Kentucky Roads - US 68/KY 80

Looking south and north on the west side of Kentucky Lake. Oops, didn't quite get that sign correctly. I was always a little interested in coming down to the Land Between the Lakes, but my interest was piqued in January 2012 when a barge struck the east side of the Kentucky Lake bridge on US 68/KY 80, knocking over a section of the truss and jarring the pier rather badly. With the bridge indefinitely closed, rumors swirled that it would be imploded and replaced on a hurried schedule, so I quickly put together plans to visit it before that time. I even thought of taking a look in February while the barge was still stuck in the bridge, but most of the fallen truss parts were removed too soon to make me rush down so quickly. However, KYTC decided that the bridge had enough structural life left in it to repair instead of replace, so a new truss section was fabricated, floated in, and inserted into the hole, obviously after determining that the impacted pier would remain stable in its new position. That let me come back during much better weather, and I got to cross the bridge instead of having to stand on the shore. (Also, access was extremely limited during the time the bridge was closed, so it would have been difficult to work out a time and location for photography.)

Four months later, the bridge reopened with the new truss in place. You can see it toward the end of these EB photos, noticeably darker and without the decorative latticework that graces the other sections.

Looking north at Kentucky Lake from the east bridge approach.

US 68/KY 80 back west over Lake Kentucky. The 4th and 5th photos are nothing but new truss, for your viewing fascination.

"The Trace" is KY 453, and no longer signed as the Mr. T route to my knowledge. This photo was WB courtesy Doug Kerr.

However, without that "T" sign, US 68/KY 80 EB get no warning at all about what's down this exit. Help! (And help that terrible exit sign, along with the poorly maintained historic marker.)

On KY 453 SB after entering Land Between the Lakes. KY 80 deserves a shield here too, but not at the expense of replacing these old custom jobs.

Getting ugly near a fire tower. US 68/KY 80 was recently dualized between the lakes, but the old bridges remain a constraint on either end to further widening.

Looking south at Elbow Bay, then north and south at another part of Lake Barkley as I prepare to cross it.

This is called a "sister bridge" to the one over Kentucky Lake, but the two trusses are very different apart from their general construction method and paint color. Photos head across eastward, with looks to the north and south.

Finally, looking west at the Lake Barkley bridge, courtesy Doug Kerr.

The end of Alternate US 41 at a quadruplex, again courtesy Doug Kerr. With thousands of routes around Kentucky, you'd think they wouldn't need to stick four of them together at the same time.

Russellville is now encircled by a beltway, but that was not the case in 2014. This arrangement of ugly shields requires you to go north to US 431, which then comes back through town, so really the best route to US 431 SB is straight ahead. With the beltway complete, left is the way to go.

Trucks Entering Auburn Business Use US 68. No problem here. WB.

Since you can't tell, that's a state-name shield WB at Natcher Parkway, which is now I-165.

Bus. US 68/231 split on the far side of this railroad overpass, and I continue west on Bus. US 68 to its end. Yes, its end is also at US 231, but Bus. US 231 heads more north to feed into US 231 NB.

The old Bowling Green rail depot is just east of the eastern end of the business route.

Onto Business US 68, Russellville
Onto Business US 68, Auburn
US 31W and US 68/KY 80/US 31W
Back to US 68 main page
Back to KY 80 main page

Onto US 41
To I-65
To US 431
Back to Kentucky Roads
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