SR 33 north – SneedvilleSouthern end of SR 33 concurrency
Tazewell50.881.8  SR 33 south (N Broad Street) – New Tazewell, MaynardvilleNorthern end of SR 33 concurrency
51.382.6  SR 345 north (Cedar Fork Road)Southern terminus of SR 345
Harrogate60.296.9  SR 63 east (Forge Ridge Road) – SneedvilleSouthern end of SR 63 concurrency
60.497.2  SR 63 west (Appalachian Highway) – Arthur, Speedwell, Fincastle, LaFolletteNorthern end of SR 63 concurrency
61.298.5  US 58 east (Wilderness Road/SR 383 east) – Cumberland Gap, TN, Jonesville, VAInterchange; eastern terminus of US 58/SR 383
Cumberland Gap65.9
Cumberland Gap Tunnel
KentuckyBellCumberland Gap NHP1.3432.161Cumberland Gap National Park Visitor Center & Craft ShopInterchange
Middlesboro1.7192.766   KY 74 west – Airport
   KY 441 west / KY 74 Truck west
6.32210.174  KY 3486 south
6.40210.303  KY 188 east
Ferndale8.31313.378  KY 1534 north
8.90014.323  KY 3151 east
11.60418.675  KY 190 west – Chenoa, Frakes, Pine Mountain State Resort Park
Pineville12.35519.883  US 119 north – Harlan, Martins Fork Lake
13.46021.662   KY 66 north to KY 221 – Red Bird Mission
14.20022.853  KY 2015 north
17.36027.938  KY 2014 east
17.57628.286  KY 92 west – Williamsburg, Whitley City
Knox19.07530.698  KY 3085 south
20.30932.684  KY 3085 north
21.54334.670  KY 930 west
21.70934.937  KY 3085 south – Flat Lick
22.47136.164  KY 223 north – Dewitt
24.08138.755  KY 3439 west
25.58141.169   KY 1304 north to KY 11 – Bimble
Barbourville26.68442.944  KY 3153 west
27.41844.125  KY 2415 north
28.47045.818   KY 225 south / KY 3439 east
29.43947.377  KY 11 south – BarbourvilleSouthern end of KY 11 concurrency
29.59647.630  KY 2420 west – Downtown Barbourville
30.20548.610  KY 11 north – ManchesterNorthern end of KY 11 concurrency
30.81149.585  KY 1487 south
31.20650.221  KY 2418 south
32.61052.481  KY 3438 east
33.12453.308  KY 229 north – London
34.43755.421  KY 1527 east
40.36664.963  KY 233 – Gray
42.22767.958  KY 830
Corbin42.87268.996   KY 3041 south to I-75 south
44.30171.296  KY 312 west
44.59371.765  KY 1629
LaurelNorth Corbin45.19272.729    US 25 north / US 25W south – AirportUS 25W and US 25E north merge to form US 25; US 25E signage continues
45.70373.552   KY 3431 to KY 1223
   I-75 / KY 770 west – Knoxville, LexingtonI-75 exit 29; northern terminus of US 25E
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Popular cultureEdit

The northern section of US 25E from the Kentucky State line to Tazewell, along with the junctioning Tennessee SR-33 between Tazewell and Knoxville, were the inspiration for the song "The Ballad of Thunder Road", in which a moonshiner runs illegal whiskey from Kentucky to Tennessee along this route.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b United States System of Highways Adopted for Uniform Marking by the American Association of State Highway Officials (Map). 1:7,000,000. Cartography by U.S. Geological Survey. Bureau of Public Roads. November 11, 1926. OCLC 32889555. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  2. ^ O'Neil, Duay (October 20, 2009). "Hwy 25 East is Now a National Scenic Byway". The Newport Plain Talk. Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved October 23, 2009.
  3. ^ ADHS Approved Corridors and Termini Archived November 1, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Eastern Tennessee" (Map). The Road Atlas (2008 Large Scale ed.). Rand McNally. p. 193.
  5. ^ Official Highway Map (Map) (2008 ed.). Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
  6. ^ a b "HIS Official Milepoint Route Log Report (Laurel County)". Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Retrieved January 19, 2010.
  7. ^ State Highway Commission of Virginia (July 5, 1922). Minutes of the First Meeting of the State Highway Commission Created Under the Acts of 1922 (PDF) (Report). Richmond, VA: Commonwealth of Virginia., Proposed "State Highway System" for Virginia, as Recommended by the State Roads Committee, January 1918
  8. ^ "VA 100". Virginia Highways Project.[self-published source]
  9. ^ Secretary of Agriculture (November 18, 1925). Report of Joint Board on Interstate Highways, October 30, 1925 (Report). US Department of Agriculture.
  10. ^ Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Map (PDF) (Map). National Park Service.
  11. ^ Google (January 19, 2010). "U.S. Route 25E" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved January 19, 2010.
  12. ^ "HIS Official Milepoint Route Log Report (Bell County)". Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Retrieved January 19, 2010.
  13. ^ "HIS Official Milepoint Route Log Report (Knox County)". Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Retrieved January 19, 2010.

External linksEdit