U.S. Route 31W

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U.S. Route 31W

US 31W highlighted in red
Route information
Length179.2 mi[1][2][3] (288.4 km)
Major junctions
South end US 31 / US 31E / US 41 / US 431 in Nashville, TN
Major intersections
North end US 31 / US 31E / US 60 in Louisville, KY
CountryUnited States
StatesTennessee, Kentucky
CountiesTN: Davidson, Sumner, Robertson
KY: Simpson, Warren, Edmonson, Barren, Hart, LaRue, Hardin, Meade, Jefferson
Highway system
US 31EKY KY 32
US 41ATennessee 41.svg US 43

U.S. Route 31W (US 31W) is the westernmost of two parallel routes for U.S. Route 31 from Nashville, Tennessee to Louisville, Kentucky.

Tennessee State Route 41 (SR 41) is its unsigned companion route in Tennessee.

During the December 2021 tornado outbreak, an EF3 tornado devastated stretches of US 31W in Bowling Green, Kentucky.[4][5]

Route description


US 31W begins in Nashville, at an interchange with Ellington Parkway and US 31 and US 31E. The route continues west as Spring Street, concurrent with US 41/US 431/SR 11. The four highways continue north onto Dickerson Pike, closely paralleling Interstate 24 (I-24) through Nashville. US 431 turns onto Trinity Lane, while US 31W, US 41 and SR 11 continue north, away from I-24. The roadway has an interchange with I-65 and SR 155 (Briley Parkway) before an intersection with SR 45 in Bellshire Terrace. The highway passes through Goodlettsville, where US 31W splits from US 41/SR 11, and crosses I-65; it also passes through the cities of Millersville, White House, and the western edge of Portland. Before it enters Kentucky, it junctions the recently rerouted SR 109.[6] From Millersville to the Kentucky state line, US 31W/SR 41 also marks the boundary between Robertson and Sumner Counties.


The highway enters the state of Kentucky and crosses I-65 for a third time, where it passes through Franklin and intersects KY 100. From here, the highway is known as Bowling Green Road, which becomes Nashville Road once it enters Warren County, and passes through fields, as well as giving access to the towns of Woodburn and Rich Pond. Entering the city of Bowling Green, the route intersects Interstate 165 (I-165, formerly the William H. Natcher Parkway) as well as US 231 as the route bypasses downtown Bowling Green. On the eastern side of town, Louisville Road carries US 31W, US 68, and KY 80 east and then northeast, where US 68 and KY 80 split off to the east just east of Bristow. US 31W passes within 0.5 miles (0.80 km) of an entrance to Mammoth Cave National Park near Park City, after crossing I-65 again, this time without direct access to the freeway. The highway travels through Cave City as Duke Highway while crossing two major state routes, KY 90 in the southern outskirts, and then KY 70 in downtown.[6]

Once it enters Hart County going north, US 31W is locally known as Dixie Highway for the remainder of its course. In the city of Horse Cave, US 31W intersects KY 218; and then continues on to Munfordville before crossing I-65 for a fifth time at the interstate's exit 65 interchange, and paralleling it closely to the west and later, the east. Between Upton and Sonora, it crosses over I-65 for a sixth time. In Elizabethtown, US 31W intersects with the Wendell H. Ford Western Kentucky Parkway before crossing I-65 for a seventh and final time. The route continues through the heart of Elizabethtown, intersecting US 62, before it goes on to enter Radcliff. It also passes through Fort Knox near Radcliff, within sight of the United States Bullion Depository. US 31W overlaps with US 60 from Muldraugh to Louisville, paralleling the Ohio River briefly before an interchange with I-264 (Watterson Expressway) in Louisville's southwestern suburbs. US 31W continues as a one-way pair consisting of 22nd and Dr. W. J. Hodges streets, and later Main and Market streets in downtown Louisville. At 2nd Street, US 31W ends at US 31E, and the two routes continue north as US 31 before crossing the Ohio River into Jeffersonville, in Clark County, Indiana on the George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge.[6]


Most of US 31W's current route was part of the old Dixie Highway from the National Auto Trail program, the predecessor to the United States Numbered Highways system. Many of the cities through which US 31W traverses still give it a local street name of "Dixie Highway" or "Dixie Avenue." Some portions date back further, to the Louisville and Nashville Turnpike, which began construction in the 1830s.[7] Until 1926, the route in Tennessee from US 41E to the Kentucky state line was signed as State Route 79 (SR 79); it was resigned as SR 41 until the US 31W designation was established in 1931, but the SR 41 remaining as a unsigned, hidden route.[8] The route from the state line northward to US 68 in Bowling Green was signed as Kentucky Route 73 from 1929 until 1931, when the US 31W designation was established.

US 31W in Indiana

US 31W once terminated in Sellersburg, Indiana. It went into New Albany, Indiana, crossing the Kentucky & Indiana Terminal Bridge into Louisville, concurrent with U.S. Route 150. When the K&I Terminal Bridge was closed to traffic in 1979, US 31W and US 150 were rerouted onto the Sherman Minton Bridge, being concurrent with Interstate 64 until Exit 121. In 1980, AASHTO truncated both termini of US 31E and US 31W to Louisville. In Indiana, US 31W was replaced by SR 311.

31W Treasure Hunt

The 31W Treasure Hunt is an outdoor second-hand sale held annually for three days beginning the second Thursday in September. It takes place along the alignment of U.S. Route 31W in its entirety from Nashville to Louisville.[9]

Major intersections


US 31 south / US 41 south / US 431 south (James Robertson Parkway/SR 6/SR 11) / US 31E north (Ellington Parkway/SR 6) to South 5th Street/Main Street / I-24
Interchange; US 31 splits into US 31W and US 31E; south end of US 41/US 431/SR 11 overlap

To I-24 / I-65 / Spring Street

US 431 north (West Trinity Lane/SR 65) to I-65
North end of US 431 overlap; southern terminus of unsigned SR 65
I-65 – Nashville, LouisvilleSouthbound off-ramp from SR 155 off-ramp; I-65 exit 90A
SR 155 (Briley Parkway) – Nashville, KnoxvilleNo eastbound on-ramp (must use northbound I-65 on-ramp); SR 155 exit 16B
7.111.4 SR 45 (Old Hickory Boulevard) – Whites Creek, Old Hickory, Madison
Goodlettsville11.218.0Rivergate Parkway east to I-65 – MadisonWestern terminus of Rivergate Parkway; provides access to Rivergate Mall
SR 174 east (Long Hollow Pike)
Western terminus of SR 174
US 41 north (Dickerson Pike/SR 11) – Springfield, Greenbrier, Ridgetop
SR 41 begins
Interchange; north end of US 41/SR 11 overlap; southern terminus of unsigned SR 41; south end of SR 41 overlap; former US 43 north
I-65 – Louisville, NashvilleI-65 exit 98

SR 257 west (Bethel Road) to I-65 – Ridgetop
Eastern terminus of SR 257
county line
White House22.636.4
SR 258 (Raymond Hirsch Parkway) to I-65 – Hendersonville

SR 76 west to I-65 – Springfield
South end of SR 76 overlap
SR 76 east (Portland Road) – New Deal, Portland
North end of SR 76 overlap
Cross Plains27.544.3
SR 25 (Main Street) to I-65 – Cross Plains, Springfield, Gallatin
PortlandOrlinda line32.652.5
SR 52 to I-65 – Orlinda, Portland
SR 109 (N Broadway) to I-65 – Portland, Gallatin
SR 259 east – Mitchellville
Western terminus of SR 259
TennesseeKentucky line36.08–
SR 41 ends
KentuckySimpson I-65 – Louisville, NashvilleI-65 exit 2

KY 1008 / KY 100 Truck to I-65

KY 100 east to I-65
South end of KY 100 overlap
KY 383 south (Madison Street)

KY 73 east / KY 100 west (Cedar Street)
North end of KY 100 overlap; south end of KY 73 overlap
KY 1171 (North Street)

KY 73 west (Morgantown Road)
North end of KY 73 overlap
KY 2592 (Patton Road)

KY 1008 south to I-65 – truck route to KY 100
KY 1434
KY 621 (Stevenson Road)
WarrenWoodburn KY 240
KY 242 – Rockfield, Rich Pond
Bowling Green
I-165 to I-65 – Owensboro, Scottsville
Former Natcher Parkway; I-165 exit 6
US 231 (Campbell Lane)

US 231 Bus. north (University Drive) to US 68 / KY 80
South end of US 231 Bus. overlap; roundabout

US 231 Bus. south (Broadway Avenue) to I-65
North end of US 231 Bus. overlap

KY 234 (Fairview Avenue) to I-65
KY 3225 (Old Louisville Road)

US 68 west / KY 80 west (Kentucky Street) to I-65 south
South end of US 68 / KY 80 overlap
KY 3225 (Old Louisville Road)

KY 1402 east (Porter Pike) to Plum Springs Loop / KY 957

To I-65 (via KY 446 east) – Louisville, Nashville, Corvette Museum
KY 957

KY 526 west to KY 1320

US 68 east / KY 80 east
North end of US 68 / KY 80 overlap

KY 3145 south to I-65
Northern terminus of KY 3145; intersection opened July 2017.[10]

KY 743 north
Tuckertown KY 2326 (Otter Gap Road)

KY 101 north – Brownsville
South end of KY 101 overlap

KY 101 south – Smiths Grove
North end of KY 101 overlap
KY 422 north
KY 259
BarrenPark City
KY 255 south
South end of KY 255 overlap

KY 255 north (Mammoth Cave Parkway) to I-65 – Mammoth Cave, Brownsville

KY 2189 south (Park City-Glasgow Road)

KY 2143 south (Old Happy Valley Road)
Cave City

KY 90 (Happy Valley Road) to I-65 / KY 70 – Mammoth Cave, Glasgow
KY 70 (Broadway Street / Griderville Road) – Business District, Hiseville

KY 335 north
HartHorse Cave

KY 218 (Main Street) to I-65 / US 31E

KY 1846 south
KY 335 south
KY 571 south

KY 88 east – Hardyville
South end of KY 88 overlap
KY 357 north (Union Street) – Hodgenville

KY 88 west (Center Street) – Clarkson, Nolin Lake
North end of KY 88 overlap
I-65 – Nashville, LouisvilleI-65 exit 65

KY 1140 west
KY 2756

KY 728 east to I-65
South end of KY 728 overlap

KY 728 west
North end of KY 728 overlap

KY 224 east to I-65 – Hodgenville
South end of KY 224 overlap
county line

KY 224 west (Grayson Street) – Clarkson, Nolin River, Nolin Lake
North end of KY 224 overlap
KY 2767 (Murrieltown Road)
KY 84 to I-65 – Sonora, Hodgenville
KY 1517
KY 1407 north

KY 1136 west
Glendale Junction
KY 222 to I-65

Western Kentucky Parkway west / US 31W Truck north / KY 61 south to I-65 / Bluegrass Parkway – Lexington, Louisville, Nashville, Paducah, Hodgenville
south end of KY 61 overlap

KY 210 east

KY 1136 west (New Glendale Road) to US 31W Byp.
Main Streettraffic circle around Hardin County Courthouse

US 62 / KY 61 north (Mulberry Street)
north end of KY 61 overlap

KY 251 north (North Miles Street)

KY 1357 south (St. John Road)

KY 1600 north (Woodland Drive)

US 31W Byp. south to I-65 / Western Kentucky Parkway – thru trucks
KY 3005 (Ring Road)

KY 447 north

KY 2802 south (W.A. Jenkins Road)
KY 220 west – Rineyville

KY 434 east – Lebanon Junction

KY 313 to I-65 – Vine Grove, Lebanon Junction

KY 1500 west (Millcreek Road)

KY 144 west (East Vine Street) – Vine Grove

KY 1815 south (West Lincoln Trail Boulevard)
North Wilson Roadinterchange
Fort Knox
To KY 1646 / Bullion Boulevard – Fort Knox
Chaffee Avenueinterchange; entrance ramps only
US 60 west – Hardinsburg, Owensboro
South end of US 60 overlap
see US 60

US 31 north (Second Street / Clark Bridge) / US 31E south / US 60 east (West Market Street)
US 31W and US 31E merge to form US 31; north end of US 60 overlap
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Tennessee State Route 41

State Route 41

Length22.96 mi (36.95 km)
ExistedOctober 1, 1923[11]–present

State Route 41 (SR 41) runs as a secret, or hidden designation, throughout US 31W’s routing from the US 41 (SR 11) junction in Goodlettsville to the SR 259 junction at the Kentucky state line near Mitchellville.

Special routes

Bowling Green bypass

LocationBowling Green

From the 1950s to the 1980s, a bypass route of US 31W ran around Bowling Green, Kentucky. It was replaced by rerouting US 31W onto the bypass.[12][13]

Elizabethtown bypass

By-pass plate.svg

U.S. Route 31W Bypass

Length3.758 mi (6.048 km)

U.S. Route 31W By-Pass is a four-lane expressway in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. It starts at an at-grade intersection with Kentucky Route 1136, bypasses the west side of town and it ends at another at-grade intersection with US 31W on the northern side of Elizabethtown. The southern end can be reached via either KY 1136 on the south side, or following the Western Kentucky Parkway from the at-grade intersection with US 31W/KY 61to the interchange after the WK Parkway/I-65 junction.

Major intersections include:

Elizabethtown Truck Route

Truck plate.svg

U.S. Route 31W Truck

LocationElizabethtown, Kentucky
Length4.592 mi (7.390 km)

U.S. Route 31W Truck is a truck route in Elizabethtown. Its component highways include the Wendell H. Ford Western Kentucky Parkway west from the US 31W/KY 61 junction to exit 135, and the final 3.512 miles (5.652 km) of the US 31W Bypass from the WK Parkway exit 135 interchange to US 31W on the north side of town.

West Point Business Route

Business plate.svg

U.S. Route 31W Business

LocationWest Point, Kentucky
Length1.988 mi (3.199 km)

U.S. Route 31W Business is a business route located in West Point, Kentucky, in northern Hardin County. It is 1.988 miles (3.199 km) long and does not intersect any other highways outside of the main alignment of US 31W (which runs concurrently with US 60 in that area).[14]

See also


  1. ^ Commonwealth of Kentucky. "Official DMI Route Log". Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  2. ^ Tennessee Department of Transportation (2000). Nashville City Map (Northeast)[permanent dead link] (PDF) (Map). Nashville: Tennessee Department of Transportation.
  3. ^ Tennessee Department of Transportation (2000). Sumner County General Highway Map Archived 2016-01-12 at the Wayback Machine (PDF) (Map). Nashville: Tennessee Department of Transportation.
  4. ^ Moriarty, Dylan; Berkowitz, Bonnie; Levitt, Zach; Karklis, Laris. "Deadly path: How tornadoes ripped through states". Washington Post. Retrieved 2021-12-13.
  5. ^ "Images of Tornado Damage 31W Bypass in Bowling Green". News 40 | WNKY Television. 2021-12-12. Retrieved 2021-12-13.
  6. ^ a b c Google (December 24, 2013). "U.S. 31W" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved December 24, 2013.
  7. ^ Minor, Robyn L. (September 13, 2012). "U.S. 31-W likely dates to ‘Good Roads’ movement in 1920s". Bowling Green Daily News. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  8. ^ "Highway map of Tennessee showing the construction progress during 8 year period 1918-1926, on federal and state aid roads".
  9. ^ "Heritage Corridor Hwy 31W/31E".
  10. ^ Doyle, Darren (July 6, 2017). "Grand Opening of New I-65 Exit 30 Held Today at KY Transpark". Edmonson Voice. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  11. ^ Highway Planning Survey Division (1925). Biennial Report of the Commissioner of the Department of Highways and Public Works State of Tennessee for the Years 1923 and 1924 (PDF) (Report). Nashville: Tennessee Department of Highways and Public Works. pp. 39–44. Retrieved May 19, 2023.
  12. ^ United States Geological Survey (1956). Bowling Green South, Kentucky (Map). 1/24000.
  13. ^ United States Geological Survey (1993). Bowling Green South, Kentucky (Map).
  14. ^ "Official DMI Route Log". Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Retrieved August 26, 2014.

External links

Media related to U.S. Route 31W at Wikimedia Commons