|Length||71.306 mi (114.756 km)|
|History||Opened in 1976|
Northern section from Western Kentucky Parkway to Henderson redesignated as I-69 and US 41 on November 12, 2015
Southern section from W.K Parkway to I-24 redesignated as I-169 May 7, 2017
|South end||I-24 near Hopkinsville|
US 41 Alt. in Hopkinsville
US 62 in Nortonville
Western Kentucky Parkway in Nortonville
Audubon Parkway in Henderson
|North end||US 41 near Henderson|
|Counties||Christian, Hopkins, Webster, Henderson|
The Edward T. Breathitt Pennyrile Parkway was the designation for the 71.306-mile-long (114.756 km) controlled-access highway from Henderson to Hopkinsville, Kentucky. The parkway originally began at an interchange with the Audubon Parkway and US 41 near the city of Henderson. It travelled south through rolling hills to its former southern terminus at Interstate 24 (I-24) south of Hopkinsville. A seven-mile (11 km) section was left unconstructed from US 41 Alternate south to I-24 despite its approval in 1976 from the Parkway Authority for construction. This connection was completed and opened to the public on March 1, 2011. The first 1.8 miles (2.9 km) of the extension to the US 68 bypass (exit 6) were completed and opened to traffic in September 2008. The construction was then completed to exit 5, with the final section to I-24 opened on March 1, 2011. The parkway's northern terminus was truncated south to the Western Kentucky Parkway in 2013 when Interstate 69 was extended along that section of the highway. The remaining section of the Parkway (from I-69 to I-24) was redesignated as Interstate 169 on May 7, 2017, thereby replacing the last section of the Pennyrile Parkway. Despite the designation changes, it continues to be referred to as the Pennyrile Parkway by most in the area.
The next phase of the extension—now completed—encompassed the portion of the parkway between US 41 Alternate and I-24. As of May 2010, the Lover's Lane interchange (exit 5) opened to local traffic via US 68 ramp (exit 5). The final segment, from US 68 to I-24, opened on March 1, 2011.
It was one of nine highways that are part of Kentucky's parkway system. The section between the Wendell H. Ford Western Kentucky Parkway near Mortons Gap and the northern terminus in Henderson became part of I-69 with the passage of federal legislation on June 6, 2008. The length of the road carried the unsigned designation Kentucky Route 9004 (EB 9004).
The road was named after Edward T. Breathitt, a former Kentucky governor. Originally called the Pennyrile Parkway from its opening in October 1969 at a cost of $69.2 million, it was renamed for Breathitt in 2000.
As a toll road
The Pennyrile Parkway, as with all nine parkways, was originally a toll road. By Kentucky state law, toll collection ceases when enough toll has been collected or funds received from other sources, such as a legislative appropriation, to pay off the construction bonds for the parkway. In the case of the Pennyrile, toll booths were removed in 1992 when bonds were paid off ten years ahead of schedule.
A section near the middle of the parkway, in the Madisonville area, during much of the parkway’s path through Hopkins County, was free from tolls from the road's opening; this section was also signed as US 41. The US 41 designation has since been removed and applied to the former US 41A through Madisonville and other nearby cities; this road was the original US 41 before the parkway opened. This redesignation followed a horrendous blizzard on January 17, 1994, which forced the then-Kentucky governor Brereton C. Jones to close all Interstates and limited access highways in the state. Heavy trucks were forced to take US 41A through downtown Madisonville for a week, snarling local traffic. The parkway between exits 7 and 9 was also toll free.
|Exit||Location||Through cars charge||Enter or Exit||Notes|
|12||Hopkinsville (at KY 1682)||40 cents||40 cents|
|63||Sebree||60 cents||30 cents||Sebree overpass was also charged a toll of 30 cents; now I-69 exit 134|
|68||Robards||Free||20 cents||Was a partial interchange until the late 1990s; now I-69 exit 140|
Upgrades and re-designations
In 2008, funding was established for the extension of Interstate 69 through Kentucky as a part of a larger nationwide project to extend the Interstate to Laredo, Texas. The KYTC designated portions of the Pennyrile and Western Kentucky Parkways, and all of the Purchase Parkway to be integrated into the Interstate System. Work began almost immediately to upgrade deficiencies in the parkways to full Interstate Standards, such as upgrading bridge railing, converting several interchanges into conventional diamond interchanges, and reconstructing the interchange between the Pennyrile and Western Kentucky parkways to allow for free-flowing traffic on I-69. This work was completed on the Pennyrile stretch, exits were renumbered to match I-69's statewide mileage, and I-69 signs finally went up in 2013. In 2017, the remainder of the parkway was redesignated as Interstate 169.
|Christian||Hopkinsville||0.000||0.000||I-24 – Nashville, Paducah||I-24 exit 81; exit 1 is for 24 west|
|5.175||8.328||5||Lover's Lane – Hopkinsville||Serves James E. Bruce Convention Center|
US 68 Byp. – Hopkinsville
US 41 Alt. – Hopkinsville, Fort Campbell
|Southern terminus until 2009|
|7.935||12.770||8||US 41 – Hopkinsville, Pembroke||Southern end of US 41 Truck overlap|
|9.359||15.062||9||US 68 / KY 80 – Hopkinsville, Elkton||Serves Jefferson Davis Monument State Historic Site and the Hopkinsville-Christian County Airport|
KY 1682 / US 41 Truck north – Hopkinsville
|Northern end of US 41 Truck overlap; serves Hopkinsville Community College|
|Crofton||22.653||36.456||23||KY 800 – Crofton||Serves Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park|
|Hopkins||Nortonville||29.568||47.585||30||US 41 south||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|32.861||52.885||33||US 62 – Nortonville, Greenville|
|34.271||55.154||34||Western Kentucky Parkway – Elizabethtown, Paducah||Western Kentucky Parkway exits 38 A/B; signed as exit 34A (east), 34B (south) & 34C (north)|
|Mortons Gap||37.070||59.658||37||KY 813 – Mortons Gap|
|Earlington||39.794||64.042||40||KY 2171 – Earlington, Madisonville|
|Madisonville||42.418||68.265||42||KY 70 – Madisonville, Central City|
US 41 Alt. / KY 281 – Madisonville, Providence
|Serves Madisonville Community College|
|45.206||72.752||45||US 41 north – Madisonville||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|Hanson||48.979||78.824||49||KY 260 – Hanson|
|Slaughters||54.070||87.017||54||KY 138 – Dixon, Calhoun|
|Webster||Sebree||62.637||100.804||63||KY 56 – Sebree, Owensboro|
|Henderson||Robards||68.363||110.020||68||KY 416||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|Henderson||76.258||122.725||76||US 41 to Audubon Parkway to KY 425 – Morganfield||Serves Henderson Community College and the Henderson City-County Airport; south end of US 41 overlap|
|77.210||124.257||77||Audubon Parkway east – Owensboro||Western terminus of Audubon Parkway; Audubon Parkway exits 0 A/B|
|78.306||126.021||78||KY 2084 south||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|79||KY 351 – Zion, Henderson|
US 60 / US 41 Alt. – Owensboro, Henderson, Evansville, Frankfort, Lexington, Louisville
|Signed as exits 81A (east) and 81B (west/south). Highway continues north as US-41 toward Evansville, Indiana.|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
- "Kentucky Transportation Cabinet - Division of Planning - Highway Information System Official Milepoint Route Log Extract". Archived from the original on April 30, 2007. Retrieved April 9, 2007.
- Carlyle, Jeffrey. "Edward T. Breathitt Pennyrile Parkway". KentuckyRoads.com.[self-published source]
- "H. R. 244" (PDF). Retrieved June 20, 2018.
- Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (1988). Kentucky Official Highway Map (PDF) (Map). c. 1:760,320. Frankfort: Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Pennyrile Parkway Toll Rates inset. Retrieved October 7, 2014.