Interstate 75 or I -75 is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Kentucky. The highway runs north-south through the east of the state, connecting the cities of Atlanta and Knoxville with Cincinnati and Detroit, making the road important for through traffic. En route you will visit the larger city of Lexington. The route is 309 kilometers long.
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I-75 in Southern Kentucky.
The split of I-71 and I-75 south of Cincinnati.
I-75 at Covington, overlooking the Cincinnati skyline.
The Brent Spence Bridge over the Ohio River.
At Jellico, Interstate 75 crosses the border into Kentucky in Tennessee. The highway here has 2×2 lanes and leads through a wooded and hilly area with peaks of up to 600 meters. the height differences are usually about 300 meters. I-75 is quite winding at first, but later it goes through a larger valley and becomes flatter and straighter. Up to Corbin runs the US 25Wparallel to I-75, north of Corbin this is just US 25. I-75 runs through a somewhat urbanized valley with many scattered buildings between Corbin and London. North of London, I-75 again leads through densely wooded and hilly areas. You leave the Appalachian Mountains more or less at the height of Berea, where the hills become a lot lower and the landscape more often consists of meadows. From Berea, I-75 also has 2×3 lanes. I-75 passes Richmond and then crosses the Kentucky River via an elevated truss bridge.
Then one reaches the agglomeration of the city of Lexington. This is the largest city in Kentucky that I-75 runs along. Along Lexington is a dual number with Interstate 64. The double numbering is 11 kilometers long and also has 2×3 lanes. I-75 runs through the outskirts of Lexington and not through downtown. On the north side of Lexington, I-64 and I-75 split again. I-75 also has 2×3 lanes afterwards.
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North of Lexington, I-75 passes Georgetown and leads through a more sparsely populated area of low hills and abundant forest. Here, too, US 25 runs parallel to I-75. Nearly 90 miles north of Lexington, Interstate 71 merges from Louisville, I-71 and I-75 are then double-numbered for the rest of the route in Kentucky. Here you reach the suburbs of Cincinnati which are located in Kentucky. I-75 has 2×4 lanes from here and runs for about 25 kilometers through suburban area. Near the Cincinnati airport follows a 4-level stack with Interstate 275, which forms the Cincinnati Beltway. Then, at the town of Covington, you descend into the Ohio River valley. Cross the river via the double-deck Brent Spence Bridge, after which Interstate 75 in Ohio continues through Cincinnati towards Dayton and Detroit.
Construction of Interstate 75 in Kentucky began in May 1960. The suburban section of Cincinnati in Kentucky was completed as early as 1962, but it wasn’t until late 1963 that the bridge over the Ohio River at Covington was opened, allowing Cincinnati to better cope. its southern suburbs. I-275 has created a star interchange, one of the few in the Midwest, and the only one in the Cincinnati region. In 1962, the highway extended 60 miles from Williamstown to Cincinnati. By 1964, the highway had been extended south to Lexington, and completed a stretch of some 20 miles south from Lexington to Richmond, as well as the first few miles of the Tennessee border.. A year later, the Lexington bypass was also completed, and the highway could then be used for 170 kilometers. The last parts in southern Kentucky opened in the late 1960s. The entire I-75 in Kentucky was completed by June 1970.
Later, various parts of I-75 were widened and modernized. A major reconstruction was carried out in the mid-1990s in the Covington area, with the route of I-75 partly being rerouted, which had a major spatial impact. Also, I-75 was then widened from 2×3 to 2×4 lanes until the merger of I-71 and I-75 at Walton.
The section from Lexington to the Northern Kentucky region has been gradually widened to 2×3 lanes. The section between Lexington and Georgetown was widened to 2×3 lanes before 1993, but most of I-75 in this area was widened to 2×3 lanes in phases between 2000 and 2008. Finally, around 2008, the middle section south of Williamstown was widened to 2×3 lanes.
During the 1990s, I-75 south of Lexington was widened to 2×3 lanes. A major obstacle was the bridge over the Kentucky River, which consisted of two separate spans from 1946 and 1963. A third span was built between 1993 and 1998, which combines the bridge into one whole with 2×3 lanes. The section from Lexington to Berea was widened to 2×3 lanes during the same period and shortly thereafter until approximately the early 2000s.
Between 2019 and 2022, a 15-kilometer stretch north of London has been widened to 2×3 lanes.
It is planned to build a second bridge over the Ohio River, the second Brent Spence Bridge. This is one of the largest bridge projects in the United States. The total river crossing capacity will then be increased from 8 to 15 lanes. In addition, the traffic flows are untangled and local traffic is separated from through traffic. The new bridge will be a toll road, but this is controversial and the implementation of the project has therefore been postponed.
In southern Kentucky, there are about 31,000 vehicles per day. At Lexington this rises to 62,000, and the double numbering with I-64 counts about 81,000 vehicles per day. At Covington, 149,000 vehicles cross the Ohio border at Cincinnati.