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Kentucky's Heartland Parkway/ADHS Corridor J


Took a drive today to see the progress of what has been dubbed the "Heartland Parkway" in Kentucky, and the completed portion of ADHS Corridor J in Tennessee.

The Heartland Parkway concept is a north-south route through the heart of Kentucky. There is an improved road all the way from the Tennessee line to I-265 in Jefferson County, but I don't know how much of it is actually designated as the Heartland Parkway. That route involves KY 61 (ADHS Corridor J) from the state line to Burkesville, KY 61 (non-ADHS) to Columbia, KY 55 to Campbellsville, US 68/KY 55 to Lebanon, KY 55 to Springfield, a combination of KY 555/US 62/KY 248/KY 44 to Taylorsville, and a combination of KY 55/KY 155 to the Louisville area. The route from Campbellsville to the Bluegrass Parkway had been built years ago, but more improvements have been made or are underway between Lebanon and Columbia.

Using KY 52, KY 1571, KY 52, US 25/421, KY 876, and KY 52 (with concurrencies with US 150 and US 68) I drove to Lebanon. The US 68/KY 55 concurrency south of Lebanon to Campbellsville is currently under construction with minor widening as part of the Heartland Parkway concept.

At Campbellsville, I ate at the only remaining Druther's Restaurant. Originally called Burger Queen, this was a chain based in Louisville that had restaurants in many smaller Kentucky towns that, at the time, were deemed too small for McDonald's. The chain changed its name to Druther's and was eventually bought out by Dairy Queen. All the restaurants converted to DQ except one, and it remains in Campbellsville with the original menu.

The KY 55 corridor between Campbellsville and Columbia is representative of the Heartland Parkway concept. Pretty much the entirety of the road is at least three lanes except for bridges. There are intermittent passing lanes in both directions, TWLTLs in areas with many private entrances, and left-turn lanes at intersecting routes. This is what's under development between Lebanon and Campbellsville.

South of Columbia, KY 61 has been upgraded all the way to Burkesville on a relocated alignment, but inexplicably with no truck lanes on many of the hills. At Burkesville, KY 61 south becomes Corridor J (which makes a 90-degree turn to the east there on KY 90) and continues into Tennessee as TN 53.

The corridor splits into J and J-1 at Celina. J-1 was originally envisioned to run along TN 53 and TN 56 to intersect with a never-built (and apparently never will be built) route that would reconnect with Corridor J (TN 111) north of Cookeville near Algood. Corridor J follows TN 52 east from Celina to Livingston where it picks up TN 111.

TN 52 is overbuilt with the entire route being four lanes except a six- or seven-mile stretch in Overton County east of the Clay County line. Two lanes with truck climbing lanes, such as what are on the aforementioned seven-mile section, would have been sufficient for traffic volumes.

Someone really needs to open a "Celina 52 Truck Stop" near the intersection of TN 52 and TN 53. The fictional establishment's social media presence has already established a market for merchandise.

The rest of the route was familiar. TN 111 to US 127, a shortcut over to KY 90 east on the north side of Albany, then the southeastern bypass of Somerset via KY 1247 and KY 914 to KY 80. There's some progress being made on the grade separated intersection at KY 80 and KY 461.

Looks like final touches are being made to the new KY 30 alignment between US 421 (Tyner) in Jackson County and KY 847 (Travellers Rest) in Owsley County. Some segments are being paved. With luck the road will open by the end of the year.

Gas prices ranged from a low of $2.699 in Lebanon and Campbellsville to $3.099 in Beattyville. I needed gas so I filled up in Richmond. I thought I had more Kroger points than I did, so I only got 10 cents off a gallon and had to pay $2.899. I should have waited. There was a station on the outskirts of Lancaster, 20 or so miles away, that had it for $2.739.

Great info! Has any work been done on the KY 55 bypass of Campbellsville? I remember a plan for KY 55 to bypass the city on the east side.


--- Quote from: zzcarp on July 25, 2021, 12:01:50 AM ---Great info! Has any work been done on the KY 55 bypass of Campbellsville? I remember a plan for KY 55 to bypass the city on the east side.

--- End quote ---

None I saw. I'm not sure where that project is in the planning process, or if it's in the state's six-year road plan.

Photos are up at


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