Skip to main content

Western Tennessee/Kentucky Roadtrip

Earlier this month, I took a trip along the various backroads of Western Tennessee and Kentucky with Billy Riddle.

The loop route went as follows: US 70, TN 47, TN 49, TN 147, TN 69A, US 641, TN 54, TN 22, US 51, Purchase Parkway, US 45, KY 121, KY 80/(US 68) , and I-24 into Nashville.

For the entire flickr photo set - head here.

Our first stop was a walk around Billy's hometown of Kingston Springs, Tennessee.  The small Cheatham county town along the Harpeth River has slowly become one of Nashville's more popular bedroom communities.

Kingston Springs' downtown is a mix of small cafes, restaurants, even a bar or two...

IMG_9850

...with traditional Southern small town features.

IMG_9861

There are also some older items in town that caught my eye.  Like this old fire call box - only a few blocks from the fire station.

Kingston Springs Fire Department Emergency Call Box (black & white)

The former train depot in town sits perpendicular to the train tracks.  I wonder if it had been moved.  It appears that it has been in various stages of restoration and uses.

IMG_9844

Just east of town is an abandoned truss bridge over the Harpeth River.

IMG_9870

The bridge is in disrepair and is blocked off so no one can cross it.

From there is was towards Charlotte - and a glimpse of a rare Tennessee signed multiplex of two state routes.

IMG_9894

Then through Erin and Tennessee Ridge to the Houston-Benton ferry that carries TN 147 over the Tennessee River/Kentucky Lake.

IMG_9898

The ferry only costs $1, as Billy shows with his receipt below, and appears to have a fair volume of traffic.

IMG_9906

There is some character to the surroundings of the ferry. As an abandoned rail bridge...

IMG_9916

..and what appears to be an abandoned warehouse or boat launch, sit south of the ferry landings.

IMG_9914

from there it was towards Paris and west to Dresden where we would pick up TN 22.  Along the way, in the town of Como, we came across an old general store with a Pepsi ghost sign.

IMG_9923

From Dresden we took TN 22 to Union City.  TN 22 with a little help could possibly become Interstate 169.  For now, it's just a nice interstate grade freeway from Union City to Martin.

IMG_9928

IMG_9929

Why TN 22 may have some trouble ever becoming I-169 is that the freeway ends with a diamond interchange with US 51.  Also, Interstate 69 will run slightly north and west of where TN 22 meets US 51 today, so building an extension of the TN 22 freeway would have to be built as well.

IMG_9938

Speaking of Interstate 69, we did check out some of the I-69 construction north and west of Union City.  Most of the photos taken were near the Goodyear Plant.

IMG_9942

IMG_9943

IMG_9944

Some shots at what will be an interchange with TN 5.

IMG_9945

IMG_9946

And outside of Union City - in this case on US 51 North headed towards Kentucky - there is a Future I-69 Corridor sign.  They would be very common along the corridor route in both Tennessee and Kentucky.

IMG_9950

Once in Kentucky, we took the Purchase Parkway to Mayfield - where this interchange with US 45 will need an upgrade when I-69 rolls around.

IMG_9959

From Mayfield, we took the new four lane KY 80 east.  Here's an example of what the new highway looks like.

IMG_9962

To get to Land Between the Lakes on US 68/KY 80, you have to cross great old truss bridges on either side.  The first, for eastbound travelers, is this bridge over the Tennessee River.

IMG_9968

A recent widening project has made US 68/KY 80 to four lanes throughout the Land Between the Lakes.  It is an easy and, even on a dreary, blustery, and bone chilling cold December afternoon, scenic drive.

A new four lane through Land Between the Lakes

Though these Hellvetica US 68/KY 80 shields need to go.

Hellvetica US 68 and KY 80

..and exiting Land Between the Lakes on another old truss bridge, this time over Lake Barkley.

IMG_9987

Now on I-24, we came to where the Pennyrile Parkway extension south from Hopkinsville meets I-24.  Though the new road and interchange weren't open.  The signs for the new exit (81) were installed and uncovered.

New guide sign for Pennyrile Parkway on I-24 East

Now some in the hobby will be unhappy that the new sign is in clearview.  I do have commentary on that, and you can read it here.

We took I-24 southeast into Nashville, where a blanket of grey flannel skies really took away from a spectacular approach and view of the city's skyline.  (That and all of the trucks on I-24/65).

Billy, myself, and Seth Dunn then met up to watch the Nashville Predators defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2.  To see photos from that set, go here.

Comments

jimgrey said…
Looks like you had a great trip! I love the bridges you encountered, esp. the US 68 bridge over Kentucky Lake.
coolkevs said…
Building in the Tennessee River when you went across the ferry is a grain elevator from the sunken city of Danville that remains after they flooded it long ago.

Popular posts from this blog

The Abandoned New Stanton Interchange Ramps

For nearly 50 years, the Pennsylvania Turnpike interchange with Interstate 70 and US 119 in New Stanton has been a rather free-flowing double trumpet, grade separated interchange between the two freeways.  But for the first 23 years of the turnpike, this interchange was vastly different.  It was the only non-trumpet interchange within the system (excluding termini points) and featured very tricky and gridlock causing left turns within the interchange.  (See image on right).  With the birth of the Interstate Highway System in the mid-1950s, new freeways were built and in many cases the Turnpike kept the original interchange using local roads to connect to the new freeways.  Interchanges with what would become I-81, I-176, I-80, I-70 in Breezewood, and I-79 were left with the original design.

Meanwhile in the 1950's, the state began building a freeway that ran from New Stanton west towards Washington.  This freeway, signed PA 71, was built to connect those in the industrial Mon Valle…

Quemahoning Tunnel

The Quemahoning Tunnel may have never been built by the Pennsylvanina Turnpike Commission, but it still has a history unto itself.  Originally planned to carry rail along the South Penn Railway, the tunnel never would not see any trains until 1909 when a small line named the Pittsburgh, Westmoreland & Somerset began utilizing it.  The use was brief and by the end of 1916 the PW&S was no longer in operation and abandoned the facility.  Twenty-some years later, the newly formed Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission considered using the abandoned tunnel, in fact it was shown on some original plans.  However, the PTC decided against using it, and the tunnel remained empty.

The eastern portal of the Quemahoning Tunnel is easily accessible from the PA Turnpike.  The portal is located at mile 106.3 along the westbound roadway.  The tunnel is one of the many "What Could Have Been's?" of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Below, Bill Symons shares photos taken in late Fall of 1986 of …

Conflict in the Mountains: The Story of Corridor H in West Virginia

Corridor H (US 48) was legislatively created as part of the 1965 Appalachian Regional Development Act.  This route which was designated to run east from Weston via Elkins to Strasburg, Virginia has been West Virginia's most controversial route of the six Appalachian Highway Development System routes that run within the state's borders.  The emotional conflict that has led to numerous legal and political struggles has placed the environment, desire for economic and social progress, and the Eastern West Virginia way of life at odds with each other for nearly four decades.

Early History:
The story of Corridor H begins in the 1930s.  Benton McKay, who orchestrated the creation of the Appalachian Trail, suggested a network of highways and parkways throughout Appalachia. (1)  That proposal would become a key part of the 1965 Appalachian Regional Development Act.  The Act included the creation of the Appalachian Development Highway System (AHDS).  The highway system consisted of "…