Interstate 64 in Kentucky

Interstate 64 in Kentucky

Infobox road

maint=Kentucky DOT
terminus_a=Jct|state=IN|I|64 at Indiana state line
junction=Jct|state=KY|I|264 in Louisville
Jct|state=KY|I|65|I|71 in Louisville
Jct|state=KY|I|264 in Louisville
Jct|state=KY|I|265 in Middletown
Jct|state=KY|I|75 in Lexington
terminus_b=Jct|state=WV|I|64 at West Virginia state line

Interstate 64 travels for 191 miles within the state of Kentucky, passing by the major towns and cities of Louisville, Lexington and Ashland. It has several major junctions within the state: Interstate 65, Interstate 71, Interstate 264 and Interstate 265 in Louisville, and Interstate 75 in Lexington.

The interstate is host to two "exceptionally significant" structures indicated by the Federal Highway Administration. One is the 1970 "Cherokee Park Tunnels" in Louisville and a 1960s-era modern-styled rest area near Winchester.

In Downtown Louisville, the interstate passes under a public plaza called the Riverfront Plaza/Belvedere, one of the only structures in the state built on top of an interstate.


The "Cherokee Park Tunnels" in Louisville underwent restoration in 2001, which involved the reconstruction of the concrete pavement, the installation of new tiles and improvements to lighting. Efforts were made to paint the interior tiles of the tunnel with a mural, but were dropped because opponents stated that drivers would become distracted while passing through the tunnel, driving and viewing the art work at the same time. cite news | title = Interviews for tunnel artist set to begin | publisher = Courier-Journal | date = 5 February, 2001 | url = ] cite news | title = Tunnel mural proposal drawing criticism | publisher = The Independent (Ashland) | date = 5 February, 2001 | url = ] The tunnels, which opened in 1970, are one of three sites in Kentucky deemed "exceptionally significant" by the Federal Highway Administration. The designation meant that it will be very difficult for the stretch of interstate running through Cherokee Park ever to be widened.cite news|title=Tunnel could stop wider I-64|date=2007-01-17|last=Elson|first=Martha|publisher=Courier-Journal|url=]

Construction began on a Kentucky Route 180 interchange improvement project in the summer of 2006. cite news | last=Hart | first=Kenneth | title="Road Work Ahead" | publisher=The Independent (Ashland) | date=1 January, 2007 | accessdate=2007-01-02 | url= ] cite news | title="I-64 improvement project under way in Boyd" | publisher=The Independent (Ashland) | date=5 October, 2007 | accessdate=2007-10-10 | url= ] The $34 million project entailed the rebuilding of six bridges, the widening of Kentucky Route 180 to four-lanes in the vicinity of the interchange and the conversion of the ramps into a diamond. The project should be finished by November 2008.

In March 2007, Governor of Kentucky Ernie Fletcher signed "Senate Bill 83" which allowed for an increase in speed limits on rural interstates and parkways. Speed limits on rural sections of Interstate 64 were increased from 65 MPH to 70 MPH, following an engineering study by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. New signage was installed in July [cite news | title=New speed limit signs erected | publisher=The Independent (Ashland) | date=11 July, 2007 | date=2007-01-04 | ]

On June 7, 2007, Interstate 64 between the junction of Interstate 264 and Interstate 65 and Interstate 71 in downtown Louisville was closed to through traffic. [ cite news | last=Tabor | first=Britney | title="I-64 shutdown starts without major problems " | publisher=Courier-Journal | date=8 June, 2007 | accessdate=2007-06-09 | url= ] The section of highway featured three-lanes of traffic in each direction on an elevated viaduct paralleling the Ohio River, carrying 90,000 vehicles-per-day. The closure was part of a $50 million refurbishment project that involved replacing 132 expansion joints and repaving more than four-miles of interstate and interchanges. [cite news | last=Shafer | first=Sheldon | title="Big I-64 headache coming" | publisher=Courier-Journal | date=11 March, 2007 | date=2007-03-11 | url= ] The work was completed in two phases, starting with the entire project area being closed on three weekends in June, followed by a section of highway closed from 3rd to 22nd Streets in early July to early August.


Controversially, I-64 runs through Louisville Waterfront Park, a key part of the revitalization of Downtown Louisville, and portions of the park exist under it. "", a grassroots campaign with popular support but little apparent political momentum, aims to re-route I-64 to enhance Louisville's waterfront. I-64 will be widened over the park as a part of the Ohio River Bridges Project, supported by the Mayor and most involved in city and interstate planning.


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