Kentucky Route 90

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Kentucky Route 90

KY 90; mainline in red, business route in blue
Route information
Maintained by KYTC
Length134.734 mi[1] (216.833 km)
Major junctions
West end I-65 / KY 70 in Cave City
Major intersections US 31W in Cave City
US 31E / US 68 / KY 80 in Glasgow
Cumberland Parkway in Glasgow
US 127 in Snow
US 27 in Burnside
US 27 in Parkers Lake
East end US 25W northwest of Williamsburg
CountryUnited States
CountiesBarren, Metcalfe, Cumberland, Clinton, Wayne, Pulaski, McCreary, Whitley
Highway system
KY 89 KY 91

Kentucky Route 90 (KY 90) is a major east–west state highway in southern Kentucky. The route is 134.734 miles (216.833 km) long, and it traverses Barren, Metcalfe, Cumberland, Clinton, Wayne, Pulaski, McCreary and Whitley Counties in southern Kentucky. It runs from the KY 70 junction near Interstate 65 in Cave City to US 25W about 8 miles (13 km) from Interstate 75.

Route description

KY 90's western terminus at Cave City.

Barren and Metcalfe Counties

Kentucky Route 90 begins at Cave City at an intersection with KY 70, equipped with a traffic light, in the one part of the city where many restaurants, hotels, and gas stations are located. It is a major tourism hot-spot due to the close proximity to Mammoth Cave National Park, in nearby Edmonson County, along with few other attractions along KY 70 west of the city. Signs at the I-65 exit tend to imply that KY 90 ends at the exit itself, while official state highway documents indicate that the end is at the intersection with KY 70, about 100 yards (91 m) from the interchange itself. In spite of this, both KY 70 and KY 90 markers appear on the signage for Exit 53 of I-65.

After KY 90's first mile (1.6 km), it intersects U.S. Route 31W, still within city limits of Cave City. KY 90 then heads into a south-southeasterly path to the Barren County seat, Glasgow, where it crosses the Veterans Outer Loop (US 68) passes the local Walmart and a local Marquee Cinema, and then has junctions with US Highways 31E and 68 Business, which is co-joined with Kentucky Route 80 in this area. It also has an intersection with US 31E's business loop at the Barren County courthouse. Before leaving the city of Glasgow, KY 90 has an intersection with the Louie B. Nunn Cumberland Parkway at the exit 14 interchange on the southeastern side of the city.[2]

After leaving Glasgow, the highway continues in a southeasterly fashion and passes through the small town of Eighty Eight, and then goes into southern Metcalfe County, and passes through Summer Shade and Beaumont, intersecting KY 163, which connects Edmonton and Tompkinsville, and descends a hill at the headwaters of Marrowbone Creek (the valley of which it follows for about 10 miles) and passes through Willow Shade and the Marrowbone State Forest and Wildlife Management Area, entering Cumberland County.[3]

Cumberland and Clinton Counties

KY 90 passes through Marrowbone and the county seat, Burkesville, where it has a concurrency with KY 61.[4] It turns due east, crosses the Cumberland River, and has intersections with roads leading to Dale Hollow Lake State Park, and then goes into Clinton County, where, for about 1.5 miles (2.4 km), it is co-joined with US 127, which is the core route of the annual World's Longest Yard Sale (a.k.a. The Highway 127 Corridor Sale), which takes place in early August. It cuts through the northern prong of Poplar Mountain, which once had coal mines, and then into Wayne County, where it generally follows a sinkhole plain at the foot of the Pottsville Escarpment, the boundary between the East Kentucky Coal Field and the Eastern Pennyroyal, a limestone karst region.[5]

Wayne County and beyond

The route and its bypass intersect Kentucky Route 92 at Monticello on a northeasterly course, and are known locally as north–south thoroughfares. It passes near Mill Springs, the namesake of a significant early Civil War battle across the Cumberland River (now Lake Cumberland), and a mill built in 1877 (accessible via KY 1275) and maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.[6] After entering Pulaski County it becomes a four-lane highway, crosses Lake Cumberland and turns south on a concurrency with US 27 from Burnside, Kentucky. about 14.6 miles (23.5 km) from Burnside to Parkers Lake. Early in this stretch of road is the gateway to General Burnside State Park; it later enters the Daniel Boone National Forest.[7]

After departing US 27 in northern McCreary County,[8] KY 90 is the main route that accesses Cumberland Falls State Resort Park. It crosses the Cumberland River a third time just upstream and around a bend from the falls.[9] At the route's terminus in the Whitley County community of Young's Creek, there is a 0.32 mile-long (0.51 km) spur called KY 90S that serves as a secondary entrance to the highway for traffic going southbound on U.S. 25W. The road is signed as KY 90.

Points of interest and notable events along the route

These are points of interest that can be accessible along this route:

  • Mammoth Cave Wildlife Museum at Cave City.
  • Crystal Onyx Cave and Campground, on Prewitt's Knob just south of Cave City.
  • Roadside park in Marrowbone, on the reputed site of a hospital camp for Union and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War.
  • Tyson Foods chicken processing plant in Clinton County, a mile east of the junction with KY 1590.
  • Seventy Six Falls (accessible via KY 734 and KY 3062), is a waterfall along the shoreline of Lake Cumberland in northern Clinton County.[10]
  • Mill Springs Mill (Wayne County) (accessible via KY 1275).[11]
  • General Burnside State Park near Burnside.
  • Cumberland Falls State Resort Park at the McCreary/Whitley County line. Cumberland Falls faces due north and thus is the site of a "moonbow" produced by the light of the full moon under the right conditions.

Roller Coaster Fair

Kentucky Route 90 from Cave City to just north of Albany, along with Kentucky Route 63 from Glasgow to Tompkinsville, Kentucky, along with US Route 127 in Clinton County, and Tennessee state highways 52, 111, and 51 are designated as the marked route for the annual Roller Coaster Fair, a route-based yard sale event held the first weekend of October. It is named for the "roller coaster" nature of the roads traversing the hills of the Eastern Pennyroyal region.[12][13]

Additional information about the route

KY 90 from KY 61 in Burkesville to the US 27 junction at Burnside is part of the Appalachian Development Highway System’s Corridor J.[14]


The early days (1929-1960)

KY 90 was established in 1929 as one of the charter routes of the Kentucky State Highway System. The highway's original western terminus was located in downtown Glasgow at a junction with KY 80 (which at the time was not co-signed with US 68 in this area until the 1940s). The route initially used two Cumberland River ferries, at Burkesville and the Whitley/McCreary County line just south of Cumberland Falls, which were replaced with bridges. KY 90's original eastern terminus was at US 25W in downtown Corbin.[15] Sometime between 1940 and 1955, US 25W was rerouted to the west, to put it closer to Cumberland Falls, and that gave it a concurrency with KY 90's eastern end that was abolished by 1957.[16]

Also in the 1950s, after the route of Interstate 65 had been determined, KY 90 was extended northwest from Glasgow, to a junction with U.S. Route 31W south of Cave City, west of Prewitt's Knob.[16][17] The road that KY 90 took over, Happy Valley Road, was previously signed as Kentucky Route 351.[15][18]

The modern days (1960-present)

Sometime between 1969 and 1972, following the completion of I-65, KY 90 was improved from Glasgow and got a new route directly into Cave City, east of Prewitt's Knob. The western terminus then became a new junction with KY 70 just east of the I-65 exit 53 interchange, thus extending KY 90 by another 0.8 miles (1.3 km), and providing westbound KY 90 traffic direct access to I-65.[19]

In 2013, KY 90 between the Cumberland Parkway junction and the Eighty Eight community was reconstructed to add truck-climbing lanes in two spots. Reconstruction of KY 90 continued from that area to the Metcalfe County line, and was completed by Fall 2015.[20] In September and October 2014, the first 0.4 miles (0.64 km) of KY 90, along with the KY 70 overpass over I-65 (the latter of which began in 2013), were both reconstructed and were widened to four lanes, plus a center lane for left turns.[21]

Some talks between the KYTC and Stantec are taking place to widen an 8.4 miles (13.5 km) stretch of KY 90 from Cave City to Glasgow to either a 2+1 type of road (two lanes plus the turning lane in the center) or a complete 4-laner with a 40 miles (64 km) median. Plans for it are still yet to be placed on the agenda. Opinions of locals are being used for consideration before the project even happens.[22]

Major intersections

BarrenCave City0.0000.000
KY 70 (Mammoth Cave Road/Mammoth Cave Street) to I-65 – Mammoth Cave, Brownsville, Cave City Business District, Nashville (TN), Louisville
I-65 just west of intersection
US 31W (Dixie Highway) to KY 70 – Park City, Horse Cave
KY 685 (Wilson Road) to KY 2143 (Old Happy Valley Road)
Old Happy Valley Road is old KY 90
Glasgow7.88612.691Airport Road to Glasgow Municipal Airport

US 68 (Veterans Outer Loop) / KY 80 north to US 31E
US 31E north (North L. Rogers Wells Boulevard)
West end of US 31E concurrency

US 31E south (South L. Roger Wells Blvd.) / US 68 Bus. west (West Main Street) to US 68 Truck east / KY 90 Truck east / Cumberland Parkway
East end of US 31E concurrency; west end of US 68 Bus. concurrency.
Truck Routes follow US 31E south.

US 31E Bus. north (North Race Street)
West end of US 31E Bus. concurrency

US 31E Bus. south (South Green Street) to KY 63
End of two-block concurrency with one-way 31E Bus. south around courthouse; begin concurrency with 31E Bus. north

US 31E Bus. north / US 68 Bus. / KY 90 west (East Main Street)
End of concurrency with US31E; North 31E Bus./west 68 Bus./west 90 intersect here and continue west

US 68 Bus. east (North Broadway Street)
End of concurrency with US 68 Bus.

Cumberland Parkway / US 68 Truck / KY 90 Truck west – Bowling Green, Somerset
Interchange; Truck route follows westbound parkway; exit 14
KY 2198 east (Green Valley Road)
Western terminus of KY 2198
KY 1330 east (Kino Road)
Western terminus of KY 1330
Eighty Eight19.05830.671
KY 839 south (Nobob Road)
Northern terminus of KY 839
MetcalfeSummer Shade25.35840.810
KY 640 north (Randolph-Summer Shade Road)
Southern terminus of KY 640
KY 2387 north (Mount Moriah Road)
Southern terminus of KY 2387
27.81544.764 KY 163 (Tompkinsville Road)
KY 1312 north
Southern terminus of KY 1312
KY 3115 south
Northern terminus of KY 3115
KY 496 north (Old Waterview Road)
Southern terminus of KY 496
KY 100 west (Old Waterview Road)
Eastern terminus of KY 100
KY 691 west
Eastern terminus of KY 691
KY 2276 east
Western terminus of KY 2276
KY 61 north (North Main Street) – Columbia
Begin concurrency with KY 61
KY 61 north (South Main Street)
Southern end of traffic circle around the courthouse
KY 61 south (Celina Road) – Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park, Sulphur Ck Resort, Hendricks Creek Boat Dock
End of concurrency with KY 61
KY 1880 east
Western terminus of KY 1880
Clinton59.94596.472 KY 1590 – Jamestown
62.236100.159 KY 639

US 127 north / KY 3156 east – Jamestown, Wolf Creek Dam
West end of concurrency with US 127; western terminus of KY 3156

US 127 south / KY 724 north – Albany, Clinton County Area Tech Center
East end of concurrency with US 127; southern terminus of KY 724
KY 3062 west
Eastern terminus of KY 3062
64.663104.065 KY 558
KY 2063 west
Eastern terminus of KY 2063
KY 350 south
Northern terminus of KY 350
KY 829 north
Southern terminus of KY 829
KY 2546 north
Southern terminus of KY 2546
Wayne71.822115.586 KY 1009
KY 834 south
Western end of KY 834 overlap
KY 834 north
Eastern end of KY 834 overlap
KY 858 east
Western terminus of KY 858
KY 1546 west
Eastern terminus of KY 1546

KY 90 Bus. east (Albany Road) / KY 3284 north (White Way Inn Road) – Monticello
Western terminus of KY 90 Business route; southern terminus of KY 3284
82.175132.248 KY 92 (Columbia Avenue) – Monticello

KY 90 Bus. west / KY 1275
Eastern terminus of KY 90 Bus.; 90 Bus. to the south, 1275 both ways; Wayne County Airport just northwest of intersection off 1275
Steubenville86.758139.623 KY 3106

KY 1275 south / KY 1619 east
Northern terminus of KY 1275; western terminus of KY 1619
KY 3282 north
Southern terminus of KY 3282
KY 1619 west
Eastern terminus of KY 1619
KY 1568 south
Northern terminus of KY 1568
KY 790 south
Northern terminus of KY 790
BronstonSomerset line99.437–
Bridge over the Cumberland River

US 27 north to Cumberland Parkway / KY 1247 north / I-75 – Somerset, Whitley City
US 27 is an interchange; KY 90 follows 27 south; 1247 straight ahead
SomersetBurnside line100.586–
Bridge over the Cumberland River

KY 2295 Conn. to KY 2295 – General Burnside State Park
101.809163.846 KY 2294 (French Street)
KY 2295 south (East Antioch Avenue)
Northern terminus of KY 2295
KY 2295 north (West Lakeshore Drive)
Southern terminus of KY 2295
KY 804 south (Garland Road)
Northern terminus of KY 804
KY 751 south (Keno Road)
Northern terminus of KY 751
KY 2282 north
Southern terminus of KY 2282
Parkers Lake115.090185.219
US 27 south
Eastern/southern end of US 27 concurrency
KY 3254 east (Vanover Ridge Road)
Western terminus of KY 3254
KY 3255 south (North Beerock Road)
Northern terminus of KY 3255
KY 3257 east (Mill Creek Road)
Western terminus of KY 3257
KY 896 north (Warman-Bryant Cemetery Road)
Southern terminus of KY 896

KY 700 west to KY 1045
Eastern terminus of KY 700

KY 90 Spur east to US 25W south / I-75 south
Short spur. 90E signed to north US 25W/I-75, spur signed to south US 25W/I-75
US 25W to I-75
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Special routes

Glasgow truck route

Truck plate.svg

Kentucky Route 90 Truck

LocationGlasgow, Kentucky

Kentucky Route 90 Truck is a truck route in Glasgow, Kentucky.

The following is a list of routes that are the component routes of KY 90 Truck:

  • US 31E from the US 68 Business/KY 90 Junction, and
  • Louie B. Nunn Cumberland Parkway between exits 11 and 14.

Additionally, US 68 Truck accompanies this truck route in its entirety.[23]

Monticello business route

Business plate.svg

Kentucky Route 90 Business

Length3.535 mi[1] (5.689 km)

Kentucky Route 90 Business is a business route of KY 90 in Monticello, Kentucky. It was the original route of KY 90 until the regular KY 90 was re-routed to the Monticello By-Pass.[24][25][26]

The entire route is in Wayne County.

KY 90 / KY 3284 west (White Way Inn Road) – Burkesville, Albany, Somerset
Western terminus
KY 167 south – Mount Pigsah, Pickett State Park and Forest
Northern terminus of KY-167
KY 92 west (West Columbia Avenue)
Western end of KY 92 concurency
KY 92 east (Michigan Avenue) – Stearns, Big South Fork N.R.R.
Eastern End of KY 92 concurrency

KY 1275 south / KY 3106 east
Southern end of KY 1275 concurrency
KY 90 / KY 1275 north – Burnside, Somerset, Mill Springs, Burkesville, Mill Springs Mill, General Burnside State Park
Eastern terminus; Northern end of KY 1275 concurrency; KY 1275 continues straight ahead
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Kentucky Route 90 Spur

Spur plate.svg

Kentucky Route 90 Spur

LocationWhitley County
Length0.318 mi[1] (512 m)

Kentucky Route 90 Spur (KY 90S) is a spur route of KY 90 in rural northern Whitley County. Although this route is not signed, the route connects KY 90 with U.S. Route 25W just south of KY 90's eastern terminus east of Cumberland Falls. KY 90S is 0.318 miles (0.512 km) long, and it is said to be the original alignment of KY 90's final 0.374 miles (0.602 km).

Former special routes

Glasgow alternate route

LocationGlasgow, Barren County
Length2.4 mi[27] (3.9 km)

In Glasgow, at one time, Alternate KY 90 ran from the US 31E bypass junction with KY 90, continuing as Happy Valley Road, to the intersection with Business Route 31E (North Race Street), and follows the US 31E business route until it reaches the Barren County Courthouse, where KY 90 runs (while being co-signed with US 68 and KY 80, a.k.a. West Main Street). Sometime in the 2000s, that designation was decommissioned. The regular KY 90 became co-signed with US 31E (L. Roger Wells Blvd) from that intersection to the junction with US 68/KY 80, and KY 90 followed US 68 and KY 80 to the Public Square.[28][29][30][31]


  1. ^ a b c d e Division of Planning. "Official Milepoint Route Log Extract". Highway Information System. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Retrieved February 22, 2016.
  2. ^ DeLorme (2010). Kentucky Atlas & Gazetteer (Map). 1:150000. Yarmouth, ME: DeLorme. p. 65. § F8, G8, H8-H9 and I9. ISBN 0-89933-340-0.
  3. ^ DeLorme (2010). Kentucky Atlas & Gazetteer (Map). 1:150000. Yarmouth, ME: DeLorme. p. 82-83. § A5-A6 and B6-B7. ISBN 0-89933-340-0.
  4. ^ DeLorme (2010). Kentucky Atlas & Gazetteer (Map). 1:150000. Yarmouth, ME: DeLorme. p. 83. § B8 and C8-10. ISBN 0-89933-340-0.
  5. ^ DeLorme (2010). Kentucky Atlas & Gazetteer (Map). 1:150000. Yarmouth, ME: DeLorme. p. 84. § D1-D4. ISBN 0-89933-340-0.
  6. ^ DeLorme (2010). Kentucky Atlas & Gazetteer (Map). 1:150000. Yarmouth, ME: DeLorme. p. 85. § D4-D5, C5-C6, B6, and A6-A7. ISBN 0-89933-340-0.
  7. ^ DeLorme (2010). Kentucky Atlas & Gazetteer (Map). 1:150000. Yarmouth, ME: DeLorme. p. 68. § I2-I4 and H4. ISBN 0-89933-340-0.
  8. ^ DeLorme (2010). Kentucky Atlas & Gazetteer (Map). 1:150000. Yarmouth, ME: DeLorme. p. 85. § A10 and B10. ISBN 0-89933-340-0.
  9. ^ DeLorme (2010). Kentucky Atlas & Gazetteer (Map). 1:150000. Yarmouth, ME: DeLorme. p. 86. § B1, C1, C2, B2, and B3. ISBN 0-89933-340-0.
  10. ^ Seventy Six Falls, KY[full citation needed]
  11. ^ "Mill Springs Mill and Brown Lanier House". Kentucky Tourism - State of Kentucky - Visit Kentucky, Official Site.
  12. ^[full citation needed]
  13. ^ "VENDOR LOCATIONS 29 FACILITIES" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 26, 2014.
  14. ^ “Status of Corridors in Kentucky”. Appalachian Regional Commission. September 2, 2013. Retrieved October 31, 2017.
  15. ^ a b Kentucky Department of State Highways (September 15, 1939). Road Map of Kentucky (PDF) (Map). c. 1:760,320. Frankfort: Kentucky Department of State Highways. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  16. ^ a b Kentucky Department of Highways (1957). Kentucky Official Highway Map (PDF) (Map). c. 1:760,320. Frankfort: Kentucky Department of Highways. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  17. ^ Kentucky Department of Highways (1955). BarrenCounty Highway Map (PDF) (Map). Frankfort: Kentucky Department of Highways. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  18. ^ Kentucky Department of State Highways (1937). Barren County Highway Map (PDF) (Map). Frankfort: Kentucky Department of Highways. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  19. ^ Kentucky Department of Highways (1973). Kentucky Official Highway and Parkway Map (PDF) (Map). c. 1:760,320. Frankfort: Kentucky Department of Highways. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  20. ^ Overstreet, Melinda J. (August 13, 2015). "Road work on KY 90E advances". Glasgow Daily Times.[page needed]
  21. ^ Kinslow, Gina (September 16, 2014). "Expect lane closures this week on Happy Valley Road".[full citation needed]
  22. ^ French, Jackson (June 29, 2016). "Kentucky Transportation Cabinet hears public comments on planned KY 90 widening". Bowling Green Daily News, pages A1 and A-6.
  23. ^[full citation needed]
  24. ^ "2013 Various KY pics April-June - 347". May 26, 2013 – via Flickr.
  25. ^ "2013 Various KY pics April-June - 032". April 27, 2013 – via Flickr.
  26. ^ "2013 Various KY pics April-June - 028". April 27, 2013 – via Flickr.
  27. ^ Official Barren County Highway Map[full citation needed].
  28. ^ "Vintage photos from 2000 - 055". November 26, 2012 – via Flickr.
  29. ^ "Vintage photos from 2000 - 059". November 26, 2012 – via Flickr.
  30. ^ "Old Road Signs in Kentucky".
  31. ^[full citation needed]

External links